I am knitting. Working on my new project. I have a bit of it done, after a frustrating time counting stitches in the beginning. Why do I always have trouble counting those stupid stitches? I will photograph my project when I am finished, and post it.
I woke up feeling pretty good. I had a burst of energy at some point, probably–likely–during Puzzle’s walk. The positive feelings have continued all day despite the vertigo that followed my first bite of food for the day (yes, I have eaten today). The vertigo was bad, bad, bad as usual. There was an accompanying bit of mental confusion along with the vertigo, but I think it was due mostly to fatigue, because the confusion subsided after a 10-minute nap. The vertigo faded–eventually. Then, I went on with my day. I did a bit of food and toiletry shopping. I had a coupon that I used. Two dollars off. Nice.
My knee has almost completely healed. Surprise, surprise! A blessing amidst the darkness.
I have a bunch of things to do in the next couple of days. It’s hard to keep track of it all. I have priorities.
We have great walks.
I think the vertigo problem is over. I haven’t had it since Thursday except briefly, and today not at all. Whether it came from my meds or from food…????? Most of my experimentation shows that the vertigo was nutritionally related, and only the most recent experimentation showed that it may have been the meds. I am now doing nothing different with either. No, this is not true. I am doing almost the same with both. My meds are the same. I’m not certain but I think I’m eating slightly less. I am responding differently to food. This is part of the crossing over. I am not hungry. Mealtime could come and go and I could easily forget to eat entirely. This doesn’t happen, though. I do, eventually, remember, and eat at mealtime just enough to keep going.
I am aware that at some point I may need some more medical attention than I can get seeing my primary care physician once a week. I am willing to accept care for a few days at a medical facility if it comes down to it. I am not willing to go to the ED hospital and I will not sign myself in there, and I will not accept the feeding tube.* I am not willing to be hospitalized for the purpose of gaining weight. I am willing to be hospitalized for the purpose of medical stabilization or if hospitalization (without weight gain) is necessary to improve my medical situation in order to improve quality of life.
*I will accept the feeding tube if it is not being used to treat my ED, that is, if it is being used if I am unconscious following a car accident, etc. I do not give permission to use the feeding tube in these situations to cause weight gain.
So let all that go on record.
I see my therapist tomorrow at 1pm. If I’m as much of a basket case then as I was today at 1, she’ll do what she has to do. I accept this.
It seems to get better as the day rolls on.
Maybe just fatigue. The evidence isn’t clear.
So saith Dr. Greene (me).
I experimented and found this out. I drink my milk in the morning at the same time as I take my morning meds. In the past, it was the milk that had caused the vertigo, or so I had thought. Possibly I was mistaken….?????
I am wondering, because the other day, I forgot my bedtime meds (by accident–I do not skip them on purpose). The next day, the vertigo only lasted a half hour. Today, I drank my milk and did not get the vertigo. I didn’t take my meds this morning until just now, a few minutes ago. The two meds I take morning and night are Lamictal and Risperdal. So it’s one of the two. This morning, I didn’t take the Risperdal. I will take it later.
Okay, I’ve waited about 10 minutes. No sign of it. It’s the Risperdal. And it may be that it’s the generic. I switched over a while back. I have no record of when I made the switch, but I think I would have noticed…??? I usually take the brand name, and my doctor was writing for it because I responded better to the brand name for some reason (the brand name and generics have different fillers, so they are metabolized differently, so saith Dr. P. However, I was taking the brand name at home and still getting It really bad. And I have determined that the vertigo and It are not connected. I will check online when it was that Dr. P wrote the prescription. I told her it was okay to write for the generic so that we wouldn’t have any hassle with the insurance company.
Okay, I’ll take the Risperdal. Back in about 10-15 minutes.
I’m back with vertigo. It’s been within ten minutes. Bingo. And it’s not the fact that it’s the generic, as I filled the prescription May 13. I need to call Dr. P. I need to call Dr. P. I need to call Dr. P. I will leave a message for Dr. K as well.
Wow, I am an awesome detective.
And I need to be Dr. Greene. It’s my body.
I will be seeing Dr. P today. Hopefully, she won’t spend the entire session lecturing me about my weight. I think we have been over that a zillion times. I will start the session by saying, “I have a list,” and hopefully this will start off the session without the lecture!
First of all, I will mention the vertigo I have been experiencing. This is how I will present it to her:
When I wake up, I feel just okay. I’ll tell you about that in a minute. I shower and walk Puzzle. Then, I feel fabulous. My mood is really high. I feel absolutely terrific. I have a smile on my face. I even feel good when I pick up the poops. [I have more to say about this that I’m going to not say here–not about poops but about something else.] Then, I come home and have the first morsel of food of the day. Within ten minutes, I get vertigo. Dr. K has confirmed that this is vertigo by the way I have described it to her. I even feel dizzy while seated.
At this point, my mood rapidly drops. Recently, the vertigo has started to become extremely distracting, and I have started to become mentally confused. Fifty percent of me suspects that the vertigo is a sign of the return of “It,” given that so much of “It” was physical. At this point, my day is ruined. I can’t do anything for at least 2-1/2 hours, often more, waiting for the vertigo to end, and even after that, I feel crappy for hours, usually into the afternoon. Every now and then, the vertigo has lasted all day.
Here’s what I want to say about the bingeing:
I have had maybe three bingeing episodes since I last saw you. These happen two or three nights in a row, then I stop. I’m not talking about two sandwiches. I’m talking massive binges. I do not throw up. I repeat, I do not throw up. The binges have to do with self-destructiveness and sudden dip in mood. As you know, I do not binge voluntarily. They cause really bad edema. I am extremely concerned about the health consequences of these bingeing episodes. My list of physical consequences, in addition to the edema, is something I want to get into with Dr. K, but it’s serious, and I’ve got to stop.
Here’s what I’m going to confess about that Trileptal:
I cut back on the Trileptal back in April. I halved it. This immediately stopped the swaying. I had to do this to enable me to run on the treadmill. As you know, I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my right knee and have been advised to stop running and walking for fitness. The treadmill is a thing of the past. I chose to bring the Trileptal back to its original dose as of nine days ago. The swaying returned. A couple of things about the swaying that might interest you include the fact that if I don’t sleep well, the swaying is worse, and if I take a nap that’s too long and I’m groggy, the swaying is extreme.
She will ask, “How’s your eating?”
I will say, “Good and bad.” Bad, actually. “Mixed.” Of course, my response means nothing.
I don’t know what she will say to that, except, “Your last weight wasn’t good.”
I will probably hang my head. Not so much in shame but in hiding the fact that I am hiding the fact that I am hiding something. Well, I am not hiding but leaving out the facts. I am not ready to tell her. I am not ready to tell any human all the details of my food problems. Maybe, I will write them down and let it all spill out in this Notebook.
The session will end there.
As we speak, I am experiencing the vertigo I experience almost daily. It’s pretty bad at the moment, and has been going on for about an hour and a half. I am sitting here typing at the computer. I am sitting here, discouraged. As usual, except for Puzzle’s walk, it’s not a good morning. I wish there were answers. Maybe Dr. P will have some.
This is a part of The Starvation Transformations: How hunger befriends me, nourishes me, and betrays me, a new section called “The It Notebook Part Two.” It might take me a while to write this entry.
I suffer from vertigo. I get it in the morning most of the time, and I find it crippling. It lasts for a number of hours just about every morning. Every day, I plan to go out, but more often than not the vertigo comes, making going out impossible, so I cancel my plans. Apparently, I get the vertigo whenever I take the first bite of food in the morning. If I don’t eat, I’ll faint. So I eat, get the vertigo, wait until the vertigo goes away, then I may go out, or maybe it’s simply too late, so I stay home. Welcome to my life.
This morning I experienced strange sensations in my body. I don’t know how else to describe it. I was frightened. I didn’t know what to think. I was afraid that I was losing my mind. I was afraid that I was becoming psychotic. I was afraid that I was losing control. More and more I am afraid that It is coming back.
