Thursday, July 7, 2011

Working on the Happy and the Fat

This morning was my follow-up appointment with my doctor. I wrote before that I was pleased at the effects I was noticing from taking my new happy pills. Unfortunately, they didn't last long.

I could feel a general improvement in my temperament, what I felt was important, and even in my self-confidence; I was beginning to worry just about things, instead of worrying about the fact that I'm worrying about things. But after about 2 weeks of feeling a steady improvement, I began to feel a steady decline. I'm not really sure if this is normal, but neither my doctor or her nurse were all that surprised or baffled so that was encouraging. My nurse said it was a good sign, that that particular strain of medication was a good fit for me. So since it basically stopped working three weeks into my new regime, my doctor bumped me up a dose. She said we would give it another month and then I would simply call her to report any changes in my mood or lack thereof.

In leafing through my meticulously kept food journals (yes, plural. I had one in my purse, at work, and at home), my doctor once again concluded that I'm just not taking in enough calories. And according to their scale, I have lost 4 pounds since my last visit; that was not the goal. But I'm assuming that through keeping the food journals, my doctor was trying to drive her point home that I need to eat more, and eat more frequently.

In journaling my eating, it was glaringly obvious when my medication "stopped" working. Not only did past behaviors and feelings resurface, but my lack of appetite - of thinking food was in any way interesting - resurfaced as well. So maybe there were a couple of weeks where I gained an ounce or two, but they're long gone now.

My doctor just sat there, chin in her hands, questioning how I envisioned her helping me. Look, lady, I just came to the doctor to ensure nothing was physically wrong with me; I'm just eliminating variables. Of course I said this way more diplomatic. So she stared deep into my eyes and asked, "Are you sure there's nothing causing you to not eat?" I spent most of my time thinking about what this question meant instead of how to answer it. I thought she was referring to any abnormal stress in my life, something I don't normally deal with in any sort of general capacity, which I couldn't think of so I said no. But then I asked, "Like what?" She said, "Like anorexia." Well, knock me over with myself! I was taken aback and said, "Well, only if it is subconscious," and she agreed with, "Yeah," and continued with, "Often times type-A, high-achieving women become anorexic because it is something for them to control when they feel like they have none," in quite the back-handed compliment. Thanks to years of watching Lifetime I already knew this, but I disagreed since I feel I have a certain amount of control over my life and my daily requirements. Once I thought about it, though, I realized it is actually the exact opposite.

I spend my entire day taking care of things, people, and other living beings. Make no mistake, my intention is not to paint myself a martyr because I know everyone else in the world is doing the exact same thing, and trying as hard as they can. I wake up, let the dogs out, pack lunches for Jacob and I, get Zoey's bottle ready, bring dogs back inside and give them food and water, make sure Zoey's diaper bag is complete, all before I even make moves towards getting myself halfway presentable for work in a law firm. Sometimes it's all I can do to douse myself with perfume and remember to put my hairbrush and mascara in my purse to do it in the car.

I get to work and I am in control of everything in my cube-world. I don't work for anyone specific, I come in, do my work until it's time to go home, then go home to my family and worry about home, family stuff. But when it comes down to food and what I want to put in my belly, I just don't have the mental tolerance. So, to me - and I relayed this to the doctor - I am in control of everything throughout the day so when it comes time for food, I just don't want to deal with it. For example, last night Jacob talked about wanting to make tacos or taco salad, and while it sounded good to me, I just didn't have the mental capacity to process it; I didn't even want to think about eating it. I just didn't want to be bothered with it period.

My doctor understood this and thought it was fair. She upped my medication to take care of underlying issues (postpartum depression) and told me to call in a month. She said the next step would be for me to see a nutritionist who can set a meal plan for me. I'm not real interested in doing this, especially since I've eliminated anything that might be physically wrong with me. When my doctor asked how she could help me I just said that I need to be more disciplined when it comes to eating, especially for dinner. And that my husband can help me by making us make dinner no matter what I say. So as he drove me back to work on my lunch break, we stopped by Wendy's. He ordered me the salad I asked for but chose - without asking me - the full size.

Round 2, here I come.