I’ve never been one for cold turkey. I mean I can’t eat cold turkey anymore since my health crisis but I’m talking more about cutting things off completely. Breakups always took me months, I was never good at making rash decisions, and diets always had to be eased in to. But when all of my health stuff happened I lost my purpose cold turkey. I no longer could party like I wanted to, work the hours that I used to, or even just simply go on day to day as planned. Everything changed- and it changed upbruptly. This mixed with hours to the day of nothing to do but sit and think about how crappy I felt led to depression and anxiety. I had to figure something out- some way to occupy my day and nights and not go absolutely crazy in the meantime. It wasn’t fair to rely solely on my fiancé to do that so I started madly obsessing about certain things. First it was the house. I had to have a house. I couldn’t wait- I wanted one- and I was going to get one. Check. Then it was the dog. I wanted my dream dog right away. Check. The months after were filled with renovating the house and decorating… but then came the boredom. I decided I needed a baby (harder than you would think) so to occupy this new conundrum that I couldn’t quite figure out I started crafting. I made soap- it fell apart. I made candles- and cut myself on all the glass. I jared so much fruit and vegetables that I ran out of room. I tried every hobby possible to fill my void but unfortunately nothing would stick. Nothing interested me enough to keep it up and not give up in the process. Until I took something I did daily (cooking) and spiced it up a bit. I joined one (actually many) of those mail delivery food sources where they send you every single thing you need and a handy recipe to make the perfect meals. And it really did- I was cooking things I never dreamed of and they were tasting pretty darn good! Finally… I found a hobby!!
So what does a person do when they no longer work and literally feel sick and tired? That is an excellent question and it took me months to figure it out. My doctor ruled me too sick to work. This is because every time I eat I “crash” in a sense since my body can’t properly digest food. This usually means sleeping- almost like a form of narcalepsy. I will eat lunch and then instantly get sleepy, even more fatigued, and essentially fall asleep hard for about an hour. This helps my digestion because my body processes the food without me physically feeling the pain of it- I am basically sleeping through the pain. I, of course, have many other crazy symptoms after I eat which I will spare you the details of but the bottom line is the doctors say it just isn’t safe to work. Too much time goes in to planning meals, actually eating them, and then safely digesting them in a comfortable atmosphere when I’m done. If I had to be at work I would not be able to eat at all during the entire work day.
So I am sick and tired. And bored. Now what? My life used to have such purpose and I felt the importance of my position everyday. Now I was left to a couch and myself. No people to aggravate me yet keep me entertained, and no socialization that comes with a work atmosphere. This is a dangerous web especially for someone who relied so heavily on work to be the main focus of her life… this girl. I have this great big, amazing city and I can’t even muster up enough strength to go to the grocery store. So it was time to really figure it out.
I don’t think many people get to physically see love until they are at a very old age. I was able to see it first hand and it brought me closer to my fiancé then I ever thought possible. I didn’t think I could love him more and a whole new form of love came about.
Picture this… when I came home from the hospital I couldn’t sleep in a bed for 3 MONTHS!! That is 3 months of sleeping in a reclining chair and not next to my partner because I was so butchered up that moving was not only very difficult but laying flat and in a bed was impossible. So of course if I can’t lay in a bed for 3 months that is also 3 months of very, very, little physical activity if you know what I mean. My poor fiancé was stuck taking care of me daily, working full time, staying up nights with me crying, changing bags, feeding tubes, giving me meds, changing bandages… you name it he had to do it. He was Mr. Nurse and he saw and did things that no one in their late 20’s should ever have to do without working in the medical field.
I must say he did not complain ONCE. Not one time. He did what had to be done and he would smile and joke all the while to try to make me more comfortable with the situation. The following example is a little graphic and probably to much information but it pin points when I physically saw love from him so I have to share.
So I had a feeding tube in one side of my body which was a long plastic tube that fed in to a large cut that they put in my ab area. The wound remained open and bleeding because it could not close up with the tube inside of it. The tube fed in to my intestines and was attached to a large feeding machine where basically adult baby formula had to be poured in to. It would then drip in to my intestines and take about 2 hours a feeding. I had to feed about every 4 hours so it was 2 on, 2 off for over a month. Well one day nearing the end of my feeding tube days I fell asleep while it was pouring nutrients in to me at night. This was a big no no because first of all the machine is noisy, and second you need to stay in one position in the chair so the tube doesn’t crease or overflow or anything like that. Well I fell asleep and awoke to the feeding tube being completely out of my body. This was shocking because I had a hole in my side where you could basically see the inside of my gut area, but it also was shocking because it had to go back in.
