Monday, September 3, 2012

Fancy..Expensive Rehab Does Not Necessarily Mean "Good Rehab" Part 1


While recently going through your "box" of things I came across a cellophane bag with all of these loose clippings from magazines. I remembered that you were in the process of making a collage while you were at your stay at the very fancy, very expensive, very posh, and I might add very exclusive inpatient program in beautiful San Diego, CA. It was December of 2007, you had been searching for a place who would agree to accept you in the critical condition you were in, since most places you called wanted no part of the liability and strongly suggested a hospital-based program.
Using your charm and positive attitude at the time and also of course your promises, they agreed to allow you to come.
Dad and I were ecstatic and immediately made arrangements to have money wired to CA out of our retirement funds to the tune of $60,000 for a 2 month stay. An exorbitant amount of money, but well worth the assurance that this could help our beautiful, wonderful, much loved daughter to get better. We would have done whatever it might have taken.
I want to start by saying that this particular program had many wonderful components to it. Most of the staff was fantastic, caring, accommodating and basically wonderful. However, the man who owned the program, we would eventually find out.... was a greedy, arrogant man who originally owned and ran an exclusive nursing home at the same location, but found that there was much more money to be made from changing it to an eating disorder program. The experience we would have at the end of your stay there would be the most stressful, horrible couple of days that I can ever remember having.

The journey began fine and we all had so much hope for what this program would give you. You and I flew to SD, which itself was a difficult feat. The fact that you were so terrified to fly and also because you were totally taken out of your regular schedule of eating. Although, disordered it was, it was at least eating regularly. Traveling presents all sorts of problems when it comes to food and what to eat. You couldn't possibly lose even an ounce or you would be even more compromised.

We were amazed at how gorgeous the facility was when we arrived. The circular driveway which led to the locked filigree double door entry looked like something comparable to a Four Seasons Resort. When we entered they had beautiful fresh flowers on many of the tables and the bedrooms had fancy bedding on those huge over sized mattresses. Something out of an exclusive Interior Designer magazine. You were in such a good frame of mind, yet very scared to be so far from home and also the thought of any kind of change or giving up even a small amount of control was very scary for you. 

I will never forget the analogy one doctor once explained to me. She said that to a person with an eating disorder, it would be like asking them to jump out of an airplane without a parachute and asking them to trust you that it will be okay. That would be as terrifing as giving up their eating disorder. I never forgot that.

I remember that at the facility they were so afraid to admit you until they were sure you were medically stable, which meant you had to spend lots of time in the nearby hospital before admission.  I remember you needed a few blood transfusions also while in sunny CA. Once I knew you were situated I left to go home and wait.....wait for the magic to happen. All was good for a while, you hung in there for as long as you could...then it started to go downhill after about 4 weeks. It was difficult not to have you over the holidays, but Anorexia doesn't care one way or another...holidays don't mean anything to an eating disorder!

To be Continued Very Soon.............

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