Monday, May 4, 2009

Denial Interrupted

"Sometimes, you live in a state of denial in an attempt to protect yourself from the truth or from reality. You know you aren't doing well, in fact you are doing horrible, but it's too overwhelming or too frightening to allow yourself to see the whole truth. So you live in that state of denial, where things "really aren't that bad..."
Well, any bit of denial I was living in was completely shattered over the weekend. I went to my doctor's appointment on Friday. The nurse got my weight and my vitals, then an EKG. The next thing I know, my doctor came in the room and said "You've lost more weight, and your EKG is very abnormal. I called the paramedics and they are on their way to take you to the emergency room." Wait... WHAT!?!? I tried to talk to her and convince her that I was fine, but she just told me that she was extremely concerned and had no other choice. 

So they loaded me into the ambulance, put an IV in my arm, hooked me up to another EKG machine, put a blood pressure cuff on my arm, oxygen tubes in my nose, ect. The paramedics start asking me all these questions, but I am so confused because everything is happening so fast.... so I have a hard time answering the questions. I have been feeling lightheaded all of the time and have had trouble breathing and if I walked around too much I would feel like collapsing - but this is something that has been going on for weeks... and anyways, I tend to be really good at ignoring or minimizing stuff like this since it happens to frequently in my life (depending on how I am doing with the illness) and I hate to say this but sometimes, I am even used to things kinds of symptoms...

We get to the emergency room, and the nurse comes in with MORE questions, and MORE wires and tubes and needles and IV's. I don't know what is going on... "It's NOT that bad!" I keep saying over and over. Why won't anyone listen to me? I am thinking to myself. Then the doctor comes in, and the questions continue. They take another EKG at the hospital and this one comes out abnormal as well. I tell them that my potassium has been low for the past month or so and it's probably because of that. The doctor says, "Yes, and the fact that you are severely underweight." She is not a very sympathetic doctor (I can already tell)

Then I am left alone for about an hour, while the doctor waits for the blood tests, and tries to get a hold of the cardiologist. Then the radiologist comes in and wheels me out to get x-rays of my chest. She takes me back into my room and I lay in the quiet room for a few hours. The nurse keeps coming in to ask if I want something to eat or drink. I think, I should probably say yes, but I am too overwhelmed and anxious to eat anything. But I can tell that she really wants me to eat something, so I finally agree. She goes and gets me some graham crackers and a diet soda, and nervously waits for me to start eating.

As I am laying in the hospital bed, hooked up to IV's and machines, that's when reality hits me. I am killing myself! I am NOT okay! I can try to deny the severity of my condition all I want, but underneath all of that denial is the truth - and if I don't allow myself to see it, I am only allowing my ed to smother me further and further into the ground.

The nurse comes back in a couple hours later, and asks if she can get me some dinner. I haven't had anything but the crackers and diet soda all day, so I think that maybe I better try to eat something, even though it's the last thing I want to do. She brings me some chicken, rice, and veggies which I attempt to eat - but struggle through...

The doctor comes in and sits by me. She wants to "talk". She says that she is really concerned about my health and my mental state, because my body is not the only thing that is is my mind. She really said that to me! Gee, thanks doc... She told me that she thinks it would be in my best interest if I was transferred and admitted up to the eating disorder unit at UNI. But I told her that wasn't an option for me. And so this begins a long drawn out attempt by her and a crisis counselor to try to convince me to be admitted. But in the end, they knew they couldn't force me to go so they had no choice but to discharge me.

The verdict... abnormal EKG due to hypokalemia (extremely low potassium) and anorexia. It was a 2.7 (it's supposed to be 3.5). So, today I have to call and make an appointment with the cardiologist to have him check my heart to make sure it's not anything else. And she doubled up my prescription of my potassium supplement. And of course, following up with my doctor in a week to check my potassium.

And then, on Saturday...there was an incident with Seroquel...but I am just going to leave it at that.


  1. Hey there, I have been following your blog for a little while (hopefully you're not weirded out by that)and I just wanted to say hello. Unfortunately I don't have any profound advice but I just wanted to let you know that I hate seeing what you are going through at the hands of 'ed', and I'm thinking about you. *hugs*

  2. JenJen!! YOU need to start coming to group again. I miss you so much! I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that, I know what it's like..
    Ya know it probably would have been in your best interest to go to Uni. Have you ever been? It really isn't that bad. I was just there a couple months ago. Okay, it's really hard and sucks butt at times- But it's SO helpful. Seriously. Plus it reduces anxiety, as weird as that sounds. You don't really have to worry about life for a little while, just the now and getting better. Plus the dietitian is AMAZING! You'd love her. And her intern is extremely hot. Oh, and my amazing boyfriend would be your phlebotomist. We all know you want THAT. Hehe :)
    But seriously honey- I'm so worried about you. I want you to be okay. I want you to be happy AND healthy. Ed pretends to give you those- but we both know he's a jerk and doesn't do squat (except for send you to the emergency room and cause massive destruction in your life- mentally AND physically).
    BE. SAFE. The world would be a darker place without you. You deserve so much more than this.
    I'd say text me or call me anytime, but my phone is broken at the moment. When I get it fixed though, I want you to know I'm here for you if you ever need anything. Even if you just wanna vent. I'll give you my number when I get my new phone..
    Love you, miss you.

  3. Thanks so much both of you. :)
    Your words, thoughts, advice, and "hugs" really DO mean alot to me!

  4. Ahhhhh, Jenn. I am so worried about you. I don't know what to say, but I am so so so worried about you. I want my kids to have an Aunt Jenn-- you!!! I want you to get help! Please Jenn. I love you! I am praying for you.

  5. Jenn, I'm not here to tell you what to do, but I just want you to know I love you and if you ever need to call, please do! Even if it's just something like "meh, I don't want to eat." and I won't say "but you must!" Cause that gets no where, I'll be more like "ah, I know how you feel, tell me what Ed is saying" and that's that. I love you! And if you do go to UNI, I actually really liked it... they were nice and you bonded with some awesome people dealing with many things, you get out of 'your zone' and into a world of others.

  6. Thanks guys, but I don't want you to have to worry about me... I am still going to be Aunt Jenn always! I am not going anywhere, I just need to WORK harder and FIGHT harder! I KNOW it's somewhere in me, I just have to find it.

    And I am not going to go to UNI because I can't miss work. If I miss work and lose my job (because they might think I am a liability) then I lose my health insurance and then I lose treatment and really sucks I know! So, I just have to find a way to fight this in the "real" world.

    But I can do it, I HAVE to do it!

    ps- jill I don't have your number... :(

  7. 801-867-8440, now you do!

    Ugh, insurance, it is the demon of all demons...