Last weekend I did a few shifts at an ER that I had not worked at in over a year. When I arrived on the first day, I noticed that the clerk had lost a considerable amount of weight since the last time I had seen her (~80 lbs).
Here is how our conversation went,
Me: "You look great! What did you do to lose all that weight."
She looks around sheepishly
One of the nurses, "tell her the truth"
Her, "I binge and purge"
Me, "No really, did you have weight loss surgery?"
Her: "No, I binge and purge"
Me not knowing what to say next, walked away to see a patient
A few minutes later, the said clerk went to get some food. She returned with a big (party size) bag of chips and a container of french onion dip. The nurse sitting next to me said, "she will sit there all day and then go throw it all up"
I was still a little suprised by the entire situation and thought maybe everyone was just being dramatic. But, sure enough I watched this poor girl eat ALL DAY LONG....constantly going to get more food and then off to the bathroom. It was the strangest thing I have seen in awhile.
And....all the nurses, techs, and NPs KNEW what was happening. This girl was completely open about it. The whole experience was sureal. I just felt terrible for this girl. Really, you could tell that her day revolved around food as an obsession/compulsion. I finally asked one of the nurses if anyone had really sat down with her and talked to her about the terrible consequences of her disease. The response? "We have all tried but she just doesn't seem to care."
I still can't get over it. The poor, poor girl!