I was making myself a cup of tea this morning when I burst into tears. “I don’t want to be sick anymore,” I said fervently to myself. And I really, really don’t.
It’s hard to describe, the sense of outrage I have toward my body right now. I feel betrayed, misused. I take good care of myself, I’ve had some setbacks but was on my way back, and now I’m dealing with not one, but two pretty yucky diseases? (I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to worry about my bowel perforating, or how depressing it is to read perky, supportive messages on diverticulitis support forums about how much better someone felt after their temporary colostomy and bowel resection.)
I miss food, real food. I long to eat just one meal with abandon, without mentally weighing fat or fiber content, and the probable effect on gall bladder or intestines. I want to eat a chocolate chip walnut Christmas cookie. My neighbor gave me a box of milk chocolate for Christmas, and I can’t eat any – but I can’t bring myself to throw it out, either.
I’m supposed to be on a liquid diet, but I had a piece of toast this morning. I had to; I felt so nauseated from the antibiotics, it was the only way I could think of to keep the pills down. Plus, it’s fucking Christmas. A piece of toast doesn’t seem too much to ask.
The real problem is, sometimes I’m really scared. I wonder if this is the new normal, and I’m going to be one of those people with a chronic illness that makes their world very small. I wonder if all that inertia after hurting my ankle has caused irreparable harm to my system.
I wonder if I’ll be a burden to my children: “What are we going to do about Mom?”
Part of why I’m so scared is that I feel so vulnerable. The lack of insurance (no, the paperwork hasn’t arrived) is just paralyzing. I don’t have a doctor I trust, I don’t trust what any of them tell me. I’m so exhausted from my restricted diet, I don’t have the mental energy to deal with much.
Yet I am hypervigilant. I am tired. I can’t shut off my brain.
I was just beginning to feel normal again. And now I don’t.