For several weeks, I kept going back to the same now-musty post in my drafts folder, making minor changes, staring at what I’d written, and then inevitably becoming overwhelmed and distracted by other tasks, 9.5 times out of 10 a meal or a bottle of Ensure Plus.
It was time to acknowledge that the longer, more refined, and more eloquent version of this update—a version about which I could but won’t claim all kinds of other hyperbolic things, seeing as you’ll never read it—just wasn’t meant to be. Since it’s the eight-week mark of the topic of that (and this) post, though, and since I want some credit for making it through these eight weeks, I finally dialled back my self-expectations and hammered out a few rougher paragraphs to replace the nicely edited post that I was *thisclose* to completing but probably never would’ve.
To avoid beating around the proverbial bush—but can we please take a second to acknowledge how weird that saying is?—the past few months haven’t been the easiest. Why? Mostly because I’ve spent them in hospital with the main goal of recovering from a relapse of anorexia nervosa. This would’ve been enough of a challenge in itself; eating disorders, for lack of a better word, suck, and the beginning of my stay happened to coincide with that most magical, and my favourite, time of the year.
But there’s more! As you might’ve already guessed, given my track record for things never being easy, nutritional rehabilitation has brought with it a massive spike in seizures and, in turn, frequent postictal psychosis.
The relationship between my restrictive eating disorder and my epilepsy is pretty darn complex. For the time being, suffice it to share that the knowledge that I’d likely have to deal with a worsened neurological state while simultaneously recovering from anorexia was an initial deterrent, to put it mildly, to my asking for and accepting help. After I’d started making changes and my seizures did, indeed, get worse, magical thinking nosed its way in. Surely, after all, this temporary neurological deterioration was a sign from “the Universe,” or at least from my brain, that not continuing to gain weight would be the rational option. Surely someone/something was trying to tell me something. Something like, “What you were doing to yourself was totally cool.”
But alas. Just as unicorns aren’t hovering outside my hospital-room window waiting to fulfill my every command, I have to accept the reality of this situation. All I can see through the glass is a downtown Toronto morning—where are those unicorns when I need them!—and all I’d gain by not pushing through this rough patch is an uncertain future, or maybe no future at all.
At least I came into this somewhat prepared, being the pessimist I am. There’s even been a glittery silver lining in the form of the incredible collaboration between the team here and my neuro teams elsewhere. I’m being treated as a whole person with complex needs, and there’s real comfort in that. As rough as it’s been, I appreciate both that I have access to this care and that I’ve kept myself here, doing the work and coping by means of LEGO and craft kits designed for children when I’m able to focus (even if I feel sorry for myself much of the time).
This is where I’ll make the executive decision to shelve everything else for now. It’s really, really time to publish this.
But before I sign off, I want to apologize to my real-life people. I know I’ve been hard to reach and that I’ve had to cancel and/or reschedule many visits as my team has started to sort out the big-picture stuff. I appreciate you and truly want to see you, and I hate being a flake. Throughout this stay my bad neurological days have outnumbered the good ones, but I’m confident that they’ll keep getting better moving forward.
So yeah, come see me. Be prepared for my overly decorated room, which is now a Valentine’s Day wonderland (yep), and bring craft supplies. (I am, of course joking; just bring yourself.)