Emergency Again

Friday started like any other day and ended with me being rushed to emergency.

I woke up and groaned, clutching my head and stomach. I was in agonizing pain. Another post-purge hangover. Another pizza box on the floor; a visible reminder of my poor decisions the night before. I had starved so much and then snapped and binged in the middle of the night. I got up eventually, revived myself and went about the day as usual  – work, coffee, restriction.

That evening my boyfriend and I went to a dinner party at his friends’ house. I drank nearly a whole bottle of wine with dinner which is not unusual for me. Somewhere towards the end of the meal, I started to feel unwell. The rest of the night is a blur and what I know of it in detail, has been relayed to me by my boyfriend. The friends started a fire outside for us to sit around and that is when he says I began to panic and be agitated. I went upstairs to purge dinner and quickly realized that I was in agony. My stomach hurt and even after purging, I felt like I couldn’t stop vomiting. I felt like I had been drugged. I lost track of time. I went upstairs and threw up twice more which I only told him about when he put me in the car after he realized that something was wrong with me.

He drove me to the hospital in the middle of the night. I cried hysterically and kept asking him to pull over so I could vomit. I crouched by the side of the truck sobbing, shaking, hyperventilating. He kept putting me back in the truck and eventually I started throwing up uncontrollably in a vehicle moving at 120 kms/hr. There was vomit everywhere: all over his truck, all over him, in my hair and smeared across my face and clothes. I was too far gone to care.

He tells me that when we got to emergency, I opened the door, stepped out and immediately collapsed face down on the ground. He checked my pulse which was faint and ran inside to get a nurse and a wheelchair. I came too when he picked me up and put me in the wheelchair. I don’t remember passing out. I continued crying hysterically as they wheeled me in. I was confused not knowing where I was or how I got there. I had lost track of time. He told me 4 hours had elapsed since the end of dinner and that was the last thing that I could remember clearly. Everything after dinner remained blurry and even now, I can only remember snippets of the evening.

They admitted me right away.  The nurse took my medical history and I asked my boyfriend to leave the room so that I could tell her honestly about my eating disorder.  I was too embarrassed to have him hear the disgusting details of my life. She reprimanded me and told me I was most likely severely dehydrated with an electrolyte imbalance. She made note of the starving, bingeing, purging (including vomiting blood) and laxative abuse. She sent the doctor in a while later and my boyfriend left the room as the doctor questioned me. He instinctively knew that if he stayed, I wouldn’t tell the doctor the truth when he asked about my medical history that they nurse had just taken.

The nurse began a barrage of vital checks (blood pressure too low; heart rate too high), urine samples (not pregnant), blood work (elevated liver enzymes consistent with drinking alcohol) and stomach x-rays (inconclusive ? gallbladder). They hooked me up to an IV and pumped me full of anti-nausea medication, re-hydration solution and an anti-anxiety drug. The entire time, my boyfriend didn’t leave my side through the small hours of the morning. He held my hand while I cried as they put needles in, covered me with warm blankets to stop the shaking and told me that I had to let him take care of me because he was not going anywhere. I was so distraught and was conscious of the fact that I didn’t want him to see me in this state.

After almost five hours, they discharged me from hospital and let him take me home, but not before another long lecture from the nurse about my ED. She told me I needed help and warned me of the danger I was in. She said that tonight could have been a close call if my boyfriend hadn’t had the presence of mind to rush me to the hospital. She reminded me that heart attacks from electrolyte imbalances are common in bulimics and many of the symptoms that they couldn’t diagnose they believed were complications from ED.

My boyfriend drove me home and it was almost 5am by the time we got there. He put me in the shower and washed vomit out of my hair, all the while holding me up because I could barely stand. Somehow, I knew without him saying, that he loved me. The next day I was weak and disoriented. He lay next to me and asked about my ED. My heart pounded as we had the conversation I hoped we never had to have. He asked about how much I was purging and what he could do to help me. I lay there feeling numb and overwhelmed. He told me he wanted me to be well because he was falling in love with me and wanted to grow old with me. The things about me that I thought would make him run didn’t. The man wrapped his arms around me instead and kissed me.


