Rita Maureen Thompson, then 25 years old, was battling both physical and mental consequences of a rare and severe illness that were resulted in a reluctance to the weight of her body.
I often wore nail colors such as “Not Red-y for Bed” and “Don’t Pretzel my Buttons” to highlight my body. In ballet, I’d be content when I could raise my arabesque leg a bit higher. My body would be ready to go for a 9 a.m. training session the next day after a night out. night of drinking vodka shots while chewing gum. My stroll on the sidewalk was graceful. I had a cheap meal of frozen bananas and buttered noodles to fuel me.
My body was in the way I’ve for years. I was unaware that my age would one day be my past.
When I turned 25 years old, I received a diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia My life took a drastic left to turn (POTS). POTS is a form of dysautonomia, also known as autonomic nervous system disorders. Although the symptoms of POTS can be varied the severe dizziness and heart rate I suffered due to the chronic illness put my life in limbo.
I went from being a self-sufficient twentysomething to being totally dependent upon my family. I had to leave my job, face broken relationships and walk on her shoulder for aid. The house my parents lived in situated in a historic town was a safe sanctuary however it was a long way from the urban life I had planned for myself.
My one-and-a-half-bedroom Astoria apartment, which I shared with two Craigslist housemates, was missed. I was not able to pursue my dreams of acting as a profession. I was not confident within my own body, and the potential to let me live my life to the fullest.
I had meticulously created my life around friendships, third dates career goals, and complete independence right up to that point. When all that had disappeared, I was determined to find something that I could keep to. What it was that I wanted to cling to did not matter to me.
Being obsessed with a particular number
My physique was reduced into a pile of data as a consequence of having a chronic disease. My irregularities were assessed through medical check-ups every three weeks exams, labs, and tests. My body which had been amorphous was now at the helm.
Nurses weighed me at every appointment with the doctor. They frequently stated 109 pounds at the peak of my illness. Since I was frequently sick and hungry because of POTS that was not treated I weighed 109 pounds. It was difficult to eat.
As the beta-blockers reduced my heart rate to a certain extent and the gabapentin had me sick, the constant of 109 was an element of comfort when my long-term plan to control my condition progressed.
I knew precisely what the number meant. I felt it, could feel it and link it to the world. When my life was spiraling beyond control any familiar, even numbers 109 and 109 was my source of strength.
- The number 109 makes an outstanding one.
- I’m expecting a figure of 109.
- It’s a small number.
- The number 109 has become very well-known.
- 109 means that I am the commander.
At the age of 25 years old, I got diagnosed as having postural orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome My life changed dramatically. to turn (POTS). POTS is a type of dysautonomia or autonomic nervous system disorder. Although the symptoms of POTS can be varied, however, the extreme dizziness and heart rate that I felt due to the chronic illness put my life in limbo.
I transitioned from being a self-sufficient twentysomething to being totally dependent on my mother and father. I was forced to stop my job, confront broken relationships and walk on her shoulder for a crutch. My parents’ home located in a town that was once a thriving suburb was a safe haven but it was away from the urban life I’d carved out for myself.
“You should eat more”
I recovered my strength following one year of treatment. In the process, I project the trauma of my health condition into the fixation of 109 pounds. To prevent becoming disabled by the disease I did all I could to preserve my weight at 109 pounds.
When I was able to move around without feeling tired I was able to return in New York City. I had to physically work for time to meet the demands of my schedule regardless of the fact that I had to go still back to work as a nanny casting auditions, acting, and all the other nonsense.
After a series of unreliable results from a test, My primary care physician recommended that I keep a food diary for two years following my diagnosis. I’d been with this doctor for quite a while. Her request wasn’t a concern for me as she always maintained a cocky posture. I was confident that I didn’t have anything to hide since I was confident of my efforts to complete the 109. I went straight to CVS and bought a new planner so that I could become an A+ patient and keep track of what I consumed on a daily basis.
Breakfast is the banana.
Lunch is comprised of two eggs hard-boiled.
Almonds A handful
Dinner is comprised of two pieces of bread.
I shared my meal log with my doctor. I was proud of my meticulous record-keeping and what I believed to be a healthy high protein vegetarian diet. Every meal I ate in October was meticulously documented. I wrote with my most sophisticated handwriting. I was totally exposed.
While she looked through my meals diary with a slow pace, the entire room became still. Her face was unmoved I figured she was shocked by the meticulousness that I had recorded in my journal. It was possible to stop the anxiety of my eating habits from becoming an issue. The 109 was there for me.
“You need to eat more,” she finally said when she looked upwards.
It was like she was saying that the sky was not blue. The sky would’ve been horrified when I realized the off-kilter relationship between my weight and weight however I did not. I thought it was due to my diet. As I looked at the mirror I saw what I had expected to see. Despite my inability to understand the words my doctor was telling me, I opted to consume more. Insofar as I don’t abandon 109 I thought to myself.
While I was gliding out from the exam room, armed with documents to give to the desk at the front, I was able to see a new word in the section titled “diagnosis”:
Was this something she has recently spoken of, or did I not know about it? I was irritated by the lack of clarity.
I was wondering in the car following the appointment whether I could blame myself for accidentally inventing another reason why I wasn’t able to fit to”the “healthy” category. I started berating myself. Perhaps I’m the one to blame for the cause. Maybe I’m responsible for my health issues.
I was able to return home to the parents’ house at which I had been staying for the weekend. I needed to prove myself that I was not going into the abyss of an eating disorder as my doctor had mentioned and so I ate whatever I could get my hands on. I indulged in lots of chips and salsa. The spaghetti dish I crushed.
My mom kept an eye check on me. She told me, “I don’t believe your doctor meant you had to consume everything in one sitting.” We laughed together because that was the only source of entertainment in the situation. It was painful to uncover a habit that was triggered by the trauma of being diagnosed with an illness that was chronic however, it gave me an opportunity to learn.
Better health and healing
Although my symptoms of POTS are under control, 5 years on, the psychological marks of an illness that is chronic haven’t fully been cured. What’s different is that I’m aware of the harmful weight-related notions I hold. To make it seem like I’m perfect for my weight I’m fast to say that I’m being arrogant or ignorant But I know there’s more to it.
If I have to attend a doctor’s appointment and am weighed, stay away from the numbers and ask the doctor not to inform me of what my weight is. I don’t get caught in the numbers if do not know my weight.
But I’m sure that I’m not 109 anymore. I’m still convinced that you’re overweight at times.
I am still thinking about it, “Don’t eat it” or “Skip this lunch.”
Sometimes, I believe that I’d be better off at 109.
In 98 percent of cases, I try to ignore the negative thoughts and eat the food that is in front of me. My thoughts about food as well as my medical issues fluctuate. Today, I’m looking for stability in other areas including the love and support from alliances that have stood with me through the fluctuation of my health as well as the new connections I’ve made.
The effects of chronic illness and the stress that goes with it are unpredictable. I will never know what it’s like to live with chronic illness and the emotional scars it leaves behind, however, I’ve come to terms with these issues. They’re an integral part of my life.