Friday, May 2, 2008

Mission: Hospital Evasion

Guess who’s not in the hospital? Oh, just me.

What a relief. This is me "relieved" in the car after my appointment. I look...not caucasian.

I was so nervous this morning. Our appointment was in Lehi, which is about a half hour from my house, and since it was scheduled for 8:15, I had to get up quite early to get ready and for the driving time, and I felt like I was going to ralph up all my important weight gain. Held in the nerves, though.

So, I won’t lie; I was a sneaky little bugger. I wore two jackets and heavy pants and shoes when I got weighed. I know, I know. I sound like a devious crazy anorectic, but I found it quite necessary to wear all the contents of my winter wardrobe because I so believe that hospitalization is not necessary!

So I stepped on the scale, and I was supposed to get on it backward, but the bubble-gum chomping nurses-aid looked so ignorant, and I was right – she was – she didn’t know I was supposed to shed my many layers and shoes and get on backward. How can you not take advantage of a soft little baby eating disorder virgin?

So, the number was like nine pounds heavier than it was last time I saw my weight, and I just busted out laughing, because I knew that there was no way on this planet that I had gained nine pounds in, like, four days. I was pretty sure some of that was real, but not the majority of it.

So Dr S came in, (who, if you will remember, is beautiful, and whom I now refer to as Docalicious) and we talked for awhile, he mainly asked Brandon if I was really telling the truth and not lying, and I was trying to not be offended, cuz I ain’t no fibster, but really, I understand.

But then Docalicious saw me hunched over with the weight of my winter clothing collection, and asked, “You didn’t wear all that when you got weighed, did you?”

I of course start giggling, (Why am I such a moron?) and conceded that I had, in fact, donned my winter attire for the do or die weigh in. He actually laughed, but told me I knew better, and that his nurses, did too. I promptly negated that one, though. His nurses blow at following the eating disorder protocol for weigh-ins, but whatev.

So the point here is that I did gain weight, we’re pretty sure, but how much exactly remains a mystery. My dietician will weigh me on Monday, and I can find out how successful this weight gain mission is going thus far.

And, don’t worry, I already came clean to my therapist and dietician about Mission: Evade Hospital. I’m sure I’ll suffer the consequences on Monday when I see them. But whatevs. Totally worth it.

Except, now that I think about it, Docalicious said that they’re going to take my possible hospital admittance a week at a time. He went on to explain that they’re worried that the reason I’ve had so much trouble gaining weight in the past, even while in treatment, is because my body has been so depleted for so long, that it refuses to do what it should even when it gets nourishment and just continues to relentlessly eat itself. Or whatever. So even though I’m out of the hot-seat for now, I have to hope that this small weight gain is a weekly trend.

So, you still have to keep me in your prayers and thoughts and stuff, because I don't want some other lame disease. I've already got anorexia, I don't need something else that's super suckalicious.


Emily said...

Yay, no hospital! I can't believe that nurse had no clue that you were supposed to take off all those layers and get weighed backwards! One would think she'd know that. Oh well. It worked to your advantage.

KC Elaine said...

congratulations! and what a moron nurse!

Stacy said...

I watched a little video in my head of you screwing with the ditzy nurse and then giggling infront of the doc about your no no. it was amusing to say the least.
I am happy you are hospital free and we know you will stay that way.
Take care. life would be very dull in the absense of your very humorous progress reports.

(pictured in my head you wearing so much gear you can't even put you arms at your side, they're just stickin' out there :-)

zubeldia said...

Oh man, I have had so many moron nurses. I'm so glad that you gained some weight, Brie. I know that it's probably hard to fully appreciate this when your vitals seems to be stable, but the silent damage done to your body is accumulating and you don't want to have the bones of an old woman when you hit 40, and you don't want your poor heart to eat be eaten up.

I think you make a great poster-girl for a feeding tube as you surely look beautiful even with all that plumbing.

jana bananas said...

Oooh, I love hot doctors! I hate dumb nurses. Even my old doctor didn't weigh me once because he said, "those shoes look heavy." Well DUH, have me take them off, idiot. Seriously. I have no idea what was going on in his mind when he said that.

I also think you look beautiful even with tubage! Not that you should strive to keep it, of course! ;) I bet you'll miss the stripper pole when it's gone though. You'll have to get a surrogate of some type.

