Favorite Quote

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
-Randy Pausch

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Awake My Soul

Last Saturday I went into a full blown flare. I went from 0-100 with absolutely no warning. My husband had a stage race last weekend about an hour and a half from our house. As we were driving up to the race I almost had an accident and barely made it into the Albertsons (I was just thankful they were open at 0630 in the morning). The second bout came about 20 minutes later. I ran into a mom and pop breakfast place and used their bathroom. As a token of my appreciation I bought coffee, though I don't drink coffee. My body then went dormant until after lunch, where I almost had accident number three. I was briskly walking towards the port-a-potties (at bike races they have a plethora of port-a-potties for the racers). After quickly realizing I wasn't going to make it I ran into this local bar, instantly being out of place. You could have heard a pin drop when I walked into that place. The bartender must have seen the distressed look on my face and pointed me to the bathroom. Phew, I dodged the bullet a third time. Not cool. All in all, I probably went about 10 times that Saturday. Totally didn't see that coming.

Fast forward to Sunday. My husband had the final race that day, which was a road race with a really nasty climb. I really wanted to be there to support him and our team, so I decided that the ONLY way I was going to make it through the day incident free was to not eat or drink until I was close enough to home to be "safe." Sunday morning we again woke up early to make the hour and a half drive. My anxiety was high, and my palms were sweaty as we began the drive. I was, in short, terrified. I was also prepared to pull over on the side of the road and poo if I had too. We ended up stopping four times on our way to the race, but luckily for me, this completely purged my system. I was regretting eating dinner the night before each time we stopped, but was thankful that I had gotten everything out. I did not eat or drink anything from 0530am to 330pm. It was too risky. Once my system was purged I was golden until dinner time. Then the symptoms started up, totally out of control. Watching the race was definitely worth the small sacrifice of food or drink. My hubby and the team rocked and I would have done it over again in a heartbeat.

On Monday I again did not consume any food or drink until late afternoon. I had to go to the grocery store and had an appointment in the afternoon, so couldn't risk it. After I had my uncontrollable bowel movements in the morning and was confident there was nothing else in my system that would threaten an attack, I went to the grocery store. When I got home from the grocery store I juiced some much needed wheatgrass and waited to take anything else in by mouth until after my appointment. I went to my appointment, came home and ate, and awoke the beast. I averaged roughly 20 uncontrollable bowel movements on Monday.

On a positive note, I called my doc on Monday and he put me back on my suppositories (which I use at night before bedtime). Due to the suppository use on Monday night, my symptoms were cut in half on Tuesday, averaging about 10 episodes. On the not so plus side, my anus was (and still is) so cut up that it hurt like no other to stick the "silver bullet" up there. Yowza!! But I am willing do whatever it takes to calm my symptoms. Anal fissures got nothin' on me.

Also on Tuesday my cousin flew in and I was forced to have the shuttle bring him to my house (we live about 1.25 hours from the airport). I couldn't risk it, and boy was I glad I made that decision. Tuesday morning started out GREAT. I only poo'ed twice and thought that I was on the up and up. Well, come early afternoon it was a completely different story and I was running to the bathroom quite frequently. Had I chosen to go to the airport the results would have been disastrous. Frustrating. I was so frustrated I couldn't even drive to the airport to get my cousin. It was demoralizing and extremely emotional for me.

By Tuesday evening I had had a few breakdowns. I was an emotional wreck. A "hot mess" as I like to call it. I didn't have any warning that this flare up was coming. This beast reared its head out of nowhere and was getting the best of me. I felt kicked, beat up, destroyed, hopeless. I tried to pick myself up, but it was hard. I had gone about a year and a half in remission, what the freak happened? And now it was uncontrollable? I couldn't even drive or go anywhere w/out being paranoid I wouldn't get to a bathroom on time? Ak.

Wednesday definitely wasn't much better and I was extremely excited about getting my Remicade Infusion the next day, Thursday(today).

The thought about being excited about my Remicade Infusion was bittersweet to me. Two weeks prior I was talking to my husband about coming off the Remicade. I stressed how I didn't like being on it and that I thought my body was stable enough, or will be stable enough in the near future, to come off of the meds. Oh how wrong I was (again).

Today I woke up and was thrilled I was getting my Mouse Juice (Remicade). I hoped that it would be just what I needed, in addition to the suppositories and my daily dose of Lialda, to completely kick me into remission. I did not eat or drink anything this morning as I knew we were going to make the long haul to Seattle. I only had to stop once while driving (thank goodness). When I got to the Infusion Center I was absolutely thrilled to find out that Cindy was going to be my nurse. From the waiting room I heard her say my name and sparked up. I was definitely going to be in good hands. Because I was severely dehydrated I was a little skeptical about my veins being readily available for the IV. Cindy got it the first try. She rocks. She also called my doc to let him know that she recommended hydration via IV. Like I said, she rocks. And cares. And is awesome. I broke down when talking to her, as I was still in a very fragile emotional state this morning. I was overwhelmed, delicate, and felt like I was, in a way, rolling over and playing dead. How could I have let this happen?

When she started talking to me it felt like a million pound brick was released from my inner being. She reminded me I did nothing to cause this. She also knew that I was up to something that didn't necessarily fit with what my body wanted. And she was right. For the past few months I had seriously considered going to Law School. Everything in my gut and inner being told me that being a litigator was definitely not the right fit for me. But I persisted. Maybe I felt insignificant amongst other young professionals. Perhaps I was allowing myself to once again fall into the mainstream American view that to be successful and important in life you must have an important job, be the number one competitor, and make lots of money. If you can win the pissing contest as far as importance goes than you're a success, right?

Not so.

Cindy grounded me and encouraged me to let the "Type A" part of my life go. And she's right. And I've known this for a long, long time...I just didn't want to accept it. Every time I consider going back to the Intelligence Community, getting a Masters Degree, or going to Law School, my body tells me something different. And deep down I knew that none of those things were the best fit for me. I just didn't want to accept it.

I felt a deep calling for yoga, meditation, and writing. This all just seemed right for me, but for some reason I was unwilling to embrace the obvious. I was unwilling to let go of my old career and old life. I felt strange around peers. I was becoming what I used to make fun of. I sometimes felt weird and out of place. So, I tried to pursue the normal mainstream life. Or kept getting ridiculous ideas about going back to that type of lifestyle. I can now attest, after this experience, I have put that part of me to bed. Perhaps my body was telling me that enough was enough. My inner being was telling me to embrace who I was meant to be and not be ashamed of my not so mainstream lifestyle.

I now accept and embrace the fact that I'm just, well, different.


Tony said...

"Mainstream" is for the birds. We love you for who YOU are, not for what our capitalistic culture demands you to be. I'm glad you're in good hands. Please continue to take care of yourself. You're the only TurboEmma I know... Love, T-Bear

Rooster said...

That sounds rough. Hope you feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

You are my "BABY GIRL"....keep up the good work....God loves you :)