Doctors, Prescriptions, Copper Bowls and Anxieties Up the Wahzoo

Deep Breath.

Today was a whirlwind for me, something that I need to sort out in my mind.

This morning, I nearly cancelled the car hire a few times, thinking to postpone it until another day.  Why?  Because of the need to push the unfamiliar, the unknown away thinking that I will be able to deal with it better at another time.  This is critical for me to look at in the glaring light of discomfort.  I binge eat or drink a bit too much to do the same thing, postpone dealing with that which makes me squirm.  I had to literally force myself to go to the hospital in an unfamiliar town and see the doctor.  I reminded myself that if I didn’t, I would have to once again go through the squirmies, and why not just get it over with?

I have not seen this type of doctor in a long time and I was a little wide eyed about it because of that.  I knew I possibly had a condition that warranted a specialist, but at the same time, I did not want to know it.  It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it’s not exactly something one would wish to have.  Another condition of aging.

The driver for the car hire (in the UK a hackney cab can pick one up on the street, but a car hire is ordered in advance, they can only drive people about on a direct request) came promptly on time and was very kind and that helped me relax a bit.  He knew where to go, which building of the hospital and although I was a bit apprehensive to enter a hospital, I soon found the ward with the doctor I needed to see and checked in.  The doctor was amazing and really kind and did not treat me like a child nor made me feel like a number. He had a wonderful sense of humour and decided to make me learn how to pronounce a few Scottish words correctly. He really eased my anxiety in no time at all.  But the diagnosis was as I suspected and I was not happy about it at all.  Luckily it did not come as a shock.  I am to return in April for a follow up visit and he will determine at that time if a biopsy is needed.

Part of the anxiety is all the first times of learning how they do everything here and it is different in so many weird little ways.  At the GP, there is a screen in the waiting room where my name will appear and tell me what room to go to.  I have to find the GP’s room on my own. No nurse comes out to get me.  At the hospital, the doctor came to get me in the waiting room.  Both places, I am asked to undress and they stay in the room as I take my clothes off and put them back on. 

I  ended up needing a prescription, so let me mention how that works.  The specialist wrote up a hand written letter and stuck a bar code sticker on it and put it into an envelope and handed it to me.  He said to take it either to my GP or the chemist.  I stopped at the chemist after I got home and they said it had to go to my GP first and they would provide the medication.  I thought how odd, that the GP would dispense the medication.  I went to the GP and they took the letter and told me to come back after 3pm.  I came back at that time and it wasn’t ready.  They said to come back before 6pm.  I did, and they handed me a printout form for the medication.  By this time I was irritable and I had to take another deep breath or I was going to spout some displeasure at the roundabout I was going through.

I asked what was I do do with this (I was fairly sure it was to go to the chemist, but I wasn’t about to miss the mark late on a Friday).  The doctor stressed he wanted me on the medication as soon as possible.  So I angrily walked once more to the chemist and waited for them to fill it, but they did not have enough and I am to come back tomorrow for the rest.  I got a little piece of paper that says OWING NOTICE, which I guess is like an IOU.  I sure did miss the American way of the doctor phoning the medication directly to the pharmacy.  Sigh.  It literally took me all day to get this one appointment done.  But I was relieved when all was finally over. 

Even so, there was plenty of stress overload and I did pop into the shop and bought three rolls, a small tray of breadsticks, 6 chocolate chip cookies (bakery style) and a small bag of tortilla chips.  I ate two of the rolls, a few breadsticks and some of the tortilla chips.  I ate all of the cookies, felt overly full after downing two pots of tea and was about to hide the leftovers, when I decided not to.  No, I had a unnerving day and I am not going to change my binge behaviour as long as I continue to hide it.  I took another mega huge deep breath and prepared myself to tell husband about the money I took out for the car hire, the hospital visit, the diagnosis, the extra food I ate and be honest about all of it to prevent further stress.  I did tell him all, including the fears I experienced and it was an enormous sense of release.  He did not day a negative word about any of it, was comforting and low and behold, brought home chocolates and candy, his day was stressful too. 

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These were taken from my new mobile phone, wow, so crisp and clear compared to my regular camera!  This was one of the buildings at the Royal Alexandra Hospital that I went to today.  It was a nice mild day and I wished to take a walk amongst these trees, but I was waiting for the car hire.

