Night Sweats

Okay, this might sound disgusting...but bear with me.

A starved anorexic is...well, a starved person. The body has the ability to compensate for this lack of food by lowering the metabolism. This is why I used to be so cold all the time - instead of wasting energy on keeping me warm, my body decided to use that valuable energy to keep my brain, heart, and organs alive. Hence, my metabolism slowed down. A LOT. This is why I can a little bit of food and gain weight easily - my body is scared that a period of famine will come again, so it wants to store all it can just in case it happens.

Now, into my third week of refeeding, my body is revving up again. This means that although I am gaining weight, my body is anticipating that food is coming, so it can keep me warm. This sounds great, right? Well...it IS good news. But the annoying and uncomfortable part of this is that I get sweaty at night. I mean, REALLY sweaty. My body is getting warmer, so it produces sweat (like normal human beings!). The only difference is that it does this at night. And so, I wake up, feel the sweat on my back, and then instantly feel cold as the air passes over my body. It feels so uncomfortable!

I have to admit, my night sweats are not as bad as some other people. I have heard of patients who must get up three times during the night in order to change their beds and clothes because they are simply too wet! Nevertheless, ANY amount of night sweats is highly uncomfortable.

I suppose this is a good sign - my body is getting back to normal functioning and it recognizes that it can now keep me warm. So, in a way, I should be thankful for the light sweats. But it is ever so difficult to be thankful for something that is so...weird, nasty, and uncomfortable. I hate feeling the sweat on my back, the sensation of my shirt sticking to my back, and the horrible chill that follows. I hate waking up in the middle of my sleep and feeling that I want to change my clothes...but then I'm too lazy!

And so, like many other things in recovery (and I'll say this A LOT!), night sweats (to put it bluntly) suck. They are such a nuisance. But, like other things in recovery, they are a good sign that health is on it's way.

So, for now, I have to live with the discomfort. Night sweats can last a long time - about three to six months for some patients. I guess now I realize that a few extra set of PJs are the perfect birthday present!

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