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The Brave Fight Against Eating Disorders

By Karen Kay Smith

God's Brave Women - Karen's Story


Twenty-four hours remained, and instead of enjoying my family and life to the fullest, I was hysterical and terrified.


I know I’m supposed to write about being brave, not afraid. However, on my journey, I have come to understand brave does not mean without fear. Brave is terrified, yet, doing it anyway.


Terrified one night that I was dying, I allowed my friend to take me to the emergency room. As my heart was struggling to beat correctly, the ER doctor looked at me with concern in her eyes. “Mrs. Smith, your heart is shutting down from lack of nutrition. I am going to give you fluids in an effort to settle your heart back into a rhythm, but I can’t fix the ultimate problem; only you can do that.”


A defining moment in my life. A diagnosis. Anorexia.


 

"Mrs. Smith, your heart is shutting down from lack of nutrition. I am going to give you fluids in an effort to settle your heart back into a rhythm, but I can’t fix the ultimate problem; only you can do that.” A defining moment in my life. A diagnosis. Anorexia."

 

Several months later, the pounds continued to drop. No matter how hard I tried, I could not eat enough. With much encouragement from medical staff and great apprehension in my heart, I agreed to go to eating disorder treatment.


My heart didn’t beat correctly, and the room went dark every time I started moving. I wore a toboggan and layers of clothes because I was in a continual state of cold. My hands were purple, and I could not think clearly. I was convinced that anything over 500 calories in a day was a terrible idea. I also believed that running would keep me healthy. Lack of proper nutrition and exercise regimen was killing me.