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Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Break-Up

Dear Body,

Letters like this are always hard to start, partly because of all the happy memories that come to the surface and make me want to rethink writing this. But -- oh wait -- that's right, we don't HAVE any happy memories. So this will be easy.

It started young. The sleepovers I missed, the play dates I canceled, the frantic looks on friends' parents' faces when I clutched my stomach and turned green in the middle of lunch at McDonald's. I was dubbed with a "nervous stomach," and thus the labels started. The so-called "nervous stomach" did not stop through middle school, or even through high school, and lord knows it didn't stop into college. I mean, could I not move back ONE semester without curling into a ball and praying for a stomach transplant the first day? Really, Body. It was college. If anything I should've had stomachaches for another, less-legal reason, not because I had a "nervous stomach."

Then things went from bad to worse. The so-called "nervous stomach" became an every-day-every-minute-every-hour stomach, where food became the enemy and long nights were spent curled in the fetal position in a constant prayer to the stomach gods. What small animal did I have to sacrifice to get a little relief? Badgers? Rabbits?

Then came the real kicker, the "beginning of the end," as I call it -- the doctors. Oh, their intentions were honorable, their tests were given with the firmest of beliefs that we would find a "solution". But after 4 -- yes, FOUR, Body. Remember? -- years of tests, exams, nasty-crap liquids, and IV's, it always resulted in the same thing: "We didn't find anything. But we'd like to do another test..."

You were finicky. You were selfish. You acted sick and upset until the MOMENT before a test. You teased me. You refused to digest anything, ANYTHING, for years. You treated me like some disposable carrying case for your own personal fun-and-games. And now, NOW, you dare to contract stomach virus after stomach virus, as though the YEARS of nausea and pain weren't enough? You dare to develop a weak immune system as though I haven't been tip-toeing around you my entire life?

Well, Body, this should come as no surprise then. I'm breaking up with you. I've had enough of your abuse, your insensitivity, your cruelty. I've had enough of your interruptions. I've spent far too many nights making excuses for you, missing out on events because of you. You, quite frankly, suck at being healthy, and I deserve to eat whatever the hell I want and not cry about it later.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out,


Natalie Whipple said...

Aw, that awful stomach! I'm so sorry. You don't deserve that kind of abuse. I hope your stomach doesn't come crawling back.

Elana Johnson said...

Sorry about the nervous stomach. You better whip it into shape before querying... :)

lisa and laura said...

Dare I say it? Maybe he's just not that into you?

You have to talk to Laura! Her stomach has pulled the same crap on her for years. Come to think of it, that might explain the natural skinniness...

Sara Raasch said...

Lisa -- Because the doctors have been incapable of it, I have dubbed my disease as "involuntary anorexia," because eating has lost all appeal. Why do something that makes you feel like crap? