I gripped the kitchen counter, my arms locked as straight as boards, trying to brace myself against the extreme pain that had begun shortly after eating last night’s gerbil-sized, plain dinner.
My stomach was as hard as a rock and bloated like I was five months pregnant. It felt as though it was being tightly twisted and rung out like an old dish towel. The nausea rolled in and out in unrelenting waves right along with the pain. All I could think about was wanting to rip out my stomach and lay in a fetal position right there on the cold tile floor.
Instead, I dropped my head between my arms and began to breathe. By changing my focus from the agonizing pain to my breathing it helped prevent my mind from escalating to all the “what ifs.” I held tightly onto the counter for 10 minutes, taking deep breaths in and exhaling the pain from my abdomen. Mentally I was trying to tell myself I can and will get through this episode… it always passes. I needed to stay strong. This was “just” another gastroparesis flare.
Unfortunately, my meditative breathing didn’t help, so my next option was to try to walk it out. I took my hunched over body outside with my arms wrapped tightly around my stomach and moved at a snail’s pace to the end of the street and back several times hoping for relief, but it didn’t come. I spent the next 12 hours nauseous and continuously vomiting (the bile was the worst), and finally dry heaving in the shower.
I dealt with the highs and lows and even lower lows in my blood sugar as it struggled to adapt to the complete loss of food and the surging of too much insulin. There was nothing I could drink or eat to raise my blood sugar – nothing, not even a sip of water stayed down. Any meds I took for my nausea, pain and reflux refused to stay down as well.
By the next morning I had nothing left and had hit my max limit of exhaustion and fatigue. My body was done. It had used up every ounce of energy to fight this latest internal battle.
I count it as a win that I didn’t have to call an ambulance or wake my daughter up in the middle of the night to come over and help me get up off the bathroom floor. Today is all about rest and repair – healing for my body, my mind, my spirit.