Monday, October 22, 2012

part 1 : hard to stomach

there are two main topics i want to write about tonight. i've decided to divide them into two parts. hopefully that will help me stay focused and on task. the first post will be about my year and how i am going to entitle it 'the year that was hard to stomach.' the next post will be from a prompt my counselor gave me. (oh, btw it's 12:48 AM and i'm not writing the other post until - well later today)

ok. saturday i spent the day with s at her house. as we talked about my health and where i am with that, i told her that my very wise gastroenterologist understands that my symptoms are complex in that they are part physiological (physical) and part psychological (conversion disorder).

if you need a refresher on how anxiety works in my life please click here.

info on my conversion disorder is best described here on mayo clinic's website.

an example of the physiological aspect of my throwing up is i bend over to do laundry, shave my legs, unload/load the dishwasher, and i throw up. an example of the psychological aspect of the throwing up is i feel stressed or anxious, my stomach clenches and my insides suddenly want to be on my outsides.

as you can see, i'm not a one stop shop. i'm a complicated being. and often times i confuse myself.

friday, i had an endoscopy where the doctor found 250 cc's of bile in my stomach, leading her to the conclusion that my stomach is not contracting the way it needs to to digest food. i also have grade 2 esophagitis due to the throwing up. so that's fun.

she gave me a new medication which in essence forces my body to digest food quickly. it's day two of it and i'm still throwing up. but rome wasn't built in a day, right? right?? right.

now, what in the world does all of this have to do with spending saturday with s? well, as i told her about all of my tummy issues and how the physiological and the psychological are intertwined, she said (brilliantly of course), "remember, that so many things in your life have been hard to stomach."

oh my hell W O W ! yes, they damn well have!!! and so, i decided to take a look at my year so far and see what major things have happened, going by month, that may have led to the accumulation of shit to make my year "hard to stomach."

*these are major events and do not include monthly trips to the psychiatrist, weekly counseling visits, and other routine doctor visits - of which there are many (quick side story : while en-route to utah with b, mom and dad in august, my phone got dropped in soda - don't ask - and so we had to go through and get all my contacts out cause i don't have a sim card - don't ask - and while i narrated name and number b wrote them down .... my list of doctors took up an entire note page. #it'ssoawesometobeme)*
**please keep in mind that all of this is processed with an anxiety disorder**

january - working for two home health companies ; moved out on my very own into an apartment ; getting internet, electricity, insurance, and other things started for being on my own.
february - now working for one home health company ; flew to utah for b's birthday - this was my second trip alone since my initial crash in 2010 ; a friend of mine got married (so happy for her - a bit sad for myself in seeing her have something i so dearly want) ; met with a church leader - meeting did not go well and i left with severely hurt feelings.

march - went to san antonio to get my continuing education credits for my job ; the one year anniversary of my mamaw's death ; house sitting ie : new situation / routine and away from my safe home.

april - turned the big 2-3 ... ya ... had a hard time coming to terms with that ; got a speeding ticket ; found out a dear friend was having a baby - so happy for her but again, sad for me in that i wasn't having experiences i thought i would be at this point in my life ; the air conditioning in my home started leaking = worst . thing . ever . you don't mess with a crazy girl's a/c. you. just. don't.

may - changed counselors and had a few friends in and out of my house as they came and visited - which i am so glad they did, but again, remember, with an anxiety disorder, nothing is simple - changing routine and space is difficult.

june - ac F I N A L L Y fixed ; j made a book about it ; baby shower for a friend - again thinking about what i thought i would have at this point in my life but seeing how different life turns out ; changing work times to summer schedule.

july - still on summer schedule with speech kids ; started throwing up ; had an ultrasound - the irony that i was having one to check for a liver and gallbladder and not a baby was N O T lost on me ; it was hard.

august - wrangled with insurance to see how much a special procedure to see how my gallbladder was working would cost ; changed speech kids to school schedule ; still throwing up ; went to utah for a week to see b ; had surgery. possibly worst. month. ever.

september - oddly enough this month has been the only one closest to normal ; most of the month was spent not throwing up and i started attending a christian based group therapy with my friend a.

october - have been doing my job and so quite a few of my speech kids graduated which is good for them but difficult for me - hard to see them go and i have lost visits which is money and so things have been on the slimmer end financially which have significantly increased my worry//anxiety ; met with another church leader and had another bad experience - left with hurt feelings ; had a very bad emotionally crash after that - turned to self injury to try and cope ; endoscopy/tummy stuff.


so there we go.

i'm totally spent reviewing this. i do not write all of this to go 'see my life is so hard let's sit and have a pitty party' or to go 'see how awesome i am getting up and living each day' but rather to show myself that there are so many life factors that affect me physically and psychologically.

i am working on getting well emotionally. but sometimes - as i am seeing - in the process i physically become sick.

so what's the point of this post? idk. i guess i just needed to lay out my year so far in a format i would understand and process well. perhaps this is something i will show my counselor and talk to him about as we try to figure out how to get me stronger emotionally.

whoever you are, reader, i want you to know that your life matters. that there are situations in your life that are difficult for you. and if they are difficult for you, it really doesn't matter if they would be difficult for someone else. god challenges us, individually, so that we can grow closer to him. you may look at my year and go 'wow, what a breeze' but that's not the point of this post.

the point, i guess, was to see where i started, what happened, and how i got to where i am.

so much learning and growing has happened this year. it hasn't been easy. take the good with the bad.

maybe you'll be inspired to look at your life month by month and map out your highs and lows.

happy mapping :)


  1. Which med, Rachel, if you don't mind me asking? Is it erythromycin? There are so many med groups on fb if you want to join one. <3

    1. hi friend! i absolutely do not mind you asking! i'm on nexium 40 mg once a day for acid reflux and reglan 5 mg 2-4 times for the throwing up. i didn't even think of joining a fb group... is it like a support group? how do you find it?