Smoothing down my dress, I let out a sigh of relief, glad it was over.
It was safe to say having a coil fitted hadn’t been the most pleasant experience, but I was pleased not to have to worry about contraception anymore.
‘Three kids is quite enough for me.’ I laughed to the nurse.
My husband and I had decided our family was complete after the arrival of our youngest son Joshua six weeks earlier. We also had a daughter Jade, then three and a son Ashlee, then nine.
I didn’t have to worry about falling pregnant anymore. But I did have something else that worried me. My weight.
I’d always been a big girl. At a size 22 weighing 15 stone 7lbs it was clear I loved my food, especially chocolate.
Half- hearted attempts at diets always failed so instead I’d decided to embrace my curves and enjoy being big and beautiful.
‘I’ve accepted my body,’ I’d shrug picking out stretchy clothes in the over size ranges.
I’d even entered pageants which celebrated bigger bodies like mine. The beauty contests were all about loving yourself.
So much so that I was beginning to realise that loving myself meant caring for myself and looking after myself, and perhaps that meant losing weight…
It was still on my mind when one night when Joshua was 6 I got home from my salsa dancing class and flopped exhausted onto the sofa.
‘Mummy’s back and knees are really sore after that,’ I puffed rubbing my joints.
He looked at me and said: ‘ Mummy I don’t think it would hurt you so much if you weren’t so big.’
I was shocked. But deep down I knew Joshua was right.
So over the next few days I started searching for an answer. I’d tried every conventional diet going so when I spotted some before and after pictures online I was intrigued.
They had been posted by an independent weight loss consultant so I immediately made an appointment.
In fact the transformation pictures were so incredible that I had already made my mind up that whatever the diet, I was going to try it.
But when I arrived for the appointment my heart sank when the consultant explained it was a meal replacement diet.
I’d always said meal replacement diets weren’t for me. But there was no denying the proof was in the pudding when the consultant showed me even more incredible before and after pictures.
I signed up, agreeing to switch my three meals a day for shakes, bars and soups from the range which would limit my daily calorie limit.
It promised fast results which was just what I wanted and I wasn’t disappointed.
Stepping onto the scales a week later I gasped: ‘ I’ve lost 10lbs.’
‘See, told you,’ my consultant beamed.
By the following week I was a full one stone lighter. ‘ This is amazing,’ I trilled stepping off the scales with a huge smile on my face.
The weight continued to fall off at a rate of 4lb per week and I started to feel much fitter and healthier.
‘Now mummy can dance without getting sore knees,’ I said to Joshua when I’d lost three stone.
In time I’d lost almost six stone.
Having gone from a 22 to a 10 meant I was the slimmest I had ever been in my adult life.
After reaching my target weight I learned how to reintroduce healthy food back into my diet.
The following year determined to maintain my weight I started running and boxing and was delighted to find that over the next few years my weight remained stable.
I’d never looked or felt better and had so much energy.
Which is why I was surprised when I woke one Saturday morning feeling wiped out.
My mum Lucy David was staying with me on holiday at the time and as we sat watching TV that morning I noticed sweat pouring off me.
Then I stared getting the shivers.
‘’Is this how the menopause starts?’ I asked mum. I’d heard all about the dreaded sweats but hadn’t expected it to start so suddenly but had no idea what else it could be.
But by that night I was suffering stomach cramps and then started being sick.
The following afternoon I saw my GP. ‘ There’s a nasty virus doing the rounds,’ he said. ‘ Come back if it hasn’t cleared up in a few days.’
He sent me on my way with some painkillers for the cramps – but they didn’t even touch the sides and I couldn’t keep anything down.
By the Wednesday mum was worried sick as I barely had the energy to move from the sofa. ‘Something’s not right love, I’m taking you to hospital she said,’ helping me to the car.
We arrived at A&E and took a seat in the waiting area. But after a few moments: ‘ I need some air,’ I gulped to mum as she steadied me to my feet and guided me to the door.
With that I passed out and crash to the floor. Then a hazy blur of screams and white coats as I was rushed through into an examination room.
I was dosed up on morphine for the pain which was now awful and didn’t really take it in when somebody said a scan had showed my coil was not where it was supposed to be…
I was rushed by ambulance to a different hospital and told I needed life saving surgery. Doctors explained that my coil had moved, migrating through my body where they suspected it had punctured my bowel causing dangerous toxins to leak into my body.
I was going into septic shock and they feared my bowel might be damaged beyond repair meaning I might come back from surgery with a colostomy bag to catch my waste.
But as devastating at that was. There was even bigger shock to come.
‘Why has this happened, I sobbed. ‘We suspect losing so much weight was what triggered the coil to start to move,’ came the reply.
I was flabbergasted. Had losing weight really put my life at risk?
There was no time to think about it as I said a teary goodbye to my family before being wheeled to surgery.
When I came round I groggily felt around or a colostomy bag.
‘You were lucky,’ said the doctor. Turned out the coil had pierced my bowel but they had managed to repair it.
They also had to remove an ovary, appendix and fallopian tube which had also been damaged. But the biggest risk had been the life threatening sepsis caused by the infection.
The shivering and sweats I’d thought were the menopause were the early warning signs.
I’d been a whisker away from death all because losing weight so rapidly had caused my coil to move.
But the doctor told me it was a freak occurrence and I’d just been very unlucky. It could have happened whatever diet I was following.
The irony was that the months I spent in bed recovering after caused me to gain two stone in weight.
I was back up to a size 16, but I wasn’t worried because I’d trained as a weight loss consultant to help others lose weight so this time I knew exactly what to do.
Once I felt well enough I went back to replacing my meals with my trusty products and soon the weight started to come off.
I’m now back to a size 10 and fighting fit.
Losing weight triggered a freak accident that nearly killed me but do I regret it ? Not a chance. Losing weight gave me my life back.