Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First Steps Back Into The Real World

This morning was stressful; nothing but anxiety attacks struck me from the time I was awake at three am. Yes, three am. I was simply too nervous to sleep with too many thoughts occupying my mind: how will my roommates be? how many newcomers is there? will they like me? will I stand out? Things like that.

Well, now I know. After a long, excruciating day of scurried packing in the morning, a frantic station change shortly before lunch, and a long afternoon of trying to get used to the new station gave me some answers.

I'm still completely overwhelmed and shocked by the massive changes. There is so much more independence, which, quite frantically, scares me. As weird and unimaginable as it sounds, I want to go back to the intensive psychiatric station 4C instead of the station here, 6B. I was at ease there; in my element. Maybe it's because I've been there for so long that I've gotten used to the conditions, the people, the helpers, the doctors, etc. That's probably why now that I think of it. Here, everything's new and different - exciting in a way? Yes. But oh-so-terrifying for me as well.

There is no constant supervision of the helpers. If you need something, you go look for them at their office. The mattresses are hard and stale, making my joints and bones ache. Thank goodness I talked to the helpers and now I have a gel-mattress like I did down in 4C. There is also no supervision whilst eating, making it harder for me to finish my plate as I am not being monitored. I know I have to though, to nourish my body as it needs the nutrients to repair itself and I have been successful so far. The people are different, very different. There's many more differences, but that's some of the major ones I can think of at the top of my head.

It's a scene change and environment shock for me, to say the least. But I know that just like with 4C, I will become accustomed to my surroundings and learn to appreciate all the station has to offer to me in terms of therapy and the people that are here. I just need to be patient - everything takes time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goodbye Intensive Psychiatric Station, Hello 6B.

This morning I received the best news yet. One of the leading doctor's, my favorite - an added plus - came into the room, straight up to my bed with a big, ginormous grin on his face and said "There's a bed open for you." At first I couldn't register anything. A bed? I have a bed here...But then I remembered the talks I had with him and the other doctor's last week about possibly moving to a different station at the hospital - one that specializes in people with eating disorders - in three or four weeks when one out of the twenty beds opens up. They said three to four weeks; but now, it's tomorrow. It only took six days after our talks.

I can't believe that it's my last night here; feelings of schadenfreude fill the room. It's too early and it's too short notice, I think to myself. But then again, it's good because the station I'm moving is specifically for people with eating disorders and the therapy that is provided there is much more meaningful and helpful there. I just don't want to leave my roommates here, I've become so close with some of them. 

So, enough with the blogging, time to get packing.

Tomorrow I'll be writing from my new room, in the new station, surrounded by new people and new faces. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mom's Back, Fever's Gone

Sorry for being MIA these last two days, it's just that the flu had gotten the better of me - just like the villain's sometimes do in Disney Channel Movies, but in the end, the good always triumph. I did nothing but sleep all day; how exciting you all must think, I know I know - my life really couldn't be any more interesting at this point. But at least I was able to outsleep my flu; you could say. 

Through countless sweat seizures during both days and nights, and the many clothes changes that were involved, I was able to get rid of my temperature successfully. Trust me, usually I am all for changing outfits multiple times a day, that's any girls' dream come true; but doing so that many times and in those conditions was anything but enjoyable. The only positive is that my fever is now gone.

Now all that remains is that nasty cold, but that's doable. At least now I can finally move again, and enjoy life just like before that nasty little flu! Tomorrow is the first day that I will go back to having ergotherapy and physiotherapy, so I'm excited about that. I was still too weak today even though my fever was gone.

On another bright note, my mom arrived back from Japan yesterday! She came here straight from the airport, although she had a total jetlag and everything; she came straight here to see me, which shows how much she cares. I love her to death. Her support means the world to me. Having her here makes me so much happier; just knowing that she's close by.

Just a quick shout out to you mom, I love you more than you can imagine. You mean the world to me together with dad and Klemens. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to the roots

In coming here to the AKH, you could say that I started a new chapter in my life; a new beginning. I wouldn't have survived the weekend of September 7 - I know I keep reiterating this fact, but to me it is vital as it is a constant reminder of the horrible state I was in both mentally and physically - had I not come here; hence the new start to life. Since coming here, I have been doing everything in my nature to ensure that I nurse and nourish my body back to health. I am just as eager and anxious as a child who finds a genie in a lamp and is granted three wishes and states them, to cooperate and work with the doctors and nurses because they know what they are doing.

Funnily enough, in starting my life again here, it is almost like a deja vu moment as I began my life as a toddler here as well. Not here in the psychiatric intensive station at the AKH hospital, but at the kindergarten that is here for workers. Back then, my mom worked here and so I, as well as my brother, went to the kindergarten. I vividly remember kindergarten, and all the fun I had, how creative we all were - just like I am now, with my friendship bracelets, origami, window colors, knitting, etc. Creativity and positivity were flooding the room back then, and they are here too - right here, right now. To add to the situation, my nickname in here is 'the baby' as this station is for adults and I am the youngest by a few years as I only turned eighteen in April of this year. So I guess you could say that the baby's growing up. I began my life into childhood here, and now my new life begins here as well. 

It's a fresh start. I succeeded once and this time won't be any different. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Blood Count is Finally Stabilizing Itself

Now I know I seldomly comment on my actual wellbeing in regards to health and all the medical terminology. And since I received good news regarding my body today, there is nothing hindering me from letting you all know:

My blood count is finally beginning to stabilize itself.

