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!

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Irritations Swell, Nothing to Soothe them

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- duck pate, cucumber, bleu cheese
Porringer 3- plain yogurt
Porringer 4- curry: kebab meat, meatballs, broccoli, carrot, onion, coconut milk, curry paste

Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 + 1/2 glass of wine
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

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Had my lunch too early (10:30am) and then the yogurt soon followed.  Once again, it was not hunger driven but needed for whatever reason.  I can’t always sort it, it is what it is at times.  I wonder too, if I am just not eating enough for lunch.  I did not fill the bowl as pate and bleu cheese are so rich.

I managed another shop run without buying binge foods and I also managed to make it all the way until dinner time to eat again.  I noticed a sense of injustice swell inside me, when husband finished his glass of wine completely and I still had a half a glass, he tops mine off and pours a full one for himself.   I AM THE ONE THAT LOVES TO DRINK.  How did he rate to get more than me?  I felt a swell of anger about it, realised how petty I was being and took a deep breath and let it go.  He’s done this a couple of times, I think thoughtlessly on his part, but not intentionally trying to keep me from it.  It’s ironic that I restrict myself, but hate it when others restrict for me.  It is definitely a trigger for me to feel as though I am being denied something I really want, even if I know it is best that I don’t have it.  It’s probably more of a power issue in marriage than anything else.

Here is the curry hot pot I made last night.  It was a huge hit with husband.  I dished mine into the porringer sans the potatoes and I admit, it was pretty good and I did have a pretty high peak of food in my bowl. I did not take seconds and felt full and satisfied.

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I stayed up until midnight playing video games.  I realised that I managed to go 7 hours after dinner without eating anything else.  By morning it was 16 hours after my last meal and I felt pleasantly hungry.  I liked how that felt and so while smiling about that and making breakfast, I also thought about how much of a struggle this past week has been and how I was diligent in writing about it, looking at it, stopping it and here I am, surviving it all.  I was tempted to get on the scale again this morning, but stopped that too.  I can’t look for a result of good behaviour, what the scale may tell me has nothing to do with trying to stabilize my eating.  If I let all these little daily irritations build up then the scale gives me less than grand results, I throw in the towel in disgust and head back to bingeing.  Is that really worth it?  I need to feel the irritations and let them go, one by one.

If I have always used food as a soother, then I need to find a way to keep my feathers from getting so ruffled.  I noticed I was getting more irritated the more husband chattered on while I was writing here this morning.  It made me have to continual stop to listen to his chatter about housing prices in several countries so that I lost my train of thought while writing.  It’s weekend, he’s home and he’s internet searching for housing even though we are still five years away from buying.  We still have to decide which country we will retire to!  Weekends are a double edged sword for me, as I feel tensions rise a bit fitting the day in with a husband’s needs.  Dearly beloved, but still can get under my skin now and then.   It’s not his presence, its the continual distractions that having someone around brings.  I cook more, clean more, listen more, discuss more, etc. than when I am alone.

On the other hand, I will never binge in front of my husband, so it’s almost a wonderful release from the burden of even considering it.  I feel most normal about eating on the weekends. We sleep in and et breakfast 4 hours later than the weekday 4:30am.  So I don’t have the midmorning binge crazies anyways. This is not how it was for so many years….I now have no desire to eat in the evenings and I don’t binge on weekends.

Funny how that has all changed.  Bingeing has not stopped it’s incessant demands, but the timing of it has.  Makes me wonder how much of it is guided by circumstance and situations?  I am not a lush because we can’t afford the booze, I am not having vast and daily binges because the food budget is extremely tight.  My binges these days amount to about £3 a pop, usually grabbing the sales items and the cheapest items to fill up on.  Weird.

Oh well, best not to go there and dwell in those thoughts.  I have curtains to hem and a dress to finish knitting.

Wellbeing and Birthday Plans

I am absolutely in a wonderful blissful place right now.  I noticed both last night and this morning at how well I felt.  The cold is completely gone, the bloat and heaviness is gone and the lovely lull of the three porringers a day is keeping me feeling steady on and normal in my eating.

 

My meals are naturally decreasing in amount and the fat content is rising just as naturally.  For instance, earlier in the week, when I was recouping from the last carby binge, in order to make sure I did not feel deprived, I had 4 cumberland sausages for dinner with my cabbage.  Last night, I was fine with two.  I see it as the body regulating itself naturally when it has the right foods to digest to begin with.  I also notice my desire for more fat increasing, I poured the sausage pan drippings on my cabbage, even though I had generously braised it in beef lard and broth.  I have to say that dinner tasted marvellous!