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25 thoughts on “Emergency Again

  1. K says:

    Dear J,

    I am so distressed to read about this happening to you – especially since I can see it from both sides of the story: the patient and the EM doctor. I am so puzzled as to what caused all your symptoms and if they were mainly a combination of being drunk and dehydrated with electrolyte imbalances. If they discharged you however it means that your bloodwork was fine. Did they take your blood alcohol level? Do you have any of your results? Were you starving all day before drinking? I have definitely gotten way too drunk before because I had absolutely no food in my system. And a whole bottle of wine to myself is not unusual for me either.

    And where was your pain? Your stomach only? Sorry for all the questions but I am really worried about you and want to figure out what happened.

    How are you feeling now? I am so glad that your boyfriend was there for you. He sounds like a wonderful man.

    Please let me know if there’s anything I can do. Please take care of yourself, my love. I am very worried about you.


    • Dear K,

      So sorry for my complete lack of comms. I still owe you an email too. I found out from a follow up with my doctor that part of the reaction that night was to one of my thyroid meds that I take. It caused some kind of toxicity and allergic reaction. Needless to say, it was all exacerbated by lack of food, purging and wine.

      It scared me and took me a while to recover from. I have been so tired and just can’t stop bingeing, purging or restricting.

      Anyway, I need to catch up on your news too. I hope you are well.

      Thank you for your caring and concern. It is wonderful to know you are there.


  2. daybyday says:

    Oh lovely, I am sorry that you had to go through that. I’m sorry that things have become how they are…it sounds like you have a good person there though who wants to see you, I hope you can really let him. Recovery is a hard option but I promise that it is better than how things are now. Find the strength lovely to let people in, to get some help. I am hear and cheering you on. Don’t give the rest of your life over to Bulimia. Chin up x

  3. What a scare that must have been, I have gotten IV drips on numerous occasions for electrolyte imbalances in the past after I had passed out and then woken up later without any recollection of what had happened. It’s scary isn’t it? to have those “missing hours” where someone has to tell you what actually happened when you were passed out and (not to sound too dramatic) possibly dying.

    Thank goodness you’re okay and on the mend & lucky you for having a such a keeper by your side.

    • Yes, it is rather scary especially as the nurse told me that this could kill me out of the blue and that I need to be more concerned about it. Thanks for your comments. It is always nice to know that we are not alone in this .

  4. k says:

    May God hear my prayers for you.
    “This illness isn’t meant to end in death. It’s for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

  5. It’s the hardest thing, letting someone that you care about see you when you’re vulnerable; allowing yourself to be less-than-perfect in front of them. And he washed your hair. Stuff like that is real (which is harder to deal with than make-believe but so worth it). x

  6. This made me cry, both for what you’re going through because I understand, and for your boyfriend and his loving actions. I wish there was a way that love and care alone could heal someone from an eating disorder. I wish somehow that I could reach through the screen and fix you. ❤

  7. littlevoicetalks says:

    Wow. Rough few days. Rest ye well Beautiful. I had an episode like this at New Year. Keep fighting. One day we will win. God bless. xx

  8. bendy mind says:

    Gosh you poor thing. My chest was tightening reading this whole ordeal. *hugs* xoxo

  9. ❤ I am glad you are okay. Your man sounds like a loving soul who really cares, lucky girl. I hope you are resting and feeling a bit better.Take care hun xxx

  10. k says:

    are you alive and okay?

  11. kanundra says:

    Oh hun, I am so sorry this happened, and then also so glad. I think maybe you’re finally getting ready to kick this in the face. Your BF really loves you, that is evidence in itself.

    Please take care, think about you a lot, and worry too. Even though we’ve never met. x x

  12. whoreforthin says:

    Oh my gosh! As I read this I wept for you! How scary and how real of an in your face experience! I really do hope this helps you to reevaluate all things considered, wishing you well from kentucky. Hugs and warm wishes dear, you’ll be in my thoughts

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