The Cheese said...

Seriously, Z and Jana, his nurses are awful. Once I went in, and asked her if I should take off my shoes, and she said, "Oh, whatever. It doesn't really matter." And I said to her, "But I'm here for weight related issues." And she just shrugged and said it was up to me. It's so maddening! Seriously, though, Docalicious I swear could have paid his way through med school by doing some male modeling. Even my husband conceded he was handsome! :)

heather said...

wow...what a dumb-ass nurse! You'd think, working with people with ed related issues that she'd have the slightest "clue"....but apparently not. How weird. But I'm glad that you didn't get put in the hospital, I know Cade, and Brandon, of course, would miss you terribly. Also, I so believe you can do this've got so much perseverance! And your stubborness, when used right, is something to be admired! I hate early doc appts...why the heck do they do things like that???

it's me, t said...

can i just tell you that i love you? ok, i love you. :D you are freaking hilarious, tuber. i like that nickname. i know it's somewhat offensive, but get over it tubeface. :D oh, and just thought you should know there is a gang of hooligans in my back yard smoking dubie. my brother's visiting. Maybe I can get him to send you some, medicinal maryj. it's a controlled substance schedule II, used for patients undergoing kemo to help with nausea, so that they can actually want to eat. it might help you get the munchies. :D i love you.

it's me, t said...

ps, i just thought i might use some of my nurse lingo. :D ps, when i'm working in a dr.'s office, i'll make all my pts step on the scale backwards and strip down, whether they have an ed or not. you never know, don't want to get anyone started. :D

it's me, t said...

ps ps ps that reminds me of going pee pee

jana bananas said...

By the way, you look hardcore badass in that picture! You look like you're about to beat down some bitches.

KC Elaine said...

you should send me a pic of your doc and I'll send you a pic of mine. Mine's a hottie too! please keep us updated, and I'm glad your body is starting to heal.

The Cheese said...

Ky, I've tried so hard it's been borderline stalkerish to find a picture of Docalicious. He's not online that I can find anywhere, and I've seriously contemplated trying to secretly snap a pic of him on my camera phone, but I haven't worked up the guts. How'd you get a pic of yours?

emily b said...


I appreciate your blogging honesty, and I hope you get better, but I have to take issue with this post, both as a nurse who's dealt with dishonest patients, and as a concerned family member who has watched you struggle with ED over the past 6 years. The nurse was not a dumb moron. Frankly, you are. It's your ultimate responsibility to provide accurate information so people involved in your care can help you live. Denial and treatment sabotage will not help you get better. Cade, Brievik, Penny, and everybody else who has sacrificed and worried about you deserve you having the decency to take some adult responsibility, even if it means the inconvenience of a hospitalization. Grow up.
I welcome any comments you have about my response. I really do want to see you live. I want Cade to have you around in his life as the functional, healthy, talented mom you can be.

Your concerned sister-in-law,

zubeldia said...

I think that one of the most pernicious aspects of an eating disorder is that it compels the sufferer to engage in some pretty self-defeating behavior. I don't think that we act at all rationally when it comes to things such as self-care... For sure, we have to take responsibility, but were it that east and the thousands of people who suffer with AN would be recovered. Sadly, the recovery rates for AN are appalling. This is a mental illness and thus our sensibility is severely compromised. Frankly, I think Brie is to be commended for going to see the doc, of taking responsibility in doing this... this step in itself is frightening and daunting. I think the nurse, as a trained professional whose services are being paid for, should have known better... Part of her job is surely to be mindful of what her patient needs, of what her patient's limitations are (which is getting help for), and given that EVERY anorexic I have known has pulled this number, it should be something to look for... as a symptom of the disorder itself.

I for one have been weighed blindly only for a nurse to write in plain view the weight on the sheet she places right in front of me.

For sure, we all need to take some responsibility, but Brie has a potentially deadly illness which makes responsibility a precarious concept.

KC Elaine said...

I think the whole point of the NG tube is a HUGE step in the right direction. the fact that Brie has a willingness to gain weight in spite of her illness is not sabotage. It is understandable to be afraid of going into the hospital. Clearly she is taking steps to get better to avoid the hospital. And honestly, it is the nature of the disease to test your health care providers. If they're morons about it (which Brie is not), how can they be qualified to treat you? I think Brie has made it clear that she'll go to any length to recover, so let's take this one step at a time. Give the tube a chance before insisting she be hospitalized.