Now, after two months of intensive care this crucial process has finally begun, just like when a cocoon is on its way to becoming the most beautiful, decadent little butterfly out there. I've been in the hospital for nearly two months now (it will be two months exactly on October 30), and the amount of attention and work that was put into my health, specifically my blood count in this case, is insane - they have gone above and beyond, completely out of reach; just like the basketball hoop is for me when I play. 

My white blood cell count is still too low, but it is beginning to increase. If I remember correctly, I've received three injections of white blood cells into my system because they were so low at times. Additionally I required two blood transfusions because of my low red blood cell count, amongst other things. My blood count was pretty screwed up from everything I put my body through, to say the least. And it has only now, two months into the process of nursing me back to health, started to function properly again - according to the results from the latest blood test; the one that was done this morning. It's crazy to think how long something like this takes. It just comes to show how much damage I put myself through, I can't believe I ever let it get that defective.

Only now is my body able to provide the correct nutrients to start to function on its own. It's a sign that my body is finally starting to heal as well, returning back to normal slowly but steadily. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Giving Hope & Spreading Life

We all know from school that wikipedia is something that we shouldn't use to cite, just like it is rude to talk on you mobile phone while being on public transportation. It is a given; basically. I must admit that I am quite worn out today because I've been on another outing, had physiotherapy and a busy day in general, so let's just make an exception just this once and use wikipedia.
Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States, developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home creating origami cranes in hope of making a thousand of them. She was inspired to do so by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would then be granted a wish. Her wish was simply to live. However, she managed to fold only 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, and died on October 25th, 1955. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes, which were buried with Sadako.
Now, every year on Obon Day, which is a holiday in Japan to remember the departed spirits of one's ancestors, thousands of people leave paper cranes near the statue of Sadako. On the statue is a plaque: "This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth." 
Japanese culture has treasured the crane as a symbol of honor, loyalty and peace. To me, it is also a symbol of hope. I, much like Sadako, simply want to be able to live again and for that reason, I have decided to conquer this project - to fold 1,000 paper cranes. I know that I have to complete this within a year and I am determined to finish this full force, pouring my heart and soul into every little twist and turn that is required to create these beauties.

The beginning of my collection.
I want nothing more than to live again; to be able to enjoy life and be healthy. That's all I crave. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Outing!

Dull, misty and foggy. That's what I remember this morning being like. It reminded me of a graveyard, and all the uneasiness and mystery that comes with one. In a way, it was a perfect halloween setting, which, may I say, I am totally stoked for and is just around the corner! I already know what I'm gonna be, do you? Anyway, the conditions outside were horrid and thus my room was never able to become light and bright - there was no positive vibes coming in from outside. It felt more like positive vibes were leaving, being sucked out into all the remnants. To brighten the room, the helpers brought in an extra therapy light to create the ying and yang that was missing this morning. With this lamp, everything was going full force again and I was on track.

At the daily rounds, I was nervous to say the least, anxiously awaiting what the leading doctor would say today - sitting in my bed trying to collect myself and calm down just like students try to before taking a test. All the frantic worrying was time wasted, as there was nothing but good news today! I am now able to go to the ergotherapy room in a different floor instead of having them come down here to me; enabling me to do a variety more of creative things that are impossible at an intensive psychiatric station.

And the best news to date is that I am now allowed to go outside! Outside. Me. Who would've thought. For now, I am allowed to leave the station for one hour everyday in accompaniment with a visitor.

Since September 7, I have been mainly on bedrest, stuck on my bed (at the beginning it was because I was actually unable to move myself around at all), and for the last three days I have been allowed to walk around in the station. But today marks the day that I left the station for the first time, with my best friend in the world. We walked to starbucks (thank god for the starbucks that's in the main building that we found in no time as we thought we would never even come near it - making us feel like proper detectives who just solved their biggest case: proud and accomplished). I was at starbucks; sitting there with my best friend, just talking, gossiping about anything and everything. Once again, I felt normal. I didn't feel like I was sick, like I had this atrocious illness for just a few splendid moments. And that's all I needed to make today a good day. My best friend and my first outing. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rough First Times

Today was uneventful for a for a Monday to say the least. Usually, mondays are the busiest days as it is right after the weekend - all the doctor's need catching up with the helpers; the psychologists are back; physiotherapy starts up again; ergotherapy begins as well. Stressful, to say the least. There is people running around everywhere the whole morning until visiting hours begin at 2 pm. Doctors, nurses, helpers, patients just hustling about one another in the corridor and dodging between each other in the rooms; it reminds me of Shibuya and the crossing, the whole disorder that it entailed - with people walking and crossing the street wherever they pleased.

As I said, at 2 pm it quietens down as visiting hours start. Everything dies down: all the chaos, the stress, the noise level - all of it. It's okay during the day as it is bright out and the sun is still able to radiate through my brightly decorated windows to keep me positive. But it's a whole different story for the evening visiting hours from 5 to 8 pm. It's already dark out; the hospital lights make you dreary and sleepy; and the thoughts get stronger and louder, just like a lion cub does as it grows older.

So far, I've always had someone be here with me for the nightly visiting hours because of those reasons, so that I would be distracted and feel more at home; it also showed that I have support and encouragement from others. But tonight is different. Tonight is the first night that no one came. A dear family friend had planned to come but tragic events came in the way and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. The notice I was given was too short notice to find someone else to come, so I had to figure out how to keep myself sane and positive. And so far, I've succeeded.

Today, I have made 30 origami cranes, 3 window color paintings, written a story, read in my book, made a friendship bracelet, etc. I've been occupying myself productively. Looking at the list just now, I realize that everything is something creative. I've come to love being creative and producing things while being here. It's something I hope to keep up with once I am well and healthy again.

