Your bulimia recovery
Tap here to read more about the bulimia recovery program

My online program and private recovery community has helped hundreds of women beat bulimia.
Click here to learn more

Beat bulimia using my online recovery program and private community. Hundreds of women who were just like you have done the same!

Click here to learn more Member Login

The most embarassing & scary bulimia story of my life - When I swallowed a toothbrush trying to throw up

by Lara B
(Auckland, NZ)

my beautiful sis and I :) happy and healthy

my beautiful sis and I :) happy and healthy

My Embarrassing Bulimia story... The Day I Swallowed a Toothbrush

I was bulimic on and off, (mainly on) for about 12 years. The worst of my Bulimia was when I was 18. I'd just immigrated to New Zealand and felt so alone, ugly and worthless. I also developed severe acne and went on roaccutane which made my face peel - I didn't try to make any friends because couldn't bare the thought of going out with them and looking like the fat, ugly tag-along that they felt sorry for!... THIS fueled my need to be 'skinny'.

Anyway, to the most embarrassing experience of my Bulimic life - and IRONICALLY, the moment that saved my life...

My grandparents were staying with us from out of town and we had just had dinner... As the story goes, I gauged my face (because as we all know, food momentarily suppresses all the worries in the world). As usual, I timed my exit well, when everyone had JUST sat down to watch a movie and wouldn't get up too soon...

I went into the bathroom and remember battling with myself for a good 20 minutes to get the food up. So... Two fingers. Nothing. Fist. Nothing. Whole hand. Nothing... I was in tears and so distraught at the thought of the food staying in me that I reached for the nearest thing that I could find...

A toothbrush...

Here's embarrassing moment no.1:

It was my grandmothers husband's toothbrush! *blush*

I remember ramming it down my throat, further and further until blood started to fill the sink... at this point I remember feeling so helpless and began to sob... (bad move) As I sobbed I took a DEEP breath and...

By Mistake, let go of the toothbrush!!!

I felt it stuck down my throat with just the head sticking into my mouth!


...Not just any toothbrush! MY GRANNYS HUSBANDS TOOTHBRUSH!

I remember thinking that maybe dying would be a good thing - Then I wouldn't have to explain what the toothbrush was doing down my throat!

After a good 5 minutes of desperation and trying to reach it, the panic set in and my throat muscles seized...

The head of the tooth brush disappeared just out of reach and started to move down my throat...

I felt a hard, dull pain in my chest (not like the usual chest pains after throwing up) At that point, I really thought I might die.

I knew what I had to do....

I walked straight to the lounge. looked at my mum and said "come please.... NOW" ...and went back to the bathroom.... she looked worried...

I looked her straight in the face, and said the words that ultimately saved me:


I think she thought I was joking, but quickly clicked into super-mum mode as she does in bad situations. she became robotic and got me and dad into the van and drove me to the hospital....

Embarrassing moment no2:

Into the Emergency room we go and the old lady sitting at the front desk looked at me as if to say 'what now!'

... OH DEAR GOD - I didn't know what to say! Mum had gone to get a doctor and I was left looking at this nurse with a room full of people all looking at me in silence...

'I've swallowed a toothbrush. Its stuck here, and I'm really scared'

To cut a looong story slightly shorter. I opted to have it removed through an endoscopic procedure. Where they sent tubes down my throat into my stomach to retrieve it... rather than letting it PASS THROUGH naturally (YIKES!) or removing it through my belly button! (eeek!)

Embarrassing Moment No.3:

I was released the next day to go home to my family...

'Hello Gran, Hi Brian.... Ummmm, I'm really sorry about your toothbrush!'

Death from bulimia does happen... By swallowing a toothbrush it almost happened to me!!

So, that was the worst Bulimic experience. It's by far my worst bulimia story... For which I am actually grateful. Had it not happened I may not have faced this disease and started the journey to recovery and a fuller, happier life :)

"Beauty is not in the face nor body, but the light that radiates within ones heart"

Kia Kaha (Stay Strong in Maori language)

Lara XOX

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bulimia Stories.



Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program