#TellUsAnything A tornado put me in a coma

My story is quite long, but here goes. It was March 22, 2005. I had no warning of what was headed for my home. I didn’t know that coming from behind me was an F2 tornado. It had traveled across the lower east side of Alabama before coming across the river into the lower end of Georgia . I was told there were actually 3 running along side one another. Just a few miles from my home two of them joined.

My home was a 1977 doublewide trailor. I was at home with my son, 19 at that time. I let up a few windows because I wanted the fresh air to sweep throughout the house. I noticed some dark clouds coming up, the wind was just a smooth breeze at this time. I looked at the wall clock and noticed it was 1:00 p.m..

I went into the kitchen and was getting a cup of coffee when I was hit with a strange smell. I then went to look out the window, didn’t really notice much, but that smell was very strange. It was the smell of isolation, like being near an old house or building being torn down. Still, I wasn’t sure what to think. All of a sudden the wind was raging, I felt a fear I’d never felt in my life. Unsure of what was happening, what came to my mind was to just sit down on the floor.

I had a view of the front and back yard, in a split second my husband’s shop in the back yard went flying over a car, the noise came and got extremely loud. As I was getting to my feet, I caught a glimpse of one of Papa’s cows fly by a window! I turned toward the hall and started running, only I wasn’t going anywhere! I had a foot on each side of my doublewide as it started to go up and down and come apart. At that moment, the sound was like a jet flying a few feet above me, and the sonic boom seem to explode my home.

I never made it to my son. I fell forward, screaming, and I was out. Just before I screamed, I glanced at the wall clock, it was 1:15 . When I came to, I was laying face down in the field behind our house, only my house was completely gone.

I lost my glasses so seeing was so hard, I managed to sit up. I had no pain, but I couldn’t hear anything. I called out to Papa, but nothing. I thought of my son, and as if in slow motion I looked around and got a bearing of where I was.

I saw a small white thing moving back and forth, with no hesitation I got up and started walking towards it. When I got there I realized it was my son’s foot. He had on his socks and was moving his foot. I noticed that he was trapped under the frame of my house. He was also laying face down. I couldn’t move it. I patted him on his back and told him to be calm. I looked back towards Papa’s house. I told my son he was on his way and he would get us help. At this time I began to feel weak. I told him I was going to lay down.

Somehow, I ended up laying so close to him the people who came assumed we both landed there. All I knew was I slid as close as I could in order to hold his hand. When Papa made it to us I was unable to open my eyes. I heard my son ask him if mom was okay, then Papa said “I don’t think so little man.”

Time sort of stood still. I had to focus on my breathing now because I felt something was wrong with my chest. I know I was in and out several times. I began praying, first all I could think to say was “God forgive me.” In my head, I repeated that over and over. Then I noticed it was getting very difficult to breath. The thought in my mind then was “God don’t let my son be near me when I die.” That’s when I began to say that prayer…get him out soon and away from me.

At some point my oldest son got there. That was an overwhelming moment. I could tell he was running towards us because his screams got louder and louder. When he made it to my side he was begging, “please don’t tell me my mama is dead” he repeated it several times. He must have bent down near me because the EMT told him not to touch me. The EMT asked me if I could give my sons a ‘thumbs-up’ and I did. I wanted to look at him and tell him not to be afraid, but nothing would work.

They soon had my younger son freed from this trap. He was placed on a backboard, then my turn came. Up until then I still had no pain, but as they turned me it hit. I began to moan and tried screaming. It was awful, I wanted to remain still and quiet, but I had no control. They put us both in the same ambulance. I remember my son telling me not to cry or scream, but like I said, I had no control.

Next thing I knew we were at the ER. At this time I had no idea where they had taken my son. I only knew the pain was so unbearable. My own physician was on call, as were two others whom had been called in. I remember bits and pieces and begging for pain relief. I heard the doctors say “she needs chest tubes her lungs have collapsed,” at this time my doctor softly tells me he is going to put the tubes in. I felt the blade, then a pop, then I was out.

