Saturday, February 25, 2012

Home (for a day) Sweet Home

Tomorrow DJ will be home with us all day.  All of us are pretty excited.  We can actually sleep in till nearly eight in the morning, which is a huge treat and long overdue.  We've been getting up at 5-6 every morning for 6 weeks and spending anywhere between 2-4 hours a day in the car, every single day.  I imagine our fuel costs have doubled in the past six weeks, but that is offset by the fact that Bulldog and I have only had cereal, sandwiches and soup for most of our meals for most of the past 6 weeks.

We have not been home together at dinnertime more than a handful of times in the past month, so we each grab whatever is easiest and handy, so our grocery bill has steadily plummeted while our gasoline bill has skyrocketed.  We've gone from emptying the dishwasher every single day to once or twice a week, which is also a bonus.  Housework has taken a decided backseat, as well.  I don't want to even think of vacuuming the ain't gonna be pretty since that is where our german shepherd spends much of her time when she's indoors.

Tomorrow will not be spent playing catch-up on household duties, however.  We've planned the day carefully since DJ is a little apprehensive about not being surrounded by peers and staff that keep her busy for most of her waking hours.  This will fall to us and to her, tomorrow.

Art and music have been a haven for her so she and I will mess around with some hemp-the kind you thread beads onto, not the kind you smoke.  We'll schedule a little chore time so that the house is more of her home than her hotel, but we will avoid having her clean the toilets.  Her therapist points out that the toilet is the tool of choice for purging and DJ doesn't need reminders of that by diving into it for cleaning purposes.  Tidying her sink, her room, and throwing in a load of laundry are a great start.

All meals and snacks will be consumed on the same schedule she has been following in the hospital.  The routine brings her some relief from the anxiety of eating, so we don't want to rock the boat.  We'll pick up Sister Chromatid and head out to the movies in the afternoon.  This is DJ's first meeting with a friend since she went into the hospital.   She worries that she won't be able to keep the conversation going, or that they will have little to speak of since Sister Chromatid is not struggling with an eating disorder.  What if her friend doesn't understand what DJ is going through, DJ wonders.

"You can always educate her," her therapist replied, "Or you can consider that you are SO much more than your eating disorder.  Whatever you two talked about before, you'll be able to talk about again."

This is an area DJ struggles with-the hospital has been such an insulated and safe environment.  All the girls there are struggling and they support each other.  DJ even came out to them and shared that she was transgender, and they supported her.  I can imagine that she is frightened at returning to the world that made her feel invisible, but it's important for her to see that she has a support system at home, too.  And no, she will not be returning to her small town high school where everyone knows everyone's business and where if you don't fit in, you're "invisible."

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and she can take her guitar down to the lake and enjoy the outdoors and her music.  Her day off this week gave her a taste of the possibility of a happy life outside the hospital and she wants more of it.  We're keeping our fingers crossed for a good day.  Wish us luck :)