New here, and struggling with denial

I am a middle age mom who has been struggling with anorexia since I was very young. I was hospitalized at age 30 after an emergency hysterectomy threw me into a major episode of not eating. I got through it and we moved out of state shortly thereafter and I seemed to get back on track. Then I developed a small bowel obstruction from adhesions from the surgery of the hysterectomy. I had 3 obstructions in a row, 2 weeks between each obstruction. The surgeons that took care of me told me that they had been studying anorexic women and obstructions and that they had some theories about adhesions occurring more frequently in them because of the fact that the intestines shrink down when you are starving, allowing the scar tissue to wrap around them and strangle them. THAT got my attention!

For 20 years I had no other obstructions and, while I still fought off the demon of anorexia during those years, I tried so hard to make sure I kept food in those intestines so as not to allow them to get strangled again (I'd rather have 10 more kids with no pain killers than go through another obstruction!).

On December 4th I developed another obstruction. I was in the hospital for a week with serious abdominal surgery (the surgeon said it was the worst case of adhesions he'd ever seen) and an NG tube up my nose. I came home for 3 days and did nothing but vomit so back in the hospital I went with yet another obstruction. This time, they just used the NG tube and I had it for nearly 2 weeks before my intestines began to work again on their own (also one of the longest cases of an ilius they'd ever seen). I was afraid they'd never work and I'd have to have them all removed. They tried to keep me sedated (Ativan, Dilaudid, Valium, Benadryl, Zyprexa) and I reacted VERY BADLY to each. I seriously thought I was in hell, or that I'd lost myself for good. I texted my husband during the night and told him I wanted to die (unlike me all together!) and that earned me a visit from the hospital psychiatrist.

I am now home and living as though my head is on the chopping block. I'm afraid to eat, and I'm afraid not to eat. I haven't seen anyone for these issues in many, many years and I don't know where to turn. I can tell I am succumbing to the anorexia again, but I just can't really say it. I eat almost nothing and I have dropped way too many pounds. My husband is upset (and rightly so) and so he hounds me to eat, which only serves to make me angry. I'm hurting, I'm scared, and I'm so confused.

Dear mrbeansmom I am so sorry for all the pain your eating disorder has caused you. I think you shoud try talking to a therapist or a nutritionist to help you get through these very hard times. I know you definitly dont want another bowel obstruction but starving yourself is going to make it happen again. I think you can take control of this with some help. I know the feeling of being full is awful so until you contact someone for help try to eat little bits and not think about it. Myabe when you are watching a movie or listening to music have a snack or a meal so you dont have to endure all that pain again. I really wish the best for you and I hope you find some help.

Thank you. I am trying to eat small amounts when I can. I just hate that feeling like I just did something bad, or failed, when I do. It makes me soooo angry that I can’t put more effort into doing what I need to to stay alive when my family has gone thorugh so much with this and they are pulling so hard for me. What is wrong with me!!!

WE all have our problems nothing is wrong with you. I starve myself too. I force myself to eat little bits of food throughtout the day. The feeling of having anything in my stomach makes me feel nasty and fat. but its not true you need to think i am eating this meal for my husband or this meal for my kids. you havee to pick the good things in your life and force yourself to get healthy for them

mrbeans mom

Im sorry too the pain and suffering you have gone thru. Has any of the Drs suggested treatment for your anorexia? Its a hard thing to battle alone and professional help may be what you need to help you conquer this illness.
Have you had an assessment for anorexia? That should be your first step if you haven't allready..then maybe counseling for the Ed.
This site is a pro recovery site and many wonderful women on here helped me realize what I needed to do to get the help I needed.
Whats wrong is that the Ed is the one controlling you. You need to decide what you want to do to gain back some control in your life.
there are women on this site that have battled an eating disorder and are now free of the Ed.
I know how hard it is to struggle with an Ed..its hard work.

I wish the best for you also! I was in denial too for some time but learned from this site the reality of it all.

anonymousgirl, thank you for your kind response. I was diagnosed years ago with anorexia, but have dealt pretty successfully with it up until now. This whole hospital experience and not being allowed to eat for almost 4 weeks triggered the demon to step out of the cage once again. The hospital psychiatrist did come visit me when I started making subtle threats of harm to myself because I couldn't tolerate the NG tube. She commented that, in her opinion, I struggled greatly with OCD and an ED. She did suggest that I find someone to work with when I left the hospital.

The trouble is, I don't know where to look. I do NOT want to be on any medication. I can handle talking with someone, but I have looked and can't find anything but inpatient programs, which I cannot do. It seems, at least around here, if it's not inpatient, the counselors treat everything under the sun, whjich makes me feel like they aren't all that expert in ED disorders in particular.

mrbeansmom

I understand to a degree ..I had surgery about 4-5 yrs ago as the result of the surgery i retained a lot of fuids I was frantic I felt like a huge whale..it only fueled the Ed more.
My counselor does not specialize in Eds but has helped me greatly. Jan moderates this site and if you message Janurse she can possibly help you find a therapist/counselor closest to you.
I too didn't want to be on any medication ..my psychiatrist suggested it but I refused and Im glad that I did Im sure in some cases medication is needed but I felt i didn't need to rely on meds.

I hope that you can find some help during your search ..Good luck.

I am not quite sure what to say to this particular post. Although, when I was at my worst, eating for my kids or wife or anyone else only put much more anxiety and guilt on my shoulders. If I could have eaten I would have. It sounds to me like you need treatment, and more than a 45 minute walk up to a therapist a couple of times a week. You should look at going to a facility that can help get your eating and concerns organized so that you can return strong and capable for your kids and husband.
I do know that when I arrived in the Hospital it 6 weeks to get my bowels back on track and many of the people there struggled with much the same issue. The bloating, constipation, gas, and discomfort were a nightmare for all of us. It was 6 weeks, before my digestive track began to normalize and I could go to the restroom without assistance. It sounds like you have been fighting alone long enough, get some serious help. If you are going to try to keep fighting at home, every time you fight harder, the ED fights that much harder and rakes you over the coals again and again. There is help out there, start with a therapist, and they should be able to get you started on the right path.
Challenge Everything

Thank you, Little Big Man (one of my favorite movies), for your kind response. I do understand what you are saying. I was hospitalized for anorexia a long time ago for 6 weeks and I clearly remember all the bowel issues. I’m actually having them now simply due to the fact that all of my intestines were taken out, rearranged, and put back in. I’m really hurting big time.

The trouble is I have 6 kids, all of whom have significant special needs. I am not able to leave for that length of time. I’m the one who holds this house and family together. My husband is a great support and a very good man, but he is not as well versed as I am in dealing with these particular children and their schedules and such. We have limited respite available to us, most of which has already been used for my recent surgery.

I simply have to find someone who can help me outside of an inpatient treatment program…

Thank you again, anonymousgirl. I will contact the moderator and see if she knows anyone in my area. I did talk with my children's psychiatrist this morning (I'm going to address that in another post) and he said I should really at least try meds. I'm willing to consider it, but I have a lot of fears about it.