Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Mother

Mothers - they bring us into this world. They nourish us as babies, accompany us through our childhood years and watch us grow into adults in our teenage years. They are always there for us in times of need - a shoulder to cry on. They give us advice. In short, mothers are precious.

My mother left to go back to Tokyo today for the next two weeks and I am okay with that. I'll be strong until she comes back; she will be greatly missed. These last two weeks with her were amazing - she's my backbone; I can tell her anything and everything. The hours just seem to fly by whenever I am with her. She gives me strength to carry on.

So I dedicate this post to you, mom. I love you.

I will end with a saying that I remember way back from kindergarten:

My mother is precious,
My mother is fine,
My mother, My mother,
My mother is mine.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Benefits of Individual Therapy

The last five weeks I did not have a therapist as the one that I was assigned to prior to the Christmas Holidays term was up at the station; how not fitting is all I've been able to think since then. Until today. Today I had the first real talk with a therapist again, my new one - she seems lovely just like the last one was too. I am ecstatic beyond belief - full of excitement like a puppy is upon receiving his yummy treat - that I finally have someone to confide in again.

For the past five weeks I have not had anyone at the station to share my innermost thoughts with - I was forced to deal with them by myself, without having any professional advice for whatever situations that I was dealing with at the current moment. It was tough without a therapist, I must admit. Of course I talked with my parents about what occupied my mind as well as with my best friends, yet it isn't the same as sharing my thoughts with someone who is in the profession if you know what I mean. I find it great to receive valid advice from someone from the outside, looking at the subject from a different perspective as they have no relationship to me.

So today I was relieved. Although I was 'given' a new therapist last week, followed by a quick introduction and greeting, our first real one-hour long session took place today. I finally have a contact person at the station again and she promised me that if I never need someone to vent to and it isn't our day when we have our session, that I can still come to her and she will make time for me - what a nice gesture. Today consisted of the basics; of telling her my whole story of how everything came to be. And believe me, that was tough enough and very emotional as it brings back so many unwanted memories. Looking back, I still can't believe what condition I was in upon my arrival at the hospital and of all the hardships that I put myself through. Simply put, I endangered myself and was close to death. It's always good to put things in perspective and that's what I did with my therapist today. We looked at how far I have come and the progress that I have been able to make.

It was only the first therapy block of many more to come. I cannot wait to see the depths that we will get into and I am glad that I got along so well with my therapist today. It feels good to finally have someone at the station again who is there for me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tomorrow is a fresh start

I'm sick in bed with the flu and my laptop ultimately gave up his life today so I am blogging from my phone.

Tomorrow the world will look different.

It's a new day; a fresh start.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Educating Myself on Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis: A medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue.

It is one of the common effects of anorexia nervosa. I know that I have osteoporosis - in fact, I've known for a while; ever since I've had a BMD (Bone Mineral Density) Test completed back in the middle of October while I was still at the intensive station. Yet it is only know that I have become curious and have looked further into the matter as the doctors sent me to the orthopedic station at the hospital today, in hopes of figuring out whether my osteoporosis is improving and if my daily calcium tablets are sufficient. 

The orthopedist was very informative and gave me an entire lecture on the causes of osteoporosis and what needs to be done; it was almost like being back at school, hearing a teacher explain a certain topic - the only difference was that I actually paid attention. Before his disquisition, he quickly glanced at my medical history and the tests that I have done, only to inform me that I have the bones of an eighty year old grandma or so. Great, I thought - just one more thing that anorexia nervosa has given me. He reassured me that my osteoporosis can improve with the right treatment; thank goodness. Basically, according to this article - which sums up what the doctor informed me on nicely - 
Anorexia nervosa has significant physical consequences. Affected individuals can experience nutritional and hormonal problems that negatively impact bone density. Low body weight in females causes the body to stop producing estrogen, resulting in a condition known as amenorrhea, or absent menstrual periods. Low estrogen levels contribute to significant losses in bone density.
In addition, individuals with anorexia often produce excessive amounts of the adrenal hormone cortisol, which is known to trigger bone loss. Other problems – such as a decrease in the production of growth hormone and other growth factors, low body weight (apart from the estrogen loss it causes), calcium deficiency, and malnutrition – contribute to bone loss in girls and women with anorexia.
The outcome of the meeting with the orthopedist was basically that since I also suffer from amenorrhea, which is one of the causes of osteoporosis, that I should first see a doctor at the gynecology station and then come back with the test results from there.