I am able to survive tonight, by myself. I can do this. I have come so far - this is no setback for me. I won't let those thoughts get the best of me, I will get the best of them by staying positive and doing everything I possibly can to occupy myself. Starting with a movie, yup, that sounds good.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Goodbye Bedrest

Laughter, chatter, gossip - the exchanges and sounds of other people. That's what filled the air here today, at least for me as I was finally put off of bedrest! I no longer need to sit in my bed minute after minute and bore myself to death. 

Although it doesn't seem like much, since I am only allowed to walk around in the station itself, the only room I can really go into besides the one I'm residing in is the TV room that, at the same time, is the smoker room also. Even though it's a plain room - the wall has a craack and is mustard yellow, there is no windows and it generally is a mess - there is life inside. 

Today, I was in there with two other patients, one of whom has become a dear friend of mine, and another friend that came to visit us. And we were able to really talk, like women do when they meet up for the cup of coffee at starbucks in the mornings. I was finally able to talk with friends and I wasn't stuck sitting on my bed, or in my room for the matter of fact. I wasn't reminded of my illness. I felt normal. I'm learning how to feel and be normal again, and that's all that matters. I just need to remember that.

Weight gain is a slow process, and it takes time. I need to patient. I've been here the longest out of all eight patients, since September 7, and will still be here for a while because of my weight. I haven't gained a lot, which comes to show how messed up my bodily functions have become because of what I put my body through. I had to learn the hard way and now I just need to remain tolerant and not give up. I got this.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hungry - Major Recovery Win

Funny thing, I was hungry for the first time today, really hungry - my stomach was growling just like a lion does while consuming his prey; the only difference being that i was very impatiently awaiting my meal instead of enjoying it already. It was for lunch. Yes, lunch was later than usual because it turns out that there was a collision with some lunch carts - how that happens, I have no idea - but having hunger signs is a good thing. It's another step in the right direction. I'm so proud of myself. Hopefully I'll soon start to feel these signals again for every meal and not just occassionally. But I have to remember that it takes time.

The day doesn't end there. So much more happened. I completely got my nose tube removed today. I no longer feel like an outcast, an alien with a tube sticking out of its nose. That's no longer me. I now look normal from the outside, just like everybody else, I can finally somewhat fit in again. And because the tube is now gone, I am also successfully eating three ginormous portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner - all of them being served in bed, making me feel like a king - and three high-caloric drinks in between. The amount I consume seems bizarre to me and the thoughts are stronger now that I have these drinks, but rationally I know that it's only for the best. I need these nutrients to nourish my body. I can't let these thoughts take over so I've been occupying myself quite productively I must say. For one, I should really make my own friendship bracelet botique for the amount I finish in a day; these days I am as busy as a bee when it comes to distracting myself. I have mastered the art of that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Distractions

Being in the hospital for such a vast time frame, there is a trend that I see happening, and that is the repetition of certain discussions that I find to be pretty awkward in real life - but in here, they are a daily thing. And very important not to forget. They are as pivotal in our daily communication in here as it is for a baby to cry his guts out for whatever reason. Two important conversations come to mind when I think of this - did you have to go to the bathroom today? (as in did you have to poop); and what are you doing with all your used tissues? Now, I know they seem like odd topics of conversation, but around here, that's normal.

The helper's here ask us daily whether or not we pooped because it is important to note as it shows that your body is functioning properly. And whenever they ask, no matter which helper it is, we always start babbling on about how awkward those type of questions actually are and have a good laugh, just like the big and loud one that Santa Claus does every Christmas Eve when he is out delivering his presents. Like I said, in here, I'm totally fine with answering that, but outside, I would stare the person down, turn around and leave. Just kidding, I'm not that mean. But I wouldn't go around and tell everyone whether or not I pooped.

Writing this makes me think of some people who I always had conversations with regarding this even before the hospital, I hope you know who you are and I miss you all dearly.

The second topic was that of used tissues and handkerchiefs. Since the air conditioning is on 24/7, it gets quite chilly easily and it's almost guaranteed that you receive a cold as a result. Let me just say that there is tissues everywhere in this room you can possibly imagine - there's bins overflowing with them countless times a day, they're on the floor, on our bedside - simply everywhere. But the funniest thing was when one of my dear friends, who has already left and is much better now, did not throw her tissues away after using them. I was shocked, who does that? She hid them behind her pillow because she was convinced to use them again and again; the same tissue. It was hilarious the conversations we had about that looking back now.

I personally think that these types of awkward conversations are the best type of distraction because they enable you to laugh, be witty and think outside the box. They make you forget your worries and you just sit there, join in and forget about the happenings of the real world for a blink of an eye. And that's something I love.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Perk of Recovery

When I arrived at the hospital, skeletal, lifeless, dead as a doornail, I couldn't move any of my joints at all - I was in that much pain. But I didn't care, because that voice controlled every aspect of my life back then. Now all I hear are thoughts, and even those are diminishing, slowly, just as time is ticking away day by day. It will still take an incredible amount of persistence, strength and time for those thoughts to ultimately disappear - just like that red handkerchief always does when the magician flicks his wand and says a spell.

As I was incapable and unfit to even move from one side to the other on my bed upon arrival here, you could say I was pretty much unable to move at all. But now, as I am slowly gaining my health back, the perks of recovery are definitely becoming visible. At the beginning, all I did was sleep. Now, I don't, obviously or I wouldn't be writing this, ha. One thing that hasn't change is that I still have strict bedrest as my weight is still incredibly low (I am only allowed to leave my bed for my daily shower, or with the physiotherapist). But I'm trying to change that willingly and so I've accepted that bedrest is the best option for me right now, as I know that weight gain is a slow and tiring process.

