Halloween. October 31. The year was 2013. And it sucked.
Wednesday night around 10 p.m. I went to bed for a good night’s sleep and ready to get up and enjoy the weekend. I woke up about an hour later in tremendous amounts of pain. It felt like somebody was stabbing me in the upper abdomen with a machete and then pulling out my insides and just squeezing and pushing them around. It was horrible. I laid on the couch for a bit with a heating bag trying to relax until it went away. It didn’t.
Now I can handle some sharp pains, mind you. Ones that come and go and feel like aches and cramps are painful, but tolerable. This did not come and go. It was constant pain that didn’t come and go or fade and return, it was there for hours nonstop.
Around 3:30 I emailed my school and told them I wouldn’t be coming into work. Around 6 a.m. when the pain wouldn’t stop, I woke my girlfriend up and hopped in the car for a trip to the Emergency Room. They did their thing and I was home at noon with medicine. They said to take it and if I throw it up, I’d need to come back in. I threw it up. Around 6 p.m. I was back in the hospital. They did some remedies and medicine, morphine ;), and I was back on my way home.
That night, Thursday night, I was lying on the couch resting. I opened my eyes and couldn’t believe it. The pain was back. That sharp killing pain was back, and worst of all, it was all over my stomach. I touched my stomach and there was a bowling ball inside of it. My stomach was three times its normal size, stretched, and in pain. As Haylea said, “His stomach was up over his ribs” was how bloated and expanded it was. But I tried to relax…and then I threw up 5 times in about 45 minutes. So I was back at the emergency room for more morphine and medicine. Emergency exploratory surgery was an option, but they waited until I was back in a comfortable position. I spent the night Friday night and the afternoon Saturday in the hospital and things calmed down without any surgeries.
That was my Halloween. Now I’m back at work and still recovering. My stomach feels like it was been run over with a tank and a fever continues to come and go. The next step is to contact a GI Tract doctor to start digging around to find what happened.
The reason I’m writing this blog is to remind people, myself mostly, to make changes.
I’ve dealt with stomach issues for almost 3 years now, but it had never been this bad. I used to eat anything and everything. I’d eat a whole pizza, fast food, pasta, dairy, veggies, fruits and still be active enough and healthy enough to be in the gym 6 days a week. Not anymore. I’ve made promises to stay away from dairy and gluten and all fast food and anything unhealthy, but have always had slip ups. When I get sick (normal cold or virus) and stay home for a day, I’d get fast food. I’d make me feel “better” while I was home sick. When Haylea went out of a town, I’d sneak a pizza hut pizza for myself. Once in a blue moon wouldn’t kill me…well I feel like it almost did.
The week before 10/31, I snuck a few meals because I was sick. and I paid for it. I joked with Haylea that I was so very close to getting a tattoo that said “remember 10-31” so that anytime I reached for a burger or fries or a donut or a Coke or a beer, that I’d remember the pain I was in and I would walk away.
This was one of the worst weekends of my life, but it has shown me that I do need to change my life. Something in my body does not agree with something out in our world. Doctor’s visits and tests haven’t given me any real answers, but you don’t need answers if you don’t ask questions. Enough of “is it gluten?” “Is it dairy?” “Is it fast food?” No more questions. The only hope is to eliminate everything and get back to a healthy me.
I’m staying away from wheat, gluten, bread, pasta, pizza, fast food, all of that. No more dairy. No more pizza or fast food, and shockingly, no more alcohol. No more vodka or rum, and no more Angry orchards. I haven’t eaten much since last Wednesday, so you could say I’ve already started this little run. I know, now with this horrible reminder of 10-31, that I won’t have any more setbacks and that when I am finally back to 100%, the only person I’ll have to thank is myself…and that frightful day of all Hallows Eve.
Be Here Now. Eat Healthy. And be strong enough to make the change yesterday.