The Cheese said...

Emily, as a well-educated and high functioning adult, I have to assume that you are capable of giving constructive criticism, which I would have been much more receptive to, rather than a thinly veiled insult disguised as constructive by a "concerned family member." Being concerned gives you no right to be rude. When any and all respect you had for me went out the window, (I think it was right around the time you called me a dumb moron, which by the way, is a but superfluous, don't you think?) I tuned out. We all have our own problems Em, and I certainly don't go around insulting you when you don't get over or approach something as I wish or think you would. I, and it seems unlike you, learned in elementary school that insulting someone does not make them do what you want or yield positive results. And you say it is I that should grow up?

Z and Ky, thanks for you responses to my sister-in-law's comment. Perhaps she can learn by your example how to give constructive criticism without insulting someone.

emily b said...


You're right, you're not a dumb moron, which makes this moronic behavior by a very smart person even more disturbing. My terms of "moron" and "dumb" were taken from your own post and the comments of others used in describing the nurse who weighed you in. Other terms included "ditzy," "dumb-ass," and "ignorant," if I'm not mistaken. Similar language has been used to describe dieticians, therapists, and others who are simply trying to help you. While you deserve to be referred to in more respectful terms, so do they.

I don't pretend do be an ED expert, but I do have a fair amount of professional and personal experience working with people who suffer from mental illness and addiction (my side of the family, not yours, Brie). I understand ED is a mental illness and that denial and deception regarding body weight come with the territory. Denial, deception, and manipulation are hallmarks of many other related disorders. I understant that your ability to correctly perceive situations and take responsibility are altered by ED. I assume that many readers on this blog have also struggled with ED, and as the recovery rate from this is remarkably low (as eloquently stated by a previous poster), I would also assume that many have had experiences with health care providers of varying education levels, competence, and compassion. I am sure they can identify with the anxiety-producing experience of a weigh-in better than I can.

That being said, it's my experience that enabling and encouraging destructive behavior does not facilitate recovery. Many of your readers are likely at various points in their own recovery, and I sincerely wish them and you success. That was why I was surprised that not one, all of whom I know are very loyal and caring friends, suggested that duping the office staff might not ultimately be in your best interest or speed your recovery.
Sort of like an AA support group congratulating a member who managed to pass a breathalyzer test after drinking.
I am glad you have supportive friends, because I know they have been a great help to you and understand aspects of your struggle that others do not. They provide a vital perspective to you. But you may consider that other perspectives, even when they're not comfortable, may also be of use.

I actually do care about you. I have no interest in seeing you die, spend time in the hospital, or be tied to a feeding tube. I think you are a bright person with a great deal of potential. Brandon and I both want you to get better and have tried to provide information and help related to that end. We read your blog frequently and often talk with Penny about aspects of your recovery when she asks for advice. Brandon has left many, many voicemails on your cell phone (few are returned) and has tried to maintain contact with you despite living far away.
So when I tell you that I see a pattern of destructive behavior, it's because I care about you, Brievik, and Cade, and want you to have a good life. It's my personal and professional reflex, and I don't apologize for it. I take full responsiblity for my opinion, which is why I took the trouble to identify myself as a family member, not some random or anonymous person who happened onto your blog. I've known you for over 7 years now, which may be longer than some of your readers.
You may still be angry at me or not want to talk with me after this post, and if you are that's OK. However, I would be happy to email or talk with you at any time (I think I've used enough of your blog space already). I know each of us has our own issues, and if you have comments on mine, I'd be happy to hear them. My email is

Again, sincerely wishing you and your readers a full and healthy recovery,

Tanya said...


I for one understand what you are going through right now. I am here for you if you need another tuber to lean on.

