"I am not anorexic,” I said to the doctor with a defensive, how dare you, tone. I believed those words. To me a person with anorexia was frail and weak, someone who spent hours in the bathroom puking up carrot sticks. That was not me. In my mind I was a fit, athletic woman, who had never even thrown up a cracker, AND I was a health coach for God’s sake. I knew how to nourish my body. How dare this man accuse me of being an anorexic. I was pissed, in retrospect probably too pissed. He had hit a nerve I didn’t yet realize existed.
With the Sunriver adventure drawing to a close, my kids headed back home to Portland with the neighborhood gang while I was helplessly stuck in a Central Oregon hospital for days of fluids, catheters and blood transfusions.
“We are coming to see you", my mom demanded when Marc called to tell her about my situation, “we are so worried.”
“No mom, stay put, Marc is here and I will be fine. I can handle this, blah,blah blah.” It was my cancer speak all over again, resisting help and pushing away those who cared about me. The difference in this case was embarrassment. I felt shameful for allowing myself to get so run down and sick. Not to mention, I was completely freaked out. How did I get so close to dying without even realizing it?
During my stay at Chateau de St. Charles Hospital, I watched the nurses watch me. I was curious if doctor Judgy McJudgerson had passed along his anorexic observations and if I was going to be on some sort of “food watch”, however it didn’t appear that anyone gave two hoots what I ordered off the hospital menu or what I left sitting my plate (which actually wasn't much as the food was really good). This only served to re assure my position that the good doctor was off his rocker. In fact, not only did the staff take no notice of my diet, the nurses were impressed by my desire to push myself to move around. I begged to be allowed take walks around the hospital corridors, dragging my IV drip, even if it depleted me. I was frustrated by lying in bed doing nothing but reading, sleeping and eating. In fact, eating and not moving made me more uncomfortable than the pain from swollen angles and infected lungs. I wanted to get out of there and get back home to my kids, my exercise, my food, and most of all I wanted to get to business, my business, The Mission of Nutrition.
Finally, after five days, I was cleared to go home with the understanding I would do nothing but rest for the next four to six weeks. Yep, sure, whatever. I was just so happy to get out of there. Release day I woke early, ate my last egg sandwich, and eagerly traded the faded pastel gown for my own clothes. Clothes I found to be shockingly snug after putting them on.
“Um excuse me,” I said to the nurse as she passed by my room, “could you come here for a minute?”
“What’s up Hun?” She said distractedly.
“This!” I said frantically motioning to my flabby, stomach and bulky thighs. “When will I get my body back?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she said, giving me a once over with a confused look.
"My body!" I yelled as if raising my voice would make her understand my question, “this is not my body!”