Or how I learned to keep being sick and hate everything.
This is night 3 for me, non consecutively, in a hospital over the last week. I'm here because I have a metabolic condition that makes it so I can't process certain fats correctly, and it can all go downhill super fast. So, I was unable to keep food down last week. That's when it all started.
I didn't eat for like 16 hours. It's not even that long really, but it was enough to set my body off. I was trying to eat the next day when everything went to hell and I had some peripheral nerve issues. Went to the hospital, told them about my condition, and then...
I was evaluated for stroke.
Now, what that means is: nothing in your stomach. Because they might need to do a surgery to fix it. The problem with that is, ignoring the metabolics and fasting is a really good way for things to get worse. For a full day, I kept getting worse. I came in for nerve pain in my arms and facial droop on one side of my jaw. By the time I had the MRI: I could not use:
- My left arm
- Half my face
- My left leg
- and My right hand was starting to go
I broke down crying to my doctor and gave him a breakdown of my medical history, how long it took to get me diagnosed with the condition in the first place, and how terrified I was. He took this to heart (is now my GP) and went and looked some shit up. Lo, it was a metabolic event.
I was put on IV nutrition, and I was feeling OK the next morning. I went home, had a decent day... until the following morning.
Hospital visit 2, electric boogaloo
So, I went back yesterday when I was unable to eat. It took some time to figure out that I was dealing with a pretty straightforward stomach virus and that everything would ultimately be OK.
I was super dehydrated, in early stages of metabolic acidosis, and it was all just kind of shitty. Some IV Nutrition, again, and a whole bunch of fluids made me feel human again. Ultimately, everything is doing better now and I'm home to write the end of this (I got home just before the beginning of this paragraph). I'm home, I'm eating and I'm holding food down and in.
What was this about?
I'm more than my illness, but illness is an inextricable part of me. A virus that most people shake off without too much difficulty put me in the hospital not once, but twice, for full admission during a global pandemic. We can not continue telling people to not let their illness get them down, or that it can be overcome. Sometimes, it can't. Sometimes normal things just knock you on your ass. There's nothing that can be done about it, and that's OK.
Just admitting that you have a condition, and need help sometimes, does not mean it has to define you.