Monday, May 1, 2017

Getting Gutsy

It's time for me to talk about something I've been avoiding for a long time.

I'm not a very open person about certain things in my life. I'll share pics of my cats and bad hair day selfies, but I keep some stuff close to my chest. Like politics, relationships, and... health stuff.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was going to spend 2017 getting healthy and trying to resolve some ongoing stomach issues, but I didn't divulge anything else. I had no specifics to give out, and I didn't want to discuss anything more than that. I felt the need to let everyone know that I would be taking more time for myself than usual, meaning there would be less writing happening because my focus would be on me and my health/issues.

Now it's time to be gutsy and talk about my guts.

For the past couple of years, I've felt like a walking Pepto-Bismal commercial (and that's all the detail you're going to get about that!). I went to my doc, and she told me I was lactose intolerant and that I didn't have Celiac's. I tried a bunch of different diets to eliminate possibly problematic foods, but the symptoms never really went away.

I would miss a day of work here and there due to the stomach issues. I canceled plans because I didn't feel well. I became reluctant to make plans, because I didn't know how I would be feeling at any given point, and I didn't want to get stomach cramps or feel sick while with other people. Going to the gym became difficult because I'd have to stop the machines and run to the women's room in mid-workout.

When I was at the adult prom—something I had been looking forward to for months—I hoped that I wouldn't get any symptoms and I'd be able to enjoy the whole night. But sure enough, after dinner, I had such bad cramps that I had to get off the dance floor and sit at the table while everyone else kept having fun. I had tried to put on a brave front in front of my friend, since I didn't want to ruin the night for her, but she saw straight through it and let me know that it was okay if I needed to take a break.

We still had a great time, but these ongoing issues have put a real damper on my social life. I started staying home rather than going out just in case I didn't feel well. I didn't want to get stuck somewhere when my gut began to gurgle and let me know that my body was not happy.

Months ago, at a follow-up appointment with my doctor, she noticed some abnormal numbers in my yearly blood work. We retested, thinking the results were a fluke, but they weren't. There was something going on in my body that needed further investigations.

Without going into the nitty gritty details—most of which would bore you to death, if you aren't already (and if you aren't already, thanks for reading! Hi!)—I've been through a litany of tests and we've ruled out a lot of conditions. I can tell you what I don't have, but... I still can't tell you what the true problem is.

Just change "princess" to "diagnosis" and you're in my shoes, Mario!

I was hoping that today would be the magical day for me to get a definitive answer at my appointment, but we're doing some more testing. Right now, the focus is on my gallbladder and if it may be the cause of all these wonderful issues I'm experiencing.

I probably won't bother with a health update unless I get a concrete answer, because like I said, I'm just not open about these kinds of things. But I do feel a duty to disclose the details of my life when it affects my writing time. I am still writing, but the words are coming out more slowly than ever due to the epic stress I'm under and the lack of time/energy I have. But I am still working on False Start, and I want to finish The Back Up (a standalone) this year as well. That's the plan, and that's what I'm working towards.

This may have been a bunch of rambling nonsense to you, but it felt good to get off my... chest.