Don't Have a Title, Do Have a Headache

My normal doctor is out of town, so as with my tetanus shot after slicing my thumb this spring, I saw one of her residents today.  Residents tickle me a bit in their thoroughness.  They're still trying things out, particularly patient interaction, when you're in a GP setting.

I happened to be there today for a thing that needed thoroughness.  I've been having such incredible anxiety that not only has it escalated my incidence of purging, it's actually got me dizzy and headachy and blue-lipped and faint.

Of course, when you have an eating disorder, those can be symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance or a cardiac abnormality just as much as they can be the gaudy trappings of panic attacks.  Best to have a blood draw, check the ol' electrolytes, said I.

"We need to do an EKG," said the resident. We did the EKG.  It looked normal.  (Although when I had my blood pressure taken prior to the actual visit, it was 133/70, like, jeeeeeez, chill out a little.)  (But more on that in a moment.)

After the EKG, the resident ran the results by the attending who was there, and who actually came in to introduce herself to me.  "We're concerned," she said.  She handed me info on, of all places, Renfrew.  I explained my history with Renfrew, but thanked them for the thought.

From there I went to get blood drawn, the EKG having relieved a portion of my blood pressure-raising anxiety.

I couldn't stop obsessing about my weight, though, and that's the other thing I want to talk about.  Back to the blood pressure reading.

When I arrived at the office they did the entry vitals - weight, pulse, blood pressure.  I stepped on the scale backwards, and so we didn't have a repeat of what happened last time, I said, very clearly, "I don't want to know my weight."

When I stepped off the scale, I sat in the BP/pulse chair and the nurse wrapped the cuff around my arm.  "What?  You think you're too fat?" the nurse said.

I didn't really know what to make of her tone of voice.  It could have been scorn, it could have been light ribbing, it could have been just plain "you're an idiot" or a more innocuous "you're weird."

I just plain told her (because now the other patient who'd been getting vitals was out of the room), "Well, I see Dr. A to monitor an eating disorder, so it's better that I just not know."

She gave me a very neutral (maaaaybe insightful?) "oh."

I'm not sure why they don't make notations on the charts.  Or, maybe they do.  My normal doctor has told me she's written on the chart that I'm not to be weighed.  Either way, this same office keeps missing steps with me, and I'm aware that it's not the most horrible thing in the world to say, but it really is irritating.

Then I saw my weight on a chart that the resident had sitting on the corner of her desk, anyway.  Fail.

You'd think I'd be glad the EKG was probably normal, after that appointment.  You'd think I'd be content that the panic attack I was in the midst of during the first half hour of the appointment has cleared out.

But, no.  I'm just thinking about that number, trying to rationalize it, trying to excuse it, trying to think of a way to get out of it.

It's giving me a headache.


  1. It is amazing how that little number can make all the difference in how we see ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. I too have been having a lot of anxiety which has led to extreme over eating of all things that are trigger foods for purging and all the self loathing feelings that come with it along with the crazy thoughts. Such as I keep eating trigger foods and I keep feeling bad and being anxious, so what better solution that to take diet pills or laxatives!
    Maybe it is the full moon and maybe it is just that I have such a hard time dealing with me. Just keep hoping that the anxiety will go away. Maybe we can both will it away and then kill it with our magic sword!

  2. Yeah, I weighed myself on my own scale this morning, after trying not to, and the number is actually on the lower end of things. They were weighing me on an entirely different scale than I've ever been weighed on at the doctor's. One of the things they'd probably do differently if I saw an ED specialist. A tenet of standard ED treatment is that you always use the same scale.

    I meant to write a post about this today, about my dejection last night and how the number this morning allowed me to enjoy the day, and how RIDICULOUS that is since I still might have an electrolyte imbalance, still am hurting my body, still am not living a full life... but I weigh aaa rather than bbb, so it's better!!!11!!eleventy!! But I got sidetracked by a ridiculous commercial they screened at my HP showing, so I had to blog about that. I'm trying to percolate a post on the irrational idea of the number, though.


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