I can understand your concern and your point of view. I however have to agree that the nurse was not reading the chart if she let the weigh in occur in full gear. Is it not a nurses job to know what the patient needs to be done before being seen by the doctor? And in fact I honestly believe that Brie did take responsibility in the end because she did not lie to the doctor when he asked about it. I have been through the deceitful weigh ins in the past...and it depends on who you do it to as to how fast you can come clean. Coming clean about "tricking the scales" is a major thing...and its hard to do. Especially when you know that the scale has the power to put you in the hospital, because being strapped to a pole or tube is bad enough but add being strapped to a bed and having nurses and people coming in at all hours of the night and the fear that comes over you when you hear that you have to go in the hospital...well it takes a lot to just say...hey I wasn't honest. I have to applaud Brie for having the courage to come clean within so little time from the weigh in. And honestly if the doc thought that it was that big of a deal, if he thought that it warranted it he could of reweighed her right then and there.

I also have to say this, I don't know about anyone else here, but I know for me this holds true. When I am in a low point I have enough guilt about everything I am doing that is hurting the ones I love and that everything I must do just so that I don't have to witness or watch the pain in their eyes or in their words towards me, that its probably not the best time to be hearing some of what you have said. I understand your concern and yea, maybe, and quite understandably it may be warranted, But I also think that Brie has enough to deal with and enough guilt about the situation. Getting the tube...saying yes to the tube is hard and it takes an extreme amount of responsibility over our actions, but there is also the fact that we said yes to a tube because we can't stand the idea that we are hurting all those wonderful people that love us and that have had to watch us get to this point.

I think I have said enough. I just wish family...mine included could live through what goes on in our heads for one week...even a day and I think they would understand the position we are in much better. And then maybe they could see how hurtful their words can be.

The Cheese said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cheese said...

Em, thanks for your reply. There's a lot to process, there, and seeing as it's nearly 3 am, and I'm on a sleeping pill, I'll be brief, and we can continue in private, if you'd like.

First of all, I do appreciate you coming out of anonymity. I still maintain that when a name is placed with what is being said, your convictions stand and mean more. So I appreciate it, and your opinion. I think a lot of my comments made about previous therapists/dieticians were made in a facetious manner - I'm assuming you've read my From Behind Bars series. Yes, much of it is how I felt, but obviously there was much exaggeration involved. Em, for me, life got hard, so I got funny to deal with it all. I believe that a sense of humor is a vital part of my life and my recovery. I know that as far as serious mental health issues go, this may not be how you approach life, but we may have to agree to disagree on that one, and move on. I know you have a great deal of experience as a wife and and sister and friend and daughter and nurse, etc, and you've always imparted a great deal of wisdom on my behalf, which I appreciate. BUT, this is my blog, and I will not change my writing style or my toung-in-cheek writing, because, like I previously said, it's as necessary to me as oxygen. I wondered when you left me this comment if you've been holding back anger from perhaps previous posts, so I guessed right, I suppose. I could feel so much ANGER, and I couldn't figure out why. I guess it came out all in one giant comment.

I will always love you and B and EC. B has always been there for me unfailingly, and as a member of the family I don't see very often, he may not know it, but I always have appreciated his desire to maintain contact with me. I know I suck at keeping in touch, and that it's entirely my fault. I do have one more question, and I am not being facetious, I am being completely serious: How do you return a phone call from Germany? I don't have a land-line, and I don't think my cell phone has interntaional coverage.

Also, you're right most of my readers suffer from an eating disorder, so the bias and opinions posted are largely the same as mine. I admire your courage to challenge us, however blunt your methods may be, and I know you wish us all well with recovery, and I also know eating disorders and our behaviors are tricky and sometimes impossible to understand.

Em, maybe you shouldn't read my blog anymore. I have purposely made this blog open to anyone to read because I wanted to stop being ashamed of my life and finally just get it all out there, finally not caring what people thought of me, as that's been a real fear of mine. I don't want to walk on egg shells around my own blog, wondering what you are thinking. If you don't like it, and it bothers you that much, then don't read my blog. It doesn't mean we don't love each other, it just means we don't agree, and it's okay to have different opinions and approaches.

zubeldia said...

Hi, I hope you don't mind that I direct a comment to Emily B.

I see Brie making a tremendous effort, and while I don't know her very well I have (along with others) I see much determination and willingness. Lending support and meeting Brie where she is, while gently reminding her that weight gain is good for her (now and in the future), is not enabling, in my opinion. I have suffered with an eating disorder for over 16 years and I am now fully weight restored and doing quite well. The process is a very long one, and as the symptoms decline the sufferer often become even more desolate.

