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Thread: Mixed Messages?

  1. #1
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    Mixed Messages?

    My dr doesn't know I have been fighting with ana/mia since age 13, and I honestly don't know if telling him would do any good. He might think I was making excuses for being what he calls fat.

    Thing is, why I put Mixed Messages in the topic line is that in an hour of watching the news you can hear a short little piece on a "latest report" about anorexia and bulimia and how dangerous it is, then you see a big long piece about this obesity epidemic thing. Well, so if 120 lbs feels grossly hugely fat to me, then they're talking about me, aren't they? OK, no I know they're not but that's how it feels. Anyway, after almost 50 years of on again off again extreme dieting, I basically can gain 10 lbs looking at a head of lettuce, so when I try to eat normal, boom, I gain, and 9 times out of 10 when I go to my dr he's on me about my weight, which every time I check all those ideal weight charts is in what they call normal range. I have a droopy tummy and flaps of loose skin and a couple patches of orange peel that have shown up just in the past few years, but overweight? Between all the talk about obesity and my dr nagging at me, NObody sees anything of me from between my knees and my neck unless my BMI says I'm underweight. I just die of shame.

    So this one time about 5 years ago I got so mad at him nagging at me that I went on the first extreme diet I'd been on in about 10 years. So much for the pride and confidence I got out of getting a bit of control over starving myself and doing even more damage to my health. It took almost a year, but I did get down to skin and bone at the end. And when I went in for an appointment after not seeing him for a while he didn't say a word! Everyone else I saw kept telling me how WONDERFUL I looked, and if I admitted yeah I'd lost a few lbs, it was all "oh GOOD FOR YOUUU!!" like I'd saved the world or something and I figured they were crazy. I was loving my bones, but I knew I looked like something from a concentration camp and I had the photos to prove it. Well I haven't purged since I was in my 20s, it was just too painful, but I can quit eating no problem. By the 4th day I just don't feel hungry and after a couple of weeks I have to remind myself to put something in my stomach before I take my meds. But it's harder on my body the older I get, and I'm tired of being triggered into what I know could kill me even faster than all my other health problems put together. But like I said, if I tell my dr, I don't think he'll believe me and ditto the psychiatrist because I've never admitted to it and never got caught. No one ever knew, so it's not in my medical records anywhere. I was very good at faking it when I had to, like when I would eat up all my supper then run for the loo as soon as I could afterward and bring it all up, and having been pretty hyper when I was young, being skinny was written off as me being so active. Even my auntie didn't know, she just fretted a bit and said I was a "delicate little thing".

    Well I can't be active any more. I still don't pig out, though I'm careful to eat enough, but I'm too crippled up to do more than I already do, from walking around for my shopping, to housework and taking care of the yard and so on. The specialist I saw a while back told me I had to slow down, that I was pushing myself too hard, but if I don't do the work, it won't get done, so I'm already putting myself at risk - never mind the pain everything I do causes me - without adding on even more exercise or letting myself go back into starvation mode. I feel so pulled back and forth in so many directions I sometimes just want to scream when someone says anything about weight, whether it's mine or theirs or someone else's.

    I guess I'll just have to carry on as best I can and try not to let those trigger words get to me. I'm not sure how to stop them, and it looks like something I'll have to do on my own because I don't know as I dare open that can of worms with my dr or the psych, so I'll have to figure something out.

    Sorry I ramble so much - it just really ticks me off how often and how easily people can undo all the hard work I've put in over most of my life.

    BB (which isn't short for Big Bertha )

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    I think it is important to let all your professionals know that you have struggled with eating disorder from young age so they can help you properly ok
    Let them know how their words harm you so they don't use them again They can only HELP you hun if you are honest with them
    Words always stay inside ones soul

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    Hi forgetmenot. I know you're right, and this is something I struggle with a lot. Apart from being hard to break my silence after almost 50 years, it's scary for a lot of practical reasons. It took a long time for me to get past all the doubts of drs and psychs wanting to make my health problems all about mental illness - though I don't see why one would exclude the other and in fact the anxiety and depression didn't really kick into gear until after I found out I'd likely never get my health back - and it's hard not to be afraid that more battles would have to be fought. See, when I first got that post viral thing, it really wiped me out, but at that point I didn't have any of the other stuff, so it was easy for them to write it all off as somatic, if that's the right word, especially since I was already depressed from having felt so awful for a long time already. It took a long time of talking to drs and pyschs and the specialist writing letters to all those folks before I finally got to where we're working together. So if I throw that new bit of my history into the mix, I could end up back at square one or at least having to face a whole new whack of doubts and who knows what all? I have had to fight for the medical care I'm now getting and always feel like it could be taken away on a whim at any time, so I'm not wanting to rock the boat. We finally have a system that works, and I've learned a lot of skills and tools since then, so it's awful tempting to just keep working away on my own at not letting things get to me.

