My Biggest Pure High With A Little Help-My Anorexia Story From The Beginning chapter 1 post 1

The Illness of My Discontent Chapter 1 part 1

In the summer of 2015 I started back to school to work on my PhD. I hadn’t done a lot in quite some time so I felt really good getting into the program, registering, and finally beginning my courses.

I was at the time about 125 pounds down 5 pounds from my settling weight. I was losing a bit quite easily, and even though it wasn’t significant, it added up at the end of the month.

For so long my life hadn’t revolved around performance as it always had in the past, and schedules and routines were foreign entities to me.

I recall my first full week of school, and waking up to what I would name the maniac’s hours: the hours between 12:30pm and 6:30 am.

I was up by 1:30 am and ready to dig into my schoolwork. I discovered the 24 hour store had lattes that when I took with a doctor’s prescribed Adderall gave me this productivity and creativity surge along with  an intense ability to concentrate.

Being Corey, and as I do, I name most things, so I called this mixture of Adderall and my latte the “golden elixir.”

I went one early Wednesday morning to the store so revved up and dying to dive into my books and writing.  I could barely take the golden elixir and I was off working on something that had my mind and body concurrently engaged.

I can pinpoint my anorexia to that every moment that morning when I was completely satiated mind, body, and spirit.

I was so high by the propulsion of my activity and the words I was writing that didn’t seem like they could be mine.

I had battled a much smaller bout of anorexia in like 2008 and went down to only like 108 pounds on a 68 inch frame. People who loved me were frightened by my hollowed skeleton then, they nor I had any idea what was to come years later.

It is so easy as a writer to want to jump into the gory or the bad ass part of the story, but so many times people don’t take the time in writing or in medical recovery to look at the very beginnings of the disease and what seeds were planted.

I have tried writing this before but I rushed it, and this time I am going to comb through all the details.

What I remember about that day and the like days surrounding it, was the feeling of invincibleness I harbored and the cocksure attitude I had about yes having this all completely under control.

I was figuratively flying on the ceiling while I did my work, and I was so sure I was doing great work that would earn me the 4.0 GPA I intended to achieve.

It wasn’t about weight loss in those first weeks, although the weight loss went simultaneously with the achievements. I was just so empowered and so powered by my internal structures and my mind which was showing me for once in a long time just how powerful it truly was.

I have never been high on illicit drugs but I have no doubt this was somewhat similar to that affect.

It was highly addictive and the move I felt it, the more I wanted it. I soon realized that after a couple of years of not really having much to show for myself, I was cranking out the work, and when the grades started going in, it was a game changer.

Every grade I received just fed by fire and for one instance that grade satiated a part of me that was ever so quickly diminished by the next piece of work that was due. I once had a not very bright therapist ask me the most basic question. She asked me, do you realize how much you put into each grade whether it is 2 points or 200 points, and how small an amount of time that grade brings you happiness?

She surely had a point but nonetheless I was way to busy chasing my tail between my legs, and doing my work and neatly organizing my grades and feeling an empty yet full sense of accomplishment. I say empty, because nothing was ever enough to make me happy or pause, and I came from a family that expected the best out of me so they weren’t impressed and neither were my friends who thought I had a crazy maniacal brain. I couldn’t make myself happy for more than a Nano-second and nor could I make anyone else happy, so I just worked harder and that is when the ultimate sense of perfectionism set in for me.

Probably a month after courses started and I was already a well-oiled machine, I realized that to make myself and others happy, I had to branch and spread out my perfectionism. My body was the perfect temple for that, and I was already losing more weight working more and sleeping less, and soon I wanted to be perfect in every fucking way possible. Somehow I would get somebody to say something positive to me and about me. I didn’t lack self-esteem but I truly became obsessed with being the best in all facets of my life.

This is a theme I would say marked my entire life from time to time, and this time it would come as close to killing me as it possibly could.

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2017

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Radical Will part 13 Seeing the Endocrinologist

I had the weekend with Stephanie  and we tried as much as possible to keep things low key and as normal as was possible with handfuls of heart pills and a feeding tube to deal throughout the day and night.

Not the best of times for sure. I was scared to death of my body. Stephanie helped me get through both Saturday and Sunday as she provided as much normalcy as possible. We didn’t talk about a lot we tried to keep life light, didn’t make a big deal of  medications, and just dealt with my feeding tube as needed be.

Stephanie was great with surprising me with a visit from my daughter, Bella. I was so happy and so okay once I got to see her. She put on a brave face and didn’t mention the obvious feeding tube across my face. I was able to be her mommy, and not Corey who just had a heart attack and might well not make it through all of this medical trauma that my body was subjected to as a result of constant starvation for close to 18 months. Starvation was a part of my body’s reality which jeopardized my well-being in all facets of my health.