Also, as I was waiting on the prescription to be filled, I popped into a charity shop and found a bowl I could not resist. I think it is a serving bowl, perhaps for an Indian restaurant, as it is copper on the outside and stainless steel on the inside, and there is an insulating space between the two layers. The bowl fits wonderfully in the hand, which is one thing I have missed about using the porringer, is that it has a rimmed bottom and is uncomfortable to hold and there is no heat protection, I have to place it on a mat sometimes to prevent marring the table.  In Hawaii, I ate from a round bottom stainless steel rice bowl that was insulated and I loved holding it and using chopsticks.  There is a connected feeling about eating out of hand, and as I held this copper bowl in the shop, I instantly felt an attachment to it.  It was £4, I shouldn’t have spent the money after the £20 I spent on car hire and the £3 I spent on junk foods, but I wanted it badly.  I have a thing for bowls, I know.

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Here it is compared to the pewter porringer.  I also grabbed the insulated Quantas Airlines mug I drank from for a year because it seemed to go well with the new shiny bowl.

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Fitting ever so nicely in the hand, I smiled to remember this feeling.  How nice to be able to eat hot or cold foods without feeling it in the hand. 

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Here you can see how round the bottom is.  It is heavy and well made, which is why I think it may be restaurant ware.

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Hard to see, but I filled the pewter porringer with water and dumped it in this bowl to check the volume.  This bowl does hold a bit more, I place the tip of the spoon handle at the water level.  About half an inch more to fill to the first rim.

I ate dinner from the pewter and plan on trying the copper bowl tomorrow at lunch time when I can use my chopsticks and eat away from the table, with the bowl in hand.  I am pretty excited about it!

Fear Induces Weirdness

Wednesday’s Meals:

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream
Porringer 2- pot of tea, variety of cheeses and salami
Porringer 3&4- glass of wine, minced beef, cauliflower with  butter (whole porringer full)

Evening coffee- 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream, 2 humbugs
1 whisky

It was going to be a trial coming off the holiday foods and moods and swing into eating regular foods and begin the 3 meals a day thing.  Husband failed by 9am and I ended the day with humbugs and whisky, both of which I did not need, nor felt a pull towards, but you know, that ED thing prevails, where there is just a bit left and wanting to be done with it.  I did not like the mind-set of it, I could have put the last shot of whisky back in the cupboard and thrown the 2 pieces of candy left in the bin.  I sort of enjoyed it and did not feel it was worthy of being called anything negative like a binge.  I note that I am still not liking to drink as I did before, as soon as I was done, I felt yucked by it.

It’s been raining and the mood sort of listless between us.  He is slyly mentioning jobs he finds on the net, as though he were job hunting for himself and it becomes an opportunity to push me into acknowledging it.  He was looking out the window, a lady who uses carers walked by, he makes a comment that they appear to be new carers and asks in the most innocent possible voice ”isn’t that what you are interested in doing?”  I took a deep breath and told him one needs to be certified.

Dinner conversation is getting tense for me, as he will start talking about moving closer to his job to save money, or make a comment about the rise in transportation costs and how he doubts there is much work for him at his age in Denmark, all which have the intended affect of making me squirm in my seat, the subject of JOBS ever so present.  I could stomp the whole thing by just saying I will start looking for work once the holidays are over, but something in me refuses to respond to the pushing.  I will do it in my own time and I do not want to have to report back to him or get advice about it or deal with having to tell him of all the rejections I will be getting.  I bought a 2013 calendar to mark all of my applications in and if he gets out of hand I can throw it at him.  There is no need for me to be feisty about it all, but the feelings of resentment are brewing.

He is struggling to get back on his eating regime and I am aware that I need to be gentle and kind and as supportive as I can be without mothering.   Both of us are feeling a bit on edge, so much rain, darkness and the end of the holidays are surely affecting us.  I hear him sighing often knowing he returns to work tomorrow and I sigh each time I have to prepare meals or wash dishes, the tumultuous 2012 is now done and in some ways, I think it is harder for husband to not have active planning to do. 

Thursday’s Meals:

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream
Porringer 2- pot of tea, pork cracklings, raw peanuts
Porringer 3- various cheeses, salami, hot cocoa
Porringer 4- glass of wine, 2 cumberlands, brussel sprouts
Evening coffee- 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream, 2 humbugs

Yesterday I got a call from the clinic that said an appointment had been cancelled and if I wanted it, it was the next morning (today) at 9am.  I said yes before I found out it was at a hospital in another town I have not been to before and it is a significantly large town.  I looked at the bus routes, figured that two buses would be needed and since I have no visual reference point of having been in that town, I called a car hire and decided to go with it even though it was so expensive.  Then I got another call a couple of hours later and was told I did not qualify for NHS care, and I demanded to know why.  The receptionist said I had to be employed to receive care, and I asked, what if I was retired?  Does that mean I would never receive health care again?  She had to check on that.  So after a few phone calls, she called back to say it was a mistake and I do qualify.  In the meantime, of course I am livid and wasted a good 4 hours of my day being upset FOR NO REASON.  Gads.