Denial is a huge component of the illness (moreso than 'manipulation') and actively engaging in treatment is to be commended and supported. I feel very uncomfortable when shame and guilt is layered on top of all the existing shame and guilt which Brie no doubt feels to her core (sorry, Brie, for supposing how you feel... feel free to tell me how it is!).

Again, I don't know Brie very well, but from what I know, I can say that she is a woman obviously dedicated to her family. She is feisty and funny and quick and loving. And, yes, she has much to live for, and much in her life to hold on to as she moves forward. EDs have a reverberating set of effects on those around us. We are no unaware of that. We feel guilt for it, shame for it, and this can eat you alive, often adding fuel to the already-present self-loathing. I know you think that being so to the point is helpful, that you are simply stating things how they are, but I do hope that you can see how your comments and strategy might have effects contrary to the ones you imagined.


Anonymous said...

In response to your question about returning Brandon's phone calls, what has worked with other family members is to call us and have us call right back since we have a good international plan. Your parents and many siblings have the ability to call from land lines or cells and would probably lend you their phones and we could then call you at any number that's convenenient. Also, you could email Brandon or myself at any time and let us know if there's a certain time you'd like to talk and we could call your cell. If you email me at the address listed in my previous post, I'd be glad to give you Brandon's email as well as our land line and cell numbers. Also, we could contact you by your personal email, which is probably better than taking up your blog space and may be easier than phone calls due to the time change.
I would never ask you to change your blog for me. I think it's a great therapeutic tool. I don't plan to be a regular reader or poster. I may be the only person to have posted a contradictory viewpoint, but can't guarantee you won't have silent readers who disagree with you from time to time. I guess that's part of the risk of having an open blog, but also the great thing about your being willing to take such a risk.

emily b said...

PS I didn't mean for that comment to come up as anonymous.

Emily B

Jackie said...

Brie, I just wanted to say that your blogs add much needed humor to a devastating disease. None of it is funny, but you look on the bright side of things and should be commended for that, not disparaged by your own sister-in-law. Unless she has been through it, she shouldn't utter a word. I appreciate all your blogs, from the funny ones to the serious ones. You are an inspiration.

aLana said...

drama drama drama... i would like to state for the record that i no longer have an eating disorder and am sick of the assumption that once you have one you will have one forever. i see the world just as everyone else does. the media has a skewed perception of reality for all, not just those with EDs and to say it doesn't affect me would be a lie, just as it would be for someone who has never had an ED to claim. we all have skeletons in the closet and i admire your strength in openly conquoring yours.
ciao babe.

Kit said...

As a loyal reader of your blog, I feel like I have come to understand your sense of humor. I love your writing style and your ability to poke fun at your own problems, we all have them! All of your readers are so supportive of your journey, but why do they all have to be so quick to jump at anyone who has an alternate view? I have fully recovered from my ED, and I realize it is a sensitive issue. BUT, Emily did have some valid points. I think we should just realize her good intentions before jumping all over her.

Paige said...

Hi Brie,
I haven't had any semblance of an ED for over 3 years. I consider myself fully and completely recovered. I love your humor; it's the same approach I took (in public; in private I was just, you know, sad) when I was trying so hard to recover. It's definitely possible to have a sense of humor about things and still recover--I did! Love you, love your blog, and you're doing a great job. (sorry to comment on an old post, but I just now read this)

The Cheese said...

Thanks, Paigers. I understand about the whole serious in private, funny in public thing. My therapist gave me an assignment that I read to her yesterday, and she asked me if it would be something that I would ever post on my blog, and I just kind of looked at her and said, "But it's not funny." It's true that it's very difficult for me to let others see the depth of my sadness or real emotion, because I feel vulnerable and I don't want others to feel sorry for me or think what I'm going through is a "big deal."

Stacy said...

what you are going through IS a BIG deal. and that's ok. it really is.
you don't have to share with us but it is okay to feel that way and just casue it is hard doesn't make us look at you any different. Doing all that you are to get better even though it is hard is truly amazing.

BryGuy said...

I started reading the comments to this blog, and suddenly felt awkward in my own skin. I love you Brizzle and I'm stoked you get to be here with your family, while getting the help you need. I get so proud of you when I see ya gettin juiced up while watchin movies with me (such as cloverfield (: )