Monthly Archives: July 2010
Typo found in Lamb’s Pride Dog Sweater Pattern….I fixed it….
Here’s the link to the pattern:
It is a stitch that I had eliminated, thinking that I had made an error, but now, upon looking at the pattern in hard copy, I realized that I was correct all along.
Puzzle’s “Coat of Many Colors” follows this pattern sort of, but doesn’t have the braid. I am using a quilted look on the back, and, of course, many colors. See my previous entry for the work in progress. I am further along with it as we speak.
A common error
I’m surprised this error isn’t made more often. When I was weighed on Monday, Dr. K put the 50-pound thingy into the 20 kg groove by accident. The 20 kg groove is right beside the 50 lb groove. It made my weight look way higher than it was.
I was shocked–and later, amused. Dr. K was in a hurry. She congratulated me, and left the room. I had gained 5-1/2 pounds. In order to do this, I would have had to gain 1-1/2 pounds, and then drink a half gallon of water. I didn’t. I lost a half pound.
This I admitted to my therapist. But I didn’t have time, in the brief 20 minutes that I met with Dr. P, to explain it to her. No wonder she told me I was “doing great” with my eating. Oh, Jesus. Looks like I’m going to “lose” a bit of weight next week. Well, well.
When I see Dr. K on Monday, I guess I’ll remind her to put the 50-pound thingy on 50 pounds, to avoid further mix-up. I wonder what she’ll say. Something funny, probably. She has a good sense of humor, that doc. I like her.
I went to see Dr. P today. I told her I was doing “not so great,” and that I was having moodswings. Highs and lows, and an underlying depression I couldn’t shake. I haven’t been depressed like this for five years.
She’s adjusting my medicine, saying that this may all be from having stopped the Thorazine last month. I tapered off Thorazine because I had been developing Tardive Dyskinesia. The taper, from 600 mgs to off Thorazine entirely, was very gradual, and entirely successful, or so I had thought. My first day of no Thorazine was June 10. The moodswings started July 6. About a month.
I can’t go back on Thorazine, because the TD will come back. TD is permanent. I was very, very lucky that I was able to rid myself of it by getting off Thorazine, but going back on it after getting off of it is asking for trouble, according to research. I no longer have TD. I no longer have extreme trouble with sunburn. I no longer have a dry mouth. These are wonderful things.
So Dr. P decided to raise one of my other antipsychotics. I take two other ones, Abilify and Risperdal. I told her not to raise the Abilify; doing so will make me binge. So she has raised the Risperdal from 4 mgs a day to 6. I am not thrilled about taking this amount of medication, but I suppose if it helps, it helps.
If this doesn’t work, we will raise the Topamax. Topamax is a medication given for migraines and seizures that is also a mood stabilizer. I find it’s pretty good for depression and bingeing. However, I question the necessity of a higher dose. We will see.
I am in a bad space
I would like to starve myself to death. After only a day or so, I wouldn’t be able to think straight, and I wouldn’t be capable of taking care of Puzzle anymore, so I wouldn’t be able to starve myself outright, for Puzzle’s sake. But I crave starvation, I desire it, I feel that it is something that I deserve.
I no longer want recovery from anorexia. I never wanted to gain weight in the first place. I am gaining only to please “them.” But not really. It’s all meaningless–the food, the cooking, the eating, the grocery shopping. It doesn’t mean I am getting better. It’s all show. It’s all a game. Sure, I love cooking. I love talking about food. I actually eat it–sometimes.
I see Dr. P tomorrow. Will I tell her this? Probably not. We have 20 minutes. About long enough for her to ask if I need refills, then I leave the office and walk back into the world.
I am afraid to tell her too much. I don’t know if she’ll say, “This is normal,” or if she’ll say, “You have to go to the ED hospital.” Or if she’ll say nothing at all.
I feel like I always have the ED with me. I am always thinking, “I am anorexic and I am marked.” I am always thinking about new ways to starve myself and how I can get away with it. It is on my mind constantly.
It is to the point where I do not even want to see my friends. I was planning to see some friends in New Hampshire on the 7th, and now I’m not certain that I’ll go, because the ED has been so troubling to me. I have a college reunion coming up in February in Port Townsend, and I wonder if I’ll make it to that. I just want to hide.
And when my therapist mentions that word, “progress,” I feel like such a cheater. What progress? She believes what she wants to believe. At least that’s the way it’s been for the past few weeks. Someday, all that will blow wide open.
