Thursday, 25 September 2008
Yesterday, I received this letter through the post:
Dear Dr R****
Thank you for the referral for the above lady. As you know, at the Eating Disorder Service, we aim to assess and treat people with the eating disorders of anorexia nervosa and bulima nervosa. I am afraid that with respect to this referral you would need to give more information as to the presence of an eating disorder that has recently worsened in view of the problems that you describe.
From reading this referral, it would appear to me that the principal problems currently are her history of self harming and a number of psychosocial difficulties. If this case were appropriate to our Service, I would expect to see a history of resurgence of eating disordered behaviours and a possible drop in weight. We will not triage or process the referral until we have received this.
I know my doctor well. We have an excellent relationship and he has told me, repeatedly, that he wants me well as he knows I soar when I am. Last time I went to see him, he agreed to state everything as plain as the nose on your face to this ED service. He also looked rather glum and confessed that he had never had a referral who had been accepted by them.
This letter is almost a carbon copy of the same one he got about me 18 months ago. He told them about my repeated 'episodes', but also advised of the self-harming history (which is now history) and concomitant depression.
Ironically, I rang the Chester ED Service and spoke to a wonderful counsellor there. I told her how bad things were and she said it ALL needed to come out in a referral letter which would make my 'case' for treatment stronger...but because I am two miles out of their boundary, she couldn't help me at all and I needed to be referred to Macclesfield. And their stance is somewhat different as you can read above.
I have no doubt that my doctor has told them this is the third time he has seen me with an ED over the last three years. He's not daft! If he is referring me for anorexia, he's going to bring the ED up, isn't he? So why have they chosen to concentrate on my cutting 'history' - literally something which happened in the past. As I have admitted, I haven't cut for two years. My 'psychosocial difficulties' are easily the cause of the ED and so how do we get out of this goal-post moving exercise?
A lovely lady left a comment yesterday explaining her story with her daughter who has suffered for three years. Her daughter sees a therapist twice a week. I wish I could see a therapist just once a month! It feels like pulling teeth. Ian is pushing me hard to go for private therapy, but I am refusing point blank at the moment due to financial constraints. God willing, this will all change in about four weeks when his house sale goes through, finally. Then I will go all out to get private treatment.
And do you know, I approached the two private ED therapists who advertised themselves on the B-eat website for this area some weeks ago. One dismissed me, despite my lengthy email explaining my ED, how it was affecting me, how much weight I was losing, how I felt and that I could pay (we initially believed that I was covered under Ian's private medical policy through work) and the other didn't even bother to respond.
Lexy advised me not to 'wallow'. I reckon sometimes that's a frame of mind one can fall into. And I have to admit, today, I am wallowing as I am fed up, disillusioned and wondering where to go next. I am honest enough to admit that reading self-help books have rarely done it for me. The only one I have ever read which gave me some relief was Cosmic Ordering by Jonathan Cainer...and he's an astrologist, so am I as potty as the women who buy Heat, Sugar and Shout!?
I need strategies and guidance because I simply don't have the tools to do it completely alone. I need someone to show me how to do it. That's the simple truth - I am always better following instructions: always have been. A good friend of mine reads self-help books like they are glossy magazines. They do it for her. She is calm, peaceful and light itself - it glows from within her. And she puts it down to her meditation, Reiki healing, reading, and relaxation. She lent me the books. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it on my own. The minute I tried to meditate, I'd start to worry that I hadn't made the dinner, hadn't finished off an article, how would the atmosphere be when the ex came home? Rubbish.
I'm going to return to my doctor tomorrow - he wants to discuss this letter with me. I'm going to make notes for him and suggestions as to how we can impress upon Macclesfield that I could really do with their help. You can't give up without some form of a fight, I know that.
But today, the fight has temporarily drained from me.