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When Your Diagnoses Seem to Have Contradicting Treatment Plans

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Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741.

A topic that has been swarming around my mind lately is how to find a balance with my body — particularly with my weight.

As I have written about before, I struggle with anorexia. I’m doing better with it than I have in the past, but I believe that once you struggle with an eating disorder you will always, to some extent, have that voice inside of you.

I have actually had some success with it in the last week, though. I reached my long worked for recovery goal weight.

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

In an ideal world I could focus on recovering from anorexia without worrying about my weight. I would focus on eating and loving my body no matter how it was. Actually I suppose in an ideal world I would not have developed anorexia. Regardless, in the world I live in I did develop anorexia. I was also given the challenge of  a chronic illness — Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

This is the reason I have no focus and keep track of my weight. My particular type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome affects my joints a lot. I have lost count of the number of doctors and treatment professionals who have warned me against gaining weight.

Just yesterday I was at my PCP’s office for something unrelated, or at least not directly related, to my chronic illness and the PA I was seeing noticed I had gained a little bit of weight since I had been in last. She felt it was appropriate to point out that I had gained weight and warned me to not keep gaining weight or it would make my joints worse.

It’s difficult to have these two illnesses whose treatments seem to contradict each other. For my eating disorder I should not be focusing on weight and size. For my EDS, everyone is telling me not to gain weight. How do I strike a balance? For now I’ll stay where I am. It seems to be the happiest medium I can find.

And I’ll continue to fight the battles I’ve been given. I can’t possibly be the only person with a chronic illness who also has an eating disorder. I am determined to get better and I’ll do that in what ever way I can.

To anyone else out there struggling: keep fighting the fight. Keep moving forward. It’s always worth it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

Thinkstock photo via jesadaphorn

Originally published: June 13, 2017
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