I wasn’t sure when this day was going to happen. I have been battling anorexia for exactly two long years. I blogged about before it began, then when it began and was fun, I blogged about sickness, and my long road home to recovery-but I never told you about my first trip to Walden the Eating Disorders Hospital.
It was November 8th, 2014, and my ex-wife was driving me to this special hospital, where all they treat is eating disorders. I was sent there by my primary care, doctor. She said I would die if I did not go in. I backed a bag, and scared out of my mind, sad about dropping out of school for the semester, and saddest that I wouldn’t see my daughter Bella.
Walden is located in Waltham, MA a little over an hour for us to get there door to door. When we pulled into the drive, my ex-wife asked me if I wanted her to go in. I said I was fine, as I dragged my suitcase, which was too heavy for me to carry. I put on my brave face, and made it to the revolving doors. I watched as my ex-wife drove away, I was so scared I started to cry. I got into the building, and saw no obvious signs. Finally I ask, a patient I guess, “Could you tell me the way to get to Walden?” They pointed this way and that way, I think I got it or nearly close. I said thank you and continued to drag my bag to heavy for me.
I finally reached the admitting entrance for Walden, and I collapsed, I was so tired and thirsty from hauling my bag all over the place. I got up and tried to open the door, but I couldn’t do it. It was too heavy for me to hold, so this angry woman came out, didn’t say a word, and just grabbed my bag. I said, “Thank you very much.” No response from her. I slumped down into the seats. I needed a moment to rest. “Corey Britton, come this way.” I got up and followed the mean lady down the hallway. “Take off all your clothes and jewelry, and put on just this johnnie. I will be right back to get your weight.” Okay, I thought with a glimmer of hope, what if I weighed too much to get into this place. My thoughts were short lived, as the mean lady returned. “This way, follow me. Step on the scale and turn around.” “Turn around,” I said, what do you mean” “You don’t get to now your weight when you are at Walden. So turn around please.” I thought, what the fuck, I weighed myself every morning, and wrote it down and kept a record of it. How the hell was I going to know what was going on. “Step down, and now go please put back on your clothes. Have a seat I will be with you shortly/” Ok I thought, this has got to be the worst of things, between this lady and getting weighed in. I was thirsty but there was nothing to drink, or even eat in an eating disorders hospital. I let it all go, and prayed, that I weighed too much to get admitted.
Soon enough, the mean lady appeared carrying my suitcase in her hand. “Follow me, it is a ways to the unit.” I slowly followed right behind her. It took like forever to get there, she was not even joking, I got the doors, where she waited for me, and told me to follow her down the hall, and take a seat at the nurse’s station. Ok I thought, as long as I can sit, and hopefully get something to drink. I noticed others on the floor, and by my surprise they were all bigger than I. I thought the really sick ones, must be off in some other wing. I sat and I sat and nothing happened. Now I had to pee. The first person I saw, that looked like she worked there, I stopped. “I am Corey, is there anyway I can use a bathroom?” “UH, it will take a moment to get a person who can escort you to the restroom.” Escort me to the restroom? This must be a pretty big place. Finally a lady with a BIG MASS attitude, showed up and said, “Let’s go Corey,” What the fuck I had no idea where I was, but this place was whacked big time.
We got to the bathroom and she snapped at me, “You must use the restrooms while talking to me, and do not flush it is against the rules. Make it quick I am late for snack.” What the hell, talk to her while I pee, and don’t flush how embarrassing. I said, “Well you know my name is Corey. I am hoping to be gone very soon. I have a daughter back home.” I flushed and she immediately opened the door. Shit I wasn’t supposed to do that. I thought she was going to blow a gasket, she said nothing and I walked back to my seat. I thought as I looked around a bit more, there were a good amount of people on the unit, but none looked very sick to me. Maybe this anorexia has effected my eyes. “Corey, is this you?” “Yes it is. I have a small question is there something I can have to drink? I got here at 9:00 am and I get very thirsty as it is but I am really quite parched.” “Well we are going to meet with the medical staff, would you like some pedialyte?” “Sure, thank you, that would be great.” “Come with me Corey, my name is Jane, and I am in charge of the medical staff.” “Nice to meet you, I hope my stay will be very brief.”
“Corey, I must be honest with you, you are one of our sickest patients. I don’t know how long you have survived, but you are going to be here for quite awhile. “But I, ” ‘Corey just sit back and relax, the drink will be here very soon, and you should feel a little better. Has anyone talked to you about the placement of as feeding tube?” “NO, I don’t want that, I will call my family right away, I signed in voluntarily.” “Corey, you are very sick, and although you signed in voluntarily, we have safe measures to ensure your health, and you cant leave here, unless you fill out a bunch of paperwork. It gets reviewed, we make our decision, and if we have to we take you to court. This is all to keep you safe and well. Do you feel well, I would guess not?” “NO I don’t feel good, but this is not what my primary care told me this was all about. I need to call her right away, she wont want me in this situation.” “Corey, your primary care isn’t going to take you back in this condition.” I started to cry, from a place with no bottom, I was scared, I missed Bella, and I was all alone. I realized I always have someone with me. “I don’t want the feed-tube that is my right?” “Corey we decide because you cant do it how to best provide for you and your medical treatment. You need a feed-tube, there are kids all over this place, much healthier than you with them. It is a simple procedure, and our best person to do it is here right now.” Take a minute, do you need more juice/” “Yes please,” I said.
I was fuming mad at everybody, but mostly at myself. “I have no idea about a feeding tube, could you describe it and the procedure..? ” “Yes, my name is Denise, and I am the person who places most of the tubes. It really is a quick and easy procedure. It wont hurt not a bit, and for the gaging we give you hurricane spray. It is a tube, just like this one I brought, and we thread it up through your nose, and all the way down to your stomach, so you can be put on an electronic machine that will pump nutrients all day and night.”
“Ok, when is this going to happen?” “Right now if you follow me. We have a procedure room right next door. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.” They strung the tubing up my nose, I gaged, and they got it to my stomach. They put a big piece of plastic tape, running across my entire face. It was the single most humiliating experience. One that took this long for me to describe in detail, my first hours at Walden,Behavorial Hospital.
BORN THIS WAY-2016