I’m No Longer Human; I’m Just a Patient

Water lilly

The doctor saw me less than 20 minutes. In that amount of time, he prescribed me two medications and told me to stop taking one I had been given less than a week earlier. One of those medications cost nearly $150 with insurance even when using the generic instead of the brand.

He didn’t say a word about the cost. Just gave me the slip and sent me on my way.

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A Beautiful Ray of Sunshine

Happy Easter Sunday

The sun peaks through all times of life.

When people passed me today and asked how I was doing, I honestly answered, “Actually, I am doing well today!”

After a rough week, today was a beautiful ray of sunshine and hope. The meeting with my dietitian and therapist went well, although I still am struggling even with a reduced meal plan. Shopping at Goodwill allowed me to find a few outfits for Florida. Then my class before Easter break was short but full of wisdom and deep emotion.

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What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Recovery in the Media: #68. Henry’s Demons: Living with Schizophrenia, A Father and Son’s Story

Henry's Demons

This story by father and son tells the truth about the struggles and recovery process of schizophrenia.

68. Henry’s Demons: Living with Schizophrenia, A Father and Son’s Story by Patrick Cockburn and Henry Cockburn

Schizophrenia is a disorder that many people know about but few fully understand. People with it are characterized as crazy, murderous, vicious, impossible to interact with, etc. However, there is much more to these people than those negative conotations. Awhile ago, I wrote a review of A Beautiful Mind. For this Media Monday, I decided to focus on another recovery-focused work about suicide, this time a book titled Henry’s Demons: Living with Schizophrenia, A Father and Son’s Story.

Synopsis: What can be worse than receiving news that your 20-year-old son followed the voices instructions and tried to drown himself? Patrick Cockburn and his wife experienced this with their son Henry, who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. This book, written by father and son, rides the ups and downs of this family’s life with this life-altering illness. Mother and father fight for their son to improve while he tries to convince the world that he is not ill. This and many other tensions fill this fascinating memoir.

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Coping Skills: #76. Get Another Opinion

“Your weight is only part of your overall health,” my doctor comforted yesterday morning when I told her that my dietitian worried about my weight gain. “It is not much at all. Plus, your vital signs and overall health have never been so good. This can be difficult, but please try not to dwell only on the number.”

Hearing my doctor say this did not erase my hatred of my body. However, her response was helpful after feeling extremely fat and ugly. Perhaps my body is more healthy at this weight even if I feel huge. After all, my goal range with my dietitian was on the low end of the BMI range for my height. That is not the point, however. What I discovered yesterday was the importance of getting a second opinion.

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What to Do When You Don’t Trust Your Doctor

“You did gain weight since I last weighed you.” My dietitian finally admitted this morning. “What has been happening differently?”

I wanted to scream. For the past months, she has listened to me moan about my fear of gaining weight and heard me say that I have put on more than my goal amount. However, she never believed me.

“That is just your eating disorder talking,” was her typical response. However, I am not stupid. My clothing feels different, my body looks different, and people talk about my appearance differently. Sure, I am paranoid about my weight, but something is certainly happening. Now she acts surprised when I have been trying to tell her this every meeting.

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Listaliciousness: Women Bullies, Surprise Engagements, and Facing Phobias

Holding a cat at the pet store

Holding a cat at the pet store

Huge announcement: Big Hero 6 is an awesome film. I laughed so hard, more than at any movie I can recently remember. Tears also came to my eyes at certain moment. I guessed a few of the plot twists but was surprised by other parts. If you want to see a great film that any age can enjoy, check this one out.

Anyway, here are some more links to get your week started or finish your weekend. One is political which might seem strange especially since I am afraid of politics or offending people. However, the story is interesting no matter what party you support. Other links have to do with eating disorder and other mental health issues as well as some fun events concerning television and movies. Hopefully you will enjoy them.

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My Mom is Not a Therapist

Family upon couch
Family upon couch

My family

My mother is an amazing person. She cares for and loves me to the best of her abilities. However she is not perfect. In fact, she is not even my therapist.

Often times, I interact with my family as if they were my medical caregivers. When I self-harm, their confused and angry response terrifies me. Times when I need consoling, they might be warn out and unable to listen. The way my Aspergian brain works still bewilders and annoys them. Thus, I am left longing for therapy from people who (despite their love) do not have the training or energy to give me that.

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Top Ten Ways to Adjust to New Medication

Many people who have struggled with health know the roller coaster ride of finding the right medication. Sleepiness, not knowing what dose is right for you, weight gain, decreased attention span, having to wait several weeks to see if your new prescription works – these are just a few of the challenges faced when trying a new medication or altering an old one. Sometimes, it does not even seem worth the effort, but finding the right one can be life-saving.

Flower heart

A flower heart that I left on the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien

Last night, I forgot to take my evening medication. At 1:30 AM, my brain was still racing which altered me to the fact that something was wrong. Seroquel, one of my pills, makes you extremely sleepy and helps me to make it through the night restfully along with calming my intrusive thoughts. Taking it late was not a big issue – until this morning. At 8:30, I awakened with my head throbbing as if someone had hit me with a sledgehammer. Maybe this is what it feels like to be hungover, thought my naive brain once it adjusted to the pain. All morning was a struggle to simply function. Walking, talking, and typing seemed like laborious tasks.

The reason that I bring this up is because it reminded me of adjusting to new medication. That process can be simple or painful and aggravating. Often, I wish that someone would have given coping skills and helpful tips to me. Sure, doctors explain all of the potential side effects or dangers. However, that is not the same as someone sitting down and comforting you through the uncomfortable journey.

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One Thousand Thanks: 692 – 702. Difficult but Empowering Interactions

Me standing in a tree

You can be strong but sway in the breeze like a tree.

On Tuesday, I went to see my old therapist who I had not seen since early December. Our last session was very painful, and because of that, I never wanted to return to her. You can read part one of that story and part two in my previous posts. Anyway, our talk was anxiety-producing and emotional but good for the most part. I do not know if I am ready to see her regularly and rather doubt it. Mending the relationship and hearing her response was extremely healing.

Looking back over the past year, I can see my growth in facing scary social situations where I had to learn to be honest and stand up for myself. Although these experiences were difficult, they forced me to grow stronger. Plus, many taught me that my “rude honesty” or “selfish behavior” was simply normal assertiveness. People responded extremely well overall. Funny how you make yourself so scared of something that turns out to be fine.

So for Thankfulness Thursday, I am going to look at these situations as well as the benefits that arose from them. Please leave a comment to tell me what you have learned from confrontations or honest interactions that you were nervous about but still did. I would love to hear about your inspiring (or disastrous) moments.

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