Thursday, September 25, 2008

Owweeee Oweeee Oweeeeeaaahhhhh

My granny used to have these "attacks" that caused her to moan in pain like a drama queen. She would gulp hot water, clutch her abdomen and lie flat on the floor. My mom remembers having lunch with Granny at the downtown Woodward's store, and she went from sitting on the stool at the counter, to lying flat out on the floor in seconds, writhing in pain, crying for hot water.

After years of suffering, a doctor who lived across the back lane from their house heard her groans and suggested she try some Tums.

It was a miracle.

I had a granny-sized attack this morning at 7 am. I thought I was going to die. Drew, who informed me the night before that he wasn't going to school today, listened to me for about 5 minutes and decided school was the better option as to where he was going to spend his day. Clint, who usually leaves for work at 10 am, took Drew to school, offered to take me to the hospital then left Langley at 8:30 am.

In November when mom had severe abdominal pain, her bowel had blown and it was a life or death pain she was experiencing.

In January when Max had severe abdominal pain, his appendix was in the midst of erupting, so he too had a legitimate owie.

In April when Sandra's friend, Mel, had abdominal pain, it turned out she had cancer and she died 10 weeks later.

And Linda (?), Rick's mom's friend? Turned out her abdominal discomfort was the result of having a 4 foot tape worm in her gut.

So this morning, when I'm bend over in pain, and doing breathing exercises like I was in my forty fifth hour of hard labor, all I could think about was how dirty my house was. When I took my mom to the hospital, her place was spotless.

I called my doctor at 9:00 and struggled to communicate through the pain. My doctor is on holidays and did not get a replacement.
"You don't sound very good," his receptionist noted. "You should probably see a doctor."

Having spent far too much time in ER's these past 12 months, I managed to get myself to a clinic in downtown Langley. The receptionist observed that I was in level 10 discomfort.

The doctor pressed his hand into three different areas of my upper stomach, listened to me gasp, watched the tears escape my eyes and declared I had a good case of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). He gave me a perscription, told me to chew on Tums and go to the hospital if I couldn't manage the pain.

No way I had the strength or clothes to get a perscription filled. (I was wearing flip flops, shorts, a lime green t-shirt that had random bleach splotches on it from the last time I had my hair streaked, and my big fat gansta hoodie. No make up. Hair in a very messy pony tail.) So Jul met me at my house, got the persription filled and offered to do the dishes and clean my house.

I made her leave. Just having her SEE the condition of my house was making the acid in my stomach bubble. I walked laps through my kitchen, dining room, living room, and front hall - thinking the movement (and gravity) would work in my favor. My granny passed through my mind and I wondered why in the world she would choose to lie on a floor. By 11:30 I was exhausted from all the crying and hurting. So I sat in a hardbacked chair in my dining room with a hot pack on my back, praying. "God? If You wanted to get my attention, you've got it. It's just me in this empty house. I'm not going to turn the TV on, I'm staying off the computer. No music. No reading. Nothing. Just You and me. And this pain in my gut. Is there something You want to say to me?"

Astonishingly, the next thing I knew, my mom and dad were coming in the front door. With borscht, stew, apple juice and grapes. I had fallen asleep sitting up.
"How are you?" she asks.
I feel my stomach, inch forward on my chair, take a deep breath and say, "The pain has subsided. Everything feels weird; kind of like it was bruised in a fight, but the blinding pain has deadened."
"Here's some food for you."
"Thanks. Now please go."
"Don't be silly. I'm going to do your dishes."
"Please don't. Just take dad and go home. I don't want anyone in the kitchen."
"Can I watch a movie?" dad asks.
"Mom, please take dad home. I'll do the dishes later."
"Do you have Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean?" dad asks.
"Pete, no TV right now, OK? I'm going to help Jane for a few minutes, and then we'll go home."
"Can I watch TV?" he asked again.
"Please. I am so embarassed about this mess. Just leave it. It's making my stomach hurt, just thinking about you in here."
"I am thrilled to be able to help you after all you did for me..."
"We ate your plums," my dad says.

They left after half an hour so I googled gastritis and it's causes. I'm not bullemic, alcoholic or allergic. So that left stress.


Why can't I just pray about the things I worry about and leave them with God? I went over to the couch, laid down and listed in my head all the things I'm currently worrying about. Some of them are out of my control. Some of them revolve around the uncertainty of the future. Some have to do with finances. Some with relationships. And the big ones have to do with my children. And as I lay there, my stomach started squeezing in on itself again. I decided to pray about them all again and leave them with God but I fell asleep.

I picked up Drew then went to bed again. What's with all this sleeping? Having a tummy ache sure is exhausting.

Max woke me up when he got home. And then Clint right after.
They wanted supper. A real one. Made by hands.

So I made them crepes, had them help me tidy things up and I went back to the couch. Honestly. I have never spent so much time being horizontal. I watched the season opener of The Office (which made me smile) and ER (which made me sob). And now? I'm a little bit hungry but alot afraid to put food in my stomach. I never want that kind of pain again.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. That I didn't go to the hospital and waste everyone's time with a non-life threatening ailment.
2. That I had a non-life threatening ailment.
3. That I have a mom, dad and sister who love me enough to spend time in my kitchen.



Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that you are not feeling well,

Anonymous said...

Could also be a gall bladder attack. Get better soon!

Anonymous said...

I could hear Auntie Tina and my Mom as I read your caption. Hope you are feeling better. Would Butte Sup help?