Now, I am able to not only blog here; I am able to have proper conversations again without forgetting what I've said a minute before, or not hearing part of someone's question - always an embarassing thing, especially when it happens to you when speaking with a doctor; I can make friendship bracelets; I read; I can do things. That's the most important thing. I'm not lifeless anymore, I am finally able to move and live again.

Today in physiotherapy I managed my first 1 km on the stationary bike with no resistance - I feel on top of the world writing this down because it shows how far I've come. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it's a milestone for me. I was unable to even take a step five weeks ago, don't forget, and now, here I am, biking a whole kilometer! Bizarre. I loved every minute of it, I cherished it greatly. Tomorrow I'm supposed to play table tennis with my physiotherapist, we'll see how that goes. One thing's for sure, I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Best News Yet

If you think yesterday was an amazing day, false. It was good, but nowhere near as exuberant as today. Today was most definitely the ultimate day I have wittnessed. Even though I had to say my goodbyes to one of the people I care for the most, my mother - as she quickly (with special permission from the leading doctor here) dropped by on her way to the airport as she is currently heading to Tokyo - and received food over the tube, today beats all days so far. I know I should be sad about my mother leaving my side, of our parting, but I'm so full of joy for her: she'll finally be reunited with my father as well as my brother and just the thought of them being together, in our house, in the environment we put together and feel comfortable in, makes me happy. I'm grinning from one ear to the other right now; that's how big my smile is. I love my family to death.

Now, enough with the family appreciation, although I do love them dearly and am fighting for my life, in ultimately trying to be with all of them again. The four of us, in one place. That hasn't happened since the summer. And that's something I miss and want to return oh so desperately, like a chocolate lover craving his chocolate but being unable to reach the bar that's just beyond his reach - but the smell prevails and continues to torture him and his cravings.

Today at the daily talk with the doctors, I asked about the tube and how I'd been working so hard for the past week, eating three full meals willingly while additionally getting food via the tube. It's important to note that everything was willingly, as in they didn't force me. They would've forced me to eat somewhow had I not done it by my own will. And since I had my "Oh" Moment about recovery a bit over three weeks ago, when I created this blog, I also realized that I need to nourish my body and look after it for it to function properly. And now comes the good news, the leading doctor praised my cooperation and let me know that tomorrow, my NOSE TUBE WOULD DISAPPEAR because of my teamwork and all the effort that I've been putting into this journey. I would finally look normal from the outside. I wouldn't look werid with this thing stuck in my face. Sure, I would still be skeletal, but I would look human and not like an alien with a tube that comes out from its nose. I'm sitting here crying tears of joy just at the thought of it. I'm so excited. Finally.

***instead of getting fed over the tube, I would now receive three high-caloric drinks daily to make up for the calories. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking Forward to a Meal

Today, for the first time in what feels like eons, I woke up refreshed - feeling exactly like sleeping beauty after she wakes to find herself in a different century - I woke up calm. The nights before, I had horrid sleeping patterns, waking up several times a night just to find myself stare at the empty ceiling above me. I slept in pain; suffered through all my negative thoughts at night; and most likely gave in to those thoughts that I've successfully conquered during the day while in my series of catnaps you could say - taking the amount of times I was up into consideration. But now, ever since yesterday, I felt at ease even during the night. My bones didn't ache with every move; I didn't need three blankets just because I had no energy to heat myself; I no longer needed a pillow between my legs so that my knees wouldn't have to touch as that would hurt and be uncomfortable. Yesterday was the first night it was different. I didn't feel like a skeleton (although I still am very very thin - which is something I'm trying to change willingly). I hope that tonight will be the same blissful experience.

Waking up to my fully decorated window in the morning sunlight is pure joy and I already knew that today, I was in charge. That today, those thoughts could go, excuse my language, screw themselves as I had better things to do. Now comes the most important news of the day: I was HUNGRY. Me, hungry? I heard my stomach growl and couldn't believe it. I was looking forward to breakfast. Me, looking forward to a meal. Gosh, the last time that happened was probably last summer. Maybe it's because it contained my favorite breakfast item - muesli - but nontheless, I was looking forward to breakfast.

Today in total was a MAJOR RECOVERY WIN DAY.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Three Weeks - Going Strong

Today marks the twentyfirst day of having this blog - three weeks -  that I adhere to and vent to every night, that it has become almost like my nightly ritual. Indeed, thinking about it now, it has become part of my routine, part of me by becoming a place to seek solace in as well as comfort, in reassuring myself with old blog posts filled with words of encouragement, that i'm doing the right thing.

Surprisingly, what I didn't know, is that Felix Baumgartner is currently attempting to jump out of a hot air balloon to break a world record - "The highest jump from the air." Aaaaaaaand he just landed; what a success! Seeing him succeed and pursure with such a difficult and life-threatening attempt, made me realize that his courage and sheer determination to pull that stunt is there - dominant - just like mine, battling against this monster in my head. Both of us are trying our hardest, fighting against all odds to succeed and pursue our goals. Anyway, congratulations Felix, but back to the point now.