Having an ED sucks. Don’t ever get one.
Proofreading This Hunger Is Secret
Most people find proofreading a tedious task. Right now, though, I’m enjoying it. My friend Teri is also going through the manuscript and finding various types of errors that I hadn’t picked up on: missing punctuation, repeated words, misspellings, and the like, but not too many of these. This Hunger Is Secret was originally my master’s thesis, after all, and I made a point of keeping errors at a minimum when I handed in my thesis to begin with. It has gone through a couple of revisions since my graduation. (Hey, it’s been almost exactly a year since I graduated!)
Meanwhile, I am going over the manuscript yet another time. I am still finding little inconsistencies. For instance, in my chapter, “At the Crossroads,” I stated that the program went on field trips that lasted all day Wednesdays. Then I stated that the doctor came on Wednesdays to see patients. Wait a minute. This couldn’t be right. How could the doctor see patients if everyone was out on a field trip? No, actually, when I searched my memory, I realized that the doctor came on Thursdays. Did it matter? Not really, but a careful reader might notice this inconsistency.
I did a couple of other things. Since submitting my manuscript to Chipmunka, I had revised my chapter, “Breakfast,” and had come up with two different versions, to use as possible stand-alone pieces. One of these I had designed for a reading I gave. I decided to substitute one of the new versions–with minor adjustments–for the original version in THIS. The differences are subtle, but Teri confirms that the new version is tighter, and an improvement over the original. And yes, she caught a spelling error in it. Thank you, Teri.
Another thing I did was to reverse the order of two of my very short chapters. In one chapter, “Kohlrabi,” I mentioned the character. In the second chapter, “A conversation from the past,” I introduced him. Doesn’t it make sense to introduce him first? Not necessarily, but in this case, it was a no-brainer. When I revised my short chapter, “Kohlrabi,” it was no longer a stand-alone, for many reasons, not just because of my reference to this character.
These were the only real structural changes, if you could call them that, that I made to the manuscript during this proofread. I couldn’t resist. You would never know that I did these at the last minute.
This brings back memories of late April and May, 2009, when I made last-minute additions to THIS and even changed the title right before the deadline, before mailing it in to my advisor, Darrah Cloud, and my second reader, Beatrix Gates.
I am reminded of my starvation days back then, of my intense fear that my therapist would hospitalize me right around the time that I was completing my thesis. After a particularly harrowing therapy session, I called Darrah in a panic, and told her what my therapist said, that she might hospitalize me, and that I should probably do something about getting the current version of my thesis in, though there was still a bit of time before the deadline.
I ended up sending Darrah my .doc files, and the converted .pdf files. It seemed to be an impossible task. I was so, so hungry, so starved, that I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing. Everything was a fuzz. And the added threat of hospitalization made the mental confusion all the worse.
I did come up with a newer version of my thesis after that, and did safely turn it in, early in fact. I graduated. I made it, ED and all. It was a joyous time. Not a cloud in the sky. But I was so cold, so very, very cold that summer.
I still get cold easily. And some people think that now that I am eating, I am “over” my ED. Huh? I am ruled by this stupid ED. Now just as much as ever, maybe more. I just eat. Go through the motions. Maybe that’s all I can expect of myself right now, just eating for Puzzle, for my friends, for my treatment team. Eating because I cannot go back.
But wow, do I ever miss starvation. You’d think that I would be happy to see it gone. I am not. I miss the feeling of a totally empty stomach. I miss hunger pangs. I miss feeling weak and starved. I miss putting off eating until I can’t stand it anymore. I miss eating as little as I possibly can. I miss the suffering, and the belief that I could suffer better than anyone else.
Some days, I feel ravenous. I feel hungry all day long. I feel like I could eat continuously. This is my body needing to repair itself from all the deprivation.
Other days, I feel no hunger. I have to force myself to eat. Or I forget to eat. These are the days when it gets tricky. It is getting like this more and more.
I am not saying that I am going downhill with my progress. I seem to be gaining weight right on schedule. My hair is even growing back. It is very, very noticeable. You can see the extra hair growing in all the way across a room. The new hair is very soft and healthy, as far as I can tell. There are many other changes that I am noticing, all proof that I am eating well and taking better care of myself. I wouldn’t be growing hair back if there wasn’t a truly dramatic change in my lifestyle, would I?