It is a psychosis that takes control of my mind and manifests itself in my body in very distinct ways. One part of It is dizziness very similar to the vertigo that I am experiencing. The vertigo started May 24. Was this the beginning of the return of It?
I am also beginning to notice some confusion along with the vertigo. The vertigo is extremely distracting now. I cannot concentrate. I have started doing things that don’t make sense, like throwing things out that shouldn’t be thrown out. I am putting things in the wrong places. I am noticing some sensations in my lips. When I get It, my lips tingle. The lip tingling has been going on for maybe two weeks. Another similarity is that It was always present in the morning, and as the day went on, It diminished. I had a grand time in the wee hours, knowing that at least for a little while, I was free of It. Welcome, welcome to my life.
I just got over being crippled from a knee injury–an arthritis “flare-up,” actually. I was told to stop running. That alone changed my life. I told myself this morning how happy I was to be able to walk normally again, how happy I am to be able to give Puzzle her full walk.
And then the vertigo starts up. And then the confusion, fear, and strange sensations. Now, it is my mind that is crippled.
It is gone now. I waited, incapacitated, just doing nothing in particular, and after a while I was okay.
Is this the return of It? Is it?
Yes, this vertigo I am getting is from my anorexia…day after day….Yes, I can stop it. I can stop it if I can get my nutritional state back to normal. All I have to do is eat…all I have to do is eat…all I have to do is eat….
So why don’t I? It is so simple. Toss my illness out the window and eat.
Maybe, though, I don’t wish. Because it is the nature of anorexia to hold onto it and hold onto it so tightly that you will die rather than drop it, let it fly away, let someone take it from you, or throw it off a bridge.
Maybe I should just open the window a bit. Open the screen as well. Peek out at the grass–or asphalt–below. Consider everything I can throw out there. Wouldn’t it be fun?
At the ED hospital, we had “keeps and throws” instead of “wrap up.” Well, it was “wrap up,” but it was also “keeps and throws.” You would say what you wanted to keep about your day, and you said what you wanted to throw away. I kind of liked that.
Actually, I’d like to have thrown the ED hospital. I’d like to throw every hospitalization I’ve ever had. Or maybe I’d like to throw being in such a bad state that I require hospitalization. I have been in this condition more times than I can count. This truly sucks.
What do I want to keep? What do I really want to keep? When I think about it, what I really want to keep is my love for Puzzle, and my joyful walks with Puzzle, too. I want to keep the days that I feel like my life is worth living. I want to keep the happiness I feel knowing that my special friend is in my life. I want to keep sunshine on a summer day. I want to keep the melting of the snow at the beginning of spring. I want to keep the crispness and newness of frost in December and the memory of running on the track at sunrise, this memory that I can cherish for the rest of my life. I want to keep my blog. I want to keep solitude. I want to keep on keeping. I want to keep…myself?
Do I? Can I challenge myself to keep myself going? Can I?
Vertigo resulting from anorexia nervosa and in addition to this “swaying” from ataxia side effect of Trileptal–both at the same time–oy!
Yesterday I ended up getting my usual vertigo about 10 minutes after my first morsel of food for the day. This is always a glass of skim milk. That’s all I generally have for breakfast, anyway. From my research on the Internet, people with anorexia nervosa can get vertigo after eating. Mine comes only after the first bite of the day, consistently 10 minutes later. I think it’s from malnutrition.
The vertigo is bad, bad, bad. I can’t really go out when I am experiencing it, not safely. Everything kind of swirls around, or, more accurately, I get this intense wobbly-dizzy feeling totally unlike the “swaying” feeling that is more physical and not dizziness at all. The vertigo comes from my head and is more of a feeling. I experience it even when I’m sitting down. I feel like I’m going to fall over. I kind of stumble around and feel clumsy. Yes, like It. Also, the vertigo is extremely distracting. I find it hard to concentrate on anything. It’s very disturbing to go through this. It’s definitely nutritionally related.