What I wanted to say was that, as this is my blog, I am able to write exactly what I'm feeling and going through, which right now, is calmness - yet again. Calmness for the second time in a row? Is that even possible? Calories? Fear Foods? Food Rituals? What happened to those thoughts? They do not matter. They do not determine my self worth. Being calm, that's a good sign, says the rational part of me, but then there's that other voice, looming on my shoulder, crouching, whispering into my ear saying, "you just had such a calorie-dense meal shoved down your tube that you don't deserve you're disgusting." This type of battle is something I face multiple times a day and I successfully push through because I'm looking at the bigger picture, of gaining my life and health back. Of wanting to live, properly, and to not have to live and reside in a hospital - as it's crouching on two months of being in one.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little Things


To start off, today's weather was simply astonishing - the bright and sunny atmosphere instantly created vibes of happiness and positivity that spread throughout this dull and dimly lit hospital room. Having the sun radiate through the window, that are decorated by the most decadent creations of window paintings and mandalas (obviously made by me, haha) that automatically made it a good start to the day for me, as I am one of the lucky ones to be next to a window! 

Regardless of the window, the day didn't falter. In fact, there were so many positive steps today that right now, I actually feel so calm and at ease -  even after all the food i've had to consume; that my body's been rejecting by giving me stomach cramps, headaches and feelings of sickness etc., but i've pushed through it. 

For three days now, i've been having 3 whole meals plus an additional amount via the nose tube, Today I had to eat the biggest portion of, excuse my language, fucking mac and cheese it's ridiculous; but I managed, and that's what counts.

And you know what? Right now, I couldn't give a shit about that, all the food I've eaten and everything related to that. I feel amazing and it's 9 pm. At this very moment, calories, food, anything regarding that matter, is no where near my mind. I think that for right now, I've conquered that little demon inside of me. We'll see how long that lasts. 

I can't be too optimistic as recovery isn't a happy-go-lucky positivity trail that one joins but it does come with ups and downs, just like a rollercoaster does at your favorite amusement park. Currently I seem to be on the highest high I've had so far, I just hope that it lasts.

We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'm already prepared for a good day because my favorite caretakers and doctors are here :3 Plus my mom is coming.

WHAT UP.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Little Pampering Never Hurt No One

Should there be a quota in regards to pursuing recovery; doing what is considered necessary in gaining a semblance of a life back? It could be based on reaching and taking appropriate recovery steps in the right direction. Who wouldn't love that? Being treated for doing the right thing once, twice, or even several times daily - which comes with quite a few favors free for one to use to their advantage. Achieving this quota countless times would enable a whole spa day, using each 'ticket' - one could call it - for a different activity such as a manicure, pedicure, massage, etc. Realistically talking though, as much as I would want this quota to exist as it would be heavenly, recovery is something one should go about handling for themselves. Recovering for favors, for goodies, for one's parents, one's boyfriend, whom or whatever, it won't work as the thoughts are too strong and you too weak, succumbing to their demands. The first time I gave recovery a go, I was under the impression of being able to wing this by wanting to recover for someone else. That idea backfired, to say the least as it got me here. Well, now I know better and am going through this process by myself, for myself, my body and my health. Now I'm not saying that rewards aren't something not to have or look forward to, one just shouldn't base their recovery around them.

So, here I am, typing this as part of my nightly ritual here, being given a head massage by my mom, whom I adore and love unconditionally - to the moon and back - and enjoying it, but for the right reasons.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Go Hard or Go Home

Everyday there seems to be some sort of information that finds its way - oozing slowly across the horizon until reaching the northern star - being documented, manipulated as knowledge in which to simultaneously create a storyline too, as well as recorded in dire times. Yet I find that the time is never desperate enough, and that there's always a teensy spark left and hope to give before the end of the day; to be able to end the day with a bang. Like my mom said today, Go Hard or Go Home. And that's the truth.

For all you chocolate lovers, sweet tooths, or simply those with a hearty appetite calling for that sweet, delicious pastry that you just wholeheartedly enjoyed every bite of, down to the last crumb, be proud. I can now successfully label myself as someone who ate not one, but two typical Austrian Germknödel - yeast based dumplings with plum butter placed inside; served with melted butter and poppy seeds crushed with sugar. Although I still have ways to go and eons to reach before finding pleasure in consuming deserts and not have them be labeled as fear foods, I'm doing my part, taking initiative.


A typical Austrian Comfort Food - Germknödel.
I used to love this as a little kid, and will successfully have conquered this as a fear food soon.


Learning to live. Wanting to live. Needing to live.


That's what it comes down to. I want to be able to tick off deserts from my list of fear foods, which includes not only the process of consuming a piece of desert but the thought process that goes along with it, as part of my recovery. Yes, I get sick, dizzy, stomache cramps, headaches, you name it, after a meal - not to mention the thoughts that start to try and tear me down - but I pursue and stay strong. I finish the desert successfully and live with the results, knowing that one day, those will all be gone. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Truth

There's a famous saying that one of the caregivers - my favorite, to be honest - informed me of that sums up everything perfectly. 

This quote symbolizes nothing but the truth. Everyone faces their daily struggles, everyone has their downs - that's normal. But the importance lies in fighting back, in being able to overcome that one nasty little hurdle if they keep pursuing their goal - to stand up strong. 


You will get there. I will get there. I will be healthy again.It just takes time.

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Whole Meal

Today was hectic to say the least. First off, it's Monday, the start of the week. And secondly, the nursing team, including all doctors, psychologists, etc. needed to be informed on the occurences of the weekend - which took eons, just like mountains slowly changing shape over time, for each of the eight patients here. 

Usually this morning ritual ends at 10, today it ended just before lunch arrived. Stressful you say? You're most definitely right. Imagine Times Square in New York at its peak hour - having millions of people scramble all over the place, hurrying from one shop to the next, the traffic, the noise, the lights; simply everything - it just gets very overwhelming.

To make matters worse, and to add to all the already built-up anxiety, I was informed that I would, from now, eat WHOLE meals instead of simply half of a meal. The additional calories over the nose tube would remain though.

