Gut Instinct

Constipation. Stomach cramps. Fever. Chills. Nausea. Fatigue. Weakness.

It’s time for a Diverticulosis flare up.

And it’s all my fault.

And there’s not really much I can do about it.

Except be miserable and whiny and hungry and did I mention miserable and whiny?


I left this post here 11 days ago, once I got busy and started feeling better. That has changed. I’m not feeling as bad, nor am I as whiny.

So here’s the thing. To outsiders, my life might not seem as difficult as I feel it is. I have a full time job, but I’m struggling to pay my bills–both past and present; I’m no longer a social butterfly, but I’m active on social media because I have anxiety issues and crowds and big events stress me out; I have a pup that I love to pieces, but she’s causing me even more stress even as she cuddles me.

And then there’s my health. I have chronic…everything. I have diseases that women in their 60s are supposed to have, not someone who hasn’t even turned 40 yet. I have had chronic headaches since I was 10 years old, but only diagnosed with migraines within the past decade. I’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, self-diagnosed PMDD, SAD…There are many types of depression, and I don’t delude myself that I know all about them. I just know what I know. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism just a few years ago. I have chronic back pain, some of which is because of a vertebrae that fused incorrectly, which has led to degenerative disc diseaseI have broken toes in both feet and high arches that require me to wear specially made orthotics in my shoes. I’m overweight, and have been since I was 7. Some of that led to/was the cause of my depression as a child [that was left untreated until I was in college] and has led to the bane of my existence today, the diverticular disease I’m dealing with today.

Believe it or not, I’m not listing all of that to garner sympathy. As a matter of fact, just looking at it all written out like it is ridiculous. There are so many of these things that could have been headed off at the pass during childhood. But that’s a story for another day, yeah?

So there it is. It’s not just one thing that keeps me from going to social gatherings, or writing, or cleaning or whatever. It’s a giant compilation album of my greatest hits.

And this is something I deal with on the daily. It’s not really like these things schedule themselves on different days so I only have to deal with one at a time. I’m not that lucky. Right now, I’m getting hit by a little bit of everything.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that other people don’t have these issues. I’m just saying that I’m not other people and that I have a lot to deal with. And I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. But every time I ask for help…I’m overlooked, or not believed, or just told to “eat right.”

Ok, I’d love to eat right, but how to do that when I have two diets at war with one another? Oh, right. I forgot to mention the goutThe diet to keep my gut healthy says “Eat all the yogurt! Eat all the oatmeal! Eat all the beans! And don’t forget to take all the Beano!” and the diet to keep the gout under control is telling me “No yogurt! No oatmeal! No beans!”

So I just binge on sugar.

I have medicines for that. One of the meds I have, Contrave, is in charge of reprogramming my brain to make better food decisions. When I’m off of that, AND I’ve been given the wrong thyroid medicine, that’s just one giant trip to Dunkin’ Donuts or Panera waiting to happen.

Willpower isn’t a thing I have. And when these binges occur, I know exactly what I’m doing and what it’s going to do to me. But I calmly make the decision to keep going.

So yeah, there’s a great big chunk of “It’s My Fault” in there.

And unless you really look, I don’t “look sick.”

That’s because I put up a good front, unless it’s really bad. And when I’m showing how bad it is, it’s BAD. But folks I guess, just think I’m just not feeling well, rather than writhing in pain on the inside. But I have to have my public face on because I deal with so many customers in a day who need a smile or want to chat or have a laugh.

Laughing hurts right now. I’ve got the beginnings of a migraine trying to land, and I’m trying to ignore it. Especially when nursing students come in to tell me about an 87 year old man on Viagra who pistol whipped a hooker and had a heart attack. It’s a hilarious story, but laughing puts pressure on my sinuses and makes my face hurt, too. So it’s not necessarily the best medicine.

And people just don’t get it. When I say I don’t feel well, I really do not feel well. Headache, gut pain, back pain, sinus pressure…it all leads to an inability to concentrate and do my job. I’ve made so many mistakes here lately, and people just think I’m a giant fuckup.

I hesitate to call myself a “Spoonie,” though. I do kind of fit the bill, but there are people with Fibromyalgia and Lupus who fit the definition more. But yeah, I feel like I have a limited number of spoons, and I end up running out before the day is up and I’m just exhausted, emotionally and physically. It makes me want to hide, to curl up with my pup under the covers and sleep. I don’t have the desire or motivation to leave my nest.

So I’m warding off a migraine, my guts hate me, and guess what? My poor pup is having digestive issues as well. She was treated for Giardia, an intestinal parasite, a few weeks ago. And before that even happened, I had started to switch her food from the puppy formula to the adult formula, and now I’m having to change brands altogether, so her tummy is very unhappy, as well.

But Nugget doesn’t let that affect her. She still runs like a greyhound, and plays and barks at her nemesis and friends out the window, but I’ll catch her eating grass on our walks, and she strains when she poops. So this deed can be laid  at my door, as well.

I try to not let my issues get in my way, but sometimes I just can’t keep the look off my face, or my temper in check. More than once my verbal filter going down has almost gotten me into trouble.

Thanks to my dog and my job, I’m more physical than I used to be. But when my physician tells me I need to exercise more, I’m just at a loss. I do so much moving and lifting and carrying during the day, then my dog drags me around my apartment complex and the surrounding area multiple times a day…All I want to do is sit. Or lie down. And then I feel guilty, which does me no good.

Anyway, here we are, approximately 1200 words later, and I finally figure out what the point of this post is.

Education is important. If you have some sort of illness/disease, research it and ask questions. Get your doctor to talk to you about the ins and outs of what you have to deal with. That’s part of the battle.

That’s the part of the battle that I lost. I never asked the questions I needed to, and I’m still very confused about a bunch of things regarding my health. But sometimes you don’t know that you’re supposed to ask these things, you just think your physician is going to supply you with all the info you need.

Never trust that. Never.











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