Sunday night before I was due to go to the endocrinologist in Boston Stephanie and I had a great night as we just didn’t talk about anything that was medical related and we tried to engage one another as best friends as we made a decision to make a collage together. Art has always proven to be a healing entity for my psyche. Working on the collage with Stephanie was so filled with a lightness of being and a happiness as I let go of my body’s worries for the time we were doing the collage. Stephanie had found a contest, so our collage was super important for many reasons. I am so grateful to Stephanie that she took all my worry away and replaced it with moments of laughter and conversation that we hadn’t engaged in together in months.

We had a very early day coming up as we were scheduled to be at the endocrinologist at 10:00am in the morning. We would have to leave the house at 6:30 am in order to make time for the rush hour traffic we would run into.

Monday morning came and our collage material was scattered with intention all over the study. I was nervous again, reality had returned I was fighting off worries of heart issues and issues of refeeding. My biggest worry was that I would be found to be hypermetabolic and that would not be a good factor for me as I sought desperately weight restoration.

The drive to Boston was quiet. I was in another world. Stephanie was the best friend I could ever ask for in this situation or any situation. I had realized that Stephanie was the best thing I had going for me along with my daughter. Both of them brought me much happiness and took my bodily worries away from me. We hit rush hour traffic and sat pretty still for almost 20 minutes. I started to get stressed that I was not going to make my appointment. We should have scheduled it for later in the day but I wanted to get in to the first available slot.

We made our way to Massachusetts General Hospital where the endocrinologist was located. We got to the parking garage and I started to stress out with anxiety. I didn’t know how much more of anything I could take. We made our way to endocrinology and I checked in with the front desk. I was given a bunch of paperwork and slumped down and filled it out to the best of my ability. Stephanie was such a constant and she kept me so grounded. I was called by a medical assistant and turned to say bye to Stephanie. I was brought to an examine room and told to just have a seat.

I let my mind wander and I was filled with anxiety once again. I sat for like 20 minutes before there was a knock on the door. In walked a woman and two men all in white coats. The woman introduced herself as the chief of endocrinology and the men were two of her fellows. She told me I had a colorful medical history and she was sorry I wasn’t well. She told me she had reviewed all my medical records and looked at specific tests that had been run already. She said everything she would do had been done, which made this appointment more beneficial in some ways.

The doctor talked about refeeding and how that plays apart when your body is coming back from starvation. She unfortunately for me the news was not good, she was sorry to say. I appeared to be in a hypermetabolic state-which meant my metabolic rate was just sky high and there was little intervention that could be done. It was the news I had feared for so long but now I had an answer and it gave me some credibility with my doctors because I was eating what I wrote down and doing my smoothie every day it just didn’t matter as my body was burning through calories as fast as I could eat them. It was a dangerous position because I lacked the nutrients my body and brain needed. She recommended some nutritional supplement to be administered through my continuous feeding tube. I fought back tears, my back and all the rest of me were up against the wall. She would further recommend for me to come back and be admitted over night so they could try some super dense nutrient rich feeding supplement that could be very hard on your entire digestive system including your kidneys. She thought I should schedule an admission as soon as I checked with my Radical Will team which now included the cardiologists as well. She asked me if I had any questions, and would follow up immediately with my team in hopes of getting me admitted perhaps as early as later this week.

I thanked her and the fellows, and they walked me out to Stephanie. I was fighting back tears, not very well, and Stephanie could see I wasn’t alright. We headed out as soon as I could get my jacket on. I broke down crying in the hallway as we waited for the elevator. She said without asking anything you are hypermetabolic aren’t you, sweetie. I looked at her as I was crying and nodded my head yes. There was very little I could in my power to fight this condition. It had been plaguing me for months and months. I cried and cried I just didn’t want to die from another heart attack or losing too much weight I was understanding more the situation I was in with this starvation. It was quite dire I couldn’t say anything more. I just went quiet and prayed until we got to the car, and then I fell apart right before Stephanie’s eyes…….

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Radical Will part 12 Seeing The Cardiologists and Another Procedure

I was barely hanging on by a thread these last couple of days. Since I had talked to Pam my ED therapist my weight had dropped 2 more pounds, and I was on the feeding tube.

I couldn’t wait for Monday to come when I got to go see the endocrinologist in Boston.  Today I was seeing the cardiologist. I hadn’t really talked to anyone I could remember about my heart or my medications or what was my prognosis. I knew losing more weight made my prognosis worse on all fronts. I was pretty concerned about being admitted to the hospital again. I think my primary care might make that decision I don’t blame me. I am scared to death of my own body. This anorexia and recovery from anorexia wasn’t going accordingly to my best made plans.

