Surprisingly, the transition from school to the working world was as seamless as it possibly could have been. I left college with such a sour taste in my mouth that I was overwhelmingly ready to get the hell out of there.

I started my job right after New Year’s, and the first week was filled with trainings, admin tasks, and basic HR procedures – AKA, very little stress.

Christmas break was relatively stress free. We got to see both sides of Josh’s extended family, and spend time with both of our immediate families. (We didn’t see my mom’s side since they’re still being pretentious bitches. It’s going to be interesting when wedding invitations are going out…)

I provided that brief background to show that there really was very limited stress in my life, and absolutely no reason for the following series of events:

  • I was talking to two of my new colleagues, and suddenly felt incredibly warm and dizzy. I excused myself to go grab a quick drink. I wobbled around in the break room, tore off my cardigan, and slammed an ice cube onto my throbbing, sweat-drenched forehead. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was going to faint, but just as a precautionary measure, I decided it would be best if I got back to my desk to sit. The next part I don’t remember: apparently I staggered back to them, and fell into a different colleague. I don’t even remember the metaphorical walls closing in (like how doctors describe the “fainting feeling.”) Someone rushed to grab me a glass of water and an apple from my desk, and they steadied me into a chair.
  • Once I came to, they brought me down to the nurse’s office on the first floor of our building. I sat in the waiting room, mortified that I had just fainted in plain sight during my second week on a brand new job. I filled out the necessary paperwork, and just as I was getting ready to walk back to the exam room, I stumbled again! The nurse grabbed my arm, and sat me back down. Once I was reassured that I could actually remember how to walk, I made it back to her office.
  • She took my pulse, checked my glucose levels (perfectly fine), blood pressure, and helped to calm me down a bit. After talking for a while, she decided to take my weight. I told her quickly about my history with anorexia and how I would prefer if she could do a blind weight. Just as I was about to stand up, I felt myself going down again. The nurse helped me over to the exam table, and told me to take a quick rest. She suggested that I go straight to urgent care if I could get a ride.
  • Thankfully Josh was in town that Tuesday, so he was able to come and get me. Once I was feeling stronger, I stood up, let her take my weight, and went back to my desk (with the help of a colleague) to pack up. Josh arrived in no time at all (we’re blessed to both live less than 5 minutes from our respective workplaces), and we were off.
  • He brought me home first so we could make some calls to insurance to ensure I was covered before going into Urgent Care. While I was making calls, he made me some nut butter toast, and got me a glass of milk (I didn’t even ask, it’s absolutely crazy how he instinctively knows how to care for me in every single situation.)
  • Once we confirmed my coverage, we drove over to the clinic. Thankfully there was no wait, so I made it in almost immediately.
  • I was still a little dazed and tired by the freak series of events prior, so I lacked the mental capacity to ask for a blind weight. I was curious, and my warped eating disorder brain wanted to know how much I weighed. I lied to myself that I was just curious, even though I knew that the number on the scale is toxic to me. I had a number in mind, a number that I thought I probably weighed. I factored in the fact that I had probably gained some weight since the past semester was as stressful as it was, the holiday season had just concluded, and there was probably some stress surrounding starting a new job in a new community.
  • When the number displayed, it was significantly lower than the number I had in my mind. I asked if I could step on the scale again, just to make sure it was right – it couldn’t be. There must be something wrong with their scale. If anything I had gained weight, there’s no way I could have lost any – let alone that much. I informed the nurse of my blatant shock, and she jotted a note on her clipboard.
  • We went back to the doctor’s office, my head still spinning – whether it was confusion connected to the scale ordeal, or the fact that I was clearly unstable and had already fainted twice, no clue.
  • She wrote down my medications, took my blood pressure and pulse, and the doctor came in. I prefer a female doctor, but the doctor I was assigned to was a short elderly Asian gentlemen. I was too dazed to care.
  • He took my blood pressure sitting down, and then decided to take it standing up. Ideally, for a healthy 23-year-old woman, my blood pressure would be 120/80. Sitting down I was 100/62, and standing up I dropped even more significantly to 90/50.

Side note: I obviously learned a lot about blood pressure while in the appointment. The doctor probably took at least 15 different reading alternating between me sitting, lying down, and standing. I learned the following:

  • Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that blood exerts onto the walls of the blood vessels.
  • The top number measures the systolic pressure: the pressure when the blood is exerted from the heart.
    • It’s the pressure of blood during its passage through the arteries from the hearts to the organs.
    • The actual heartbeats.
  • The bottom number measures the diastolic pressure: the time when the blood reaches the veins
    • This is the pressure between heartbeats, when the heart is relaxed.
  • The appointment lasted for what seemed like forever. I had to get blood work done (which determined nothing… slightly low hemoglobin levels, but nothing startlingly alarming), and was told if symptoms continued that I should go to the ER. Okay??
  • Josh took me home, and I fell asleep almost immediately. He came in to cuddle me and rub my back. He brought his computer home so he was able to work in the waiting room while I was in the appointment, and the living room once we made it back to the apartment. He woke me up after about an hour, and made me some tea so I wouldn’t mess up my nighttime sleep schedule. He turned on a movie for me, and continued to work, while I dozed in and out of light sleep.
  • A little before dinner time, Josh found a good stopping point in his work, and informed me that we were going to Target to buy some iron rich food. He had researched and decided that we were making bean & beef chili with spinach on the side. How cute. He found a recipe and everything.
  • The chili turned out pretty good! We used pinto, black, garbanzo, and kidney beans along with spicy spices, tomato soup, lean beef, and some other goodies that Josh decided to add to his recipe.
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