28/06/2018 by Chantelle Rees 0 Comments
BRIDE’S AGONY: BACON SARNIE LEFT ME LIKE THIS
I couldn't resist the smell of the bacon sarnie but it nearly killed me - just days before my wedding day. By Victoria Weller, 33
‘Mmm, that smells amazing,’ I said, walking into the kitchen where my fiance Mark, 46, was frying up some bacon.
Who can resist the smell of bacon in the morning?
‘Shame you can’t have any,’ Mark said as he cut up some thick slices of bread and started to slather them with butter.
My heart sank. Unfortunately, he was right.
I’ve always loved my food. I was the type of girl who couldn’t decide between a McDonald’s or a KFC, so I’d have both. I’ve certainly never counted calories.
So when I started getting chest pain and throwing up after eating, I was really concerned.
But despite going back and forth to hospital, medics couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Eventually my weight dropped to a tiny five-and-a-half stone, my hair fell out, and my teeth started to crumble from the excessive vomiting.
Convinced I was suffering from an eating disorder, my doctor even sent me to a psychiatrist for an assessment.
‘It’s not that, I love my food, I just can’t keep it down. Please help me,’ I pleaded.
Eventually, doctors told me I had jackhammer oesophagus - a rare condition which affects just one in 300,000 people. It causes my oesophagus to spasm uncontrollably every time I eat.
It means anything I swallow gets to a certain point and bounces until I bring it back up. The intense chest pain it causes is identical to a heart attack.
I was devastated when medics explained I’d be forced to rely on a stomach tube for nutrition and that I’d have to be on medication for the rest of my life.
But Mark was my rock throughout it all. He shaved off his hair to make me feel better about losing mine, and when he proposed in June 2016 I was over the moon.
It helped to have something so positive to focus on and I threw myself into wedding planning to distract myself from my illness.
We booked our big day for March this year but just a month before, in February, disaster struck.
Mark dished up his bacon sarnie and I just couldn’t resist the delicious smell wafting through the house. It was too tempting to bear and without thinking, I grabbed the plate.
‘I’m sure I can have a little bite,’ I said, and before Mark could stop me, I grabbed the sandwich and nibbled on the end of it.
It tasted amazing, but as I turned to smile triumphantly at Mark, I suddenly regretted my decision.
As I tried to swallow my tiny bite of food, my oesophagus violently spasmed, sending shockwaves of pain searing through my body.
I collapsed to the floor in agony.
‘Mark,’ I gasped, holding my throat.
‘What’s happening?’ he said, grabbing his phone and punching in 999.
‘I can’t breathe,’ I hissed, as my airway became blocked and I struggled to catch my breath.
Mark frantically called for an ambulance, as I rolled around on the kitchen floor in pain. Paramedics got there in minutes but by that time I was frothing at the mouth and turning blue.
‘Stay with us Victoria,’ they urged, as Mark tried his best to tell them about my condition.
They managed to use a long hook to dislodge the lump of food from my throat in the nick of time, but I was rushed to hospital for further treatment.
As soon as I could speak, I begged doctors to discharge me.
‘I’m getting married in a few weeks,’ I groaned. ‘Please let me out of here.’
‘You’ve done significant damage to your oesophagus,’ a doctor warned me. ‘We’ll need to keep you in for a little while yet.’
‘Was the bacon sarnie worth it?’ Mark joked and I smiled weakly in response.
The doctor laughed, but then looked at me sternly.
‘In all seriousness - eating that sandwich almost killed you,’ he said. ‘Please don’t try to eat again while we are trying to manage your condition.’
For the next week, I arranged the final touches to our wedding day from my hospital bed and luckily, I was released with just days to spare.
I made it up the aisle to marry Mark and even though I wasn’t allowed to eat any of our wedding breakfast, I still had the best day of my life and I still happily smashed cake into his face!
However there is hope. I’m raising funds for an operation in the USA which could help me eat normally again. It’s called a heller myotomy procedure, and involves cutting the muscles in the oesophagus to allow food and liquids to pass to the stomach.
It’ll cost a whopping £40,000 and isn’t available in the UK. People can donate by visiting www.gofundme.com/please-help-vicki-get-the-op
To this day, I can’t believe I risked my life for a bacon sarnie - but it did taste good while it lasted!
Victoria risked her life - and her wedding - for a bacon sarnie. Do you have an extreme health story you'd like to share and raise awareness of? Why not give our team a call on 0117 973 3730 to see how we can help.