What I didn’t want to happen was for Radical Will to get dumped by the wayside of the road towards a full recovery. Even with this heart attack I was still meeting my doctors. I needed to get in touch with Amber my nutritionist. I hope she could do something by phone and mail me more material I would really take the time to read it. I was desperate and running out of time. I was not foolish I knew that my story along with my medical history with the anorexia wasn’t pretty.

It was early in the morning, and I wanted my coffee drink but I needed Stephanie to go get it and I didn’t want to wake her up. So I went and I made a pot of regular coffee. It wasn’t nearly as good and they had first taken me off Adderall all together, but my mania was so bad they had put me back on a smaller dosage.  So between the coffee that I made and the small dose of Adderall it wasn’t very good. I would have to wait for Stephanie to wake up. I didn’t even bother weighing myself it was just going to be too upsetting. I needed to get into the shower but I wasn’t steady enough. I needed some help from Stephanie. I felt so useless and pathetic I went and laid on the couch in the study. I tried to wrap my mind around the unanswerable question of why did I get sick with anorexia? I knew it wasn’t as important as getting to recovery. I knew there were many factors that medical practitioners talked about. However, everyone is so different two patients are never alike in any way. We may share commonality in our twisted thought processes, but that is as far as it goes. Our bodies react all so differently as do our minds. I was nervous about seeing the cardiologist and hearing what they had to say about what happened and I wanted to know about the medication I was taking. My appointment was at 9 am. I didn’t know what time it was but it felt like it was getting on so I went and grabbed by phone. Good thing I did, it was already 6:45 am and I had to get Stephanie up. I woke her up gently she was still so tired I was wearing her out I did know that……

She got up and capped my feeding tube and grabbed clean clothes and helped me get into the shower. I had this all figured out. I had her help get into the shower without the water running. I then took off my clothes and flung them on the floor and my clean and warm towel was waiting for me right next to the shower. I didn’t want her or anybody to see my body at all. I was so disgusting and gross I don’t even know how she could bear to be around me. I took my shower and I was quick. We didn’t have any time to waste. I grabbed my towel and wrapped it around me and Stephanie helped me out of the shower. Now I was okay and I could get myself ready.

We left the house at 8;30 am for the cardiologist. This was a different group then the ones I had seen before the heart attack. We found our way and Stephanie dropped me off at the curb. I was just going to wait inside the door for her to park the car. She was there in a flash and I didn’t have my feeding tube hooked up. I knew I should but it was too much of a pain going out with it. We found the cardiologists suite and I checked in. They took me right away, I asked Stephanie if she wanted to come with me. She jumped right up and joined us as we headed down the hall.

The nurse took my vitals and said they were going to do a more sophisticated EKG, before I met with the doctors. This one included 14 electrodes and even ones that went on my neck. She couldn’t get a good read because I didn’t have enough body fat. Finally she got what she thought was a good reading. She printed it and told me to wait before taking off my Johnny and putting back on my clothes. She came back and said she was going to try for another reading  and had me lay differently. That seemed to work and she took all the electrodes off and told me to get dressed. The doctors would be in a moment.

I got dressed and I was nervous. In my haste I forgot and Stephanie forgot to call the visiting nurse who usually comes around 10 am. Maybe I would be home in time but I doubted it. I didn’t even have her card on me to call. I would at least need to know what pills I needed to take this morning. There was a knock on the door and it quickly opened. In walked three men in white coats. I have a habit of calling doctors “white coats.” They all introduced themselves to me and I didn’t really recognize them except for one who was part of my discharge day. They all knew Stephanie and I am sure were happy to see the hot babe with me.

They asked me how I was doing. I said, “I have no idea. I take handfuls of pills two to three times a day, and a visiting nurse does an EKG once a day.” I said, “I haven’t left the house except for this appointment and have an appointment scheduled on Monday in Boston if it is okay to go.” One doctor asked about my anorexia and the feeding tube. I said I had lost some more weight and my primary care ordered the feeding tube and that I had a whole medical team dealing with my anorexia. I said, “Welcome to team Corey.” They all laughed. One of the doctors took out my reading from this morning. He said, “We are still seeing unfavorable electrical activity and your qt interval which was prolonged after the heart attack has elongated further it appears.” I said, “Can you just answer me a couple of questions? Am I a walking time bomb? Is my heart okay? Am I going to be okay long term? Lastly what is the damage and what does it mean that I have now had a heart attack.? I apologize if you went over this with me in the hospital it is all very foggy to me, but I am scared about my body.”