It is very strange that the threat of death did not scare me into eating. Why is this? I kept on doing what I was doing until they threatened to put me back in the ED hospital. Did I see this as being even worse than death? In my sick mind, yes.
Summer moves on. It is very hot here in Massachusetts, USA. Better that than cold. Maybe, by the time winter hits, I will have enough body fat to keep me a little warmer than I was last winter, whether I like it or not.
Delicious Stew – totally vegan – a recipe by Julie Greene
I put this stew together at 2am and it turns out to be about the best stews I have ever tasted. Better than meat. It came to me quite by accident and rather quickly and instinctively.
Here’s the story behind it:
Warning: a bit TMI. Humor alert as well. I decided to cook up a recipe distributed among friends I know on the Internet, a circle of women friends of mine scattered around the East and West Coasts who are very dear to me. We were all sold on this recipe, which I can’t post here, because it is not original to me and I don’t want to plagiarize.
I used spices from the Harvest Food Co-op in Cambridge, MA, where they are sold in bulk and are very fresh, much fresher than what one finds in the supermarket. Most of the other women were using supermarket spices. My result: a very, very spicy dish. The seasonings: 1-1/2 t coriander powder, 1-1/2 t cumin powder, 1/4 t cayenne powder, 1 c cilantro, chopped, a teaspoon of salt, and two minced cloves of garlic. I might be leaving something out, but you get the idea. With super-potent spices…you guessed it…the result was powerful indeed! Still, it was edible, for sure, as I can tolerate spicy food, but I would have been a little embarrassed to serve it to guests.
I awoke at 2am in shock. What was this odor? Oh my god! Had I–forgotten to shower? Everything–me, my sheets, my pillowcase, my nightshirt, my comforter, the air around me–reeked of BO! How could I stink so bad? Surely, this was a shower and laundry emergency at 2am! I couldn’t tolerate my own body! And my own bed! Did I smell this afternoon, too? I ran to check my shirt. Sure enough, my shirt smelled of BO, too. Everything smelled of BO. Had I in fact ruined my bed–permanently? Would I have to replace the futon? Oh, no!
But slowly, I realized what the odor was. I had embarrassed myself. The smell wasn’t me. It had gotten on everything, yes, but the smell didn’t originate with me. It was the huge amount of cumin I’d bought, not huge really, but it seemed huge enough to do this damage; that’s for sure.
I had to get rid of this odor. Otherwise, it would be permanent, or so I thought. I figured Febreze was out of the question. So I asked myself: What food could I boil up whose smell would mask the cumin?
Celery. Definitely. Cooked.
I chopped the celery into nice small pieces and put it in boiling waster. Then I told myself: Why not make a stew? I added the other ingredients.
Here are the ingredients:
2 stalks celery, sliced to quarter moons
2 or maybe 3 handfuls very small mini-potatoes, do not chop, peel, or slice
1 handful frozen carrot coins
About three fresh scallions
1 apple, cubed
1/4 cup whole barley
1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 generous shakes nutmeg (yeah, I used supermarket brand)
2 shakes salt
Very simple. Put all ingredients in a bunch of water, and boil for a long time, like ten minutes, then simmer for about a something like 45 minutes at least. Mixture should be quite thickened once cooked, like a stew. Allow to cool reasonably before refrigerating, so that it won’t burn your fridge.
I haven’t a clue whether this stew can be frozen or not as I haven’t tried doing so yet.
To see the rest of my recipes, click on the category, “recipes,” on the sidebar to your right.
How to cook a single serving of thick-cut rolled oats – instructions by Julie Greene
NOTE: I now make this oatmeal a little differently: Click here for new instructions, if you’re curious.
This is the best oatmeal I have ever eaten. I have cooked thick-cut oatmeal nearly every morning, have experimented considerably, and have come up with these instructions that make perfect oatmeal every time. Feel free to vary as desired.
1/4 cup thick-cut rolled oats
Roughly 2/3 cup skim milk – varies according to how thick you like your oatmeal
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/2 ounce raisins (one of those “little boxes”–I think it’s 3 tablespoons)
I would suggest using a pyrex 2 cup measuring cup with a handle if you have one, but you can use any 3 cup or quart size microwave safe bowl to cook your oatmeal. You will also need the type of microwave oven that has a very low heat setting. My microwave has nine heat settings. I use setting #1. Microwave ovens vary considerably; use your own judgment.
