Monday, December 23, 2013
As many of you know, my 25 year old son has been battling anorexia for 11 months. It has been total hell; an ever-ending roller coaster ride.
Three weeks ago, my son was in the hospital fighting for his life. His numbers - blood count wise, were everywhere, and he checked himself out of the hospital against his Doctor's orders. Basically, I was told he wasn't going to make it. Per my suggestion, he signed a contract with the Psychiatrist on duty, stating that he would do certain things - 1. take medication 2. follow up with his Doctor 3. see a psychiatrist 4. live at my house. If he didn't improve within 2 weeks, he would consider entering an eating disorder treatment center.
Six days after leaving the hospital, he paid for his own airline ticket and accompanied me to my Goddaughter's graduation in San Antonio. My husband was supposed to go, but, due to the flood at our school, he had to cancel. I was apprehensive about my son going because of his medical condition. I decided to just "let go" and see what would happen - was this part of God's plan?
Let's just say that I watched a miracle evolve. We shared a hotel room. He never threw up his food. He ate a lot of mexican food, everywhere we went.
His humorous personality came back and he was so social! He thought about other people's feelings, He talked while he ate, and didn't pick at his food. He ate his food, and didn't stop at half! I think my friends in San Antonio thought I had made the whole illness up - telling me how great he looked!
He went to our family Doctor last Friday - my son gained 30 pounds! 20 was water weight - but, still...he was back up to 140! The Doctor was stunned! He said he actually looked at my son's ankles expecting to find ankle weights! He also made sure his pockets were emptied! What a shock!
I was blown away - in fact, I still am! I was scared to write anything about it! I didn't want to jinx it! Another week has gone by and he is still eating! He has no issues at all with food! All of the anger is gone! He now talks about his feelings and now is thinking about joining a gym to start lifting and running.
He is now doing it the right way like the rest of us.
What changed? He started eating in the hospital, before he started on medication. When I told him the Doctors were alarmed because he didn't get emotional when they told him he was going to die, he said
"I started eating, didn't I?"
I walked the dogs down to the end of the road yesterday and looked out over the river. I thought about how different the river and sky looked now that the fog has lifted over my head. When people ask me how I am I now say "great!" not just "ok".
I still can't believe how quick this all turned around. Eleven months of hell and it is gone in a blink of an eye. I still am watching him like a hawk, but everything is so normal now.
It is a miracle.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers. I truly believe prayers are what saved him.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in the 5% Fall Challenge.
I was on a supportive team - the Shooting Stars. I came within one pound of losing the 5%. I am proud of that accomplishment! I am back in my old clothes and I feel healthier. I am stronger.
The challenge helped me get focused back onto myself, my health, and my exercise. That, in turn, has helped me deal with stress a lot better.
I haven't been running - my knee is thanking me. I needed to switch gears, and needed a "kick in the butt" to get going - this challenge accomplished that.
I took Roxy, and sometimes my son's dog Maizey, on 2 - two mile walks most days. Not only was this good exercise for all 3 of us, but it was de-stressing. Here are some pictures of our walk:
Through the woods...
By the river...
The Bostons walk really fast - they didn't want to stop for the picture...
Sometimes they take a break...
We enjoy looking at neighbor's decorations...
And cutting through yards :)...
Looking at boats...
And smelling the food being prepared in the restaurant...
After the walk, they were still ready to play...
I also focused on portion sizes and finally opened up the SparkCookbook I bought two years ago! I made quite a few recipes and shared the food and recipes with my co-workers. I guess you could say, I shared "the spark"!
Here is a picture of the Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup recipe I made:
Another benefit to this challenge was that I went on an all-inclusive, one week vacation during the challenge. It was a much needed vacation for both me and my husband. I tracked my food and exercise the whole trip - not only for myself, but for the team. My husband ended up exercising more, too, and found that he likes Yoga and agreed to take Salsa lessons with me! I racked up a lot of exercise minutes that week and only gained two pounds, which I lost half way through the next week!