Of course, it got husband all worked up and he looked up the requirements and printed it out that as a legal resident, I am indeed qualified and told me to fold it and stick it in my purse in case I needed it.  I decided to break the ice with the working situation as I could not stand any more stress.  I handed him the calendar to see my job hunting notes.  I had applied for 7 jobs yesterday and wrote them down.  He was pleased.  So now that stupid thing between us is out in the open.  I will have to tell him tonight though, that it cost about £20 for me to get to and from the hospital, but I really need this appointment with a specialist and if I have to go again, I will at least have a better sense of where it is and will attempt to take a bus.  He is stressed about money, so I am not looking forward to telling him I cost £20 today, his unemployed expensive wife. 

In all my stress yesterday, I felt the overwhelming urge to binge.  It was like I suddenly did not have control and that is when Ed swooped in to reassure me that I surely didn’t.  He urged and urged me.  I quickly ate low carb foods, with two small transgressions into mild sweetness with low sugar cocoa and 2 hard candies.  It helped soothe without a high cost, but ED was whispering in my ear, go to the shops, splurge, go ahead….  However, by evening, I was so spent from the day, that I swore (or maybe it was all ED) that I would binge the next day to my hearts content, cancelling the appointment to deal with another day.  I think it was mostly because I do fear the results of the appointment and this was an easy out to postpone it.  But before I fell asleep, I talked myself back to reason, I now have health care, so use it to stay healthy.  Sheesh.  Relax, calm down, breathe.

I won’t be able to take car hire’s every time I get a job interview, so I will have to learn the bus system.  I only know how to get to the city centre of Glasgow at this point.  It’s intimidating.  I use to be so adventurous, now I feel fear doing anything outside my comfort zone.  How strange. Sometimes the fear makes everything seem odd and out of sorts, like this photo.  This is how I feel in Scotland right now. 

Gilbert Kerr, bagpiper, with penguin Photographed by William Speirs Bruce during the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-04

Blue Note

Porringer 1 – 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 demitasse coffee with 3 teaspoons of double cream
Porringer 2 – plain yogurt, full fat, pot of tea
Porringer 3 –  minced beef, pot of tea
Porringer 4 – 1 glass wine, chicken breast, peppers, tomatoes, pesto
Evening coffee – 2 demitasse coffees with 3 teaspoons of cream

It’s getting a bit emotional under the skin.  I went to look for an old photo on the external hard drive and found my daughter’s baby and childhood photo’s, which led me to fixing many of the ones that I had scanned and were faded and off colour.  That led to going through far more photo’s than I planned, and that had my stomach in knots by the end of the day.  I felt an wretched pain of missing my family and of loss, the passing of time and so on.  I later tried to cheer myself up a bit by watching vintage Christmas DVD’s, but the knitting project was not working, causing me to have to rip it up several times with a re-do, and my frustrations soon overwhelmed me.  Negativity gathered and I started having those awful thoughts like, can’t knit, can’t see my family, can’t buy Christmas presents, can’t eat teacake, can’t drink……….poor pitiful me.

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I went to bed and cleared the head mumblings until I fell asleep.  Today?  I don’t know.  Husband is off of work.  I did some cleaning and a load of laundry, cooked the breakfast and feel like crying.  ED isn’t bothering me, I don’t have the slightest desire to binge but I sure wish I could have a hot buttered rum or a white russian, something soothing and pleasant.  I don’t have any desire to get drunk, I just desire soothingness.  Yes, I like to make up words, it drives my spellcheck crazy.

Catch Up

I am behind in my blog, so this will be a long post.  I am copying from my diary, so I will delete most of the daily entries and try to keep just the gist of each day.  It’s been a progression to me, so I want to record it.

Wednesday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 5 frankfurters, curry sauce, pot of tea
Porringer 3-  2 cumberlands, meatballs, cabbage, carrots,  1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, teacakes (see yesterday’s photo)

Yesterday I was slumped in a depression I could not shake.  By evening, I could hardly respond to anything with any semblance of cheerfulness which made husband try to cheer me up which is always annoying, even when tender and backed up with love.  What he doesn’t know is that I just needed to have some alone time to myself to regroup.  I tried talking about it, but I could hardly put a finger on the problem, let alone explain it. 