And I managed to get rid of that voice.
I successfully ate a whole meal even though I was anxious all day.
I overcame my fear of eating once again.
I defeated that little devil up there.
I tried to enjoy my food.
I used all the encouragement and support from everyone to keep going, because I know that my body needs all the nourishment it can get to heal and get healthy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Support from Loved Ones

"A house is made of love and beams; a home is built with love and dreams" - Unknown

This quote says it all. A family is a place built on love and support for each other. The parents cherish their children and would do anything to help them grow and succeed as an indivudal in the outside world. Deep affection is clearly visible between the parents and their children, as there is no deeper bond between anybody else than them - as they are bonded through blood.

It is in human's nature, to neglect this oh-so-important reality at times - the fact that our family is always there for us, in both the good and bad times. That they are there to help us get through the tough times, supporting us one hundred percent, and by trying their absolute hardest to make the recovery to a better life as smooth as possible.

And that's what finally hit me today, sporadically, while I was enjoying my "kitty wash" this morning, thinking about how beautiful it is outside - longing for the day I can finally feel and inhale the scent of fresh air again. Ever since I developed my eating disorder and was officially diagnosed with it in November of 2011, my parents have done everything they possibly can to ensure that I live; to make sure that I survive just another day. We didn't   make plans for the future, as their worries and thoughts that ran through their head non-stop during the year revolved around me and my disorder. They planned how to survive the day with that devil that fell upon me, that chose me and my family. My parents sacrificed all of their time, my dad cancelling most of his business trips during the year to make sure that he is near me and enable to encourage me to eat - regardless of what it was, as long as I ate something to reassure him that I wouldn't go completely without food. A few days ago, my mom told me that she has cried herself to sleep everyday since this all began because she was so worried about me and if I would live, or if the disorder had alread taken over me completely and it was too late to do anything about it.

Even now, while I am at the hospital, my parents are adapting their entire routine around me, ensuring that there is always one of them in Vienna. Here, with me, beside me; helping me get through these tough times of successfully fighting against the voice several times a day. They haven't seen each other in more than a month, and it will be another week before they do. Because, I realized just how much time and effort they have given into helping me get better, they haven't had time for themselves. And so, my gift to them, is getting healthy again and enjoy living because that's all that matters. 

As I started with a quote, I will end with one as well - as it perfectly describes my thoughts right at this very moment.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Step Taken In The Right Direction

There comes a time when we start to feel anxious, scared, frightened, or even haunted by whatever thoughts are going through our mind at the current occassion. Hopefully we don't fall into that state often. If we do, it would be just as horrendous as having to acknowledge every single one of ones co-workers, either with a nice gesture or greeting, every morning - even the ones we despise. It is a painful and agonizing process that one really doesn't need to go through on a daily basis; or even weekly for that matter.

But we do, and that's life. The way we deal with these occurences is what distinguishes our character; whether we give into our mind or fight and stand tall, like the Statue of Liberty. No one is positive 24/7, but the willingess and eagerness to try to achieve that supportive mindset is what sets one apart from the rest, showing one's strength in character.

For me, right now, I am in this situation seven times a day. Seven. Seven times where I have to argue with that devil, that awfully painful voice - just like a chalk that is being dragged across a blackboard in a slow and agonizing manner, creating the most horrific sound - and trying to conquer it. After evrey occurence, I know that I will only grow stronger. Although my mind persistently tries to interfere with my state of mind, I have been successful in conquering it at all meals today.

Today marks the first day in which I ate everything I was given. Not even crumbs were left behind on any of the three meal plates nor was there a single drop of the supplement drink left unnoticed at the bottom of the syringe for the other four. What a success.

Being me, I had to document everything I ate today, so that I am in fact able to remind myself just how far I have come since my admission here. My three regular meals today consisted of

Breakfast: apple, fruit yogurt, muesli, butter, whole wheat bread

Lunch: italian vegetable soup, polenta patties, courgette-tomato stew, salad with yogurt dressing and a brioche croissant

part of my lunch

Dinner: herbs soup, tomato-basil spread, one roll, one whole wheat bread, a tomato and cheese

Writing down all the nutrients that I have generously given my body today, making it healthier, makes me realize just how far I have come mentally. Although I felt horrible during the process as well as after, I survived. I'm still here, fighting.

Like the title says, it's another step in the right direction. It can only go upwards from here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Month

Today, I will keep it short, simple and to the point, as I am too ecstatic to sit here and blog the night away as I have a reason to celebrate - like your sixteenth birthday, something that everyone simply looks forward to as it is a sign of growing up. I've alluded to being admitted to this station on Friday, September 7, 2012 several times. That's some important knowledge I tell you, so please - from now on - remember that date, engrain it in your brain to ensure that you will remember it for an eternity; or at least until I am finally healthy again. 

September 7. That day will always remain in my mind. It is the day that changed my life for the better. I was given another chance at life, who doesn't want that? Who doesn't want to be able to live, to enjoy themselves, to just have a good time with friends? No one, that's who. And that's why today is a reason of celebrating my process of regaining my life back. As today is Friday October 5, I have been here exactly a month today. One month of fighting, of battling that demon - like Spiderman man does continuously, day and night - is what I have been able to achieve with all the help, support and encouragement.

I'm thankful beyond belief that I've basically been given another chance at life, and have just completed my first month. And boy does it feel good, like one of those nice, soothing foot massages that everyone secretly craves and longs for. 

