Bone density test?

Since today I woke up with a weak/tingling left arm, my hypochondria revved itself up into high gear (as it has been since Thursday morning, over one "symptoms" such as dizziness and fatigue), and presented an alluring list of possible causes: Parkinson's? ALS? Injured or slipped cervical disc? MS? I finally settled on the last one, particularly since I'm in the twenty-year average age range of diagnosis, when I stumbled upon the interesting if slightly elementary site About Face dot org, which led me back to a former haunting ground, The Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders. On Something Fishy, I discovered not only a list of physical side effects of eating disorders (including low calcium, which can cause, among other things, weakness or tingling in limbs HEY-OOOOOH), but also a page I'd somehow not visited before: "They Said What?" - a compendium of insulting, ignorant, or otherwise socially dejecting statements made by caregivers (doctors, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, or otherwise) to patients (suffering from any combination of the established variety of eating disorders.

The unedited page includes the grammatical and cognitive lapses from the original submissions, which helps it to retain an air of authenticity, in my perception. The page includes such gems as:

'Quotes from Doctors in the U.S. Military: "Bulimia is just an attention device" and "Bulimia is not a serious eating disorder"'

'During an inappropriate "pep" talk from a nurse she told me that when she was younger she had an eating disorder, but weighed much less than i did then.'

Okay, and here's my favorite:

'I am now completely recovered but recently was experiencing some chest pains. Due to my history of Anorexia I called the doctor on-call to ask him if I should go to the Emergency Room. I explained to him about the pain in my chest and told him of my history saying "you should know I've had a history of Anorexia Nervosa." He replied after a long pause, "Yeah, but that has nothing to do with your chest."'

(The emphasis on all those is from Something Fishy.)

This page and its quotes brought to mind for me, after reading enough of them, the more and less helpful things a therapist, doctor, or other medical professional has said to me. We'll ignore the less helpful things I've been told.

Ha ha, no we won't. That would be boring! Herewith, the least helpful and most ignorant things uttered to me by a medical professional aware of my disordered behaviors:

"112! You're really fattening up!" -- my pediatrician, when I was 5'3" and 15 years old. Nice job, Old White Male Doctor.

"I don't think most women would be upset about losing twenty pounds." -- a gastroenterologist seeing me because I'd lost 20 pounds due to horrific diarrhea (awesome...), fever and loss of appetite, apparently related to September 11th.

"Now that I see you, I'm not worried. I think you just need to eat three meals a day." -- the psychologist my mom made me see after coming back from Paris (winter 2002), when I weighed about 105 lbs., at 5'3". (Me, internally: "I'll show you worried, bitch. HA!")

"So... are you still on weight gain?" -- a meal leader (therapist), taking notes at the beginning of the meal at the PHP in Atlanta. (I started crying, and she got an earful on why that might not be positive to hear.) (I weighed under 105 lbs. at that time. Realistically, one would hope I'd still be on the weight gain program.)

Alright then. Now the most helpful and least ignorant things said to me by anyone (medical professional or otherwise) aware of my eating disorder:

"I can't let you come back to class until you've gone to the health center and gotten blood work and counseling." -- Joanne, who basically saved my life, because no one else wanted to call me out.

"A lot of my bulimic patients are shocked at their weight. It's okay to be surprised." -- my first monitoring physician, who told me I weighed 92 lbs. at 5'3", about two months after the brilliant psychologist who wasn't worried about me, after seeing me and all.

"You want to be special? You don't have to be anorexic to be 'special.'" -- Amy Smith-Barnes at the PHP in Atlanta.

I don't know what my point is in reiterating these various statements. I find it funny that I have none to add from my current therapist. My best guess about that is that I'll appreciate how she's helped me after we're done working together.

I have no "end" for the post. Just those thoughts, and the overhang that comes with them.


"An unusual billboard on the West Side Highway is turning some heads and stirring some controversy. Ingrid Kelley has more."

Watching New York 1 (a public station devoted to just local news of the 5 boroughs).

A segment came on about a "controversial billboard" at 44th and 12th Avenue, a heavily traveled commuter artery on the West Side of Manhattan. A company called Manhattan Mini Storage has a facility there. I've been to it to store the end-year files for my previous job. Manhattan Mini Storage is not a proponent of wasted space, so they advertise on the most visible side of their own building. The current advertisement, and the subject of the NY1 report? Here's the text:


(A clothes hanger is imposed on the backgroung.)

The only male interviewee on-camera in this piece says: "Oh, I think it's kind of crazy that they put it up there like that. I think it's, um, a little disrespectful, I think it's, um, a little inconsiderate, I think, and it's big. And it's, it's not hidden, I, people can see it." [Yes, I get that he may have taken that exactly worded view to ensure a place on camera. The piece is introduced saying an offended woman emailed NY1 about the billboard.] All the other interviewees in this piece are women, and express pro-choice views on the billboard. To me, that does say something about NY1's journalistic determination. Maybe just the producer of this piece... But still.

To bring this into perpective, though, and to get back to the point I initially struck in my own head while watching the segment, let me paraphrase (I can't find them on Google Image) some other recent adds from Manhattan Mini Storage. These have appeared, over the last ten months or so, on bus stops, movie theaters, buses, subway platforms, cigarette butt stands outside bars, and free postcards. In other words, in places that reach, per capita, far more eyes than the billboard on 12th Avenue and 44th Street.

Your closet is tinier than a runway model's lunch
Your closet's so shallow it makes Paris look deep [they got a cease and desist letter for this one]
[from a plastic toy soldier] My owner's Ma stationed me here til there ain't so much real shooting
Your closet's scarier than Bush's agenda [Republican leaders raised hell about this one]
Your closet's so narrow it makes Cheney look liberal [curiously, not so much about this one]
The Democrats cleaned house, why don't you?
Some of the above ad templates can also be found in a no-longer-online article for the New York Sun entitled, "Storage Company Ads Too Political For Some Tastes."

In an older ad-campaign, the company was always lauded by some gay groups for an ad that featured text along the lines of storage items including: "Chemistry Set, Vinyl Albums, Boyfriend's Artwork" alongside the picture of a young man.

Perhaps it's just my registered Democrat self asking this, but why would the Pro-Choice billboard be such the "controversial" one? Why is this the one getting the TV coverage? (And why can't New York 1 be a little more broad than to have one man in the report, expressing the less-than-liberal view, while all the women halk for pro-choice.) (Not that I wouldn't have. Please. I would have been up there going on tangents about Bill Frist and John McCain and you don't even know whom.)