I enjoyed my 6 hour class yesterday on Eating Disorders. I was a little surprised to be the only RD in the room – the rest of the couches (yes, we all got cozy in a small room full of couches) were filled with psychologists and therapists of some sort. It was a day very much filled with talky-feely stuff (as therapists do), and I definitely felt myself being analyzed somewhat (what, the RD is the first to grab a bagel? and she’s getting the cinnamon crunch kind? ooh lots of calories there! haha).
I found myself learning a little more about working with ED patients, but on the whole I know I will still feel baffled when I come across one at work.
I think the major difference is that the rest of the participants in yesterday’s workshop are all in private practice, so they see their patients/clients on an ongoing basis. I guess that’s the most frustrating aspects of my job – I see patients one time, for 5-30 minutes, and then never again. I have no way of knowing if I taught them anything, if they will make any changes, if they will be a healthier person because of my interaction with them.
After all, you can’t cure an Eating Disorder in one 15 minute talk with a psychiatric patient. The staff yesterday told us that the research suggests 3, 5, 7, even 10 years for complete “recovery” (and even then… there will most likely be relapses into the ED world). So it just frustrates me when the doctors at my place consult me for a patient with an eating disorder – I don’t feel like I can be very effective at working with them. Not when they have much more serious psychiatric co-morbidities, and are just at our facility to be stabilized and thrown back out into the world.
One therapist I met yesterday, who actually works in the Knoxville area, said upon hearing where I work — “Oh, you get to work with patients who are off the deep end”.
Yup, pretty much :)
But not to be all down and negative. I know that there are patients who are appreciative of my time and effort, and that I have helped some. And maybe one day I will have a job where I have the luxury of working with patients over a long period of time, and can witness that journey of change with them. As manipulative and frustrating as ED patients can be, most of the therapists yesterday agreed that it was extremely rewarding to see the patient come to the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and reach recovery.
After the workshop, The Boy prepared my birthday surprise – a trip to the paint-your-own-pottery place where we had our first date! Very sweet. I made a cupcake bowl (still haven’t decided what will live inside.. any ideas?) for my office, and he made a drum-themed pencil pot. Fun fun. Then off to Radio Shack (he remembered that I needed to replace my pedometer battery!) and dinner at Urban Flats.
I enjoyed our experience at Urban Flats. Especially when I learned that their flatbread crusts are all 75% whole-wheat! Awesome :)
Even though we had a good 30-40 minute wait… the TV in the bar was showing the women’s gold medal curling game, so I (finally!) got to witness my first curling game in action. Maybe I should start this as my new hobby? I hear there is a Smoky Mountain Curling group… haha
After our soups (potato for him, tomato bisque for me) and flatbreads (mexican craziness for him, classic margarita style for me) I had a delicious molten chocolate lava cake for my bday dessert. Yum.
And then we came home and I pretty much went straight to sleep. haha. I just can’t stay up all hours of the night like The Boy can. Especially with the time difference.
Now it’s Saturday:
- Oil Change for The Boy’s precious car
- Taking Sheff to the park for a nice walk
- Buying lotion for my incredibly dry, itchy skin
- Eric Clapton tonight!