Although it was a very informative day, I wasted three hours of my precious time today, running around the hospital or sitting, waiting patiently to be called up - and the end result? nothing.

Hopefully I will get some answers regarding my amenorrhea and osteoporosis next week; we'll see.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Night Leave During the Week

As was discussed - and mentioned in this post earlier - with the doctor in charge of me last week, to help ease my transition back into the real world, I would be given night-leaves during the week.

Well, yesterday to today marked that first night-leave during the week - there's a first for everything! Although I had to be at the station for all my meals on both days, it's a start. I had to be back this morning at 8 am; just in time for breakfast. But that wasn't a problem for me as I am an early riser, waking up as the sun slowly ascends over the city and the first signs of movement are heard on the street - a sign that the busy day ahead has set into motion. This time, the night-leave was solely for sleeping at home and being able to enjoy a good night's sleep in my own bed during the week.

Since everything worked out great and I was here for all meals, I am hoping that for my next night-leave during the week, that I might be able to have a few meals outwards - maybe dinner and then breakfast to start with. I'm hopeful; I have to be. It's always good to remain positive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm Back In Charge

Weigh-in days are never something I anticipate or look forward to in the slightest, like I would when meeting up with someone I haven't seen in a long time or Christmas Eve when you're about to open up your presents. All morning until 7.15 am, when I am weighed, I am anxious beyond belief - Was it enough? Did everything work out? Will the result be positive? These thoughts circulate in my mind consecutively until I know for sure and see the result, a definite answer. I do not need to wait for the doctors round later on in the day to figure out whether or not the weigh-in was a positive experience as I myself know whether I gained weight, stayed the same, or lost weight. 

This time, like always lately, everything was positive. Not only that, but I overshot the weight that the head doctor said I needed to reach in order to drink my supplement drinks on my own again without supervision. Finally; I couldn't have been more relieved this morning upon seeing that number. Knowing that now, after two weeks - or longer, even - I am in charge of my supplement drinks again, not the helpers. It was that sense of relief one has upon having a graded paper returned and seeing that it has been completed with excellence - pure contentment

Now I am finally able to be in charge again, not only of my meals but of my supplement drinks as well. For the past weeks I had to consume my supplement drinks just after finishing each meal - not only was it extremely uncomfortable for my stomach to drink them straight after my already substantial meals but having that many calories all in one go isn't the best for my mentality either - but that never stopped me. It was just harder than it had too. Now that I can decide when to have the supplement drinks, I can have them in between my meals as snacks so to say.

Everything's looking up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reducing my Medication

It is never good to be completely encapsulated with drugs of whatever sort - whether they be antidepressants, tranquilizers, neurolepticas, mood stabilizers, hypnotics, nootropics or anti-dementia drugs. There are endless possibilities to the type of drugs that would suit you and your current situation. Doctor's assign us drugs to make us feel better and sometimes those medications can add up and all of a sudden, you are faced with multiple drugs in the morning, at lunch, in the evening and at night. Drugs are a superb development as they really do help one.

What I'm trying to say is that initially, drugs that you are specifically prescribed for by the doctors are essential and necessary. They enable us to feel more at ease and help stabilize our mood, thoughts, and emotions. Yet sooner or later, I feel that it is important to not be dependent on drugs anymore in order to feel 'okay' and 'normal'. It should be one's goal to ultimately not need these drugs anymore to be content and in the right place mentally.

For me, I started out with a vast array of medications - ranging from antidepressants to mood stabilizers to neurolepticas. And I can't forget my Vitamin D and Calcium tablets that I receive three times daily as my body is still lacking those nutrients. Now I do not count those as medications per say, since they are something you can buy at your local drugstore and a presecription isn't necessary.

Since today, I only receive one drug - and that is to help me fall asleep. It has already been reduced to the minimal dosis which I am thankful for. It was decided at yesterday's doctors round that I would be discharged of my antidepressant, that, as a side effect, also acts as a mood stabilizer, starting tomorrow. I received this drug to help with my anxiety and to keep my thoughts in check. But lately I haven't been apprehensive nor have I had any negative thoughts - which is what I told the doctors yesterday. Upon hearing this news, the head doctor agreed with my wish to discharge my last remaining antidepressant and see how it affects me.

Well, I survived the day - no anxiety attacks and no negative thoughts about myself or thoughts about food. I'm quite proud.