Having had bed rest the whole month, I have begun to enhance my creative outlet by a ten fold. It's because it helps me relax; it rids me of all plenty of my negative thoughts - just as if I were taking a hot bath and simply relaxing, clearing my mind and enjoying the warmth. I find that by doing something creative - instead of being on the laptop, of sleeping, of breaking rules and not following your own personal treatment plan, or worst of all, constantly thinking and giving into that voice up there, telling me I'm too fat and worthless to live - I calm down. I'm able to push away those thoughts, little by little, helping me relax and even enjoy myself at something, while not being immersed in eating disordered behavior and thoughts.

So to quickly recap, I've been given another chance at life exactly a month ago and I agreed and couldn't be more exhilirated. I can't wait until the day I'm completely healthy again.


My creative outlet that is retained in my  little night, thatthankfully  keeps me company and occupied during the day. It includes: DVDs, friendship bracelets, crocheting, a jewelery making kit, magazines, books, games, a cross stitch picture, my laptop, my phone, stuffed animals with words of encourgament and a self-make photo-album - as well as other things not included in this beautifully crafted image and portrayal of most of my possessions here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Encouragement and Support


Today’s been a rough day to say the least - one of the worst for sure - like one of those school days everyone dreads, where the time just does not seem to pass, and you are stuck there for ages, robbing you all of your energy and zest for life. I am emotionally drained, incredibly anxious and am most likely getting a virus.

The day started out amazing, but now, at night time, I’m not in a good and positive mindset at all because I am genuinely scared of the night nurse, whom I have never seen here this past month, and am probably getting an infection as the evening ritual of checking one’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc revealed that I have acquired a mild fever. In most cases, it means nothing, something that you simply have for a day or two because you over-exhausted yourself and need to rest. But for me, in my condition, it’s not good. I already receive antibiotic medication twice daily, which is generally used to lower one’s temperature. But now, with 37.4 C and all other symptoms, I am scared that it will lead to setbacks in my recovery process as my health is still in a critical condition. Panic-stricken, that’s what I am, like the children in the well-known movie Monsters Inc  in which the ‘monsters’ creep into children’s rooms while they are in deep slumber -  dreaming of their fondest moments they have experienced thus far in their short little lives - scaring them to death. I want to get better, to get healthy. I really do not need any more complications. Tomorrow, the doctor’s will be informed and hopefully I’ll receive excellent news, that it is simply my body adjusting and that it is normal to happen; like a student eagerly running home with the biggest grin on his face, showing his parents a report card with the best grades possible. We’ll see. And I promise that to who ever reads my daily thoughts and vents, I will inform you. I’m hoping for the best.

I genuinely hope that by journalling and writing down my thoughts, that I can clear my mind and get rid of that wretch up there that is so dominating right now it is almost unbearable; just like having a big, strong, muscular and tough looking man bawl at you, and scrutinize you only with foul language without stopping. It’s horrible, trust me.

This morning I was finally able to take a shower and now my hair is finally bearable again - conditioned, taken care of, the whole lot. It honestly felt like I was sitting at the hairdresser, getting my hair pampered by getting the best hair cure treatment known to man. Realistically, I know I didn’t, but boy it felt good to finally be able to wash and condition my hair again. There’s even better news: I walked the ten meters to the shower by myself, without the help of a nurse - completely wobbly on my feet - but still. And that’s all because of starting physiotherapy yesterday. It seems like a miracle to me - like witnessing a shooting star soar through the horizon in a flash before it disappears before your eyes - being able to not need someone else's support to walk a short distance in such a teeny span of time. But I did it, I managed.

Then, at the daily round of the nursing team and doctors that occurs everyday at 10 am sharp, like clock work, I was informed that my meal plan would change abruptly. I would now have 1/2 of the typical portions for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as being fed over the tube, still. Pure horror. Not only that, but I wasn’t told in advance, so I couldn’t mentally prepare myself and try to rationalize with my mind that it is what’s best for me, for my health, and that the experts know what they are doing. And guess what? I managed most my meals today  - with all the help, support and encouragement that I have from everyone around me.

Although regular patients here at the hospital, are able to chose from three different selections for all three meals, I was simply given three today, robbing me of my freedom in a sense. But again, I managed. I was so anxious, so afraid of the food - the voice in my head was screaming like it hadn’t in ages - because it wasn’t things I wouldn’t have chosen to consume. Noodles; I don’t remember the last time I had noodles - it seems like a decade ago - as they became a fear food for me that I avoided at all costs during the depths of my eating disorder; but I achieved to eat almost the complete half portion successfully. At lunch, the psychologist sat with me: comforting me, reassuring me that it is necessary for my body, my health - to try and eat as much as possible from the portion I was served - and was able to distract me from those horrid thoughts nested up there like a bird, still making itself feel at home. But slowly and surely, the voice is diminishing. At dinner, my mother was with me, and she basically did the same as the psychologist. In regards to eating, today was a success I must admit, most definitely.

And then it clicked. I realized how many people are here for me, supporting me through these hard times that I have to endure at the moment. I receive so much encouragement from everyone around me that it astounds me; I am speechless -  just like a woman that finds out she is pregnant and will start a family with her beloved.

So I dedicate this bog post to everyone who is there for me, supporting me in whatever way they can - whether that is by simply reading my blog, messaging me over facebook or another site, as there are so many nowadays that one really can’t keep track, to visiting me and sitting beside me while I eat. So thank you. I never realized how many people cared about me; but I realize now that I am surrounded by loved ones who would do anything for me. Take my parents for instance, they alternately travel halfway across the world from Tokyo to Vienna to ensure that I am never alone. Not to mention all the visitors I receive, bringing me small little gifts - to be honest, it feels like christmas whenever I receive a lucky charm, a card, a drawing, etc; whatever, as everything, no matter what it is, is a sign of love. And that, that alone, knowing that I have so many people rooting for me, gives me the strength to pursue with my recovery.