Because I was more focused on myself, I became more organized. I cleaned like crazy! I organized my kitchen, my bathroom and my closet. Goodwill loves me! I got rid of a lot of "stuff" I haven't used or looked at since I moved into my house three years ago. My house lost weight too!
The Shooting Stars were very supportive and active on the site. I loved that part of it. I learned a lot from my teammates.
I am now looking forward to the 5% Winter Challenge! I have signed up for the Shooting Stars again.
Hope to see you there!
Friday, December 06, 2013
Quite Frequently - lately - I have have heard, "How do you do it?", "You are so strong"... I don't honestly know. I get up every day and start over. I look at myself in the mirror and say, I will handle whatever today brings. I will not quit until my son is okay. I will search until I find him again. I trust in God. I pray to my grandfather and other relatives who have passed to look over my son - I believe that they are.
There are alot of people praying for him - I believe in the power of prayer. It has been eleven months and he is still alive.
One thing I do in the car is listen to one of my favorite tunes by Bob Seger.
It is called "Roll Me Away". Here are part of the lyrics:
"Stood alone on a mountain top,
Starin' out at the great divide
I could go east, I could go west,
It was all up to me to decide
Just then I saw a young hawk flyin'
And my soul began to rise
And pretty soon
My heart was singin'
Roll, roll me away,
I'm gonna roll me away tonight
Gotta keep rollin, gotta keep ridin',
Keep searchin' till I find what's right
And as the sunset faded
I spoke to the faintest first starlight
And I said next time
We'll get it right"
Bob Seger - Roll Me Away Lyrics
Yes, I am an optimist, but I can't say it is easy. I am well aware that I may lose him - at times my mind wanders to that point. But, I just can't give up.
Today I see a glimmer of hope. He was in the hospital in Delaware for several days. I was excited. I spoke to the psychiatrist and he could keep my son there and commit him. Last night the psychiatrist called me and said Delaware doesn't have any place to send my son for an Eating Disorder. The psychiatrist can't send him across state lines. He told me if my son was at a hospital in Maryland it could be done and I could say which one he could go to.
Today my son texts and says it is time to pick him up. Then I get a call from a nurse telling me my son is discharging himself and the Doctor wants him to stay another day (see the roller coaster ride??). I wait two hours then pick him up. He says he wants to go to a Maryland hospital to finish his IV. I think "Yayyy, this is awesome" I drop him off and call his Doctor. Turns out the person who answers the phone sister's is a pysch eval person at the ER in the hospital where my son is! With my permission she notifies her sister. My son ends up checking in and giving all his info then leaves - he wants to go back Sunday. I went back to the ER without him and told them what was going on with him. They flag his info and tell me - in so many words - that someone has already tipped them off to his issues. When he goes back in he should be headed for a treatment center.
The above is a "normal" day for me right now. But look how it waves, there are so many positives in it that it makes me keep going. I feel so close to this resolving itself--It just has to.
"And as the sunset faded
I spoke to the faintest first starlight
And I said next time
We'll get it right"
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
This quote, one of my favorites got me out of bed today. "No Matter how you feel, Get up, dress up, show up, and Never give up!"
It got me to take a shower, put on nice clothes, do my hair and make-up, and make my breakfast.
So then I took the Bostons for a nice long walk around the marina and thought "I can do this today". I can find out what is now wrong health-wise with my son and face the day. He went into the hospital, all will be good in the world.
So I went to work to do what I had to, and found my husband wrestling a Christmas tree outside of the Elementary School. The holder had a leak, hence water - all over the inside foyer. Oh joy! Between all the headaches of the flood at the school and my son's illness/hospitalization my poor husband, as he put it, has reached the end of his rope. (Luckily no one saw him wrestling the tree). He told me if he disappears for a week don't worry, he will be back.
All I could think is "How can I do that?"
So I went into my poor, torn up office and completed what I need to. My son texted me that he didn't like the hospital food and asked me to bring him his favorites. He wanted Cool Ranch Doritos, Men's Health Nuts, and Costco Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I told him I would be up when I was done working and I get a this text from him "OK, I will starve to death".