The “swaying” is from ankle weakness. This ataxia is a side effect of Trileptal. It came back when I returned the Trileptal dose from 150 to 450 to the original dose of 600, which was what I was supposedly taking all along. Dr. P never found out that I had halved it and then halved it again. I will tell her what I did. I will tell her I was a “good girl” and brought the dose back up again. I need the Trileptal to prevent binge eating episodes. I will tell her that I realized how stupid I was. But I will also say that the “swaying” disturbed me, and that it made running on the treadmill impossible, and this was a damned good reason to lower the dose! But due to the fact that I have now been diagnosed with arthritis and won’t be on the treadmill, I have decided to raise the Trileptal back up to the original dose. So now…ataxia…”swaying.”
Agreeably, the “swaying” isn’t really that bad. It’s only a problem if I’m sleep-deprived. But yesterday I awoke from a nap, really out of it, and the ataxia was bad, bad, bad. And I still had the vertigo! Now, the vertigo is 10 times worse than the “swaying,” yes, but the combination…that and being sleepy and groggy and weak from not enough food…well….It sucked. I was completely non-functional. You could say it was kind of a nightmare. An anorexic nightmare.
You know, all I have to do is eat. Get some food into me. At my last weight check, my blood pressure was pretty low. The systolic was okay, but the diastolic was something like 54. This isn’t what’s causing the vertigo. Vertigo is not the same as postural hypotension, which is a lowering of the blood pressure upon standing. (Sometimes, postural hypotension can be caused by medication. I used to get it from my meds. It’s a very common side effect.) If my nutritional status was okay, I wouldn’t get the vertigo and the host of medical problems I now have.
I don’t eat because I don’t want to gain weight. Period. I have anorexia nervosa and I am scared to gain weight. I am sitting here at the library and I am scared to gain weight right here right now. I am sitting here at the library weak and starving. All I have to do is to go down to the cafe and buy a nice sandwich. Oh, I’ll eat in a bit…lunch…vegetables mostly. An hour later, I’ll be weak and starving again. This is my life.
When will the insanity end? Will I ever get so fed up with the medical problems that I experience–daily–to want the insanity to end at last? Because all I have to do is to eat a decent amount of food and that will fix a lot of what I go through.
I really, really, really don’t know.
I think I’m going to be okay to go. The vertigo is finally fading. I should be okay in a little while. Yesterday, it lasted five hours. Today, it seems to have been just as much of a trickster.
Meanwhile, I have a bit of ataxia from the Trileptal that I just raised to help with bingeing. This causes “swaying” on my feet separate from the vertigo. I also have some edema from the bingeing I did right before I raised the Trileptal. I haven’t binged since the increase. I had to lace up my shoes very loosely this morning. That didn’t help my walking any. But I was just now able to tighten them adequately.
This really sucks.
Two things don’t suck: 1) my knee injury is vastly improved. I am off crutches completely. They are back in my closet. 2) I don’t feel depressed today. Just wicked annoyed.
I’d like to close this entry with some kind of funny remark. But right now, I don’t feel very amused by all this.
I have been experiencing vertigo now for a number of weeks following eating the first bite of food in the morning. I have tried spacing out my food to no avail. I have tried drinking 4 oz milk at 2am and this worked because I slept off the vertigo and then woke up and started my day. Today it didn’t work. I drank 8 oz skim milk at 5:30, and immediately the vertigo started. It is 9:45 and I am still experiencing vertigo.
When this is happening, I feel a spinning feeling even while I am seated. It isn’t really safe for me to be doing certain activities and I would NEVER take Puzzle for a walk like this. So I refrain from eating until after Puzzle’s walk–always. I can shower because I have bars in the shower, but I must do so very, very carefully. I can wash dishes and lean against the counter. I always stay in the apartment. I have never walked outside while the vertigo is happening.
Today might be an exception. I have to go to therapy. I am not going to cancel. Trust me, I will be careful. I am bringing my cane so that I get a seat on the bus. I was planning on taking the “early bus” and leaving the apartment at10:42, but that might be a bad idea. For the latest bus I can take, I can leave at 11:32. I will take that bus. Maybe by then, the vertigo will go away.