After a few frantic phone calls to the doctor it was decided… my fiancé had to feed the tube back in to my body. The doctor literally told me to find a stick to bite down on because it would be so painful. Asking him to do this was stressful enough but he just smiled and said he would do what was needed. He then literally fed the tub into my body as you thread a needle and thread. It was so disturbing… and painful. I screamed and cried and blood went everywhere. It was something that should never have had to be experienced by two people who were in love but young and not even married yet.
When it was over the tube was in and he just sat in the bathroom and held me. I will never forget how he smelled as I cried on his shoulder or how he consoled me as I just apologized fanatically that he even had to do such a thing. Then he kissed me- and it was one of those movie kisses where everything was falling apart and I looked hideous and bloody… but he kissed me like he meant it and just held me until we were both calm and almost laughing. I physically saw him love me at that moment and I will never forget it. It is such a different thing than feeling love and I am grateful that I experienced it with him because I feel that it bonded us in a way I didn’t know possible. I loved him more that day than I thought possible and when I think of everything he did for me and all of his positivity I love him more and more all over again.
Because of my lovely medical mystery of a stomach I was on a feeding tube for about a month AFTER I got out of the hospital. This was already 2 months missed at work and I had a job where I was the boss and ran everything- so as goes this did not work well for the office, my co-workers, or company. So after the 3rd month and very little progress it was decided that I probably should be on disability… be replaced at my job… and become a housewife. The idea of staying at home and getting paid to do so sounded wonderful… except one small problem… I was sick as a dog. I slept all the time, had little to no energy, couldn’t eat anything without getting sick, and spent at least 3-4 days a week at a doctors office. Trying to get healthy became a full job in itself and unfortunately just made me miss work all the more.
You never realize what a big purpose you fill in the world until it is taken away from you. I would have done anything to do a report, or balance a budget, or even fire someone. All of those mundane every day tasks that I took for granted because something I craved. I hated not working. I hated doing nothing. I hated feeling like shit. I looked for things to keep me busy but the fact of the matter was that I was working 14+ hours a day at my job so surfing the net, organizing my pictures, online shopping, and even binge watching Netflix just wasn’t satisfying. Of course depression came but I covered it up and pretended like it wasn’t there. I couldn’t really tell what was causing it- me being sick, me not working, canceling the wedding (another blog post to come) , or worrying about money. Of course it was a combination of it all but instead of really dealing with it I made everything in to a joke, laughed at my heartaches, and trucked on. I tried to be the overly optimistic person even though daily I felt like I was slowly dying.
The act worked because everyone around me kept saying, “you are so so positive I just don’t know how you do it” or “I think I would crawl in a hole and die if this was happening to me”. I would reply that you got to do what you got to do and then go research holes to crawl in to when they left my side.
In the end I was left to wonder- what was my fortune? What could my future possibly bring?
My stomach died. I know, right? You actually read that correctly. The day that this happened to me was the day that my world turned upside down. I no longer was a young professional earning ranks in downtown Chicago, I was no longer planning my dream wedding, and all dreams of eating at 5 star restaurants went out the window.
I wasn’t sick.. not really. I had some stomach issues for a couple of years but they were pretty much relatable to anyone with a gluten allergy or IBS. Then one day I went to the ER thinking I was passing a kidney stone and a few days later they concluded that my entire stomach had died and it was basically just chilling waiting for me to die along with it. They tried to prevent that from happening but during extensive surgery my body did just that… it died. It was only for seconds but I could feel the bruise from the paddles for a year after this event occurred. The worst part of it for me was that there was no light. There was no a-ha moment and no self realization. All I remember was it being dark and cold and hearing things around me that didn’t seem normal. But I kind of got ripped out of that out of body experience. I guess that’s what you get when you aren’t sure what you believe in.
So after spending almost a month in the hospital… there I was left with questions, left with pain, left with a scar longer than my foot on my stomach. Oh yeah- but I don’t have a stomach. So this is when I start calling it a belly. Or when I hurt after eating it is a gut ache. My intestines hurt. But I can no longer say I have a stomach ache. Little did I know this was the lease of my worries.
My entire stomach was dead so they had to attach my small intestine to my esophagus and hence problems eating. Anything. There is not one thing I can eat without preparing myself to be sick or in pain… there is no rhyme or reason to what happened to me and now no rhyme or reason to what my body can tolerate any given day. But that is for later. Right now the important part is to realize that the day this happened to me was the day I became a housewife. It wasn’t marrying rich or to travel the world. With that career came problems. And so started my housewife problems.