They weigh me – backwards, of course.
They take my blood pressure: lying down and then standing up. The nurse watches me as standing up gives me a head rush and raises her eyebrow as I put my hand out to steady myself.
They check my urine for hydration levels because of all the purging.
They do blood tests and look at my electrolyte levels…because of all the purging.
They check my teeth and my throat…again, because of the purging. They poke me and prod me, feeling my stomach, listening to my heart.
They turn the heater on because I am freezing in my hospital gown. What a cliché. All the patients here are freezing, shivering, wasting away.
They give me endless papers to fill out. I have to rate my quality of life with ED, my body dissatisfaction, my mood swings, my anxiety, food obsessing.
They ask questions. They ask more questions. I go through the last 20 disordered years, dredging up stuff I have buried under tonnes of pasta. At one point I cry unexpectedly. I minimize and deflect. I confess to feeling guilty for wasting time and resources that could be better spent on other people. I admit to being embarrassed that I am not thin enough or sick enough to be here. I tell them that I honestly don’t believe this outpatient program will “cure” me.