The next time I came to, I had been in a coma for 9 days. I woke up in CCU. Hands strapped to the bed. I had been put on a respirator. So many things went on during that stay. I learned that I had indeed nearly died, and I was told of my injuries. Eight broken ribs, front and back. Two concussions, one was open, so eleven staples closed it. Something had punctured the roof of my mouth. I had a broken clavicle that was also pulled apart by an inch. Several deep cuts. But…what really surprised me was being told I had a broken piece of a 2×4 in my hip! Several muscles in my hip, thigh, and pelvic area were divided.

So, now this brings us to now, October 16, 2008. Most of my injuries have recovered nicely. But, needless to say the muscle injuries and my hip have healed, but are damaged. Some severely, but with the help of my pain management physician, we have made an amazing management plan. I am limited in daily routines around my new home, my grand kids, and our young daughter, but, my life is good. The most amazing thing about this is my son was spared injury! He had some torn ligaments in the upper torso form the weight of the frame, they had him in the hospital over night for observation then was sent home the next day.

When I have bad days I wish for a way to ‘fix’ the damaged muscles but, what can be done right? So, in ending, I want to say, thanks for letting me tell my story and for your reading it.

Thank you,
SJG

#TellUsAnything: Disowned After Father Died

My father died when I was 5, I was the oldest of 3 with two younger brothers. I always felt rejection from my mother, I believe because I look exactly like my father and I was adored by him.

My mother quickly remarried a man with severe bipolar disease, and had another daughter. My mother and half-sister are very close.

Now, after raining down 50 + years of physical and verbal abuse, my stepfather has died. My mother, half sister and brothers have made it clear to me that I am no longer a member of this family. My role has always been “the helper.” They don’t need me.

This is, of course, a bare outline but should also include extreme alcohol and drug addiction problems and religious cults involving all the siblings.

I am 60, alone and have been denied my inheritance (such as it was). Although, intellectually I believe this estrangement is for the best and long overdue, still I am devastated. I cannot seem to give up the fantasy that my mother and my family love me.

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#TellUsAnything Mothers with eating disorders

I am 31 years old, and I have been bulimic since I was 20.

I remember the first time my friend told me how she starting throwing up to lose weight. I thought that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard.

I currently binge at least 1 to 3 times daily each time followed up with purging. I have never been hospitalized, however I am having complications. I have chosen to ignore so many of the signs throughout the years, because I am not sure how to stop. I don’t think anybody would even believe I would have such a disorder. I am scared to tell anybody.

I am not sure if I can stop, and I don’t think I could deal with the disappointment that my friends and family would feel.  At 32, I am currently experiencing rectal/vaginal prolapse.  My teeth are also chipping away. I have become a very moody person.

When I get off work my thoughts and actions are consumed with eating.  I feel like I just have to.  The worst part about this is, I have a wonderful husband and three beautiful girls. None of them are aware.

I know that I am missing out on so many things.  I just don’t know how to stop.  I have so many responsibilities in my life that everything can not stop just so I can get help.  How do you tell someone that being bulimic has control of your life?  How is this possible?

#TellUsAnything Dying to be thin: Moms with Eating Disorders

I am a 32 year old mother of 3 girls. There ages are 17, 15, and 11. I have had diabetes and all my life and I struggle with my weight.

One day I read about purging, it was hard at first to vomit after eating barely nothing. I would chew and spit it out. I figured why swallow it if you can satisfy yourself mentally with just taste.

I started at age 24. I dropped 90lbs in 3-4 months. I figured wow this works for me. I would wake up with large amounts of hair on my pillow. I always had a sore throat. I would spit up blood after vomiting. All my back teeth were rotten, so I had them pulled and I have kidney problems.

I was married at 25, and was asked at my wedding are you sick? I said no it’s these diet pills I took for the wedding. I took 8 pills a day.

I had a stroke at 26 and was in the car with my kids. At 27 I had a heart attack, but here I am 32 years old and I can’t stop from suffering with this illness.

I look in the mirror and see a fat pig even after lipo suction, breast reduction, and 3 face lifts. My breast have shrunk now to a small B and I’m still not happy.

I have pictures over my house telling me what not to eat. I have stashes of laxatives and diuretics. I take about 12 a day.