One of the doctors spoke and said, “We wouldn’t have sent you home if we thought you were a time bomb. However there are no guarantees especially with a reading like today’s and continued weight destabilization. You were very lucky you suffered minimal damage and don’t really have an residual damage which is quite remarkable. We do need to address the electrical issue and we suggest a procedure we can do in a special procedure room here with guided imaging we would insert a tiny probe into your heart and hopefully restart its electrical rhythms. We have done this to you already and it worked the first time.  For some reason your electrical rhythms are off again and that is a precursor for another cardiac incident.” I was scared but glad to hear I wasn’t a time bomb or not really. I asked about the medications. The same doctor spoke, “You are on a standard regime of medication for a patient like yourself who suffered a heart attack with out significant damage. We will keep you on all the medication for 6 to 8 weeks and then wean you off of most of them. You were already taking one and will remain on a few others for some time. None of them have any long term worries associated with them. You tolerated them well in the hospital and now are still tolerating them well. As far as activity going forward, I think we would like to do this procedure, do another reading and discuss activity levels then. Okay?” “Yes, will I be given something for anxiety and pain or will you put me to sleep?” “The procedure is practically painless, the only thing is you will feel a weird sensation when we try to shock your heart. And yes, we will get you something to relax now and we will meet you in the procedure suite.” “Thank you,” I said.

I looked at Stephanie and she seemed worried. I wasn’t worried. If my heart was out of whack I wanted them to shock it or do whatever it took. I asked Stephanie what was wrong. She said, she was just surprised and worried about me. She told me she would feel all better when I got back to the room. A nurse can in to start an IV. Funny how you think you have the story and clearly you don’t. She was great putting in the IV and then she injected a couple of syringes into it. I immediately felt woozy and she got a wheelchair and helped me sit down. She asked if I was OK and I said, “Yes.”

I don’t remember a lot about the procedure. Once they got me into the suite which was just like an OR they gave me more stuff to relax. I remember closing my eyes and feeling peaceful. I prayed to God and soon I was opening my eyes in this area where the doctors and a couple of nurses were with me. They said the procedure went well and they had already taken a reading it was near normal which was great. I finished coming out of the haze and the nurse asked if I could get back into the wheelchair. I told her I was fine to walk. The medication wore off instantly. I had a sore spot on my chest and a bandage I noticed. We got back to the room and Stephanie smiled. I loved her so much. I was so lucky.

The doctors came in immediately and said they had new orders for me. They were changing up my medication a bit, and I could now with comfort do stairs slowly and return to normal activity slowly. So going to Boston on Monday was fine but no running around town afterward they joked. I laughed and so did Stephanie. I told them what happened with me missing the nurse and not having had my medication. They were going to call the VNA and have someone meet me at the house as soon as possible. I would see a change in a couple of pills as the nurse would get the new medication before coming over. They told Stephanie actually, that the visiting nurse was going to be discontinued and could she have the visiting nurse go over the medication with her. I didn’t need the visiting nurse for my heart but I would still have one as my feeding tube required one. The doctor who did most of the talking said they wanted to see me next week just to run the reading. If that came back good, we would extend the visits out longer. They asked if we had any questions, and Stephanie did confirm a nurse would be coming and coming tonight to help her get the medications straight. They said correct, and we were off!

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Radical Will Part 11 Speedsplatt of My Anorexia Recovery

Anorexia is a very strange disease never mind deadly and insidious. It can come out of no where particularly like it did for me. I am aware of triggers that made my anorexia the imperfect storm.

Starting up school to work on my Ph.D. was the trigger for me. My perfectionism bled right through my school to my body to every facet of my life. The high in the beginning is so crazy and sickly beautiful. But as I lay on the guest bed with Stephanie rubbing my boney back, I am at a place of total disgrace for myself and what I let myself become. I loathe myself, I can’t and don’t want to look in a mirror. It has been close to a year since I have had my picture taken.

Stephanie reminds of my smoothie and my phone appointment with Pam. I haven’t talked to her in three weeks since the heart attack I think I will be ready to go back to regular appointments real soon. I am grateful that she have a phone appointment-she says she usually doesn’t do it but in my  case with a heart attack she would make an exception.

