Archives for August, 2011
Just back from a sublime five-day sojourn in a little slice of paradise called Cherry Grove on Fire Island. This tiny community is one of many on Fire Island, a 50-kilometre long sand dune off the coast of Long Island, New York, about two hours from La Guardia. Our first vacation since 2005 ... For our 11th anniversary, we decided to celebrate with two of our favourite people in the world. I'll call them Q & T. They summer there and for years they have offered us an open invitation. If ever there was a year to accept, this was it ... Travelling by plane, car and ferry, the instant we stepped onto the dock, the pressures of city-life faded away. For three days, Marty swam, sunbathed and snoozed or read and unwound in the jacuzzi. Everything was perfectly magical.
Once again, this morning, I sat in a small office in the teaching hospital Eating Disorders Clinic in downtown Toronto for the second half of my psychological assessment. This session lasted two and a half hours. I wasn't prepared for the excruciating questioning... It was even more emotionally demanding and draining than my first session two weeks ago. Before that first assessment, I was asked to filled out a detailed questionnaire. I couldn't face the questions about trauma... The last three questions concerned my experiences with various types of trauma. Over my entire life. I simply couldn't answer them. I circled "No" for all of them. I couldn't face them.
In February, my family doctor began cautioning me about my obsessive dieting. She explained that eating disorders are psychiatric conditions, mental illnesses. She used the "A" word. Anorexia. I thought she was out of her mind... I am not thin. I've never been thin. Certainly never too thin. I feel I need to lose more weight. To get thinner. She began monitoring me, monthly. By May, overly concerned about my inability to perceive myself realistically and my relentless determination to lose weight, she said this was related to my "mania" ~ my bipolar disorder. She sent a note to my psychiatrist. He referred me to an Eating Disorders Clinic... Last month, my kidney transplant specialist expressed similar concerns. He didn't want my electrolytes to go out of whack. When I diet, my sodium levels plummet. When these three doctors, the team that keeps me alive, showed such alarm, I decided to investigate eating disorders myself.