Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A hard pill to swallow...

I went home on Sunday for a doctor's appointment the next morning. Going home is always a welcome break from all my usual stresses, including a chance for my stomach issues to be sorted out in the comforts of home. Having Mom and Dad around to help me is a blessing. No one knows me like they do. Hopefully most people feel this way about their families. I am extra lucky. I know that. Once I made it home, I was quite grumpy. My family had just sat down to dessert. Mom made rhubarb crisp - my favourite. At first I didn't want any, but changed my mind once I saw how good it looked with vanilla ice cream. I had two helpings. Not surprisingly, my spirits lifted. A lot of sweetness will make most of us smile brighter, I guess. Mom helped me resolve my stomach gurgles as best she could, but I still wasn't feeling a hundred percent the next morning. Ironically, I went to see a doctor specializing in stomach troubles. Maybe this makes sense - considering that I'm healthy aside from my bowel challenges.

I respect the doctor I see. He is an expert. When he says to do something, I do it. He is direct and tells me things that take a bit of time to wrap my brain around. Yesterday he advised me to change habits I've had for the last fifteen years. He also gave me a bit of warning about what next steps could be in my future. None of it was easy to hear. I wanted to yell, "Noooooooooooooooo!" I wanted to say, "This sucks. I don't deserve all of these challenges" but I stayed quiet. Mom was there. I was so glad. I needed her.

In the doctor's office, I noticed a gaunt looking man with a very bloated belly. Mom told me the man needed a liver transplant. A family friend had the same pregnant looking abdomen before his transplant. Thankfully he is doing well. I pray that man gets a transplant. Seeing him put my own struggles in perspective. Unlike that man in the office, I have choices and lots of time to make them.

My brother picked us up and drove us home. He commented on how quiet I was. I went into the bathroom, answered the call of nature and burst into tears. It felt good. Now, each time nature calls and I successfully answer it, I will be grateful. To be able to honour one's bodily urges naturally is a blessing.

Halfway back to my apartment, I got sick. It was gross. Dad saved my life. He took me home and got me cleaned up. What would I do without my family? Getting sick felt like a reiteration from above that I must adopt new ways of managing my health. Change is hard, but I'll be OK.

As I was tucked into bed at my parents', I thought about what a bad day I had. In another way, how lucky am I that the only real trouble I have revolves around poop? When I say, "I had a poopy day," I mean it.


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