Sorry about the delay – I’ve been having problems with internet access. Here, though, is the next instalment of my in-patient treatment saga:
It’s difficult to remember the next part very clearly. I can’t properly remember, now, what I did – tried to enjoy my last few days of being able to control my own life, keeping my daytime eating to a minimum so I felt I could reward myself with my yummy comfort foods: my bread, my low-carb, low-protein stews, my yogurt and honey.
I also exercised hard, jogging as much as possible, even though, precisely because, I knew this was the last opportunity I’d have. Despite knowing it would immediately become irrelevant, I was determined to enter treatment weighing as little, being as exhausted, and having done as much exercise, as possible. I’m not sure why this was, but I suspect I was driven by a need to justify my place, at the NHS’s expense, in this place. It must cost such a lot of money.
I got up before 5.00a.m., as always, on the day I was admitted, and went for the usual long run. Jo drove me. I think I was nervous and aware how momentous this could be, but also hopeful and excited because, realising that I’d never really recovered, I now saw this as a genuine chance to rid myself of this pale, unwholesome, parasitic demon. Imagine being free and able to eat pizza! Luckily, the numbing exhaustion of anorexia keeps all these feelings muted and therefore manageable, as does Polly’s warm, nurturing support. Otherwise the keen pangs of emotion might be horrifying.
We arrived at a substantial, late-Victorian, bay-windowed property in the suburbs, and walked into a large, light-coloured hall with a high ceiling and comfortable sofas. I immediately felt a great sense of relief: not your standard under-funded hospital, then, patched up and smelling of bleach. Lots of people greeted me kindly and cheerfully; too many to remember. However, as I was processed through the initial interviews, sitting in an anonymous bedroom I will share, with consultants and dieticians and nurses, telling the same anecdotal information about why I’m eligible for treatment, I returned to my usual passive and bewildered self.
I can’t even remember what happened next or who anyone is. There are so many different Care Assistants, so we can be supervised 24 hours a day. All lovely. Then there are occupational therapists, psycho-therapists, the medical consultants. It’s all a bit overwhelming.