Well... this is an embarrassing story, but please let me spare you some grief. Starting as a toddler, I had pica disorder and just ate tons of non edible things.
-waxy things were my primary goodies. so I'd munch on crayons and scented candles whenever I could find them. (Wasn't your typical coloring session when I was around... and I always pooped the whole rainbow.)
-sand. I just wanted to get the whole sand box into my tummy, for some bizarre reason...
-cardboard, toilet paper, any type of paper!!! I was always asking other children, "can I see your notebook...?" They would squeal and shove it in their backpack: "NO!! I remember what you did to it last time!!"
-cotton balls and q-tips. My mom says my first bathroom raid was age 5. "Ma, how come you keep some food in the bathroom, and the rest in the kitchen?" *Her face turning red as a beet...* "You're NOT supposed to eat those!!! what is with you, child?!"
-I also was a sucker for pencils, which are mostly wood. Thank goodness the lead is made out of graphite these days instead of actual lead... or I wouldn't be sitting here making this post and my poor ma would be an emotionally scarred widow short of one child... I also enjoyed twigs, tree bark, and various weeds that grew in that grew in sidewalk cracks (thankfully I never picked a poisonous one...) I always chewed my wood very thoroughly into a pulp, so I fortunately never punctured my intestinal lining. But the others are not fibbing: this very well could have happened.
-Ate sticks of gum by the pack. Eat, chew, swallow, repeat. I always wondered, Why does everyone chew it for so darn long? Just EAT the stuff, already... or I'll do it for you.
-Okay, warning. this one was the worst...matches. When my dad was drunk and left these laying around, I practically had a celebration. Always lit a few before I ate them. No need for a cake to put them on... just wait for them to cool and have some "barbequed" matches. (I'm shuddering thinking about this...)
Many trips to the ER because of intestinal blockages that caused severe pain, and also weeks going by with no bowel movements... please, from experience, I beg you NOT to do this!! This disorder gave me a rather hellish childhood, and I have no clue what possessed me to actually do it!! I don't eat ANY inedible substances anymore... because my body will surely quit if I do this ever again. And why do it, anyway... this stuff never tasted as good as ice cream or soda. I just COULD NOT stop doing it. I was like a druggie hopelessly addicted to...wood, paper, wax, matchbooks, and cotton...?
Here are a few more complications to consider:
-I once went to the ER with seizures after eating some colored printer paper with glitter in it... the dye had a toxic chemical in it and my body was very offended by it.
-Another time I was eating a clothes pin that was dyed purple and I started TURNING purple (like the girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who turned into a blueberry.) It didn't stop there... I started having heart palpitations, and my skin would pulsate with the purple color to the beat of my heart. I began to burn from head to toe like I was on fire. And no. You didn't read that wrong... my skin was PULSATING purple as the toxic dye circulated to my cells with each heart beat. Everyone in school called me an alien after that. I went to the ER and the doctor informed my mom that I was now allergic to all dyes and food coloring. No wonder...
-I've had several colonoscopies to find and remove blockages in my intestines, all of which caused extreme pain, nausea, and bloating.
So that all happened while I was a crazy pica child, shoveling in the weird substances like there was no tomorrow. But eventually, of course, I grew up and intellectually understood that I HAD to stop this. Years after I had matured a bit and moved on somewhat, I still suffered from yet another complication. My appendix ruptured and put me in the hospital for a week. The surgeon looked at my medical history and said, "I'm not surprised, to be honest. The appendix catches all the toxins in the body, and it ruptures due to infection. Usually we can remove it before it does... but you've gotten more than your typical childhood dose of toxins, young lady."
Lesson learned... well, I don't really need to say it, do I? Nah. You get my drift...