Saturday, 20 September 2008

Part #6

Health-wise, things aren't too good for me at the moment. And yes, I know it is my own fault! The pain in my legs, hips, and pelvis last night was worse than it has ever been and even the belt loops on my jeans were digging into my waist and hurting. I didn't really know what to do with myself. We were watching a lovely film together, just the pair of us as the girls are at their father's for the weekend, and although I can rarely sit still, Ian had almost threatened to tie me up unless I rested!

I take x-amount of laxatives most days. I am trying very hard not to increase the amount, but to attempt a gradual reduction. I had started to feel that my body had become quite reliant on the set amount and wasn't playing ball - this was a little disconcerting, I must admit. However, yesterday, and I don't know if it was a cumulative effect, they really kicked in. By the time Beth had gone to the ex's, my intestine was on fire, the noises coming from my gut were almost embarrassing, and I don't think I managed more than about 30 minutes between each toilet trip.

Ian, again, had made a lovely dinner for us - marinated salmon, broccoli, mushrooms and carrots. No fat: all steamed and baked. And for the first time, I really, really didn't want to put any of it past my lips. It actually revolted me (sorry, Ian - it's not your cooking; you know that) and I picked and played. I did eat some. I made myself do it. But not a great deal and I explained how I felt. I put the rest in the kitchen for later and have gone back to it, having a mushroom here and there, picking off the salmon flesh. I was proud of myself for not hurling it back up and made myself sit and watch the film until 'The Optimum Time' had passed (that's my own mental time limit for throwing up. If I go past it, I know there is little point bothering...).

After what seemed like the hundredth time of dashing off to the loo, I hopped onto the scales. I had lost 6lb in two days. Although I was deep-down thrilled, I was also frightened. How paradoxical are ED sufferers? I remarked on it to Ian. He knew - he told me he had noticed it in my thighs. When we are curled up in bed together and he is holding me, I also know that he is feeling my bones, counting my ribs; the knobs on my spine. It hurts me - for his sake - and I worry that, one of these days, he will find me revolting and I'll stop feeling his embraces. The ex informed me once that there was no way he could have sex with me as I revolted him. Indeed, his exact words were that I looked like 'A Road Traffic Accident'.

I think I hate my laxative addiction more than any of the other negative behaviours I display. It produces such disgusting behaviour. What is normal about rushing off to the toilet with diarrhoea every 30 minutes? I hate having to scrub the toilet bowl after each visit - I can't expect anyone else to use the toilet after I have fouled it up - and thus always seem to have a bottle of bleach in my hands!

This is possibly going to be the most embarrassing thing I will ever, in a million years, write. I am sitting here, wrestling with the words in my head, and I am actually blushing with shame just thinking about it...

There have been occasions, just recently, when I have soiled myself whilst asleep.

Urgh. Christ! I have said it!!

Laxatives create an inordinate amount of flatulence, as well as making you go to the loo. And what happens when we sleep? Our bodies relax, wind seeps out and you don't need any more Biology lessons from me. The first time it happened, I was horrified. I had to wake Ian up at 3am and we changed the bed, scrubbed the mattress, turned it over and remade the bed with clean sheets. It has happened three more times since then. Some nights (such as last night) I sleep with two pairs of knickers (in the style of Bridget Jones - excellent passion killers!) and atop a thick towel which drives me bonkers as it ruches up and gets uncomfortable. But that's a small price to pay for disturbing Ian and having him see such a foul, watery mess.

It happened again last week. I was petrified that he thought he was living with an incontinent. I ended up crying on the bed with shame and mortification. How many men have to sleep with a 'filthy beast' (which is how I view it) like me? All I could think was that his other girlfriends never did such disgusting things. Such shame...

And thus the safety nets came in.

I have the double whammy of not having a great amount of control 'down there' anyway - about seven years ago, I had to have a haemorrhoidectomy. It was performed at a private hospital in Oman and the surgeon showed me the latest technique (then) which was to cut rings of skin and sphincter muscle away to make the rectum smooth and pile-free. The 'piles' had become 3rd and 4th degree, which is close to thrombosis, and the surgeon informed me that they could be very dangerous if not removed. Then again, it was an expensive op. and it was an expensive hospital, so who knows? The piles had come during pregnancy, but I had exacerbated the situation badly with continued laxative abuse. During the pre-op examinations, rectal pre-cancerous polyps were also found. I asked the causes of this...I was informed that anal sex played a part. My ex refused to believe this. And I will say no more on that as I don't really think I need to, but see my description of our 'love-making' in an earlier post (an oxymoron if ever there was one).

Oh gosh! Yet another embarrassing admission must come out now. I feel like I am at church in the confessional at the moment!

