I’ve never had to get bloodwork in my life. I’ve gotten needles, though. And every single time, I pass out after having gotten one. It’s not a phobia, I’m not scared of the little prick, I’m honestly quite fine during the process. Afterward, however, is a whole different story! I can’t sit or stand within an hour of having received any sort of injection, and even then, as soon as I start to walk away, my vision and hearing will typically fade; if I don’t sit in time, I’ll lose consciousness for a second or two. Apparently it has something to do with a major drop in blood pressure. So that’s my standard needle experience. But as for bloodwork – which I remind you again, I have never had done – my only association with it is my housemate’s reaction. My housemate, and best friend, has an incredibly phobia of needles. So, when she had to have bloodwork done earlier this year, I obviously went with her for support. Without detailing the event, let me say that bloodwork and traumatic experience have been inextricably linked in my mind ever since.
Understandably, I was quite nervous.
Fast-forward an hour or so. Apparently I do better with intravenous needles than intramuscular! I was dizzy, but didn’t faint, and I was able to leave after a little over 30min. I got my two vials of blood taken, had them hookup a bunch of electrodes to my body to perform an ECG, and peed in a cup.
And here let me pause. I guess I haven’t explained why I had to get all of these tests done.
As previously alluded to, I’ve had disordered eating for my entire adult life. I binge and purge. The binging is triggered by stress or boredom. The purging is a way to “fix” the binge; it’s triggered by guilt, shame, and a need for control. This year is the first time I’ve really sought help for the issue. I tried in December, seeing a counselor at my school. His reaction? “It’s probably something you need to keep doing right now; it will help with all this stress you’re facing with the approaching exams.” I was in shock! I finally tell someone outside of my closest friends, and that is the response? I never went back.
It took my mom catching me in the act to push me to see someone again. This Tuesday, I went to my family doctor and she immediately requested bloodwork and a host of other tests. She offered the support I had been looking for in January and provided me with the information and options that I need.
Let me tell you. Bulimia is not fun. It does not make you lose weight. It does not solve any problems. It creates them. It poses such a great threat to your body. I know all of this; I’ve known for years. And yet, I’ve continued to throw myself down a destructive path, exposing my body to all kinds of danger. And what for? The brief happiness I feel from eating something magnificently dense in calories? The joy of heaping my plate with such massively ridiculous portions? Is it really possible to enjoy food in such large quantities, especially when there’s this nagging sense of guilt in the back of your mind, and the knowledge that that same food will be running through the sewers within 20 minutes? I honestly don’t know. I continue to do it, so it seems like there must be some (illogical) benefit.
I just want to fix this. It’s so controlling. It’s a waste of money, time, and health. Hopefully this site, and the accountability that it creates, will help me keep this under control. That’s the plan, anyway – wish me luck!