Sitting in a room of therapists

Hi All!

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.

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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.

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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!

Later!

Domestic Thursday

I’ve done lots of house cleaning today after work… getting ready for the intern reunion this weekend at the farm!! 5 former interns, now RDs, are meeting up for a weekend of fun and catching up!

Went gymming after work for some interval training on the treadmill and a few weights. I try to jump on the weight machines as soon as I get there (although I know it’s better to let your muscles warm up first with some cardio) before that part of the gym gets packed with intimidating strong people :)

While treadmill-ing and moving along to Coldplay, I saw all the Fort Hood news on the TV screens. As soon as I left the gym, I called my sister – who’s a student at UT-Austin, to see if anything was happening in Austin about it. Of course, she had no idea what I was talking about. But it looks like they caught the guy (well, killed him more like it) so no one else is at risk. And then to hear that he’s a medical doctor who works in mental health?! Brilliant. Maybe that’s what happens when you work with these crazy patients for too long – they rub off on you! Lord I hope not! Get me out of the psych hospital before that happens!

Today I had my first true eating disorder patients – scared me to death because I have no idea how to handle them. Well, really it’s the patients who are scared to death. A had a 13 year old anorexic girl who is determined to get to 85 pounds and will not be happy until she does. She eats 300-350 calories on a good day and beats herself up if she eats more than 500. Good lord! I had her in tears with the suggestion of drinking the 2% milk that is served to her. It’ll be a long journey….. I just feel so helpless working with this population, because they have these messed up beliefs so ingrained in them, what could I possibly do?!

Oh goodness. Now I’m heating up a Gardenburger Chik’n Patty, to be served on a Trader Joes Naan with Laughing Cow Cheese. It’s kinda a cheater dinner tonight; I wasn’t in the mood to cook after getting all that cleaning done.

But yay for tomorrow being Friday, and for the beautiful weekend weather ahead!

Enjoy your Thursday night – don’t forget to watch The Office!!

Great Documentary

I just got back from seeing a screening of a documentary called “America The Beautiful” – an eye-opening film targeted at our obsession with beauty and its damaging consequences. A panel-led discussion followed, with staff members from inpatient eating disorder treatment centers, an RD, and the man behind the film, Darryl Roberts, who flew in for the event. Very powerful and thought-provoking. Could turn many a woman into a feminist then and there.

Hope it’s not too thought-provoking though. I need to go to sleep so I can get up at the crack of dawn and meet my teammates at 6:45am for some half-marathon training! Yeah! Go team!