I sat up shaking, I think it was all the medication in my body. I had no idea all that I was taking. The visiting nurse gave me a handful of pills every morning and again in the evening. In between Stephanie gave a couple herself. I didn’t even know where the bottles were kept or how long I would have to be on so many pills. I had an appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow and I hoped to get to ask some questions. I felt like I was a living time bomb and I wanted to know if that was really my case. Stephanie asked me how I was feeling. I looked at her with my sad eyes and just shrugged my shoulders. She told me I should probably use the bathroom before my call started with Pam in 10 minutes. I got up slowly, feeling unsteady and weak, and Stephanie helped to the bathroom. We capped my feeding tube since I was going to be drinking my smoothie. It was so good to get away from the pole and the pump. We got me into the bathroom and I had said I was fine. There was no way Stephanie was going to watch me pee. I am such a private and modest person. I didn’t want her to even see me like I was, but it was way too late for that. I went to the sink to wash my hands and brush my teeth, Stephanie knocked on the door and asked if she could come back in. She said Pam had just called, to see if I had any eating history or my emotional charts done to fax over to her before the call actually happened. Stephanie thankfully let her know I had not been doing that stuff but we would start up today. I don’t think Pam knew just how bad my heart attack was, and Stephanie told her, I was consistently doing my smoothie and being seen by a visiting nurse twice a day. I finished my teeth and hands and thanked Stephanie for taking the call from Pam. I hoped she wasn’t mad or thought that I was not complaint.

At 3:00 pm my phone rang, I answered it and was Pam. I asked her if I could put her on speaker phone. She said no problem so I did and laid down on the couch in the study. Stephanie stepped out of the room. Pam started and asked me kind questions about where I was at with the heart attack. She said it was getting close to a worst case scenario. She didn’t mean to scare me, she was telling me from her experience as a ED therapist. I asked her, “I am really concerned my metabolism is playing a role in my inability to stabilize my weight or put any back on.  I think I am having an appointment with an endocrinologist.” She told me she knew of a great one in Boston that dealt with a lot of eating disorders patients. I  asked her, “Could you later text me their name and number and what hospital they are affiliated with?” She said absolutely and that she wanted to keep this appointment to no longer to a half hour. She continued, “At this point what I am looking for is you getting back to normalcy and continuing with our plans of filling out the forms I had given to you. Corey are you well enough to get started with the eating and feelings journals? I would like you to fill out them daily?”

I said, “Yes, I will start it today.” Pam continued,” The work we have to do just got harder and we have lost three weeks of time, so I will be asking a lot of you. Don’t worry about writing about Radical Will right now. If you could do the eating journal and feelings/thoughts journal daily that is a great place for us to pick up. I think by the week after next you will be okay to come to my office. So I am so grateful you are okay. Let’s talk next week at this same day and time. I will text you my fax number so please fax your weekly journals to me like a half hour before the appointment begins.” I said, “Okay.” Then I asked her “Was there anything I could take naturally that would slow down my metabolism?” She said, “I don’t know of anything natural but I would suspect some of your heart medications may have a similar effect. There is an anti-depressant drug called Remeron that is known to make your metabolism sluggish. However I want you to be seen by this endocrinologist in Boston.” I thanked her and she told me to hang in there. She would be texting me the information she had promised. We said good bye, and I hung up the phone.

I sat up and felt dizzy I did not try to stand. I drank some of my smoothie and needed Stephanie to help me find blank copies of Pam’s journals. I needed to photocopy them and put two in a folder I could use throughout the day. I went to stand up and oh boy I wasn’t ready. I needed to try to eat at least a yogurt. I called out to Stephanie. She didn’t come so I guessed she was upstairs. I texted her, I know it seems obnoxious but she told me to do it, my voice is not very loud. She was downstairs in a second, told me she folding laundry. I was so scared of burning her out with my needs, I had a script for a home health aide that would do cleaning and laundry, I really told I wanted to do that. She looked at me very sadly, and said she wanted to do everything and hopefully I would be much better before she had to return to work in just three short weeks. She asked about the appointment with Pam, and I started to cry. I told her Pam said we were almost at the worse case scenario and that scared me. I heard Pam’s texts come into my messenger and I told Stephanie about her suggestion for the endocrinologist in Boston. She said could I get the name and the number from my phone. She was going to call them right now, after looking them up on the internet. I got her the numbers and told her I needed to eat a yogurt and get the pole and the pump because as soon as I was done with the yogurt I needed to be back on the pump. She jumped up and went to get everything. I felt so bad that I was so over-using her and she was my very best friend. I was worried I was blowing our friendship with my illness. Another demise to add to the heap of my incredible insanity with starvation that I once saw as my best friend and now was my worst enemy.