He beat me to the door when his Christmas present arrived and I was so hurt and angry that he saw it.  He would have been at work and I could have hidden it.  At this point, it’s like why bother with Christmas at all?  Which is petty and ridiculous on my part, which I can see clearly.  It’s just the feeling is all wretched and I feel sort of at a loss.  This time last year we were apart for an entire year so that I could bring in the income and I had romantic notions for this Christmas which just isn’t going to happen the way things are going. 

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Thursday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 1 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 3 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 8 jam dodgers, 5 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- cottage pie: minced beef, turnip, carrot, potato mash
Porringer 3- Kebab meat, peppers, onion, carrot, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream

Thursday was a very iffy day.  My mood was still very down and yet, with alone-time finally to myself, I felt somewhat better.  I decided to go ahead and send my grandson’s birthday present out, even at the expense of it and send a few Christmas cards too.  The cards alone cost £1.20 each to send, they were small cards and I cringed.  I sent 5 cards and felt sick at the cost but took a deep breath.  Funny how sending letters and cards use to be such an inexpensive thing to do.  So, to send 3 children’s paperback books, 5 cards, I spent £16.

I wasn’t sure if I would binge the moment I had time alone and after feeling so much depression and anger.  In a small way, I went through with it, even though my desires were not overruled with it at all.  I ate everything listed before 7am, almost instantly after husband left for work.  It wasn’t worth it, other than having a release of emotions that I just needed something of my own for just  a moment and unfortunately that kind of thing is still attached to bingeing.  So even though it was not a massive amount to eat, the intentions, emotions and carb concentration all amount to what I call a binge these days.  It was not loving kindness to myself, but a destructive expression of anger.  It’s been a bad start to December.

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Friday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 4 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 3 jaffa cakes, 3 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- minced beef, onions, mushrooms, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 2 jaffa cakes, 2 digestives with chocolate, 2 shortbread fingers

I can look back and remember how I felt when a binge was about to take place, how I thought and the usual pattern of it all, the predictable consequences, but something is different now.  They are not as strong a force as they once were.  The more I question my motives and beliefs about eating, the more I am able to take a step back and consider what direction I am going with it.

I good part of last year I made myself continually ask what it is I really wanted.  I didn’t have any ready answer, but the question was necessary.  All the things I was doing about my diet and weight were no longer working.  My life was in an upheaval and I did not know where the landing was going to be.  I was confronted with all kinds of new experiences and shake-ups and lifestyle changes in the extreme.  It was the perfect time to ask….what did I really want?  I had every reason to drown my fears and angst in food and drink, but something more needy was surfacing in the chaos.  Either that or I was getting mighty tired of playing the same dieting/bingeing/remorse games over and over again.

I still ask the question, I still look to define it.  Lately, the answer has been coming to me, not all dressed up in idealism, but in a form of a simple truth.  I want to feel a sense of wellbeing.  And of course, the obvious methodology to obtaining that is to stop all the things I do that prevents it from happening.  Not really a light bulb moment, is it?  Stop doing what hurts.

What I really wanted right now was to stop feeling so down and letting depression take hold.  Food was not going to alter that inner dark emotion, it only adds more angst to it.  So I got up and found the few Christmas decorations I had kept, put up the tiny tree I found at the charity shop last month and put on some Christmas music to work with.  Smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling.

It was so cathartic.  I felt my muscles relax.  I felt my breathing lighten up.  As I decorated, I felt a sense of home and comfort.  Okay, perhaps I miss the oodles of family decorations amassed through the years that I handed over to my daughter.  Perhaps it is a bit small, but it is not about stuff, is it?  The little tree needed decorations, I found a few 49 pence bags of ornaments, a star for the top and added chocolates to the advent calendar for husband.  Dean Martin was a gift from husband many years ago (I am a Rat Pack fan) and his singing and swinging a martini made me smile too. It all gave me a sense of accomplishment for the day.  This instantly improved my mood.

