When I was a kid (and even a tween), sick days were like mini vacations. Sure, I might be vomiting occasionally or barely able to breathe, but I was in bed with my stuffed animals, reading away the day.
Sick days as an adult are not vacations. They are chances for your brain to stress you the f**k out because there are so many things you SHOULD be doing, but CAN’T. And three-quarters of the time, you can’t even take a sick day and you just have to push through and hope that your half-assed attempts at getting things done are enough.
I haven’t been feeling well for weeks. I mean, really, if you want to get down to it, I’ve had on-and-off sharp stomach pains and nausea for the last six months. It comes and goes. It will come for a week or two and make me really miserable, then quiet down for a stretch. This last episode started about a week and a half ago and I was pretty sure it was due to a lack of sleep and stress. But then I slept. And it was still there. I missed class this week. Profs were cool with it, no extra work to make up, but the pain was still there. I ate saltine crackers and chicken noodle soup and applesauce for virtually every meal. Still felt terrible.
It started to ease up a bit on Friday, but was back full force in time for the expressive arts showcase I was a part of. I had to ask the MCs to move my poem recitation to the very beginning of the program because I wasn’t sure I could stick it out through the entire thing. So my friend begins the showcase with a beautiful belly dance and I follow by reciting a poem I wrote for a friend a few years back. I get really positive feedback from the audience, notes of appreciation that I will treasure for a long time to come.
Things were going so well! Until about two minutes after I left the stage, when I began to feel the floor rush at me and I ran out of the cafe as quickly as I could, where I [literally and figuratively] tossed my cookies. We managed to find someone with a car to take me home (as I had ridden the bus to school), and within an hour of reciting my lovely poem, I was laying on the floor of the urgent care center about 2 miles from my apartment.
I figured I had finally come down with the flu, being as I like to take my chances by not getting vaccinated. Nope – not the flu. In fact, urgent care wasn’t really sure what was wrong, but were concerned about how intense my pain was. So a friend and classmate drove me to the ER, where we proceeded to sit for three hours while they poked, prodded, filled me with fluids, ran tests, and finally decided….they still didn’t know.
So – because I live in Small Town, USA, where the hospital isn’t fully staffed on weekends with unnecessary folks like radiologists – I am headed back to the hospital tomorrow (Monday) morning for an ultrasound. They think maybe it’s my gallbladder? Who the hell even thinks of their gallbladder these days?
Like my dad said earlier tonight, I don’t necessarily want them to find something big, but I do hope they find something. Feeling ill constantly for “no reason” is really starting to mess with my head. The only times in the past few months that I’ve even had a fleeting thought about suicide were related to the fact that I did not want to be in pain like this everyday. It sucks.
I’ve tried everything to make the pain and nausea go away. Well, except ED behaviours. Or excessive drinking. Or self-harm. So I’m just left feeling sucky and it’s taking a toll on my mood. I’m definitely slipping into more depression than I’d like, though my psychotropic cocktail takes the edge off. I’m apathetic, lethargic, fatigued, pessimistic, and not really enjoying anything.
This is a completely self serving post. I have no really wisdom in any of this, save that using eating disorder or drinking or self-harm behaviours isn’t going to fix anything. Just – if you’re the praying type, please pray they find something. Any answer is better than no answer at this point. I am just utterly exhausted by the not knowing. And the not being able to fix it.