Eating disorder 11-20-14

I’m at CPMC by myself having my Herceptin infusion. I have to admit, I’m so tired of this journey. I find myself teary eyed every time I come here. Tomorrow I meet with my radiation oncologist to schedule my radiation treatments. The good news is my last infusion will be in May 2015. After that my treatment will be hormone therapy. Cake walk!

I’ve been on Facebook this morning and for some reason there have been so many posts that have made me laugh today. This one in particular cracked me up. So much so, I not only shared it, I decided to write about it. The post reminded me of the many years I battled Anorexia and Bulemia. As a 16 year old teenager I developed an eating disorder. What began as a diet, turned into an 18 year struggle. I was no stranger to starving myself, binging and purging, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, receding gums, stomach aches, cuticle fungus…..you name it. I recall on many occasions seeing women enjoying a slice of pizza, tacos, enchiladas or any food for that matter and secretly wishing I could eat without freaking out about it to the point I’d gag myself and make myself throw up. I hated looking in the mirror. Even when I weighed 103 pounds I still felt fat.

A month after I turned 34 I was hospitalized for my eating disorder. I hadn’t eaten in 9 days and I was experiencing anxiety attacks. A few days before I was on my way home from seeing my therapist. It was dark and it was snowing. I suddenly had no idea where I was. I was in my car driving and I panicked. My heart was racing and I was having an anxiety attack. I had enough sense to pull over and I called my dad. I was hysterical. He told me to wait for him. He’d come and get me. I’m not sure how long it took, but I was so relieved when I saw my dad. He drove me home that night. A few days later I was locked up in a hospital unit in Seattle. When I arrived i was 101 pounds, I had stripped my esophagus and I was experiencing heart palpitations. I spent the next 60 days attempting to recover from Anorexia/Bulemia. I’ll be honest, it was no cake walk but God works in mysterious ways, he certainly gave me the strength, determination and will to fight. Next month I’ll be 49 years old. It will also be 15 years of being free of battling an eating disorder. I’m not going to say that I’m fully recovered from the insecurities that go along with Anorexia or Bulemia but thank God I don’t feel the need to starve myself or purge every time I eat. I still experience many of the side effects that come from the many years of abusing my body but I’m eating disorder free.

I saw this post and thought it was funny. Today the only reason I choose not to eat “dis order” of enchiladas is because I’m lactose intolerant. There are many other foods I don’t eat but not because I’m battling an eating disorder, rather I’m gluten intolerant. I don’t panic when I over indulge and if I gain a few pounds, I don’t fret. I try to stay active. I still work out despite fighting cancer. I don’t have the strength I once had prior to being diagnosed with cancer. I can’t run those 5 miles but I’m ok with it.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to see a comedian. He was poking fun at people with eating disorders. He commented saying that anorexics starve themselves because they want to be skinny while people in third world countries starved themselves because they were too poor to afford food to eat. His solution was for anorexics to trade places with the poor. I laughed but it really hit home. He was right. It was at that moment I realized how ungrateful I really was. I’ve never starved myself since.

Overcoming an eating disorder is hard. My heart goes out to those battling today. I don’t have the answers but what I can say is there’s hope and help if you want it. Don’t give up and by all means being skinny is not worth it. Live life. Enjoy life and enjoy the many blessings you do have. More importantly enjoy “dis” order of tacos, enchiladas and frijoles. Why not. It’s too yummy not to. And remember, there are people in third world countries who would give anything to eat one of “dos” tacos and wouldn’t mind if they weren’t skinny

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