This Self Care Sunday is complicated because I haven’t been feeling well. It’s taking a toll me is physically and emotionally. Here’s a recap of the current situation with my health before I get into how it is affecting me emotionally and what I’ve been doing to take care of myself through this crisis.
I have pain in the upper left quadrant of the my abdomen and flank area. It more of gnawing pain that it is sharp. The intensity varies day to day. My stomach is distended and I feel pressure; almost like the bloating is pushing everything out of place. I have Celiac Disease and have had flare-ups of Gastritis since late 2010. I’ve had this pain before and it went away by me increasing my stomach meds and watching what I ate. So when this started again about two weeks ago I assumed it was just a flare up. The problem is nothing I am doing is working. It’s getting worse instead of better and it’s wearing me out.
I went to the Gastroenterologist on Thursday. I am grateful to have found a good Gastro doc in the local area. He told me to double my dose on the medications but also said he wanted to do a CT Scan with Contrast before doing anything else. He will make a decision about any other tests after he gets those results. He doesn’t want to do a scope if he can see on the CT Scan what’s wrong.
I had the CT Scan yesterday. In the past, I’ve had that test with no negative after affects but yesterday I suffered all day. The barium and injection burned the hell out of my stomach under my left breast and in my left flank area. And I spent most of morning and early afternoon running to the bathroom followed my constant pain and bloating throughout the rest of the day. The funny thing was I am growing accustomed to being in pain and I wasn’t stressed out by it. I just went and sat by the pool all day and tried to keep myself calm until it settled down. It was feeling a little better by the time I went to bed.
As I was laying in bed this morning, I decided it may be time for me to give my belly a rest from digestion. I am sticking to Clear and Full liquids today including shakes, soups, jello, etc. I may actually do this for a few days to see if it helps. I should have the test results by Monday or Tuesday. I am hoping an answer is in there or everything just calms down on its own with increase meds and lighter diet.
These recent stomach issues are taking a toll on me emotionally. Mostly because I feel like I’ve done everything I can do to be well and I still am not well. Since 2010 my body has been under attack by itself. I stopped drinking alcohol, quit smoking, lost 65 pounds, completely changed my diet, changed my lifestyle, switched to organic everything, eliminated products with toxic chemicals and eliminated toxic relationships from my life.
Spiritually I am the best I’ve ever been. All of the changes I may led to increased personal power and confidence, better knowledge of self and a deeper love of myself and others. This struggle also opened my eyes to how folks with autoimmune diseases struggle everyday. It made me more compassionate and empathetic towards people with illnesses. It made me less afraid to be around people who are sick. It’s also made me less afraid to die. If it happens, I will know I went out swinging and lived my life to my highest good.
How am I dealing with this emotionally? Well, I’ve had the same therapist for five years which means she knows me well. She has also been through five years of constant health problems with me. I saw her on Thursday night. It was helpful talking to her. I don’t see her to vent. I see her for help getting clarity when I feel things are ambiguous. I told her if I was ever diagnosed with Cancer, I would decline treatment. I told her that I am tapped out after the last eight years of fighting. She said, “It really has been too much. I get why you are saying that; I understand why you are tired. For now, let’s focus on how we get you through this event. How do we refocus you on what’s good in your life? How do we celebrate your successes? How do we help you see even though your body has been breaking down you have been rising growing into a beautiful strong confident compassionate loving woman. You may be struggling to keep your head above water but you are also succeeding in life. You are the best I ever seen you Linda. I mean that.”💙🦋
My therapist and I talked about relationships. She giggled when I told her two men from my past came back into my life in the same week. She said God was testing me. He was asking me if I learned those lessons. She was happy to hear I declined both, moved on and nailed those fucking doors shut for good😂
I reflected on that conversation about relationships and I learned something about myself. I am not lonely. I am not desperate for a companionship. I am also not willing to give my energy to anyone or anything that isn’t good for me. Companionship and sex aren’t worth compromising my spiritual energy. I won’t be in a relationship with anyone that lacks authenticity. If I am with a man and having sex with him, it will be because I love, respect him and feel good emotional when I am with him. As far as other relationships, I have family who loves me. I have close friends who care about me and will always be there for me. I have a small, close, tight circle and that is all I need. It’s all I need because those relationships are authentic and meaningful. It’s all I need because the people I surround myself with are good for me; I feel good with them. While I may spend too much time alone, I am not lonely. I am authentic and that is more important to me than having people around me all the time.
I guess all I can say is I am taking things one day at time. I am keeping my head above water by not over thinking things. I am focusing on what is good in my life. I am honoring my progress instead of focusing on my struggle. I am using coping skills I learned through Cognitive Therapy. For me self care includes regular visits with a licensed therapist. If you are struggling, please consider finding a licensed therapist to help you gain clarity. I should mention that I met with four different therapist before I found one that I clicked with. I’ve been seeing my current therapist for five years.
Finding the right therapist can take time but it’s obviously been very beneficial for me. Your Family Doctor or Insurance company should be able to refer you to licensed therapist in your area. If you do not have insurance, many therapist work on sliding scales and offer pro bono services. If you are considering suicide, consider visiting a the below website for assistance.
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC