Wednesday, August 13, 2008

fine, you can keep a LITTLE anorexia..

I watched her go back and forth, I watched her breakdown, watched her get shipped off to the R-place and the ER.  Death threats, fainting, a nearly-collapsed lung.. I remember.  I wondered if there was an ending; if I would ever get to see my girl rise above.  At her worst, I was doing alright.  At my worst, she would be doing pretty well.  Not since freshman year of college were we actually ever in the same stage of recovery.

One stormy night in November, this girl trudged up through the storm-induced Connecticut traffic to visit me on the EDU.  One of the RCC's newest success stories, this was not the girl that I would sit with in my dorm room with combatting hunger with a shared loaf of Italian bread and water.  There was blatantly so much more to her this time, physically and emotionally.  She was more human than I'd ever seen her before.  She was happy.

We sat and talked on my bed for as long as visiting hours would allow.  She told me all about the RCC and how they finally got through to her on a level that her other treatment centers never could.  She explained how all the other centers would tell her, "Just make it to 105 and you'll be fine.  We'll let that be your ideal."  She hit 105.  She hit it several times and relapsed each time.  I found it interesting that she has a good 5" on me and I have also been told that I will be fine at an "ideal weight" of 105.. which, is low for me.

Finally, at the RCC, someone told her that your body will know when it hits it's "ideal weight".  There's a shift in your whole chemistry.  Everyone has a different "ideal" just like everyone has a different body.  Only your body knows where that is.  She continued to work and gain and reached 120+ when she finally told her doctors that she was there.  They put her on maintenance that day.  Since then, yes, of course she has had some difficult times, but she's pulled out of them and happily maintained her weight by eating when she's hungry and whatever she wants.

So, why are we allowing patients to "give less" than 100%?  Why is 85% of "Ideal Body Weight (IBW)" what legitimately determines anorexia?  Why not 95%?  105 is not my IBW, but I've been told that I can "stop there".  I don't want to stop there.  I want to stop when I'm at my Ideal Body Potential.  If that means 115, 126, 132, then that's where I'll stop.

If you're going to be a treatment provider, then treat me.  Why are we cutting corners??

[This entry began as a comment in response to Laura Collins entry titled, "Why not 100%".]


Ai Lu said...

Wow! What a powerful response to why coverage for eating disorders should apply to everyone who struggles, regardless of their current weight. I wholeheartedly agree with you that "ideal body weight" is an arbitrary number, much better determined by the patient than by a medical chart.

Laura Collins said...

It is interesting how we all react to this issue.

But really COOL that we all are talking about it!

Ai Lu, what I get out of the idea that each person has their own metabolic 'center' is that the IBW is not determined by the patient ('s mind) but by the patient's body/brain connection. And that IS something the medical chart helps with - not by setting an arbitrary BMI, but by looking at vitals and metabolism and anxiety level and emotions.

Michelle said...

Great post.