Trigger warning: This story deals with eating disorders and eating disorder treatment.
I was back.
Back in Westmead only months after I’d escaped and the hospital threatened to ‘take action’ against my parents for discharging me.
I’d escaped because I was treated horribly in just a few hours in the adolescent eating disorder ward, and after spending six weeks at another hospital I had no choice but to go back to Westmead Hospital in Sydney.
It was tube time again. So I lay there in emergency with the nurse shoving a nasogastric tube up my nose, wondering desperately where the vital step of numbing spray had gone. You had one job, spray then tube. I was at the hospital, all tubed up for a full 12 hours before they actually turned my Ensure feed on. I realise now how dangerous that was, I was literally on the brink of death.
Mum was panicking that I wasn’t getting any food and it must’ve been terrifying for her and Dad. I got placed in the cardiac ward because of problems with my heart and stayed there for five days. Most nights I played elite levels of Trivial Pursuit on my iPod while I watched the ever-emptying of the weight gain bottle/tube feed.
Those days were probably the sickest I ever was. I couldn’t even get out of bed to brush my teeth or go for a shower. My only option for cleanliness was to strip naked in my bed and have a nurse not much older than me rub my sorry self with a sponge. Not my proudest moment.
I was losing control of my bladder and I realised my body was shutting down. But all I could think about was the bloating caused by the NG tube and how I needed to get out to lose the weight. By the Sunday, after just one day on the tube, my weight had gone up over a kilo. Shit, shit, shit. I was already so out of control; weight gain was being pumped into me and I couldn’t do anything about it.