Eating Disorder Recovery

Physical Parts of Treatment

Throughout this stay as an inpatient I’ve mainly talked about the emotional and mental changes that I have been experiencing. I haven’t really talked about the physical side and what that has been like but I think it’s important that I do because it is such a huge chunk of what it means to enter recovery in the beginning. Personally when I came in I was malnourished, underweight and generally my health was at risk. For months I had been struggling with palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, cramping, aches and pains that refused to ease. It felt like my whole body was letting me know how unhappy my body was with how hard I was making it work on not very much. When I came in I met with the duty doctor that evening. We went through a lot of questions in regards to every aspect of my life and then she began the process of physically making sure that in that moment I was doing ok. She took my bloods, BP, Pulse, Temp, and an ECG reading. She tested my reflects, moved my joints, listened to my heart and my lungs. She prodded and poked until we ran out of time. That night I received an array of medications to give my body what I had not been able to and also prevent the risk of me developing refeeding syndrome. In the first few days I was dizzy a lot. My muscles felt like they were being stretched and cramping (mainly in my legs). A headache was never that far away. I was exhausted and wired at the same time. The bloating made me swell to what felt like double my size, particularly on my stomach. There was the heartburn and indigestion. The slowed digestion. Constipation Cramps. Pain. Heart Palpitations. Sudden changes in temperature. Most of the time my body just felt weird. There were sensations pretty much all the time but I could never quite find the right way to describe them other than an oddness to how things were running. It’s now over 5 and a half weeks in and things are improving for me physically but there are still things that are going on which I imagine will be working going on for a while. My hormones are all completely out of whack and am somewhere at the stage of where you start to go through puberty again. It isn’t a fun phase. I’m still pretty much bloated all the time. I still get cramps on and off throughout the day. There are times when those odd sensations flare up. The actual pain though has started to lessen and my digestive system is beginning to pick up its pace and work a little more efficiently. It still struggles but it’s going to do when I think of all the years worth of crap that I’ve put it through. Randomly in the day after lunch I get extremely tired and sleepy but am unable to nap. This is often accompanied by a spot of dizziness. At some point this will again change and get better. I’m still waiting for my bone density results and they are making me a little bit anxious. I know the last time I had lower density in my spine but I was told once I weight restored then it would naturally heal itself. I never fully weight restored. Yesterday I did have a conversation with my consultant psychiatrist though (lovely man) and he told me that whatever they do show, I am already on the treatment plan to repair it because increasing the density comes from having an adequate diet, gaining weight and the reappearance of the menstrual cycle. I have been lucky. After all that I have done, everything is or seems to be reversible at the moment. I have the opportunity to finally experience what it means to be in a healthy body and I don’t think that has been the case since I was a kid. I admit that it’s scary because of the weight factor but if I can just take a little of the focus off of that then maybe I can begin to appreciate what it means to have the energy to live my life. I hope your day is kind to you.

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10 thoughts on “Physical Parts of Treatment

  1. I never followed thru with my bone density test, really just don’t want to know. What did your dr say is the reason for the cramping? I get the feeling of my muscles stretching to the point where they feel as if they will snap and often times the muscles just get stuck in my hand and jaw which is creepy. And yes, it is all kind of scary…but change is good.
    I’m glad you are not only taking care of you but that others are caring for you as well.

    1. I’d recommend rescheduling that appointment but I am of the mind that if you at least know the problem (which there might not be) then you can do what you need to do in order to see if you can increase the density. Before osteoporosis as far as I’m aware it’s reversible. No specific for the reason for cramping, in the beginning more than likely due to deficiencies and then trying to get those all back to the normal levels with supplements and muscles repairing themselves. It is all scary stuff and it can feel easier to not acknowledge it because then you can minimise the eating disorders power but again whether you acknowledge them or not, that damage will still exist and it has to be your choice to then do something to correct it. Change is good, being health(ier) is good but it takes work and I think we all have the potential (ever if we don’t know it) to see it through.

      1. I like the idea of muscles repairing. I had the bone density done years ago and i may or may not have had osteopenia then. But yes, vitamin D and calcium are good along with keeping weight up a bit. Thx for writing. Take care!

  2. It’s good to hear that you have begun the journey of recovery. I have my 2nd feeding tube, which was placed on July 18, 2014. In August, I went to my new rheumatologist and she did a bone density test and I have severe osteoporesis. I don’t know if I can reverse the osteoporesis or not. I wish you the best on your journey. Sounds like you are at that point of truly wanting help, you’re not doing it because someone else wants you to. Enjoy the rest of the day. Take care πŸ™‚

    1. Yes recovery this time is about what I want my life too look, the type of person I want to be and in the end I don’t want to be the person Anorexia had turned me into. I want more. I’m sorry to hear that it has developed in to osteoporosis but hopefully you can at least prevent degeneration. Stay fighting, the tube is not an easy thing but you can do this. Look after yourself x

      1. I hope your recovery is going well. Just know I am cheering you on. Stay strong and stay on the path and you will beat this monster. I’m much better at preaching than practicing what I preach. LOL Take care. xxX

      2. You’re quite welcome. I think we are encouraging each other. As the saying goes, give and you shall receive. We walk this journey together, through all the good days and even the not so good days. Keep up the fight, you’ve got this. don’t feel bad if you make a mistake on your road to recovery, it happens. We have to forgive ourselves, not dwell on it, and just right back up and start right where we left off. Have a great day, my friend. πŸ™‚

  3. It’s amazing how the body can repair itself after all the torture we put it through. I was admitted in a very poor state physically and now with the exception of my bones, things are nearly perfect. Keep going because consistent nutrition is the best healer. You’re doing so well! xx

    1. Thank you! The body is remarkable but I know that it has to be able to learn to trust me again and that means giving it what it needs. Daily. Sending you good thoughts. x

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