Dieting nearly killed me: Four years ago today I was discharged from the hospital
Four years ago today I was discharged from a Los Angeles hospital. Technically speaking, I discharged myself because I had to get to the east coast for my best friend's wedding. I spent five days lying in a hospital bed, totally out of it, hooked up to an IV and on painkillers round-the-clock. What a way to spend my third week of marriage!
This story isn't actually why I'm writing this blog but, for those who are interested, let's rewind 6 days from discharge day: James and I had honeymooned in Fiji and we planned to spend the second part of our honeymoon in LA going to amusement parks. The day we flew into LA I had a bit of pain in my back. I thought it was because of the bumpy van ride we took in Fiji to get to the airport. But as the day went on the pain got worse and worse. I remember laying on the hotel bed crying while James was on the phone with my sister who is a physician's assistant. He was tapping all over my body trying to figure out what was going on... She concluded it was probably appendicitis based on where the pain was. We changed our departure flight to NC to the next morning to try and get me home to our local hospital... The next morning I woke up in so much pain that I could barely walk. We drove to the airport, checked-in, and I had to be pushed in a wheelchair to our gate. James helped me onto the plane and to my seat. It was here that the dramas really begin... We weren't seated next to each other so I asked the people next to both of us if one of them would swap so we could be together for the 6-hour flight. Both declined. I began crying even harder. The flight attendants checked in with me and either James or I let it slip (thank God, we did...) that we thought I might have appendicitis. We were taken to the back of the plane where the pilot came and told us I wasn't allowed to fly with the possibility of appendicitis. We fought hard to stay on the flight, knowing my family and my local hospital was only 6 hours out of reach. 6 hours, my appendix would hang on! Thankfully though, we lost the fight to stay on board and were taxied to the nearest hospital... Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, California. There was a miscommunication between nurses about the urgency of my situation and we waited (and waited) in the ER waiting room... Hours went by and my condition deteriorated. My temperature plummeted, I began breathing rapidly and shaking. As we would soon find out, I was experiencing the early symptoms of septic shock and was diagnosed with Urosepsis. This dramatic show in the waiting room was enough to get me into a hospital bed, STAT!
Now we can rewind even more... This is why I'm telling you all this...
Leading up to my wedding day I dieted, a lot. I swapped breakfast and lunch out for shakes and once I got bored with that I swapped to the Atkin's diet, then I did the Dukan diet. At one point I did the master cleanse, I ate nothing and only drank lemon juice, cayenne pepper and honey for 10 days. Despite getting back to my high school weight, I still wasn't satisfied. As a last-ditch effort to get to my goal weight, whatever that was, I ordered this tea that I had seen on Instagram: Skinny Me Tea. So for the two weeks before my wedding day, I would get up all throughout the night to go to the bathroom because... that's what the tea made you do! I had intense stomach cramps every night but, for some insane reason, I thought it was worth it because I felt like I still had more weight to lose! I now see how my perception of myself, my body, my weight was so misguided by what I saw on social media. It baffles me to this day that I must have felt like I needed to look like the Skinny Me Tea chicks (among others) in order to be my happiest on my wedding day.
That Skinny Me Tea detox was the final straw... My body, my kidneys especially, couldn't take my neglect and abuse anymore. I spent 5 days in a hospital bed, missed out on running around Los Angeles with my hubs, and nearly died all because I wanted to lose a couple more pounds...
Every diet I had done before that hospital stay was so far from innocent. And unfortunately, every diet I did was found online or in magazines with raving reviews. And they're the same diets that so many people continue to do. Do you realize that the majority of the diets that are out there, that so many men and women alike are doing, are all acts of self-hatred, not self-love. No wonder I never felt love and contentment with my body... And no wonder so many others don't either. The dieting industry is massive and it's primarily funded by this disgust we have with our own flesh!
I couldn't feel love for myself and my body because my choices and actions were communicating everything that isn't love.
Side note, I can't even remember if I reached my goal weight because that obviously wasn't what ended up being the most memorable part of marrying the man of my dreams.
Funny memory... One thing I do remember is binging on cherry cobbler the day before my wedding at the rehearsal dinner so the next day I was all puffy (water weight). I find that so ironic! What was I thinking?! Clearly, I had reached my maximum level of deprivation.