I was diagnosed with anorexia as a teenager, and have recovered/relapsed several times since. I have several other non-related health issues, and two weeks ago, I flew across the country to see several specialists. They finally arrived at a diagnosis (actually four of them), which was really bitter sweet. The last two years I've seen so many doctors and they all told me my bloodwork was only abnormal because of the eating disorder, and that otherwise I was fine. I knew it wasn't true. I had too many symptoms NOT related to the eating disorder, so these diagnoses finally validated my concerns. Unfortunately, two of the diseases are incurable, and pretty devastating, so it's another hurdle to handle...
,,,but that isn't what bothers me, Well, I mean it bothers me greatly (obviously), but I'm more worked up over the change in eating disorder status. I'm clinically underweight, restricting calories, and purging under pressure. I'm consumed with weight and food and I cannot eat with other people (aside from my children) without feeling like a ticking time bomb. I'm on several vitamins and supplements because I know I'm not getting adequate nutrition. So, on a limb, I tell the new doctor the entire truth. She orders blood work. Labs come back normal, as I knew they would because I've traveled this road over and over. And because these labs are "normal" and I'm only slightly underweight, she advises I'm no longer "anorexic," but rather suffering from an eating disorder, not otherwise specified.
I guess I should be relieved that my body isn't as medically devastated by all this as my emotions are? Somehow, weirdly, it still feels like a slap. It feels like what she really said is, "All those reasons that drove you to this point don't matter. You're not "sick enough" to have an eating disorder of any value, but because you're telling me you're sick, I'll appease you by writing ED-NOS on your medical forms." It felt like she invalidated everything I had just told her.
Some part of me thinks I should take it as a compliment. Maybe this is indicative of improvement. I mean, after all, if a doctor isn't calling it anorexia, maybe this is just recovery in disguise. Maybe it isn't relapse. Maybe its just rough waters. Maybe I can discontinue therapy. Maybe I try and put together all the pieces, raise my family, simultaneously deal with life-changing, debilitating diseases and just warrior through like none of it is significant. Maybe I should quit treating myself as fragile, and join the real world who deals with catastrophes everyday.
And if my weight happens to bottom out along the way, at least I can tell people around me that it isn't anorexia.