Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tuesday is ED Day

It seems like I spend all day Tuesday working on the eating disorder. My group therapy is in Walnut Creek, so it's a bit of a drive, takes about 45 minutes. The meeting is at 10:15 am, very inconvient for us working folks. It ends at noon. Parking is always an issue. Between getting the kiddos to daycare, driving up there, parking, the group, driving back, I rarely get to work before 1 pm. We used to have the kids in swimming lessons on Tuesday evenings, so DH would pick them up from daycare, go swimming, go to McDonalds, and come home after I leave for my OA meeting. Unfortunately, we were late signing up for lessons, so we couldn't get both kids in at the same time. We decided to continue Chungita's lessons on Tuesdays and drop Pulgito's lessons for this session. That means that I have to pick up Pulgito from daycare. So no more working late on Tuesdays or any time to myself before the OA meeting. Wah, wah, poor me. NOT! I have the 2 greatest kids in the world, and I am the luckiest mom in the world. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

But I don't get much done on Tuesdays.

Group was really good on Tuesday. We talked about the health consequences of eating disorders. I learned a lot, not just about the bad things that I am doing to my body, but I learned about more eating disorder behaviors that I thought were healthy behavoirs.

One of the health consequences is electrolyte imbalances. Terri Schiavo is in her current situation because of her eating disorder. I'm pretty sure she had bulimia, but I haven't been able to verify that. Anyway, she had a heart attack which caused a stroke because of an electrolyte imbalance. I have an irregular heartbeat. From the eating disorder? Fortunately, I have my medical directive in place, and my family knows what my wishes are, so I will never be in the position Terri Schiavo is in. However, it would be much better if I had never damaged my heart. A related risk is muscle atrophy; the heart is a muscle. And then there's low blood pressure, which I have. It's tough learning about this. In a way, it gives me something else to beat myself up over.

Paralysis is another risk. From Something Fishy: Transient paralysis -- extreme weakness of muscles or not being able to move at all -- Caused by low levels of potassium, and/or the degeneration of nerve cells, in the spinal cord or in the brain, which have been deprived of essential nutrients. Left untreated, periods of paralysis may happen more frequently and more severly, lead to permanent muscle weakness, and even result in death. I wonder if this is what Freud's hysteria was all about.

Here's the one that I found to be most interesting. I thought that drinking lots of water was good for you. I knew that it is possible to drink too much water, but I had no idea what that is. Well, "water-loading" is not a positive behavoir. It can lead to hyponatremia or not enough sodium in the blood, which can lead to fluid in the lungs, the brain to swell, nauseousness, vomiting, confusion and even death. I wonder if that plays a role in my getting pneumonia. I've always blamed the asthma, but this might be affecting it as well. And here I thought I was being healthy drinking 16-20 glasses of water a day.


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