I ate the yogurt and Stephanie looked up the doctor on-line. She said she seemed extremely qualified and it made mention of her work specifically with ED patients. Stephanie called, and explained the situation to whomever answered the phone. They made me an appointment for next week and gave Stephanie a fax number to have all my medical records faxed down to them. I thanked Stephanie for doing that and asked her to come sit next to me. I told her I was really worried that we weren’t going  to be the same best friends because of this illness and all my complications. She said I was right, my heart sunk, I started to cry. She said, “Oh no Corey, you didn’t let me finish. We aren’t going to be the same best friends, we are going to be closer than that! This has made me love you so much as my friend.” she said, “I feel the same way, but I am  worried about not being a best friend right back.” I told her my parents wanted to come up and stay and that would give her a break I wanted her to consider it. I asked her when my appointment was scheduled for next week? She told on Monday morning at 10 am. I said I better call my primary care and get them to fax down my records. I texted Pam first and asked her to fax my records to the doctor for next Monday’s appointment. I called my primary care office. The receptionist was so happy to hear from me she said she had heard what happened. I explained I needed my records faxed to the doctor for my appointment on Monday and that I was seeing the cardiologist tomorrow. Could she please let my doctor know? She said she had written a note and would make sure everyone was on the same page. Oh I lastly told her to let my primary care doctor know I had had a phone appointment with Pam my ED therapist today. I thanked her and told me to call me with any questions. And also could she find out when my primary care wanted to see me in the office? I hung up the phone and felt like such a loser. Here I was making a big mess out of  my once completely  healthy body, I was so fucked in the head. I couldn’t stand myself and so I decided to get on the computer and start to write my short narrative of my anorexia. It was going to be called the “Illness of My Discontent.” I asked Stephanie to help hook my feeding tube back up and told her I was going to start writing my narrative on anorexia. I would be taking English Comp in the next semester and the narrative was the first paper we would write. I was really super motivated for some reason to be productive and not sick for a little bit. I started to write the opening paragraph, I had already written it, as I had lived it already and it was easy but gut-wrenching to write about the pain of disgust I experienced from some students before I went into the hospital. I don’t blame them one bit, I was a sorry, pathetic person, who was so twisted in the head.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Radical Will Part 10 Breakdown

I was lying down in the study. I was so scared and frightened I sort of wanted to be back on the monitors in hospital.

I didn’t feel safe. I knew I wasn’t safe. My body was failing me in every way and I tried to put on a brave face especially for Stephanie. I had a visiting nurse come to check me once in the morning and once in the early evening. She did an EKG every time she was here because they still weren’t normal and the risk of A fib was high. I was so sick on all the medication I was taking for my heart. The scale had gone down to an almost 10 pound loss. I didn’t even bother getting on the scale everyday. It didn’t make me happy and I knew there was something up with metabolism. I knew from reading ED could cause things to mess up your own natural metabolism and slow it down than before you had ED. That wasn’t the case with me I think my starvation was so extreme and fast my body was just going through everything I ingested really super fast.

On my third day home I got a call from my primary care doctor. He had reviewed my EKGs and my weight and was ordering another feeding tube and wanted me to go to the lab at the nearby hospital and get some blood work done. He was very concerned but said I seemed to have hardly any damage to my heart. He told me my biggest concern was to do whatever I could do with the help of the others of my Radical Will team to get my weight up. It was just too low and any lower and I would be admitted to a medical floor at the hospital.  I told the doctor I was eating and doing nothing  activity wise, that my metabolism was out of whack and Pam my ED therapists was looking up endocrinologists who might be able to help me. My primary care was pleased to hear that and said he would like to see me in his office a week from now. I said fine and I waited for the receptionist to pick up so I could schedule a visit next week. I got that taken care of and let Stephanie know through over whelming tears that I was getting another feeding tube. I also needed to get to the hospital for blood work my doctor didn’t want to wait for the visiting nurse to draw it tonight and get the results back tomorrow-he wanted them today.

So I got up and Stephanie had so kindly put clothes out for me. I needed help getting ready, I felt so pathetic and like a baby.  Stephanie was so kind, she didn’t seem to mind about taking me to the hospital to get my blood work done. She had been so wonderful through this whole sickness but since the heart attack she was even more right there for me whenever I needed something she always handled it-I had no idea how I could ever repay her for all her help and loving kindness. I knew there wasn’t another person who would ever treat me as well as her. Stephanie reminded me I had a phone appointment with Pam later today so we should get going so I had some down time between going to the lab and my appointment with Pam. I felt so weak to my very bones; this was more than tired this was my body expiring I just knew it. I felt I could feel like I really was dying. I went to the kitchen and grabbed a prescription shake I needed to have my smoothie also today. I just wanted to put on a few pounds even. I would feel safer about my body and I needed to get rid of the stress and strain my mind was putting me through. I sat down at the kitchen table and tried to open the drink. I couldn’t get the cap twisted off I was just too weak. I laid my head down on the table and just wept. I used to be the epitome of health I was a former division I full-scholarship basketball player and had turned to running after basketball and was very much in shape all lean with muscles. I was also very slender but with the all the lean muscle I weighed 130 pounds and people thought I was too skinny then. Stephanie found me in the kitchen all heaped in a mess of tears and embarrassingly a running nose. I thought how my friends told me she liked me more than a friend. I was sure that seeing me so pathetic Stephanie was no longer attracted to me. I didn’t know how I felt about it I loved her so much as my friend but I think I wanted her to like me and that was clearly not going to be the case with my pathetic mess of my withering body.

