Michelle (consumptiva) wrote in ed_share,

First of all, I have to apologize if this post does not exactly fit in the context of this community, but I don't quite know where to turn.

On monday afternoon, I was at the brink of death. I was not hospitalized, nor was was taken to an emergency room - the reason for this, tragic as it is, should be obvious to those who are present on this community (it is to note that no one was present in my apartment when this happened). At the moment, I remain unsure as to whether or not it was the right decision to not go to the hospital, considering forced treatment, as terrifying as it may seen for a long-time anorectic, may very well be precisely what I need at this point in my life. I believe that as anorectics, ED-NOS-stricken or bulimic individuals, whenever we are told of the dangers we are putting ourselves into, we frequently answer, "I know, I know." Yet, do we really? How far can it go? I dislike thinking that I sound preachy at the moment, and I have to admit that this potentially has been what I could describe as a life-changing experience, although I fear tremendously that even given that it may have been so intellectually (in theory, if you will), I do not have the required courage to do something about it.

Now, on to the story itself.  I took two diphenhydramine-based sleeping pills (e.g. Benadryl) on Sunday night, and the next day, I woke up with horrid stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, tingling in my legs and arms, slight muscle contractions very much akin to spasms - essentially, electrolyte imbalance-induced nervous system instabilities. The fact remains: I do take care of my health in general. I do not suffer from bloating, gas, constipation, lack of vitamins, electrolyte imbalances, etc. in general (I know this as my last doctor's appointment, two weeks ago, indicated to me that even my heart rate was perfectly normal). Of course, given that I feel perfect normal right now, I can only presume that my body was allergic to diphenhydramine and reacted heavily to the massive electrolyte imbalance that resulted from excessive diarrhea, but...

...nevertheless, one can only wonder, especially after reading that "diphenhydramine only causes severe side effects in the elderly or diseased individuals," to which extent one's body has indeed become this weak; to which extent one's immune system has become so tremendously exhausted; to which extent one's body, essentially, is that of an elderly individual or that of an AIDS-stricken female - this, only in one's early 20s. I repeat: other than a weakened immune system (or maybe was it only an allergic reaction, but nonetheless, perhaps a weakened immune system), my health is above-average. My BMI is somewhere around 15.8, and considering my fat percentage, I look emaciated but am healthy according to a very detailed report from my doctor, whose only indications were to gain a bit of fat mass. The question is simple, however: why would one's body react so intensely to such a weak substance? The answer to this too should be fairly obvious.

One may wonder how I can be at a BMI of 15.8 and yet, get a perfectly normal health report. Let's just say a few things have helped me throughout the years:

1. No form of purging or laxative use;
2. Maintaining my electrolyte levels through frequent intake of sodium, potassium, sugar, fat and protein as well as oral rehydration salts (e.g. Gastrolyte) now and again;
3. Complete vitamin and micronutrient intake (meticulously calculated in Excel) by combining a variety of supplements and low-calorie food items on a daily basis;
4. Caffeine and pseudo-ephedrine to keep my metabolism and heart rate up and avoid low blood pressure, low heart rate, unwanted body hair, chills, etc.

And yet, at that moment, I felt as though as I was dying. Actually, I take that back: my electrolyte levels were such that I was on the verge of dying - tremors, muscle contradictions, a state of near-fainting and all that jazz. Little did I presume it was an effect of the sleeping pills I had the night before, hence I took two more to fall asleep. The next day, the cycle repeated itself, and how I was terrified once more, not knowing the source of these completely new problems and fundamentally unable to take account of my actions and call 911. Why? The diagnosis, the tubes, the psychiatrists... It was too much to bear. It shouldn't have been. Thankfully, I had the right reaction: drinking tremendously amounts of liquid rehydration salts (by which I was able to avoid permanent brain damage and heart failure), binging like I hadn't in years so as to fill up my digestive system and stop the diarrhea, and taking three caffeine pills to avoid having my heart rate drop too low.

I went to the doctor's office for blood tests today. Of course, as always, she was concerned about my weight, but since apparently, everything was back to normal, she didn't make a big deal out of it, as usual. Again, my health is above-average - and, still, here am I, wondering if I've taken it too far; wondering if that time has come; wondering if a step in the direction of recovery is worthwhile; and, especially, if I'm mentally prepared for it. Moreover, I hope with all of my heart that this life-threatening experience and my complete refusal of calling 911 will have been a large enough shock that I am going to be ready for recovery - truth to told, I simply don't know if I actually am.

Hence, my questions is threefold. Firstly, other than the tips I have named above, I need any tips as to maintaining my health while deciding as to whether or not I will choose recovery (anything at all). Secondly, what is the lowest possible calorie count, considering my stats (see: my application post), I could go up to so as to maintain my weight without gaining at all (I know it depends on a variety of elements, yet I still would like to know of a general indication - perhaps someone with lower stats than my own and their personal maintaining cal. intake could provide me with this information?) Thirdly and lastly - this is where it becomes an open-ended question -, what do you think of all of this, and what have been your personal experiences with such bouts of straining physical experiences/pondering as to the idea of recovery?

To all who may come to reply with lengthy (or not-so-brief) responses, I thank you, as much as I do for taking the time to read this. It would be nearly impossible for me to explain how much this is worth to me.


(Cross-posted to emaciated_mafia.)
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