I go to counseling for this, but yet, I’m lying not only to myself but to my therapist. So, how long will I live for my kids? I’m dying to be thin. I type this and I have tears in my eyes because I want out, but have no idea how to stop. I don’t recommend this illness to anyone out there. If you’re thinking about it please read my story!

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#TellUsAnything: Cruel…My personal eating disorder story

Well, I am 18 and a senior in high school. My whole life I watched my mom struggle with her eating problems. She was very cruel with my weight and I told my self I would never allow something like that to control me.

I watched a friend fall into the same trap, but what I couldn’t understand was why? She was perfect, smart, athletic and pretty. If she felt unworthy then how could someone like me…deserve to be happy? How could anyone love me?

So, these feelings took over me. I felt so ashamed, (I am a Christian) I shouldn’t feel this way. But then how could God forgive me anyway..I was always failing him.

I stared to hurt myself. (Not cut) but make myself stay in hot/cold places for a long time. Skip a few meals, stay up real late, and workout a lot. Just because I felt unworthy.

I would skip meals for days. But one time I lost control and ate a lot and felt so bad that I threw up. (Unlike a lot of people) I enjoyed it. So I made it a goal to do that once everyone went to bed. But, what I didn’t know was how much control it took from me. That’s all I cared about.

I became angry, bitter and very sad! As time went on it got worse. Grades dropped, I stared to suck at sports and I hated God. I started to throw up 20 times a day. I became so fearful that I was going to die, that I never slept.

Call me a fool, but a year later I still struggle and somedays hate myself. But I told God about it and he is helping me through it. I just wanted to let anyone who is reading this (if you haven’t left) that God does love you and will help you if you allow him to. Food can’t fix how you feel nor can it remove it. But God can, if you are willing to let him help you.

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#TellUsAnything: Having bipolar disorder caused me to purge

I’ve recently started purging. I am a diabetic and have been diagnosed as being bipolar. It all started when I began to gain weight. In my teens I had always been on the thin side. To be quite honest, I had a beautiful figure.

When I was first diagnosed as being bipolar, I was put on meds and a lot of them came with side effects, including weight gain. There was this one med in particular, called seroquel. It definitely made me gain weight.

I remember my sophomore year when I first started taking it, I went from a size 2 to a size 8, and everyone noticed and started making fun of me, especially the girls.

When I told my psychiatrist about it, he took me off of Seroquel immediately and put me on something else called zonigram. I immediately lost all the weight that I had gained, and to me, that was when I looked my best. I was 5’9″ and weighed 135 pounds.

Although I looked great on the outside I was a total mess mentally. I was very manic those years and the pill was making me have tremors. People used to ask me all the time if I was a tweaker.

I did some very horrible things that I am so ashamed of. Whenever I think about it, it makes me cringe. I kept ending up in juvie and finally, I attempted suicide and was locked up at an institution for teens. They took me off of a lot of the meds, including zonigram.

After I got out, I began seeing a new psychiatrist who put me on seroquel once again. I slowly, but gradually, started to gain weight again. It started with a little pot belly. My hunger was so out of control. I was eating like a bulimic, but not throwing it all up.

I would get prank calls from girls telling me that I needed to go to the gym and how disgusting I looked. And the thing is, with the weight I am now, I look back and would do anything to look the way I did when all that was going on.

Well, I finally reached the age of eighteen. Things were not perfect, but better when it came to my mental stability. But then I met this guy and fell fast for him. He turned out to be a real jerk and that’s when I really started to gain weight.

I ate all sorts of junk because it made me feel better. I begged and pleaded with my psychiatrist to take me off seroquel, but she just brushed me off.

By the time I was 20, I weighed about 175 pounds. I could no longer fit into all the cute brand named clothing I had. I no longer liked having my picture taken and I feared running into anyone I knew from high school, especially the ones who had been so cruel to me.

I thought that if they were calling me fat when I was wearing a size 8, then they would definitely make fun of me wearing a size 14. I was envious of all the beautiful models and actresses on television. I became so obsessed with my weight that it was all I ever thought about and my weight was always in the back of my mind.

I remember that as a teen, I would always think to myself how lucky I was to be thin. I never even thought it would be possible for me to get fat. I thought I had good metabolism, but boy was I wrong.

