In March of 2017, I came down with a stomach virus. I wasn't able to keep anything down, and my body had no reserves. My hands, feet, legs, face, and even my tong began to cramp. My hands were stuck like clam shells, my toes were stuck pointed, and I was alone in my house waiting on my husband to get back with some medicine. I was unable to walk because my body was so depleted of nutrients, that I fell onto the floor of my bedroom. Luckily, I was able to grab my phone and call my husband who rushed home and rushed me to the ER. When I got there, my worst nightmare was confronted. I had to tell the doctors that I had an Eating Disorder.
Normal Potassium levels are between 3.5-5. Potassium isn't measured below 2. Mine was below 2. My magnesium was also very low. You see, when you spend a majority of your day purging everything you eat, it tends to fuck with the electrolyte levels. On top of that, I was also running long distances in the south Louisiana heat-- that's a recipe for disaster.
After spending 24 hours in the hospital, I was released and promised everyone that I would get better, that this was my rock bottom, my wakeup call, and that I could do it on my own. I couldn't. In November of 2017, I ended up right back in the hospital, quite possibly, worse than the first time. I was admitted into the ICU so that they could keep an eye on my levels. My body was not only cramping this time, but also uncontrollably shaking and twitching. (this was due to the, you guessed it, low potassium)
I began to think that I might need a higher level of care for my eating disorder (I wonder what gave that away...) I began to look up treatment centers online, but I was still dragging my feet and still engaging in behaviors (that's ED talk for purging, over-exercising, restricting, self harm, or using another behavior that's linked to the ED.)
It wasn't until my mom came to my house and basically became a puddle on the floor, begging me to go, that I decided to get serious about it. She said that she was afraid I was going to die before I could get the help I needed, and you know what, she was right. I almost did die. Twice. It's still a miracle that I didn't go into cardiac arrest. If I ever questioned the existence of a higher power, my faith is now solidified. If there's one nugget of info you take from this post, it's that you don't fuck with Potassium. That shit is important! Oh yeah, and eating disorders suck.