Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Life Story: Chapter Forty Three

Where was I? Oh, yeah... I got sick. I lost a completed meal. Therefore, all the hard work and hard eating I had done in the previous weeks was negated. And it only got worse from there.

My doctors and counselors, they stopped trusting me. They believed that I was making myself sick so I could stop gaining weight. But as I've explained before, that's not how this thing worked for me. See, they had a textbook definition of what an eating disorder was supposed to be, and that's just not where I fit. They didn't know how to truly deal with me. But I guess they did the best they could.

With the evidence that they saw, they felt the need to assign me to "one-on-one," meaning that someone had to watch me 24/7. They also installed a feeding tube. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of having one of these things shoved into your body, count your blessings. It was the most unpleasant experience of my young life. And if you're squeamish, you may want to skip ahead a bit. What they do is they shove this long plastic tube down your esophagus by going through the nose. It's not fun. I wouldn't suggest trying it.

But through this feeding tube, I was constantly fed a liquid diet of a substance called Sustacal. They gave me an option of which flavor I wanted: vanilla or chocolate. Not that it really mattered. It's not like I was actually tasting it as it slid down the plastic tube in my throat. I could smell it though. I guarantee I'll never drink the stuff voluntarily. Nor will I drink its more popular counterpart: Ensure. They smell the same.

So I'm on this "one-on-one" thing. One day I was carted up to our eating disorder group therapy session. I listened to the same things over and over again. I never thought of myself as better than any of the other people in the group. But I couldn't help but be confused by the constant rehashing of the same issues over and over again. I knew I had problems, and I knew that these people were trying to help me the best that their so-called "educated" minds could come up with, but this group was not the way.

But that's not the point of today's story. At some point during our session, I had to go to the bathroom. That urge just hit. And it shouldn't have been a big deal. It was just the number one. I'd be in and out, no problem. But the counselors were only women. Therefore, they wouldn't be allowed to follow me to the bathroom to make sure I wasn't going in there to make myself vomit. Problem was, Kevin, my one-on-one assignee for the day had stepped out, thinking I'd be watched just fine while in group counseling.

So they refused to let me go to the bathroom. Did you catch that? REFUSED! I was a 14 year old kid with, what they considered to be, a severe eating disorder. For days they had been pumping me full of liquid sustenance nonstop. Something had to give. So I lost control of my bladder right there on their nice, clean sofa. I don't think I had ever been more humiliated in my life.

A lot of extremes happened in the hospital. That's the most uncomfortable and most humiliated moments all in one posting.

Anyway, a few days later, I returned to that wonderful group again to face all those wonderful people who, in essence, forced me to piss in my pants. Do you know what my counselor had the nerve to do? She turned the incident around on me, making it into a nice psychological topic of conversation. She told me that I was pissed off about my situation. Oh, gee, ya think?! Of course I was pissed off. Pretty sure if my folks had been aware of our little lack of bathroom break, they'd have jerked me out of that hospital in a heartbeat. They didn't find out for about a week. But by then, it was time for me to go home anyway. Don't worry, I'm getting there.

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