Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Being admitted to hospital for non eating disorder reasons while in recovery - answer

Hi Izzy - I have just found out that I have to go into hospital soon for an operation and I am getting really worried about how I`m going to manage my eating whilst I`m in there. I`m going to be in there for at least a week, maybe a little longer. Do you think I should tell them I am following a recovery meal plan? I`m worried about things like having my snacks and what the menus will be like. Should I take my supplement drinks in with me? I`m also worried that the operation itself and how I feel afterwards is going to negatively affect my eating - I mean when I get ill my appetite completely disappears so I am guessing I won`t feel much like eating for the first few days and I don`t want this to set me back. Do you think its best/easier just to forget my meal plan whilst I`m in there and just to eat what I want from the menus or should I tell them what I`m doing and see if they can accommodate it, which I`m thinking is unlikely as it just won`t be practical for the staff. From past experience the menu for the next days meals is given out the day before and you just choose from the options what you want, I remember there being things marked gluten free/vegetarian option/low sugar/low calorie options but not anything like options for those needing to gain weight, and I am worried about portion sizes too - they are tiny!
If you have any advice about how I should manage this I would be so grateful.


Hello,
  I understand you are worried, and i hope your operation goes well. I would suggest that you talk to the doctor or the nurse/person in charge at the ward you will be admitted to and say that you are following a meal plan and need to eat a certain amount as well as at certain times. In school we recently talked about patients being in hospital and how hospital food really isnt up to standards... there are so many people involved, lots of stress and not the right education about nutrition in hospitals. Of course some places are better than others, but i know from my own experience all the hospitals i have been admitted to i.e the regular hospitals, not eating disorder ones, the food has been terrible. So terrible that i didnt eat, would lose weight and spend even more time at hospital... so my mum would begin buying food for me at other places and bringing to me and my dad would bring a whole box filled with snacks from fruit, crisps, biscuits, bars etc just so that i would eat something. My mum also did a whole lot of complaining about the food i got in hospitals both in Ireland and Sweden because it was almost unedible, not to mention that it was just a standard portion/food and not at all catered to the fact that i have CF and have different nutrition requirements.

Now a days i think there is more knowledge and dieticians play a bigger role in the food at hospitals, but there is still alot wrong with how the food is served and what type of food is served, not to mention that if you have to eat while surrounded by sick people or peeping or just feel like you are in a "sick" or very sterile environment it makes food very unappetizing. I remember when i was in hospital last year because of an inflamed pancreas, i wasnt allowed to eat but i was stuck in a room with 3 or 4 other elderly people who were rather sick and it was not a nice environment, so even if i would have been allowed to eat i dont think it would have been enjoyable, not to mention that when i was finally allowed to eat the only vegan option they have was some vegetable broth type soup.
And another memory.... after i overdosed on painkillers and ended up in hospital i had to spend 24 hours there before being admitted back to Mando and the hospital staff knew i had an eating disorder and was following a meal plan but they could barely cater to that, not that i actually ate but they didnt even give me the food. Of course i understand hospitals are stressful and there are SO many patients with different requirements but if there are more educated staff within the food area then it shouldnt be a problem.
SO hopefully there will be change in this area in the future, i mean nutrition is one of the big parts in recovery while at hospital from all illnesses most often. With the right nutrition and energy recovery from an operation or illness goes quicker.

So to answer your question.... talk to someone in charge, mention that you are on a meal plan which you need to follow and ask if they can accomodate to that. But also come prepared... bring snacks with you! Also remember, its much better to eat something than not eat at all... i.e even if you get served food you might not normally eat, its better to eat that than not at all. I would also recommend maybe asking for supplement drinks if you might find it hard to eat... usually when you have an operation you might get alot of painkillers that can make you feel nauseous andnot so hungry, so then drinking supplement drinks can be useful for a few days/ a week. Not to mention that if you dont feel like cooking or making food when you are home you know you will atleast get the right energy into you.

Also remember that recovery from an operation takes time and requires a good amount of energy, so dont eat less even if you may need to be very still. Your body still needs alot of energy to help it heal and recover :)

Do you best to communicate with the staff, if possible ask to meet a dietician if you can or talk to the people in charge of the food at the hospital. It may seem scary or uncomfortable or like you are being a burden, but you need to do what is best for you... and if the staff dont know about your nutrition requirements they cant help you either. So maybe ask for bigger portions or tell them that you need to gain weight (i.e been told by a  proffessional that you need to... they might listen more then), and that you would like if you got served snacks as well as bigger portions. Maybe they cant accomodate, but like i wrote earlier... come prepared with snacks as well as maybe if you can get supplement drinks to help.

Just do your best and dont worry about being a burden and making your requirements heard if you dont ask you will never know! I hope your operation goes well and you heal quickly :)


5 comments:

  1. Thank you Izzy for your very sound advice. You know, I would have thought hospitals were the one place where you would be guaranteed good nutrition as like you rightly said, nutrition is key to recovery when you are sick. But seemingly not! The food isn't brilliant at my local hospital either and doesn't do a lot to tempt your appetite. But I guess I will have to make the best of the situation and hope that my in patient stay isn't too long! I think its a good idea of yours for me to take in a supply of snacks and such - then at least I will have something to eat if the meals fall short or if I need a snack. And I will take my supplement drinks in with me. Usually the hospital supply you with medication on your admittance (if you are taking any) but I don`t think I will risk any chance of them not being able to get the one that I am on, so its just as easy to take my own!
    I will also talk to them about my meal plan and see if they can accommodate it somewhat although I don`t hold out much hope. I think its going to be a case of making the best of things, eating my own snacks and supplement drinks - doing the best I can and hoping my stay isn't too long!
    Thank you again for your advice, its put my mind at rest somewhat about talking about this with the staff - I don`t want to be a nuisance/extra burden to them but at the same time its important too me. And if all else fails my partner will have to bring a meal in for me when he visits!
    Hope you are having a good weekend, take care xxx

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    1. Hey I'm really happy that you are very concerned on your health and keeping up with recovery.. your question was very inspiring because it shows how you care on keeping up with your meal plan.. I'm so happy that you're recovering and motivated through and through. Good luck in your operation and hope it goes well. :)

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  2. I would also recommend you to prepare with snacks and own food, like when I was in “normal” hospital(not specialised in eds)they knew I had anorexia but they didnt do anything abozt it, like I had to remind the stuff that it was time for me to eat. It was horrible because once a nurse asked me if I was hungry, and indeed I was but I felt soo guilty and fake and eberything. Its better to manage eating on your own, and as you said your partner can help you. Also asking the staff is a good idea, your health is the most important, after all:)

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  3. Hello Izzy,
    As someone who has suffered and overcome depression have you found/realised that you are a "different" person than who you were before your depression? I ask because since I went through my depression I have found that I like and enjoy many new things. I feel I am more "in tune" with my feelings and actually know what I like and dislike and what makes me feel happy. I have discovered new interests, new hobbies, begun to read new books that interest me and new authors, discovered I like different music to what I used to listen too and are not scared to actually say what I like and dislike.I This has opened up a whole new world to me and sometimes I feel like a new person, that the old me has disappeared. As someone who has also gone through depression and also a lot of other big changes in their life do you think it has made changes in you also? I would be interested to hear what your opinions are and also whether any other readers have gone through a similar thing/process?

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