Stephanie opened the shake bottle for me, and got me Kleenex and told me she loved me, and she was so sorry I was sad. I told her it was all my fault. There was nobody else to blame, I had done this all; all this damage to myself through starvation. I was really starting to despise myself and I found it very hard to get my mind to a place that wasn’t destructive upon my mind and body. I drank half of the shake, and told Stephanie I was ready to go.

We got to the hospital and went straight to registration. The little bit of being up and out was wearing me out really fast. I was so embarrassed I really wanted a wheelchair. How sad is that I had a perfect body and now was reduced to wanting a wheelchair? I fought with myself and told myself to suck up you pathetic piece of shit. I wasn’t even truly worthy of a wheelchair. They were for people who didn’t make themselves sick to the point on being on the verge of dying. Registration called me, they had me down for the lab and also the placement of the feeding tube. I was so mad I thought the visiting nurse would do it at home. I was going to be out in public with it and that made me just go quiet, I had no more words.

First I went to gastric services and waited for half an hour before they called me. Stephanie asked me if I wanted her to come. I said no but I really wanted her to be with me. It was just so humiliating and embarrassing. They took me to a procedure room and I laid back and they sprayed my throat with hurricane spray. The nurse that did it was nervous, she aimed the tubing the wrong way and it felt like it was coming out through my eye. I asked her to stop. I said, “Is there someone experienced to do this?” They weren’t very happy but she clearly was not the person for me. Another nurse, a guy, came in said he had done this many times it should be no problem. It went really smoothly. I thanked him as they got me a pump on a pole with wheels and hooked up a bag to start pumping. They asked me if  I had someone in the waiting room because they wanted to send me home with more bags of nutrients. They got me back out to the waiting room and Stephanie could tell I was not okay. They gave the bags and we quickly left. I told what happened and she hugged me tight. I teared up again and said let’s just go to the lab so we can go back home.

I was in and out of the lab. Thankfully that went smoothly and Stephanie went to get the car. She came back in and unplugged my feeding tube and capped it so we could get the pump into the backseat. We finally got home and I was just crying my back was so against the wall and there was no way for me to fix this quickly or without pain and probably more health problems. We got me hooked up to the pump, and I asked Stephanie for another favor…..I knew I was wearing her out. I asked her to make me my smoothie I drank everyday. I was going to laydown on the guest bed. I wanted to cry I felt bad for myself, but no tears would come. I closed my eyes and I prayed for help I prayed forgiveness and one more chance. I closed my eyes I was so tired………

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Radical Will part 8 Cardiac Arrested

Okay so I don’t remember much about being in ICU. I was not stable and my heart continued to set off alarms I might have developed some PTSD from those monitors. Every time they went off I worried what was wrong with me. Sometimes an electrode had just fallen off.

I was able to see my ex wife, my sweet daughter Bella, and Stephanie. My parents who winter in Florida were ready to hop on the next flight but I asked them not to come. I was with the people I loved and needed not that I don’t love my parents dearly it is just I needed to rest and anymore people added would not be good for me. I was scared to death now of myself and my body. My heart really stopped. More than once. I vividly remember most of the ER until I think they had to shock me. I was so dazed, confused and had no clue as to what day it was or what time it was. I had no appetite so once again with all the wires, tubes, lines running all through me, an NG-feeding tube was inserted through my nose. Brilliant is what I said when I got that news. I wanted to cry but I had no tears. My emotions to everything were sort of suspended in animation.

Days went by and slowly but surely my body started to stabilize itself. The monitors hardly went off, but the medications I was taking were taking me away. I felt so altered. Not quite sure how to better describe it. I was different. I felt different. I was different. Death, the idea, the reality had shown up in grand fashion. I needed tests to determine the damage to my heart but I needed to be stable. Finally, it was 7 days since the attack I was moved to the cardiac unit where I was the youngest by 30 years. I wasn’t planning on spending a lot of time there. Stephanie was the best friend I could ever ask for-she never once left my side. I realized how much I loved her and how I would always keep that to myself. I mean I told her I loved her because I did love her as a friend, but I really was in love with her beyond  friendship. I spent 10 days on the cardiac unit and had all kinds of tests done and of course I had the feeding tube.