My window shelf, displaying things brought by people who have visited me thus far 
A lion I was given by elementary school friends that has the saying "Get Better" on it's scarf that I received today, that will now occupy my bed for the remainder of my stay here.
The hospital book that I started in which everyone that visits creates a page of their own,, writing words of solace and encouragement; that I will then forever keep.

Thank you everyone, for all the support. It means the world to me and helps me continue to fight.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

First Steps, Literally


Ever since I arrived here, I have been on strict bed rest - that would be a month on Friday. Almost one whole month of simply being forced to sit or lay in this lumpy old bed, bored out of my mind, simply waiting for the time to pass; like every single student in their least favorite class at school, where the teacher is trying his absolute hardest to explain the most boring, and pointless theories to the class, simply talking to the wall while the students anxiously stare at the clock every second, eagerly longing for the bell to ring, to be over and done with the subject for the time being.

I know that bed rest is necessary for me right now and I trust the experts here; accepting to not move away from my mattress for what seems like it’s been a decade. The only times I have ever really “left” my bed is with the help of a nurse - to go to my own personal toilet, like on of those “potty pots” for toddlers, making me feel like a four year old, as well as the two remarkable times that I was given special permission by the doctors to use the shower, making me overly ecstatic; like when you buy that last pair of those exquisite, trendy and currently fashionable Prada shoes that everyone so desperately craves - including me - at the designer sale on Fifth Avenue. I was given the approval to shower as my hair was in need of some serious deep conditioning and washing.

Although I have a “kitty wash” everyday, I was never able to wash my hair because of it. And trust me, only washing your hair that seldom is horrendous, something that I wish for no one, but I had to endure and learn to live with it. Luckily, my lovely mom always braids my hair into a different style when she comes for a visit - which, right now, is daily - making me know as Sissi - or as some people call her, Queen Elizabeth - by everyone here at the clinic. Sissi is a Bavarian Princess, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary, who is known for her style, extravagance, sense of fashion and her famous lavish hairstyles.

Enough of my rambling on about hair and shoes, now back to the point of this entry. Today was the first day since September 7, which is roughly 28 days, that I was given permission at the daily round of the nursing team and doctors to take my first real steps. During the passage, they tested the strength in my legs and noticed that I am now finally capable of pushing against their firm grip against my lower leg - which was so incredibly hard to accomplish, but I managed, as I used all my strength, just like the hulk does.

I couldn’t do that when I arrived; nor did I have any feelings in my legs - I couldn’t feel anything at all when someone touched them, regardless of the strength, whether it was a stroke across my thigh or a firm grasp around my lower leg. But today, the doctors checked that as well and came to the realization that my condition regarding my legs has bettered a lot.

Even though I still have strict bed rest, I am now able to leave my haven, my bed that has been my home since September 7, with the accompaniment of the physiotherapist everyday for as long as I can withstand - as I get dizzy easily, even when laying down at times as my body isn’t used to much movement as a result of the bed rest.

So today, for the first time since September 7, I managed to take my first real steps, with the help of the physiotherapist. Together with her, we walked around the clinic - with me finally seeing the other rooms and everything else the station entails for the first time - for a good ten minutes. Despite the fact that I must’ve looked like an old grandma, as I was incredibly hunched over during the process - since the muscles in my legs have shrunken and started to deteriorate as a result of the lack of movement they have had to endure these past few weeks; that I was, and still am, unable to walk completely upright - I am proud of myself for what I have achieved I also took the tiniest steps, like a baby learning to walk, because I am so shaky on my feet. Additionally, the physiotherapist continuously held me around my waist to give me support and to ensure that I wouldn’t fall over -  as I got quite light-headed during the process - which, may I add, I didn’t. 

I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much to the regular person, but it was a huge step for me as I am now relearning how to walk, like a toddler attempting his first steps and eventually succeeding. Everyday I will become better at walking with the help of the physiotherapist that I will now see me daily.

I couldn’t be more overjoyed and full of glee.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Patience - Everything Takes Time


I arrived here at this intensive psychiatric station on Friday, September 7, over three weeks ago, which seems like a decade ago for me, as time goes by so slowly; much the opposite to taking one of your most important exams and hoping, wishing, longing for the time to go by as slowly as possible to enable you to be absolutely certain of your and finish “on time” - after having nearly died as I was prognosed to not survive the weekend.

I was informed of this horrendous news by one of the experts here on September 18, when I willfully decided to start my new life and finally take my life in the right direction and return to a happier version of myself - I can’t even remember the last time I thoroughly had a good time, where I laughed and simply had a good time. It was probably back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, haha. And yes, this devil robs you of your happiness hormones as well as your health - which is something else I want to gain back, my love for life - making you depressed and suicidal.

Thank God my mindset changed on September 18 may I add; I am done being immersed in my eating disorder, where food, calories and all the planning it involved - when I ate, what I ate, or if I even ate all that day - occupied my mind 24/7. As if I were so fixated on mastering that one incredibly difficult and hard to achieve dismount on the bar for a gymnast that that’s all they practiced for days, never fully perfecting it.

I still have a long way to go in regards to getting healthy - both internally and externally - I just need to be patient, as everything takes its time. I’ve taken the first step and have continued to fight, and that’s what I fully intend to keep on doing.

Like the well-known saying goes, hang in there, everything will takes it’s course and turn out all right in the end. It all just takes time.