A Dose of Hope

I really haven’t been okay for some time now…

But instead of getting help and recovering, I have let pain overwhelm me entirely to the point where I am used to it. Finally I feel like I am attempting to crawl my way out of a cave that has been closed up for months, slowly crushing me under its weight.

I closed most avenues of communication, even virtual. Already this past year we have been cut off from each other physically, but I have furthered the separation. I stopped posting to social media, which I now count as a bad habit dropped. At first my posting decreased in frequency, but now I have pretty much disassociated from my timeline altogether. Now that my real life doesn’t really involve the people on my friends list, I have a hard time caring about connecting to them by posting trivial little updates about how I’m doing. In the past I never thought I’d be able to resist sharing everything going down in my life, but these days I don’t even check Facebook or Instagram for at least a week at a time. I’m not trying to exaggerate or anything, I just have more pressing things occupying my time than that kind of thing right now.

And those things have been my severe health issues. Ironically, 2020 was the first year I really started having serious medical issues, and they weren’t COVID-related. To start things off, about a year ago I contracted a very serious UTI that I neglected long enough to let it develop into some painful inflammation. “Interstitial cystitis”: is what I was diagnosed with in December of lasy year, after many months of recurring infections and consistent inflammation. I was put on antibiotics 4 separate times last year to treat the problem, and that just lead to the complications that I’m currently dealing with.

Now that I have dealt with the bladder inflammation, I am having stomach-related bloating and cramps. Due to the antibiotics, or at least I assume, my gut flora has been damaged severely to the point where just eating certain foods like meat puts me in incredible pain. Since going to the hospital in late January when they told me I was just constipated, I have endured months of needless suffering. And I say needless because I should have sought help much sooner than I am. Only a week ago did I schedule my first of many visits and tests to find out what is going on inside my gut. Last Friday I came to the ER and ended up staying overnight in the hospital, after a round of tests: CT scan, ultrasound, bloodwork, urine sample, COVID screening… quite the experience for someone who typically avoids the medical field.

My view waking up in a hospital bed.

These past few months, as my year of pain continues, have been the darkest. And I’m not solely talking about the lack of sunshine during the winter season. I started to feel like a dried out husk of a person. Some days I spent just laying in bed alone in my house, not even getting up to get something to eat or drink or go to the bathroom. This took an incredible toll on my mental state, which I’m only able to talk about now because I’m starting to see it from the other side. I can feel my mind waking up and trying again, and oh does it feel good to have even a little dose of hope amidst all this suffering.

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