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I SUFFERED A CARDIAC ARREST...It can happen to you too. My continous battle.

by Jessie
(UK)

I am now 32 and still suffering from this bulimia hell. At 6 years of age my Dad, committed suicide in the home we still live in today. My Mother overcompensated and gave her undivided attention to my demanding eldest brother and all her money. He had everything he asked for or demanded. I on the otherhand was the quiet one. The one who wouldnt ask for a thing, the one to spend hours alone in my room quietly entertaining myself nor would I ever say boo to a goose. I was the shy one. How could I ever have been any different? I didnt stand a chance in my household and this is how is remains to this day.

My brother quickly became the 'man' of the house and he has become very used to this idea. He thinks he my Father!!! I hate him. Over the years he has beat me, tormented me, trampled on my self-esteem and knocked the stuffing out of me until there was nothing left of me. The little confidence I had evaporated. My Mother, just as bad in my eyes never once shielded me from this. To this day, although the violence is no more he controls me, tells me I am thick, have little prospects etc etc etc. I long to be free of them. My younger Brother learned from the best and he too has treated me in this way over the years. Both my brothers are insane, deny they have a problem. The eldest a functioning alcoholic and the youngest a manipulative, compulsive liar. To boot, there are feuds in my wider family galore and no one likes each other. In fact, I couldnt remember the last time I saw an Aunt, Cousin etc. My beloved Grandparents have passed away a few years back and theres me just pretty much alone. I feel trapped.

So thats my story, of course there is much, much more.

I shall end this as I intended to begin. Aged 26, I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was about X st at this time (as I am today too) and for as long as I can remember I have been taking potassium medication prescribed by Doctor (to replace vital salts in the body). I pretty much hate the taste of the medication so Im not very good at keeping up with taking it.

On a weekly basis, my Doctor would send me for blood tests to check my potassium levels as normal....The results came back at 1.7. They totally freaked out and came straight to my home. Now due to my dysfunctional family, I HATE anyone coming to my house. The Doctor insisted that I needed to go to hospital immediately. I had been fine all day and trying to tidy my room and he had disrupted me! I was annoyed to say the least. I did NOT want to go to the hospital! Who did they think they were coming to my home and interupting my evening! I refused to go to the hospital and locked myself in my room. They insisted still and more I dragged my heels. I became more and more annoyed.

I had been down this road many times before. My potassium would get low (Normal is about 4.0-5.0 to my knowledge), they'd make me go to hospital, Id spend 8 painful hours or sometimes more on a slow drip, it would interfere sometimes with me being able to go to work as it would then take hours to get discharged and besides it was boooooring in hospital!

On this occasion though, my potassium was the lowest it'd had ever been but I had no symptoms. The Doctor had enough and called for 2 nurses to also come to the house. There and then they sectioned me for refusing treatment. My Mum now tells me the Doctor was walking up and down my steet pacing, biting his nails and smoking like a chimney. The ambulance came and I was taken the long 30 minute trip to the hospital. On the way, I began to feel unwell and I began being sick. I was vomiting bile and retching but there was nothing in my stomach as I had been too busy all day tidying and cleaning my bedroom. I didnt have time to eat - a first for me!

By the time I got to hospital, they took me into A&E, took my bloods, immediately put me on a drip and a heart monitor. I wasnt well but felt ok in myself. Next thing I know, nothing. My Mum now tells me I started to edge off the bed, slump and I was lifeless. The medical staff used defibrillators on me twice until my heart restarted so Im lucky in a way to be alive. Most of the time it doesnt feel like it though as since then nothing has changed and I am still bulimic 7 years on. All in all my eating disorder began when I was about 19. At first anorexia which after about 2 years became bulimia. Here I am today, nearly 33. It sucks.

Anyway, after my cardiac arrest I remained in hospital for about 10 grim days. I was watched constantly with a nurse sat besides me at all times. I was escorted to the toilets, the shower or anywhere I wanted to go in the hospital. They would only let me sit in a wheelchair and boy was I angry!!! I was fiercely independent and wanted them all to go away. I even tried to bribe my brother to break me out of hospital for £500! He refused. Whilst they decided what to do with me, they transferred me to a mental health inpatient unit whilst they could try to secure funding to admit me to a specialised eating disorder unit. Once in the mental health patient unit, I was like a fish out of water. All the others there literally had drug and addiction problems, alcoholics, schizophrenics etc. I was scared. They werent like me. I spent 6 long weeks there. I even tried to fight through a tribunal to get me out of there whilst all the doctors and my family opposed this. I lost the tribunal.

The end of the story goes that they couldn't secure funding for me from the health commission to get me into an eating disorders unit. the health commission said my BMI wasnt low enough for them to fund this. I was X st and 5'2'' despite suffering a cardiac arrest aged just 26. They failed me and gave me a life sentence. The reality is, there wasnt any funding unless you were a child in the UK at that time. The mental health unit in the end had no option to let me go. They couldnt keep me in there for ever. So here I am today still enduring this nightmare e.d.

Sorry if Ive bored you all :(

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


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