Around four weeks ago, I set about suicide. Ian was at work, I was so very, bloody low, and took a vast amount of Ibuprofen (which I have since discovered is one of the safest household drugs and you'd have to take around 500-odd to do any damage!). I actually wrote letters, too. They hurt. I said a lot in them. I apologised a lot, too. But I just didn't want to do this to anyone any more. I was taken to hospital before I knew it. Ian called the paramedics. I could tell one of them had no time for suicides. He spoke to me as though I was a no-mark. There was no bed, and I was told to stand in A & E to wait for an examination. I pondered making a run for it, to be honest, and started to edge nearer and nearer to the door. The paramedic shouted, Oi! You! Where do you think You're off to?

I must admit, I treated him with the same contempt as he treated me. Normally, I am politeness itself and will talk to anyone. But he had no compassion and I wondered why the hell he was in the job.

I eventually got a bed and bloods were taken. I was desperate to get home and discharged myself, promising to call back later for the results, and if there were any problems, I would return.

Ian called the hospital and was told my mineral levels weren't too good - not dangerously low - but not healthy. This, it would seem, is due to the laxative abuse: washing out all the goodness; and probably drinking alcohol as that has a preventative effect on vitamin/mineral absorption...I hesitate a bit on that one. Not just because I know, at the moment, I need to 'self-medicate' for the pain with the disorder (God, that sounds cheesy and a weak excuse in some ways...) but also, if I am not eating, what on earth am I attempting to absorb? But I'm doing without...

Ian looks exhausted at the moment. With me getting up through the night repeatedly to use the toilet, I disturb him. He also looks at me with such sadness and pain that it feels like a sharp knife twisting inside of me. I worry that he will 'do a runner' again. I don't want him to go again. When he did it the first time, two years ago, I didn't think my heart would ever mend - but it did. And it took me a while to trust him again. I had put up such a carapace which nobody was able to chip away. But he has broken that shell of protection. Bethan did the same - I think her shell is still in existence, though, as she often asks, if we have had a set-to, is he going to leave. He continues to reply in the negative. I have to try to believe that - but I know how hard it must be, living with someone like me. If he stays, I will honestly be able to say that he has the most strength of character of anyone I know, apart from Bethan.

I don't really know where I have been going with this post. I hope this hasn't bored anyone. I'd hate for people to think, God, she's a self-indulgent, whingeing bitch, isn't she? Why doesn't she just f*cking eat and stop cr*pping?

I wish it was that easy...


Linda and her Twaddle said...

This post was so honestly confronting I could not comment at first. Your ex husband - well, no comment needed. At least you can say you had two daughters from him (something good in everything). That whole laxettes thing - you poor girl, such pain for you. I really felt for you as I read what you wrote. I hope that eventually your episodes are further apart. Don't be afraid of emotions, they may feel awful, but you have to feel them to get past them. You should be proud of yourself. All I could think of was how very, very good it is that you are prepared to bear all and purge all (no pun intended). I doubt anyone reading this would think anything bad about you, they would just feel for you.

Karen ^..^ said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Linda.

As for what people think? fuck 'em. Who cares? Those of us that read your blog know the pain you have endured, and we think nothing other than you are extremely courageous, putting all of this out there. This is such a risk. If someone actually thought that, then they are of the same mentality as your mother and ex ass. As far as I'm concerned, neither of thos folks had any conscience whatsoever, and are not worthy of any more emotion other than disgust. I pity the both of them, they are so infinitely miserable in thier own skins.

As for Ian: He is doing what anyone who loves unconditionally does. He is there, he isn't going anywhere, he feels as lucky as you to be in this relationship. Annie, obviously he is getting just as much out of this relationship as you are. In sickness and in health really means something to a guy like Ian. Embrace it. You are both very lucky to have found each other, and even after a rocky start, you are now married and he loves you as much as you love him. Everyone has things that eat away at them, yours are simply more visible. Not everyone's is. Some people choose to eat away at others.

In regard to your laxative use. Yes, that is extremely concerning, but instead of punishing yourself about it, we all need to focus on something that may ease this particular period of difficulty for you. Now is the time to realize, ok, I do this. Instead of self hatred, I am now on the road to recovery with this blog. Don't you realize what a valuable first step you've taken? The rest will follow. It won't be easy, but then your life thus far hasn't been easy either. You have the support of your husband and children, and a whole bunch of friends out there without faces (Us, silly!!!)but that are no less valuable. As for your mother and ex ass? Fuck them too. Yes, I have an extremely foul mouth. Yes, I have just dropped the F bomb on your comment section. I'm working on that particular demon. Just not hard enough.

