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Ceiling Views

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:00pm

I hate to go silent, but I also hate feeling as if I need to write a 2,500 word essay interpreting life with a chronic illness and a kid– especially when that chronic illness has me flat on my back and wondering what my purpose is in life. This means you unfortunate readers get a new, shorter–and gloomier, far less “interpretive” update. Welcome to the underbelly of my mind. For instance, when contemplating my life’s purpose (when I’m too tired to lift my arms to brush my hair and have been so sick from treatment that rolling over in bed makes me vomit), I’ve been thinking that I exist to sell toilet cleaning agents. My disease–or maybe the treatment of my disease–gives meaning to Mr. Clean’s bald head. Wow. Now I feel better.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks since returning from my “no news is probably good news” trip to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. My gastrointestinal tract took issue with travel, stress, drugs, and perhaps with the sarcoidosis that may or may not live in live in it, depending on which doctor you poll at that moment. I’ve had a few of the worst days of my life, in terms of stomach pain, though I did set a “personal best” world record in the number of bowel movements I could have in a twelve hour span (twenty-one!) and the number of minutes it took Imodium to make its way from my mouth to the toilet (five! with the tablets’ color still shining up at me, almost as brightly as Mr. Clean’s golden hoop). The only thing that stopped this waterfall of badness was yet another massive IV injection of prednisone. So now I wait for local doctors to contact Mayo doctors to figure out What does it mean that prednisone improves my gastrointestinal inner circle of hell? Since everyone with an MD affixed after their name has informed me that prednisone cannot treat any type of irritable bowel syndrome, I am perplexed, to say the least, as to what this means in terms of my new diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Maybe, the prednisone’s efficacy was a coincidence? Maybe my new and exciting fevers are a coincidence too? Who knows? I’ll take all theories.

Being unable to stray more than four feet from a toilet (and this with “adult diapers”) hasn’t done wonders for my mental health. I came home ready and fired up to write (my blog and my book) and to spend good, quality Mommy time with Andrew, who I desperately missed. Instead, I spent the week in bed, contemplating the number of cobwebs on our ceiling, as well as the number of times I told Andrew that “No,” I wasn’t up for walking, playing a game, putting him bed, giving him a bath, fill in the blank. Then, since my fever subsided for two days, I was eligible for chemo on Tuesday. Back in bed. Back examining ceiling. Back wondering whether Mr. Clean’s head can really be that shiny.

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