It's after midnight here in Michigan, where I am visiting with friends and family. Surrounded daily by love and attention and support.
So why am I awake and crying?
Because for many months I've been hiding my health issues. Ok, maybe hiding isn't the best word. But since about ...oh, last year Christmas I've failed to mention to you - the people whom I tell EVERYTHING- that I've been sick.
So tonight I'm awake and crying because yet ANOTHER symptom has appeared in this long and exhausting road of "I'm getting old and my body sucks."
Tonight my mouth is covered in sores (sexy, I know...stay with me it gets sexier) after months of vomiting and several weeks of rectal bleeding.
Yes, I said rectal bleeding. And get used to it, because I'm going into more detail.
You see, back when I was *just* feeling sick and puking ocassionally, I didn't bother to see my doctor. After all, I'm a puker. Two glasses of wine? Puke. Nasty smell coming from the trash? Puke. Weather turns and it's cold and I don't have a jacket? Puke (I'm not kidding, the cold makes me puke).
Then this started happening more and more often. Sometimes just a gag. Sometimes just in the morning like I was pregnant or something (no, I'm not) and sometimes just over-all nausea with zero puke...I thought, huh, that's weird. Oh well.
And I went on with my normal life.
I saw many of you as I traveled, and threw up in your conference hall bathroom. I went out with many of you to dinner, and threw up in the restaurant's toilet. I even walked down some streets with some of you after a night of fun and drinks, and threw up in a trash can while you weren't looking.
For some reason, I thought this was fine. For some reason, I did not call my doctor. For some reason, life just went on.
I didn't see my doctor until one day I went to the bathroom and instead of pooping a blood clot came out. Then another. And then a few more.
Then the next day it happened again. And the next day...again.
Nothing can get you calling your doctor faster than blood coming from places it shouldn't.
It was 2 weeks before I could get an appointment, and the nice nurse said "well, you know, if it gets worse feel free to go to the ER..."
Of course that doctor had to refer me to another doctor who had to refer me to one more. They ran the usual test. Blood work was fine. Urine was fine. And that's when you start to think YOU are the crazy one and maybe this all just is normal and life should just go on and you should quit your bitching.
Then finally we had a test that came back abnormal.
It was a fun one. The doctor stuck his hand up my ass- the rectal exam.
That test confirmed I was bleeding. It wasn't much to go on, but hey...at least we were getting somewhere.
From there I saw the Gastro doc, who looked at me and my chart and my tests and my symptoms for all of 3 minutes before ordering two rather invasive procedures. I didn't argue. When you are bleeding out your ass and feeling sick, you just don't argue.
Mind you, the soonest I get to have any of these tests done is August. Because nothing says "health care in the US sucks" like waiting 6-8 weeks for tests you could probably use yesterday.
As the weeks drag on and the tests are done and we wait for results...I still feel like crap. Of course, on again, off again feel like crap. Some days I'm puking, some I'm just quesy. Some days I'm bleeding a little, some days I'm not bleeding at all. Some days I feel fantastic and consider canceling all the tests ordered.
Then there are days like today. I just threw up in my cousin's bathroom, put canker sore medicine in 6 different spots in my mouth, and wiped my ass to find pink and red dots.
When I finished, throat raw, mouth numb, and ass hurting...I sat down on this bed and began to cry and write.
I cry because I'm tired, and I cry because I don't know what I'm dealing with. I cry because I'm afraid it's something simple, like an infection or some "stress" induced illness. I cry because I'm afraid it's something not so simple, like Celiacs or Crohn's or Cancer. But mostly...I cry because I'm really freaking tired of feeling like crap, and I'd like that to go away now...please.
Which leads me to why I am finally blogging about this...and why I hesitated to tell you.
First of all...do many people really want to say "Hey, so...guess what...I'm sick and bleeding out my ass!!!" to the entire world? Yeah, not so much. Also, I didn't know what to tell you. For all I know it's all in my head and I have a bad 'roid from pregnancy flared up and pissed off. Sarah knows what I mean, she recently blogged about having a colonoscopy and had the same hesitations I did,
"I've been having some strange digestive issues of late (last couple of years) and finally there's started to be a small (very small) amount of blood so the docs want to check it out (obviously). It's funny because no one ever talks about this subject, but once you open the door, everyone has some stories. How can one not laugh at it all though."
But as time marches on, and more and more tests are ordered, I realize it's been this community that tends to remind me I am not alone and that they too may have some information or knowledge to share.
Over at Post Cards from Yo Momma I found this gem:
"Dad took me to lunch afterwards. All in all, the procedure itself was a breeze. I just wish that bitch with the needle had told me how much it would burn. They did warn me I might feel light headed after the IV meds kicked in, but that turned out to be a sensation I found surprisingly enjoyable. I bet my hiney was the cutest one all day."
I bet my hiney is cute too!
I also bet it won't be the one shaking it's ass ontop of a table at BlogHer.
Yes, this means at BlogHer '09 in Chicago I won't need to hide. I won't try to quietly puke in the bathroom if I need too, and I won't need to explain to you why I may or may not be having that 2nd glass of wine. If I get up at lunch or dinner or breakfast and excuse myself I can actually say "I don't feel well" not "I have a phone call, let me take it outside." It will be nice to NOT hide.
Which means from here on out you get to join me in my journey. It might be too much to hear...I mean, really- who WANTS to know that much about my ass and my bowels? Or it may be just what was needed, because you too have had similar symptoms or you too know someone also undergoing some tests.
On August 4th I'll be sedated and doctors will drop a camera down my throat and into my stomach to look around.
On August 11th I'll be sedated and a colonoscopy will be performed.
And I'm going to tell you ALLLLL about it. From the prep to the diagnosis and all the whining and complaining I will do in between (because you know I will).
In a few weeks I will blog my endoscopy. Then I will blog the prep for my colonoscopy (which, dude...clear liquids, enemas, drinking gallons of some crappy mixture..all accounts indicate it's hell) and then the procedure itself.
By the end I hope to have some answers, and if not...at least I'll have you.
Other bloggers talking stomachs, butts, and gastro excitement:
Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog
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