It isn't your embarrassing symptoms that scare us. I'm not scared of you. I care about you. Ian is not recoiling in disgust. He is desperate to find a way to help you through this. No matter what, he loves you. The self recriminations and self loathing will block your focus. I'd hate to see even a minute lost on you feeling even more badly about yourself, because what you see is SOOOOO different from what we see. We see an amazingly intelligent, beautiful, good humored girl who is struggling to recover from an insidious disease that ravages your mind and body. It is irrelevant at this point that you "did it to yourself". The important thing is a new focus to heal from within. You can do it, as hard as it is, I know. But you really and truly are someone worth knowing and loving, you really are. I count myself lucky that I found your HME blog, it has picked me up so many times when I was down. So even a small thing like that is so important to so many.

Take care, and now I must shower and fly off to work. Running late as always, I'm the consummate procrastinator! Besides, my cat Robert is stalking my coffee cup. The cat is insane, loves the taste of coffee, and will start after it after staring lustfully at it for a few seconds. He goes in really low, stalking it, and tentatively dips his huge paw in the cup and licks the coffee off his paw. The cat loves coffee. Ok, I know that had nothing to do with this post, but he continuously blocks my view of the monitor when he does it. Just thought I'd give you a fun visual. :D

Charles Parsnip said...

Another heartfelt and courageous post Annie.

Karen is right. I'm not going anywhere. I love you so much, and those vows really were "in sickness and in health".

I am so very lucky to be married to you. most people go through their entire lives never meeting "the one", "the soul mate" or whatever name it has these days, and I consider myself very very lucky indeed.


Agnes Mildew said...

Linda: Thank you. Everyone, so far, who has visited this blog has left nothing but positivity, which is a great relief. I would hate, however, for people to think this was all self-indulgent, self-pitying garbage though - I am starting to sound like a stuck record, aren't I?! - it took a fair bit of cajoling from Ian for me to finally put fingers to keyboard, despite knowing that I get my feelings out on paper way better than using my mouth - which generally has a rather large foot in it!

I guess I am getting a bit braver in what I am admitting to. The more I write, the more I just want to exorcise it.

And I hope, by Christmas, that this blog doesn't need to have any more memories - but contains posts of positivity, encouragement, and mumbles of recovery.

Karen: Don't worry about the F-bombs! Although I tend not to swear in my writing, I swear like a trooper in real life!

Thank you for your comment. You take such time and care over them and everything you write holds great passion and COM-passion. I thank you for all these lovely, wonderfully uplifting words.

Ian and I are very lucky to have each other - we really are like two soul-mates. I have certainly never felt such affinity with someone as I do with him. Long may it last!!

Thank you, Karen. I'm not slacking in not addressing all of your points! You say beautiful, kind things. And I am honoured. As is Ian.


Ian: Or may I call you Charles?! I think we are both lucky to have each other. I was given a second chance after Anal, and I am glad it is you.

I could probably be involuntarily sick by this - hahaha!

But you know how much you mean to me. Thank you for being here. xx

Mars said...

i want to comment, but can't think of anything to say that hasn't been said from above. so all i can do is say i agree with the above. and another hug from me. i'm really quite cuddly y'know :)

i*maginate said...

Hey lady, try ann summers. Last time I shopped in there a lezzo served me: best for advice on big vibrations!

Miss Scarlett said...

This isn't really related to this post in particular, but to the blog as a whole. It is refreshing to me (as odd as that sounds) that you are so honest about the "ugly" side of your ED. Hollywood and magazines have glamorized the world of thin, and made all measures that take you to "thin" seem so ritzy and normal and necessary. Like all those little starlets just puke noiselessly every once in awhile to stay their fashionably slim selves.
I hope that your image of a real ED can be projected to all these poor young girls who don't stand a chance in our society, so they can see that it isn't all glitz and glamour. It is life and death, and an illness, not a game.
Bravo dear Annie, Bravo.

Agnes Mildew said...

Mars: It sounds like you are The Hug Expert! Thank you!

I'maginate: Many thanks for your visit. Hmmm. Ann Summers, eh? Ian wrote a post about a visit there with me earlier this year on the HexMyEx blog. I lasted all of five minutes before rushing out like a bat out of hell!

Miss Scarlett: Your wonderful comment made me really open my eyes to a whole new horizon - your opinion hadn't occurred to me at all, but I am delighted that this might actually be the case. There's absolutely nothing glamorous about 'Dying to be Thin'. And yes, Photoshop, designer clothes, stylists etc. may work on the superficial, but the fundamental of 'skinny' is pretty grotesque. Thank you for your kind words.