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Saturday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 4 oatcakes with butter, pot of tea
Porringer 3- 3 frankfurters, 1 egg, pot of tea
Porringer 3- minced beef, onions, brussel sprouts, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 1 square caramel biscuit

Somewhere in our history, we have been made to feel guilty about eating.  I know that I have dealt with the issue, and it is common amongst women to feel they should not be eating, but I was surprised to realize the extent that my husband feels guilt.  Last night, we stayed up late and he had the munchies most of that time.  As he shuffled past me to the kitchen, his guilt made him feel the need to make comments for me to hear. 

I cant resist.
If it’s in the house, I will eat it.
Tomorrow this will stop.
Just a few more.
Maybe cheese will stop the cravings for sweets.
I meant to have this last through Christmas.
I ate too much.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me to want sweets like this.

When I cut a small square of the caramel biscuit for myself for my coffee, I thought instantly, I should not eat this.  I think that very thought every time I eat something heavy in carbs and sugar or is a highly processed or snack food.  For me, even taking one bite is the same as bingeing on a massive amount of food.  I should not eat the first bite, so if I do, I am bingeing.  That is disordered thinking.  Once I consider it a binge, then the amount no longer matters.  This is the start of the games I play about eating.  One bite?  I might as well eat as much as I want then.  One is never enough, two is too many.

I watched him play out his own game last night, because I myself play it all the time.  I know it well.  I suggested to husband last night that perhaps he should just relax, it is December after all and Christmas has a lot of treats in it, perhaps a balance is the best approach.  He shook his head, no, he was going to stop (after the night’s eating was done) and not continue to eat sweets for the rest of the month.  He talked about his belt getting tighter and that was just not acceptable.  I said no more about it but thoughts whirled around in my head about our perceptions and I wondered why we feel so guilty about eating and especially why we play the same game over and over again.  Why is it, that one biscuit is never enough?  Who told us that, and why do we believe it?  I had one caramel square last night and it was enough.  Did I need it?  No.  Is it a healthy food?  No.  Did it spark a binge?  No.  It was the thoughts surrounding it: the guilt, the attachments, the lies I tell myself.

As husband made his pilgrimages to the kitchen, I was tempted to follow.  Camaraderie in eating is a subtle way to make allowances for one’s own greed.  If he can have more, so can I.  I know we have both played this game, sometimes by his bringing home a chocolate bar for me when he wants candy, sometimes with me putting biscuits in the tin that I know he likes.  We indulge the other as an excuse to eat for ourselves.  Who could possibly say I was overeating if the only other person in the room is overeating themselves?  Sometimes I feel as though he wishes I would tell him no, he cannot have it, as a mother would.  But that is just another game tactic.  Once reproved, we tend to act out in defiance and have what we perceive we should not be eating anyways.  Sometimes I imagine he is being silently disapproving of my eating and I try to appear more perfect in my choices.  We hide and dodge our own eating issues, often getting quite tangled up in it all.

My conclusion?  That the  idiocy of the eating games we play just became a little more apparent last night.  Once again, my choices for eating are based on circumstances and is more situational than being a true personal choice.  How much of my decision to eat the caramel square came from my desire to have it?  Could it have been influenced by husband’s desires?  How much of this was a marital game to be played out in the disguise of camaraderie or equality?   Even more interesting to me is why I always feel even one bite of anything I consider worthless food as a binge fraught with guilt?  Believe me, all these kinds of thoughts take away the pleasures of eating.  I had no true desire last night to eat more than I did, even though the temptation was ever present.  This isn’t what I want.

What do I really want?

Floating

Sunday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- soup: chicken, broth, carrot, turnip + 2 oatcakes with butter and cheddar cheese, pot of tea
Porringer 3- minced beef, brussel sprouts, onion, brown gravy,  1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, very small packet chocolate dots

I am not really altogether present.  I float on the waves of sadness and numbness.  Not sure what to feel on my grandmothers death.  Not sure what to make of what I go through and why it all gets tangled up emotionally.

I would be one of those people who don’t show grief. It’s unthinkable to me to display uncontrolled emotions.  It is why I abused food.  I stuffed the emotions down as deep as could be.  Stuffed and stuffed.  I never wanted to purge, that would be like unstopping the plug.  What happens when I don’t use food in that manner?  I have no answer.  I really don’t know what to do.  There’s no plug, there’s nothing to weigh down the emotions. 

I try to let them come out on their own.  Trying a Zen approach, I step back and become the observer of myself.  This disconnects me from the emotion and lets it pass by like a stranger.  Should I not be crying?  I cried over not being able to send Christmas presents.  I felt anger.  Today, I feel nothing.  I feel lost that I don’t feel loss.  Does that make sense?

ladyinlake