Sick during Christmas

Whining alert:

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.

10 thoughts on “Sick during Christmas

  1. Everyone here probably wishes that they could offer you some sage and uplifting advice. Maybe even trade places with you for a day or two. Problem is they can’t. Oh sure, they can throw you some well meaning platitude or tell you a story about their experiences with having been sick or knowing someone who has. But your own personal struggle is just that. Your own…. very personal….struggle. How we defeat our inner demons is a journey that each of us must make alone. Staying positive can’t hurt. We can all talk ourselves into seeing things in the worst possible light. That helps us how? Move forward everyday. Never give in and never give up. Always remember that what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger! (Maybe that last line isn’t helpful.) But you get the drift. Try to enjoy the intent of this holiday season (the non-materialistic part at least) as best you can. Merry Christmas

  2. No platitudes and no words of wisdom but a virtual hug because I know how permanent injury or illness shrinks one’s world. {{{{{hug}}}}}

  3. Dear Susie
    I love your blog. I am sorry you are ill , its a crappy feeling . I was in hospital for 5 days around Thanksgiving with severe diverticulitis getting IV antibiotics and narcotics iv every 4 hrs . THe pain was very severe . I have good insurance ( in fact I am an RN at the hospital I was admitted to ) and I received excellent care all round . I only hope that one day every American has such excellent care as I had .
    I hope you feel better soon . I am taking my fiber daily , eating carefully , slowly with lots of fluids added, leaving out the red wine ( this was my weakness ) and loving every day of painfree living right now .

  4. Oh Susie! feel better soon. My former editor Joel Mathis went through the same ordeal -temporary colostomy and all- but he’s on the mend now. It took a long time, but he’s doing much better and no longer colostomied.

  5. Know that there’s a lot of us thinking of you every day and hoping that all your wishes are fulfilled this Christmas.

  6. I was talking to my counselor about how resentful I am about all the stupid things I have to do every day to function. She told me everybody our age has these stupid things.

    Of course, she has good insurance and a doctor she trusts.

    If it helps, I’m not going to Italy because I can’t be on my feet for more than a few minutes at a time. Sucks.

  7. Nothing really perky to say, Suze. Just know that there IS light at the end, though it may not look that way at the moment. My wife had a perforated colon, had to wear a colostomy bag for a year, watched what she ate, and came out of it in great shape. Hang tough, our thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  8. You will feel better soon, I consulted the oracle at 9th and Passyunk. 2012 is going to be a year of prosperity and good health. You will be eating right, exercising, writing excellent stuff and enjoying life. Hey, you already enjoy more than most people.

  9. “I consulted the oracle at 9th and Passyunk. 2012 is going to be a year of prosperity and good health.”

    Passyunk is one of my favorite street names in the whole world.
    But which side of 9th Street? I always tell my Philly-dwelling daughter that I refuse to venture east of 9th St. (I’m in San Jose). Is the ballpark east or west of 9th?

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