It was a January 18th, that I got the okay to return home with strict limitations and a script for a visiting nurse. My activity levels were completely leveled and I had to stay on the first floor of my place. Stairs were to be done very minimally. Stephanie had gone to the pharmacy and picked up all my scripts. We drove home and that is when I cried. I cried hard, I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Stephanie just held my hand and squeezed it every so often. I had no idea where to begin with my life. However, I was limited to only my primary care and cardiology appointments for two weeks. I worried about Radical Will. Stephanie made phone calls and got both Amber my nutritionist and Pam my ED therapist to do phone appointments with me. I was so grateful for that, she had no idea.

I wanted to get to a place where I could go weigh myself. Stephanie was getting the guest bedroom all set up for us to move into. I was supposed to have help when I undressed or bathed, so I asked Stephanie if she could help me get my clothes off so I could weigh myself. We finally got me down to my underwear and I stepped onto the scale. It was down 7 pounds in total even with having the feeding tube. I really needed to talk to Pam. I wasn’t fucking around with this illness anymore. It was trying to kill me; I was close and I was petrified.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Radical Will part 7 Woke Up Not Feeling Right

I woke up feeling tired and off. Something did not feel right with me. It was Friday New Year’s Eve and my primary care after talking to Pam decided to see me the next day. I was of course worried about the scale but besides that I wasn’t okay. Not sure what else to say.

I got up slower than usual and it took extra time to put on my gear to go to the store and get my coffee with Julia Bleu. We made it but it wasn’t all that pretty. We settled into the study at about 3:00 am and I started working on my blog.

Didn’t have a clue as to what to right about. Tomorrow I would write about New Year’s resolutions of course. I had many I wanted to complete this coming year. I was going to be intentional in my Radical Will self care for starters.  What could I possibly write about today? A look at the year in review, seemed liked the most twisted of ideas I could up for myself. Detailing the past year of starvation wasn’t looking all that promising to probably anyone but me. I settled on New Year’s Eve celebrations and wrote how Stephanie and I rang in the New Year.

The coffee started hitting me funny I didn’t feel right at all. My heart seemed to beating with skips it felt like hiccups in my heart. Then it happened, I got the numbness I had so fearfully dreaded. I called 911 and yelled for Stephanie. I was tight in my chest and I couldn’t catch a deep breath. I just kept talking to God to please do not let me die, I begged to live, I begged for mercy. Stephanie was putting on her clothes and the paramedics showed up I was able to hang up the phone with 911. They came in with all kinds of machines. They laid me onto a board and started an IV and gave me pills to put under my tongue. I asked them all of them any of them if I was going to be alright? One nice lady answered me I need to not worry. I was being taken care of, as the numbness went over to my shoulder and my chest got so tight I really couldn’t breath, It set off all the monitors. I was crying and asking was I going to be okay. They were talking to doctors at the hospital. I panicked and looked for Stephanie. She was standing quite close and I told her I loved her and if I wasn’t okay please tell Bella I loved more than anything in this entire world, They started to carry me down the stairs but the monitors were all going off. I could see Stephanie crying as she held my pug Julia Bleu. Finally we got to the ambulance, I hadn’t realized it but my shirt was ripped wide open. I was feeling a little less stressed. However the pain in m chest stopped me from breathing. I had on an oxygen mask I  didn’t like it .Nobody could hear me talk.

At the hospital I was rushed into a great big open room with lots of medical people all doing things to me. Somebody asked me my name, another asked when did this start. I told them I woke up feeling very off. There were people everywhere and soon I saw Stephanie. She was all red from crying and I was still praying to God to please do not let me die tonight, I begged and I started to cry I did it I had killed myself by not eating, They went to take my chain with my cross off and I yelled NO! Leave it on. I continued it was part of my faith and right now whoever did that was an ass I said to all these people. They told me to relax, to close my eyes and breath deep. They were doing something to my chest washing it and drying it over and over. They asked me how I felt I said I didn’t know. All of a sudden something was stuck into my chest. A probe or a needle with electric shock. They asked how I was feeling I said very tired but I felt these zappies. They told me they were fixing the electricity of my heart.. I was so tired I closed my eyes…….

The next thing I woke up with a bunch of people around me and I saw Stephanie and my ex wife.  They came up one on each side me. They were both crying and I didn’t know why. Stephanie said it was so good to see me open my eyes. Camie said I love you even though when you are better we will talk about you and how your daughter needs you and you can’t leave us not now! The nurses came over and asked them both to let me be for a minute. I didn’t know where I was in the hospital. I asked where I am right now? One of the nurses told me, “You are in ICU. ” “I didn’t have heart attack did I?”

Stephanie came over , and said, “Corey you did have a heart attack you almost died early yesterday morning.” What has happened to me why have I been asleep so long I never sleep? A doctor came over and introduced himself. He said that they put me in a slight medical coma to calm my body down. I started to cry, and Stephanie and my ex wife came over the bed and hugged me tight…..

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016..