Start making this oatmeal immediately when you wake up. You will see why in a minute.
Place oatmeal in microwave-safe container. Add just enough milk to cover it. Place in microwave and heat on high for about a minute until mixture just boils. Stop microwave as soon as it boils, and make sure it doesn’t boil over. Then, set on very lowest setting, and cook for 25 minutes.
Walk the dog.
When you come back, the oatmeal will be very thick. Be careful removing it, and set it on the counter on top of a hot pad so the counter won’t burn. Stir in the remainder of the milk. The mixture will then be very thin. Place back in the microwave. Heat on high for about a minute, as before, and stop the microwave as soon as it boils, then heat on the very lowest setting for another 25 minutes.
Take a shower.
Remove the oatmeal from the microwave. The mixture will be somewhat thickened, but not quite cooked all the way. Do not be alarmed. Stir in butter, raisins, and sunflower seeds.
Do not skip this next step: Stir for about two or three minutes. Then, allow to cool, uncovered, for another three minutes or so. Now, the oatmeal will be completely cooked!
Enjoy your breakfast. Remember to chew the sunflower seeds thoroughly to get the full nutritional value. A delicious breakfast is a great way to start the day. I’m finding that out.
My sick mind will find any excuse
My brother set me straight yesterday. You probably would have. He is a physicist. He said that no way would a mere 4-1/2 pound weight gain cause knee injury, even though it’s over 5% of my body’s weight. Even though I gained it in three weeks. He pointed out that I don’t spend every waking hour on my feet. He said the knees are much more strained from climbing stairs than they are from a mere 4-1/2 extra pounds. He explained this to me over the phone, in plain terms that I could understand, and said I was just making up excuses not to eat and to lose all the weight I had gained.
And so I considered what he had said and felt like a fool.
And I went over the past two or so weeks in my mind: Hadn’t I been careless lately? Hadn’t I carried more on my back, in a knapsack, than usual? Surely, I had walked around more than I was accustomed to, considering that I didn’t walk around at all in May and much of June, given that I couldn’t support any exercise at all on what I was eating. On Friday, I carried home a ream of paper, two large bottles of mouthwash, and a number of other items on my back, maybe a mile on a slight uphill incline. Just my usual errands. Why the heck I didn’t use a rolling backpack is beyond me. That was probably the catalyst of it all. Stupid me.
Then my sick mind got to work. Extra weight, true, that very well may have done it. I began to obsess. I stewed. It escalated. Soon, I was in tears. By afternoon, I could think of nothing else, and by nighttime, I was sobbing. Kleenex covered my coffee table. I cried myself to sleep.
Is this “normal” for a person who is just starting to eat regularly again? Should I expect an occasional complete meltdown? I have been told that tearfulness, and having my feelings come out and overwhelm me, is totally normal and to be expected, but this? I don’t know. What is “normal,” anyway, and should I even be concerned with it?
Did I handle the whole thing appropriately, or did I act like a complete ass? No one heard me crying. I think the neighbors couldn’t hear me, because the walls aren’t that thin, and they are hard of hearing; I know this because they turn their TV’s up to an intolerable volume (you should hear “The Price is Right”). I threw the Kleenex in the trash–appropriate. I relied on my friends for support–maybe appropriate, maybe not. I would prefer if I had “turned to them,” not “relied on them.” Okay, not appropriate. I called my brother and blubbered. He’s getting used to this. No comment.
Through all this, I did eat. I cooked and ate. I took out my frustrations in the kitchen. I made homemade pizza last night. Appropriate. I even cleaned the counter after rolling the dough in flour. I used a pre-made frozen whole wheat dough that I bought at the food co-op. Cheater.
Today, I’m kind of baffled. Wondering about the future. Wondering just how much more stupid I can get. Wondering how much longer it will be before I can write again. I waste one heck of a lot of time dealing with this disorder, especially now.
The matching “Varsity” hat nearly completed!
Well, I don’t need to get this hat done till the weather’s a bit cooler. I plan to add a pom-pom. I’m going up to NH for the day on Wednesday and plan to start LL Greene Dog Sweater #16 at that time, the Coat of Many Colors I think I’ll call it. Eight colors.
I had a photo of me up here that I took with my webcam, but it photoed me backwards, and the J was backwards, so I took it off.