Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Hospital Food Conundrum

Later today, I will be going to the Emergency Room for some blood work. I am about ninety percent sure they will admit me, and fit me onto another heart monitor, because (surprise) I am having chest pains yet again. This may sound ridiculous to those who wonder why I don't just stop shoving my fingers down my throat, but it's really not as easy as it sounds. My weight hasn't plummeted the way it did a while back, but my limbs are tingling again, which is a pretty bad sign.

I need an EKG, a CBC, and a chemistry in order to be admitted into the Outlook at Westchester in White Plains, a branch of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. It is a treatment center for eating disorders, specializing in anorexia and those with low-weight bulimia (which would be yours truly). In order to join the program, I must be medically stable, because they aren't equipped to administer IV nutrition, which I will most likely need. I will probably spend about 2-3 weeks there, getting just the kind of help I need to kick this. The thought of being monitored so closely, especially in regards to food and my weight, and actually speaking about this (as opposed to typing a blog), terrifies me beyond belief. This time, I have a pretty good feeling that I won't change my mind.

The last time I checked myself into St. Luke's Hospital on the Upper West Side because I heard there was a very good eating disorder program there. While this was not untrue, they specialized in treating obesity. I had to laugh at the irony before using the misunderstanding to check myself out against medical advice.

Before I go into the emergency room, I shall treat myself to a "last meal." Never am I more aware of just how famished I really am than when I am lying in a hospital bed with nothing to distract myself from the hunger pains. My training in the classical French culinary arts doesn't help much. Feeding hospital food to a cook is like giving legos to an architect: very insulting. It also makes it more difficult to appear sincere about my recovery. It's hard enough to feel enthusiastic about eating even the tastiest food. All that aside, I don't want to die, so I guess I will just have to suck it up with a few good books...

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