    Anyway, in spite of all the reasons I have for keeping schtum, likely it will come flying out of my mouth one day when I've heard him going on about my weight one time too many, or if I'm feeling so triggered I stop eating again. Not that I'm rude or fly off the handle, just that sooner or later, my mouth moves faster than my brain Sometimes that works out to be a good thing, sometimes not, and it's the not that keeps me worried.

    Thanks,

    BB

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    I hear you i do and it is hard when one fears that their support will somehow change Perhaps one day when he does go on abt your weight just simple say did i not mention to you i have had a eating disorder since i was a teenager and that you are continuing to do your best to not let it get control of you again hugs
    Words always stay inside ones soul

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    Thanks, forgetmenot. Knowing me, that's probably what will end up happening. Wish me luck it doesn't manage to turn around and smack me in the face

    BB

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    I don't think it will hun
    i think if you doctor is a professional he will be happy you were able to confide in him and he will get you extra support you need. hugs
    Words always stay inside ones soul

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    You've never met my dr . He's one of those people who usually thinks the worst of someone til or unless he comes around to seeing things the way they really are or it's something really basic and obvious like an ear infection. That's why I'm nervous I could put all my hard work at risk. He knows his stuff, and if you can get him on board, he's kind and supportive. If not, well it can get pretty rough. Usually he needs someone else to say what I've been saying all along before he can accept certain things. Actually, if the timing works out, I should maybe try to talk to the psychiatrist before I say anything to my dr since they confab a lot. I think it might make more sense to tell the psych about that kind of thing? Depending. If dr pushes my buttons, I'll likely end up saying something now that it's so much on my mind, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see. My stomach will turn into a circus acrobat, but oh well ...


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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    Hey Bumblebean!

    Hi there, nice to meet you!

    I don't think I have an eating disorder, or at least nothing diagnosed... I do sometimes eat emotionally, although I've been slowly getting better and not doing that. Been paying better attention to my body. Doin' that Deepak Chopra thing, ya know, where you try to tune into the WHY of the hunger... Seems to be helping...

    Anyways, I sincerely hope you do tell your doctor. Or else if he's going on about your weight, at least if you could prevent yourself from reacting in anger and misdirecting it onto your body. I too had mixed messages from my mother, and it drove me nuts. I did feel better after I laid down some boundaries. For one thing, SHE is not a doctor. :P I told her at one point never to talk about how she didn't like my hair, or clothes, or if I was "gaining" or too "fat" or when she'd get concerned if I got too "skinny." At some point I just stopped caring what she thought. At least about those things. She was just a good button-presser and I somehow was very good at setting myself up to react. Enough about me, though (I know, too late, right?).

    I was thinking you could try the same thing, just for some peace of mind... It could only help, right? I mean, even if you do tell him about your eating issues, and he DOESN'T let up, then you'd know he is just a jerk. And then instead of misdirecting your anger at yourself, you could express your displeasure at him by switching doctors, if possible. Or at least telling him you will begin looking for a different doctor if he doesn't smarten up. You know, direct whatever emotions you are having outward, toward him.

    I am thinking he is
    a) trying to be helpful? Is he actually DOING the BMI test, and weighing you, and whatever tests he's supposed to d, or is he just going by appearances of loose skin, etc, that you mentioned? Because if he's just making a judgement call without doing any testing, perhaps you have a right to express your doubt of his professionalism and lacking of proof of his cursory glance at your body. I would be tempted to ask him, "Excuse me, but do you guess people's weight at the Fair as well as in the doctor's office?"

    b) just a big douche. And as mentioned, if he just enjoys throwing his non-medical, untested opinion around instead of conducting proper tests (or even if he does do testing but still treats you like some kind of underling), then the problem lies with HIM, not with you. In which case, I refer you to my earlier statement of looking elsewhere for a doctor who has not had any schooling as a douche. I would be tempted to say, "Excuse me doc, but when your mouth opens the sounds that come out drain the joy from my very soul. Are you sure you're a doctor and not an undertaker? Perhaps you could shut up while I leave and look for a doctor that isn't so painful to visit."

    Just my humble opinion. ♥
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    Hi jellybean, good morning from one bean to another Nice to meet you too.

    Or else if he's going on about your weight, at least if you could prevent yourself from reacting in anger and misdirecting it onto your body.
    Well, I don't think I really get angry so much as annoyed and anxious about being triggered. I guess in a way that's misdirection, but not from anger. Anger takes energy I don't have.

    I'm in awe that you could stand up to your mother. Mine - along with her mum, my gran - scared me to pieces and when they said jump, I asked how high, and did they want a back flip with that. They're long gone and now I'm talking back. Better late than never I guess.

