“Why won’t you eat? Why do you do this to yourself? Do you realize you’re killing yourself?” I cannot recount how many times I’ve heard these words, among others said to me. “Hello? You need to come to the ER right away!” The doors of Akron Children’s ER became well known to me; the whole hospital became my habitat for survival. Cans after cans of Gatorade as well as electrolyte filled IV fluid became the routine for my many hospital stays; my room was checked for food, bathrooms locked & every calorie counted down to a single crumb- every calorie was vital to survival. Privacy became overrated. Bed rest became mandatory; if caught even sitting up at times was unacceptable. IV after IV being poked as well as manipulated into my tiny shriveled veins- each movement of the needle piercing my arm. Midnight blood draws. Vital sign check ins. Pills after pills. Supplement after supplement. Meal plan after meal plan. EKG’s one after another. Question after question! This is just a glimpse of the routines administered during my inpatient stays.
Life as an Anorexic is over if not under-rated; constant pain, nausea from starvation, fatigue, dizziness after quick movements, fainting, extreme thirst & hunger…….the list goes on & on. Truly, there are no words to accurately describe the crazy and torturous life of an Anorexic- a word which I couldn’t force out of my lips due to denial & embarrassment.
This semester of college has been crazy and demanding; God truly is my only answer for getting through. He is my Refuge & Strength. I have learned so incredibly much this semester and am grateful for each experience; I’ve taken blood pressure, dissected a pig, learned to do an EKG, done blood typing as well as countless lessons of Biology showing to me how lifeless I truly was. Medical terms became familiar to me because of past exposure through hospital stays. This semester has been a test; a definite test of my faith and trust but through it I’ve come out stronger and more equipped!
The little girl in me is scared……scared of her once worst nightmare becoming reality all too quickly! As a little girl I always said I’d never have anything to do with a hospital; my years were spent ignoring and denying pain to avoid doctors at all costs. I became convinced doctors were against me and medicine would harm me. Now, as an adult my life has taken a drastic turn; do I really want to be a nurse? Is it really my calling? I don’t have what it takes; I know absolutely nothing about medicine. Some days I want to turn back…..to give up before it all comes true. Then I am haunted with the faces of the hopeless, the dying, the lost & I’m reminded that I don’t have to have all of the answers. God uses the weak to do great things; all it takes is a willing heart. The face of the burned little girl I watched every Wednesday during hospital appointments & waiting haunts my mind; the change in that one little girl from love and acceptance after severe abuse & hatred; unexplainable determination erupted from that wounded & tender little heart after exposure to love- a simple yet underestimated thing. What I experienced moment after moment was foreign to her and so many other little children. I am reminded that I would be just like that had I not accepted and experienced the unexplainable and incomprehensive love of Christ my Savior who endured the worst possible death all for my sins; so I could live life with joy, peace and freedom I don’t deserve. This is what I have to offer the world…..nothing of my own but the greatest gift to ever be received- everlasting life and freedom. People all over the world have not been fortunate enough to hear of this undeserved gift and it is our duty to tell them. We as Christians did NOTHING to deserve this gift yet it has forever drastically changed lives; this gift is not to be kept to oneself but to be spread throughout the world. This is why I have said yes to God’s adventure for me even before knowing what’s ahead; THIS is why I can’t stop from smiling!