27 July 2016

Summertime Celebrations

 It’s hard to believe over a month has passed since I returned home from an inpatient eating disorder unit in Pittsburgh after four long months of medical stabilization. Those four months may have very well been the hardest, most trying (both physically and emotionally) months of my life, as I had to come face to face with my greatest fears and allow my body to physically heal from the years of torturous abuse that’d nearly stolen my fragile life far too many times; I won’t go into detail about how worn down and lifeless my body, as well as spirit had become but will sum it up with a story: one Sunday afternoon I’d stayed home from church after once again suffering from illness due to a severely compromised immune system, having no reserves to “steal from”, and felt a gentle nudging at my heart saying, “Seek professional help”, making it pretty clear I wouldn’t last much longer if I didn’t go sooner rather than later. So, I obeyed and called my mom, who was in church but quickly arrived home to help me pack for this “revelation moment” and we hopped in the car to head for the emergency room. When I arrived, they took me right in, without even having to wait in the waiting room, as they told me I was in such bad shape they didn’t think I’d survive much longer; so, after stabilization in the hospital, I was transferred to the inpatient eating disorder facility across the street, where I spent the next 3 ½ months or more literally fighting for my life. Every day was filled with countless battles but with God’s strength I came out victorious and my body has healed miraculously, making a complete turnaround.

Since returning home, I have had many struggles, as is to be expected, but never once have I given up without rising again. I’m discovering countless attributes I never knew resided within this heart of mine and learning to develop a new identity, apart from anorexia nervosa. Sure, there are days where I want nothing more than to resort back to the comfort of starvation, as it is what had become familiar, but I’m then reminded of how far I’ve come and how my body might not “spring back” if there is ever another relapse. It’s amazing to have such vast energy to do so many things and to have the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want, within limits of course! I’m discovering SO much about life and it is oh so beautiful! A lot has been happening in my life lately but I just haven’t taken the time to write, so today I thought I’d “bite the bullet” and “just do it”, so to speak!

Several weeks ago I had an appointment with a colorectal physician at The Cleveland Clinic for the first time. I had such a fun time browsing the buildings from the inside, without having to be wheeled in a hospital bed as an inpatient. I just love the atmosphere at the Cleveland Clinic, with all of its modern architecture and recognition of such a vast array of different ethnicities. Everyone is beyond friendly there and I’ve still to meet a physician there I wasn’t absolutely blown away by! This physician gave me countless handouts on what we discussed and then got me in right away to see the surgeon, who apparently has an insanely busy schedule. She then sent me for some testing to measure my muscle tone and scheduled me for some more tests to evaluate whether or not I need any of my intestines removed. I am scheduled to see the surgeon on the sixteenth, so we are hoping they will schedule surgery within the next weeks, before school; I was SO pleased to find out it is only an outpatient laparoscopic surgery, in which I can go home the same day, as well as only a three-week recovery period, which is MUCH better than what I’d originally been told! God has such amazing ways of absolutely blowing me away!

Yesterday my grandma called me to ask what I was doing today and whether or not I’d like to help her bake cut-outs for Troyer camping, which is we are in-charge of and is rapidly approaching! Every other year my mom’s aunts & uncles, along with all of their children and grandchildren rent a campground down south with tons of cabins and lodging for Friday through Sunday. Since we are in charge this year, we wanted to be sure to provide plenty of food for all these hungry people! So, this morning I ran over to my grandparent’s house, where we baked, frosted and decorated over four dozen cut-outs. I’m not going to lie: at first it was a major stressor to challenge my intense perfectionism, as I wanted each cookie to look “perfect”, but I soon got over that and learned to embrace the process, imperfections and all! I had such a fun time socializing with my grandma—memories I will treasure forever!

After we finished baking, decorating and cleaning up, it was such a gorgeous day that we decided to head over to my aunt’s pool, where we spend most of our Summer days sunbathing. I immediately grabbed my pool floatie and jumped into the pool, which felt absolutely fantastic after almost dying of heat in this ninety-some degree heat! I laid in the pool for hours on end, and honestly, if given the chance, would live there; there’s nothing more relaxing then soaking up the rays while floating in the comfort of refreshing blue water, tossed and turned by the waves made by all the surrounding company. It is such a blessing to be able to enjoy such fond bonding time with all of my siblings, as well as aunt and grandma God is SO good!! I just can’t get enough of all the beauty He has created! Here’s to many new adventures in this nature-embracing life; I can’t wait to see what He has next in store for me!