So finally, my mom told me about how the slim fast diet was one of the most successful diets out there. I was determined and I was actually quite successful, losing about 25 pounds. But it still wasn’t good enough, so I started purging.

I would go to the store at odd hours and stock up on junk food, come home, gobble it down, and then gag it all up. I just got back from the store today. I bought three boxes of Little Debbie’s, sugar cookie mix, frosting, and ice cream.

The thought that I can eat whatever I want has made this so addictive. I tell myself that I’m not going to do it ever again but then I find my self doing it again.

Like I said before, I am a diabetic. I also feel very manicky after a purge. I know this is all my fault and I have no one to blame but myself. I am putting my health at major risk, but even though I am aware of this, it is hard not to purge.

I would really like to have someone to talk to, like some kind of support group, where we could help each other.

I want to make one thing clear, though. Although the meds I take have some side effects, they really have helped me at the same time. So, to anyone who takes medication like me, my advice is keep doing what you are doing.

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#TellUsAnything: I was always chunky

So this is my story. I am a lot like 34,394,839 girls out there but somehow, I feel it’s all me. I was always chunky but, for some reason, it never bothered me until 8th grade.

I had made myself purge here and there but was never addicted. At the end of my 10th grade year, someone said that I looked like I had lost a little weight and that clicked motivation right into me.

It all started out healthy, eating the right things and exercising. Then I discovered Slim Fast. At first, I did it the right way but then the next thing I knew, a Slim Fast a day was my meal. When I lost 20 pounds, I decided to eat a little, which made me gain weight because I had lost everything the wrong way.

So when I started eating, I purged. At first, I would say that I would stop tomorrow and just not eat. But you get addicted to feeling the satisfaction of not gaining weight.

Before all this started, I was 130 pounds. I am now 112, and whenever I hit 114, I cry and I hate myself. I look perfectly normal and I’m not even considered the overused phrase “thick,” but for some reason, all I can see are big hips and huge thighs.

Please, don’t ever start. I still struggle with this and it is true, it is a disease. Love yourself for who you are because once you start, you won’t be able to stop. Don’t end up like me. It’s not a place where you want to be. It breaks my mothers heart when she sees vomit on the toilet seat that I forgot to clean up.

Take it from someone who knows. You will be dead before you are skinny enough. I know because I’m on the verge.

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#TellUsAnything: My little boy, Nathan

My 10th pregnancy produced my third child, a little boy, Nathan, born 6 weeks early, after spending the previous month in the hospital with high blood pressure.

Nathan started to vomit at about 9 weeks of age, and he was constantly under the care of a pediatrician. He was diagnosed with reflux.

The periods of vomiting increased and Nathan lost head control and muscle tone. He became extremely lethargic and cried a lot. He could not be left alone for a moment, as he would vomit with no warning, both in his sleep and awake.

I was breastfeeding Nathan and was exhausted from feeding him. Nathan would vomit and want me again. I tried to bottle feed him, but he would not even take the expressed milk that I had bought home from the hospital (87 bottles of it). Thank goodness the dog liked it.

At 4.5 months of age, I sought a second opinion for Nathan. After being constantly told there was nothing to worry about by his current pediatrician.

Nathan, by now, was either gray or bright yellow in skin color. He was like a rag doll with no tone at all, and cried all the time. The new pediatrician straight away said, “He looks anemic” and ordered blood tests.

Nathan is now 7, and is developmentally delayed. Because vitamin B12 controls everything neuorological in a baby, without it they regress and lose certain skills. With help, a lot of these skills can be retaught, but there is still an obvious difference.

Doctors now recommend taking folic acid during pregnancy, however, it should never be taken without first testing the patients B12 level, as depleted stores of B12 can be effected by folic acid. The only reason I believe Nathan is here today is because, for this pregnancy, I did not take folic acid.

With more and more mothers seemingly “doing the right thing” by cutting out meat and animal products, they must be made aware that vitamin B12 must be replaced to ensure not only the well being of the mother, but the well being of the child. There is too much ignorance to this and it was realized by a couple in New Zealand, only recently, who lost their child to vitamin B12 deficiency when they refused to allow a bone marrow biopsy to be done.

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