Though I am enormous – 5’11, 15 stone – I am fragile and I am clinically malnourished. I’ve not had a gallbladder for 16 years and I’ve had acid reflux and IBS for over 20. It doesn’t matter how much spinach, steak and fruit etc. I eat, I’m always anaemic and Vit D deficient. I am on prescriptions for them. I am always tired, and frequently so very exhausted I can’t bring myself to cook, or even eat ready-made foods. Even though I am aware of this, I rarely am conscious of it. And my attitude has come back to bite me on the arse this fortnight.
I have been very, very stressed in the last month. My family is unhappy, there have been changes to my scheduled life that I was dreading and that have not been fully resolved, I have multiple medical appointments in the next couple of weeks, and my Dad has been a lumpen mass of Nag. Pushing through the first two and anxious of the next, I failed to remember that I have IBS, that there is a reason I take 2 lots of Iron a day, and that I can’t sit down and eat 3 massive bags of popcorn and expect nothing to happen*.
After a stressful day I consumed said popcorn. No poo happened for a few days. Then diarrhea. Ok, I brought that on myself. Burned throat, terrible taste in my mouth, terrible heavy breath… shit. Acid Reflux. Ok. Gaviscon and some bunging medicine. But the ill feeling, the heaviness and the exhaustion that had come with the yearning for popcorn didn’t go away. 2 weeks later, and the random hot liquid poops are still happening. I’ve changed my diet: proper food, meat and 3 veg. I take the Gaviscon and the Iron and all the things, but still the random hotness happens. And then nothing. Or something, which feels normal. Then abnormal. My joints have been aching and I’ve had to pull myself up the stairs. I’ve been sleeping 22 hours a day and my Dad has been nagging the beJesus out of me, calling me ‘a lazy bugger’. I’ve been scraping my teeth together in the night and dreaming of smashing them into themselves, waking with my jaw askew. My shoulder and neck pain is back, by feet feel like they’ve been run over by a steam engine** and all the hurts hurt. Oh, and my scalp feels like soup, allergy soup with dandruff crust croutons.
And it’s all stress. All stress. And I can’t do anything about it. It’s as such a pitch as to be un-reachable with my current feeble resources. Every night, and then every time I wake, I visualise killing myself. I’ve missed booked exhibitions, booked concerts, volunteering – everything. And I only realised on Sunday, when my Dad was out and I had the house to myself. Yeah, I stayed in bed, but with the window open and the light coming in. I read a book, a fiction book. True I nearly shat my pants, but I didn’t have any stomach cramps. I didn’t cry randomly. I must try, really try, to remember this stress/IBS thing. I must remember that not taking my Iron leads to me not being able to breathe properly (I stopped taking the night-time dose because I was having to take so many painkillers and was doing no exercise: I believed I’d never shit again if I took the Iron too) and I really really must remember that I can’t eat 3 bags of popcorn and get away with it.
*To my body. In fact nothing did happen, which was part of the problem: I think my body turned the popped corn in to bowel-crete. I’m certain that I’ve still not passed it.
**Not a train, one of these – used to flatten roads:
In my youth they were still used on our roads – I have seen one in action and everything.