    I never had a diagnosis of ana/mia because I never told anyone and never got caught, which is a weird kind of plus when people don't pay a lot of attention. For a long time I figured I was fat and needed to diet more, but as I got older, from what I've heard and read, I figured likely that's what it was, but I call it extreme dieting because I feel silly giving it a clinical name without the diagnosis. But I can definitely say I have an eating disorder, which if I used those words, my dr would assume meant I meant that I eat too much because in his opinion, I'm fat, so I guess I'll have to use a different word or words if I get to where I really can't put up with his nagging any more. OK, to be honest, I feel fat because I can't count my bones, but I know that getting down to that weight would kill me, so I'm finding ways to live with being bigger than I like. It helps in a weird kind of way that 100 lbs at 60 years old isn't half so helpful as when I was 16 Looking like a bag of sticks doesn't make me feel like I'm invisible, it makes me feel like a freak show. (Now I'm wondering why, since I have spent most of my life feeling invisible, I have spent so much time trying to actually be that way. Then again, if I really was invisible, I'd be safe because no one could see me instead of pretending not to see me when it suits them. I guess that makes it about control?)

    Here's something scary for you, my dr is the best of the lot where I live. At least, amongst those who are taking patients. Anyway, he's come around quite a bit from early days and now we're working together more than butting heads, which is a good thing as there likely won't be any shopping around, not unless I get a huge miracle on one of my ER visits and there's a new dr in town that I instantly click with and he or she has room to take on an aging chronic patient with so many physical and mental conditions you'd have to take off a shoe to tally up. As my auntie used to say, you work with what you got.

    Is he actually DOING the BMI test, and weighing you, and whatever tests he's supposed to d, or is he just going by appearances of loose skin, etc, that you mentioned?
    No, he goes by appearance. What's almost creepy is that he can nail it every time. The thing is, he'd like me to be underweight as far as I can tell, and I can't go there without risking my life, which for some crazy reason I'm kind of attached to, in spite of sometimes thinking it would be nice to just go to sleep one night and not wake up. I think I've been a fighter too long - had to dig in pretty deep sometimes to survive - that I can't quit now. People don't often see the fighter side of me because I do it very quietly, but I think I'm pretty good at it. Must be, or likely I wouldn't be here now. Passive resistance? Well, whatever.

    I'm rambling on again

    What's funny to me is that I've done all the BMI, waist-hip, etc stuff over and over again. Not only based on whatever I am at the time, but from the past, and I have to laugh when I put in my numbers from when I was at my skinniest for waist-hip, and they STILL say I'm "at risk". Well, I'm so short-waisted there's no room for a lot of difference between waist and hips. So I can be so thin you could spit through me, but that calculator will still basically be telling me I'm fat. And you can just guess where the fat goes when I have some. And that, in spite of my BMI which usually hangs around at the low end of healthy is what my dr sees. He'd have seen it in all the women in my mum's line going back genrations, we're all built the same, and most of them worked even harder all their lives than I ever did, but never skipping a meal or worrying that they ate too much. And that ( ) is what I should tell him next time he starts up on me. I've made a lot of progress, but I'm still compulsive enough that I'm constantly checking my BMI. I could double check just before an appointment and if he says anything, I could give him the exact number. That might actually be fun, though I expect he'd find a way to say it's not good enough. He sometimes throws in stuff about me having less bone density (never tested so how does he know this?) and muscle mass, true enough about the muscle mass and not surprising when you have to cut your activity levels down to 1 tenth of what it used to be and you're stuck there for 30+ years. But not enough lost muscle mass to account for him saying I'm carrying too much fat. If I go by the BMI scale, there were a couple of times I went over, but that change in activity levels meant I had to do a lot of tinkering, and here was me trying to avoid freaking and going on another extreme diet and feeling good about myself for being strong enough not to go there, and then he's saying I need to lose weight.

    Some days it seems that even when I figure I'm doing everything right, I can't do anything right

    Definitely I will have to tell him or the psych, whichever comes first. Just thinking about having to hear him go on and on about it again is making me want to chuck every scrap of food out of this place, and that would not be good.

    Thanks,

    BB

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    Re: Mixed Messages?

    Well, if it wasn't diagnosed by a professional in the first place, maybe you could at least confirm it with the psychiatrist?

    One thing I have learned is not to try to diagnose myself. Even if you're right, or if you're close, please get confirmation.

    I do admit, sure, I suspected there was something wrong with ME. But when I told my therapist my thoughts and at length he got to know me and my background, the truth was that I had to learn some behaviours to survive my childhood. And some of my belief systems were faulty. But it wasn't because it was my fault, so much as it was about how I was raised. So in my case, it definitely did no good to try to figure out my own diagnosis.

    Anyways, I sure hope the psychiatrist can help you out along those lines, and then if that is confirmed, you can say with confidence to your physician that it's for sure. If you tell people you are diagnosed or have them assume you were diagnosed by a professional, it wouldn't be truthful. And what if you are wrong, and you have given yourself an incorrect view of your problems or of yourself? For example, if you assume you have hypothyroidism but don't get it checked, how is that going to help you? Or if you suspect you have diabetes, but you don't get checked by a physician? Or if you think you might have cancer due to some symptoms you matched with it online? Wouldn't you want to know for sure for sure??!! Instead of putting yourself through the stress of uncertainty?

    Anyways, I sure hope you find out for sure what's going on, and give yourself some peace of mind. And if I misunderstood what you posted, my apologies...
    (Formerly JollyGreenJellyBean)

    My dog is a human whisperer.

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