When I first came to this Hospital, I was technically underweight but I didn't see myself like that. Now I've been here almost eleven months and I've gained 20kgs. I can tell because I've gone up a dress size in my tops and bottoms and I feel a lot curvier. It's all because of my medication; the anti-psychotic I take (Olanzapine) is notorious for causing weight gain and it means as little as I eat, I still don't drop the weight off as quickly as I would have done without the meds. Today, I had to go to the GP for a health check that all the patients have to have, and they did my weight. His computer figured out my BMI (Body Mass Index) is above the 'normal' range, only slightly but still... He said there was nothing to worry about because I seem healthy enough and I don't look overweight but it was still a massive knock to my confidence. I've been unhappy about my body since some of my clothes didn't fit and the new size ten clothes I was buying online weren't fitting. And, I'm not ashamed to admit it, I'd got so low as to cry when I showered because the en-suites here have a mirror almost directly in front of the shower on the opposite side of the bathroom. I have stretch marks which no amount of scar cream will improve and I feel constantly bloated.
So, on returning to the ward from the GP, I asked to speak to the Doctor and I cried and told her I wanted my medication changing. Since, I tongued (not swallowing) my medication when I first came I was tried on lots of different meds so her reply was 'not again.' I told her it was difficult for me because the meds were working so well. She told me she doubted I'd be taken off them because she didn't think I was ready to get through things alone and especially now psychotherapy is in the not so distant future. She suggested referring me to a dietician and for me to use the gym more often and agreed we could discuss things in Ward Round on Thursday but I thought about it. I spoke to the girl I'm closest to and she said she thinks I look healthier now than I did when I came in and that she'd describe me as 'curvy' and that isn't a bad thing. It was nice because others have just told me to stop being stupid which isn't very helpful whereas, she validated my feelings and told me her own opinion. We talked for quite a while about it and when I thought about it I decided it wasn't such a massive sacrifice to make for the happiness I have now the meds are working and the safety I have. And also, the plan would be to slowly decrease my meds when I'm due to finish psychology so it's not like I'm on these meds for the rest of my life. And, when I get discharged (without medication) I can do as much activities as I like and I'll be rushed off my feet with College and hopefully I'll have a job so the weight will just drop off! And then the girl I spoke to pointed out that she can't remember the last time I saw rabbits (visual hallucination) and I realised that rather than the 2 or 3 I often had following me around, I now have none and the voices are so close to silent I can easily ignore them and when they're bad they're not as bad as usual. Being a size 12 is SO worth it!!