A severe asthma attack at 8 had me swallowing more steroids than a dodgy Mr Universe contestant, and when I got out of hospital on my mother's birthday we had a lovely celebration. It had everything we needed - a big, beautiful cake. And me? I was lucky. I had been in hospital - I got two pieces.
All of a sudden - so it seemed - I went from being a happy kid who loved her food to a girl who had to wear clothes that were too big for Justine, my 15-year-old next-door neighbour.
I can remember being in the school yard after that and having a girl who was a few years older than me ask, "How much do you weigh?"
I didn't want to answer.
I knew - I got weighed each time I went to the paediatrician for my now life-dominating asthma.
"You must weigh about 80 kilos," she continued.
I froze and my mouth went dry. 81kg, in fact, at the age of 9.
"No," I siad, "I only weigh, um, about 40?"
9 years old, and lying about my weight.
Something was seriously wrong.