Oh man. TLC is going to be on this like white on rice!
Get ready! This girl is totally en route to My Strange Addiction!
Kerry Trebilcock is a 21 year old from Cornwall who, after contracting a hookworm while vacationing in Morocco, developed pica, which causes its victims to crave objects that are not food…and due to the condition, has left her eating up to 4,000 sponges and 100 bars of soap!
And although she had the parasite taken care of by her doctor, she was afraid to mention her bizarre eating habits, so she let them continue, which has led to serious stomach cramps, constipation, and diarrhea!
"After one dinner where I ate a double helping of lasagne and a tub of ice cream, I still felt hungry. To distract myself, I decided to wash the dishes. I took out a new sponge from a packet and had an overwhelming desire to eat it. I sat down with a glass of water and chewed the sponge until it was gone. It tasted of nothing but I found eating it enjoyable. Finally my hunger was gone and my stomach felt satisfied. I knew something was very wrong with me but I didn't want to tell anyone as I felt like a freak. But after a week I'd eaten nine sponges and over a pound of organic soap. I would go to the supermarket and buy over 40 sponges and different types of organic soap. It made me hungry just smelling all the different soap products in the cleaning aisle. The cashiers joked that I must love cleaning!
"I have been very particular about the type of sponges and soaps I'd eat and how I'd prepare them. If I went out for the day I'd carry a small plastic bag of cut-up pieces of sponge with some tomato and BBQ sauce in Tupperware. I was never without a 'snack'. The sauces and dipping the sponges in drinks softened them — and I'd chew them until the flavour was gone. Then I would swallow the sponge."
Thankfully, gurlfriend had enough sense to realize that this behavior was far from normal, so she confided in a friend in 2009, which led to her pica diagnosis and subsequent treatment, which includes counseling and vitamins, and curbing her cravings with Floral Gum sweets!
However, she explains:
"They taste like soap so they help me get the flavor I desire without doing any damage. I know one day I will beat this. I still have a one-inch square of sponge and three teaspoons of organic soap with each meal. But I am making progress and speak to other sufferers of pica on internet forums, which helps. There are some out there far worse than me who eat car tires, spoons and even sofas. One day I will beat this and be able to have a shower or do the washing-up without feeling hungry."
Good lord! That's absolutely INSANE!
Poor thing! Especially because unlike some of the other people we see on these shows, she's really aware of what this is doing to her body and actively trying to stop it!
Stay strong, gurl! You're on the road to recovery!
Just keep on trucking! And maybe hire someone else to take care of your dishes for a while!