Now, I wanted to type "You already are" or "If you are really that hungry you will eat the hospital food", but I have learned that falls into what he wants. He is very manipulative. So, I ignored it.
When I was done with my work and ready to go to the hospital it was 12:30. I realized this is where I fell off the maintenance track last time. So, I ate the lunch I had packed before I went to the hospital. I am going to have to make a conscious effort to stay on track through this ordeal.
While I was sitting with my son, his new psychiatrist came in and asked to speak with me privately. My son seemed edgy about it, but, in the end gave permission. The psychiatrist tells me my son wasn't very honest with him, saying he wasn't having eating disorder issues right now. The Dr also told me he weighs less than the last time he went into the hospital, right before I took him to Rady Hospital in San Diego. I didn't ask for the number, it would have broken my heart, but I know it is under 100 lbs. He also told me my son is anemic and that is strange for a male. I googled anemic with anorexia, and they can go hand in hand, so I am not really sure why the pyschiatrist thought it was abnormal. It explains why my son is so cold all of the time. I told the psychiatrist my biggest fear is that the Doctors will let him go home. It was so hard to get him to go this time, I can't imagine him ever going back. The good news is that he is in a Delaware hospital, which works differently than where we live in Maryland. The psychiatrist has the authority to commit him indefinitely. He said it would be the last ditch effort to save him. That made me feel better, although it took everything I had during that meeting not to break down.
We are hoping he decides to go to a treatment center. My therapist suggested giving him a choice - psychiatric ward or the treatment center.
So, I went back for a while and watched my son sleep, finally got to have a really hard cry in my car on the way home, talked to my BFF from Texas (who just happened to call out of the blue) and then took the Bostons for another long walk.
My husband went to help a friend and then will be home a little later, so we will be having a chat.
This not giving up thing is really hard!
Added note: I am taking care of my son's Boston while he is in the hospital...she is 2 -- Roxy "tolerates" her!!
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
My phone rang and woke me at 6:29 am this morning. My ring tone is the Brady Bunch theme song, so I did wake with a jolt! My opening Director told me the fire alarm went off and I could hear it in the background. She didn't see a fire or smoke. My husband said it was probably set off by all the dust from the torn out drywall and ceiling tiles - but that was a guess so in 25 mins I was dressed and at the school ready to meet the firemen. They were not there, my Director had cancelled them. A fuse had blown in the room where the alarm went off because there was four huge fan blowers running.
I then walked around the school and almost cried. Drywall is torn out of the teachers' lounge, my toddler classroom, my office, the hallway and three bathrooms. My thoughts went back to when the school was built. And, I knew in two weeks it would be back to "normal".
I ran to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and egg/cheese muffin and then quickly went through my pile of work for the day. My son asked me to take him to the hospital AFTER he put new speakers in his Mustang. My husband talked to our family Doctor this morning and found out that the Dr had put together a team of Doctors at a different hospital than my son had wanted to go to. I was excited about this development but worried my son would not want to go. I decided not to say anything and see what happened. I waited outside for 45 minutes for my son to finish with his car (I got a lot of Sparking done) and then he got his dog and hopped in the car. He said we had to hurry because the hospital had called and had a bed for him. Turns out that his best friend (the one fighting cancer for the third time) works in the pharmacy there! I had his dog so I dropped my son off at the main entrance. I think it may be easier for him to talk about his issues and be more open if I am not there so I found it a great excuse to leave. I said to call if he needed anything.
My son is still mad at my husband. He said he doesn't want his dad to visit him in the hospital. He doesn't have a good reason to be mad at his dad, and I am sure he will work it out as he goes. I don't think my husband cares if he doesn't see him right now, he is so frustrated with the whole thing.
So, thanks for all your prayers, it is helping! And, thank you for your continued support. When I signed up to SparkPeople close to 3 years ago I thought it would be totally focused on running and weight loss. I never, in a million years thought that it would involve all of this! It has helped me more than you could ever know.
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