 

I had to buy the usual weekly groceries yesterday.  I made sure I had satisfying foods for my lunches.  I bought high fat salami, liver pate, extra eggs and fish to make a mayonnaise based salad with.

 

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The salami was really good, tender and not chewy with all the fat.  I know it looks a mess!

I had a boiled egg with herring roe, raw carrot slices with crab pate, a bit of leftover cooked cauliflower with mayonnaise added (mini salad style). 

 

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Here is the lunch yesterday shown above as I serve it every day, on a tray with a pot of tea.  We eat at the table for breakfast and dinner, but usually have lunch at our dual desks.

 

 

I was careful to buy enough food to keep me out of the shops until Tuesday.  Husband returns to work on Monday which will be a touchy day for me, it is the usual binge day.   Tuesday is my birthday and it is already planned to have a fish and chips dinner as I have mentioned in the last post.  I mulled over what to do about lunch that day and after being so pleased with how I feel today, I don’t want to go back to feeling terrible with a carby binge (as bingeing was definitely on my mind as an option).  After thinking about it, I decided that I really wanted a lovely massive minced beef patty with cheddar cheese melted inside.   In America they called them juicy lucy’s and I adored them.   I will make one that will fit in the bowl.  On Tuesday I will go to the shop for 2 bottles of stout beer for our dinner and a package of merengue’s that I will dollop clotted cream on, and stop at the bakery and get Husband the ginger cake slices he really likes.   I think with the grain that will be in the fish batter, I do not want to keep adding more to it through dessert or a lunch binge.  Instead, I am opting for more sugar than grain through the merengue’s, stout and port.  

 

I feel much better about the choices.   Although I talk about keeping the carbs low, it is only because it has proven to me time and time again how well I feel choosing these types of food.  I am trying not to think of them as an alternative diet or weight loss method.  It’s not always easy for me with all my disordered eating thinking and patterns, but I am truly finding this porringer experiment to be a way of bringing me peace and it does have a calming effect on me.  Having the fish and chips was a difficult decision, because it was a high carb food choice.  With my single rule of eating exclusively from the porringer and no restrictions on what goes in the bowl, there are no carbohydrate numbers to mess up my thinking.  Yet, I know from long experience that I will feel much better the less grains and sugar I take in.  For me, normalising and balancing my eating is more important than being locked in numbers and food ideals.  I am working on finding that balance between planning what to eat (which takes on obsessive and wasted time thoughts) and just putting food in the bowl and calling it a complete meal as is.

 

Just this morning, as I was putting my hair up, I was standing in front of the mirror and noticing that how well I felt inside did not match up with the visual image of my body.  It didn’t help that because it is so cold in our bedroom, I had on multiple layers of clothing!  I had on thick socks, cotton knit lounge pants, a long old fashioned cotton night gown, a sweater and over all, my cooking apron.  I looked awful, massively huge and downright ugly.  The thoughts started to churn about how fat I have gotten once again and how I have let myself go, which started the restrictive eating thoughts.  I was ready to cancel the birthday dinner and punish myself with a lettuce leaf and water.  I felt in that murky thought pattern that I was unworthy of eating fish and chips, a beloved meal from my childhood.  It took time to work through the black thoughts, look at everything with the goal of something far more reasonable and that is why I am pleased with the choices, making a compromise of balanced choices, letting go of binge thoughts and a pleasant promise to myself not to get restrictive and over react to visual cues.  I will let the bowl take care of my meal size, I will let the clotted cream create the delight of a rich and fancy dessert.  And I will sip on my bottle of port and watch film noir all day! 

 

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And So it Begins

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That is the plate I was eating from.  It was a 9 inch plate, a traditional size, unlike the super size dinner plate found today.  It was actually a ceramic tart plate, but I used it as a plate simply because we had moved to Scotland and did not bring our dishes.  I liked that it had blackberries on it, as I had found some wild blackberries last summer and it reminded me of that joyful moment of popping unexpected sweet berries in my mouth.  Quite a size difference to the porringer!

I have switched to eating all of my meals from a pewter porringer.  There are many reasons for this, some are born out of necessity, some from need and most from an experimental urge to change how and what I eat.  In this blog, I will be exploring every possible idea I can come up with about what it means to me to eat from a porringer.

I start with only one rule to follow,  which is to eat all of my meals from this one container.  No other plate, bowls, or packaging are included in the adventure.  Whatever foods I choose to eat must be placed in the porringer, including finger foods.  The food must be able to fit in the porringer with the lid on, the lid must rest on the bowl completely.  That means the volume of the food must fit.  As I am obese, this is partly a way of finding a simple portion control method.  There is far more though behind it and I will be writing about it daily.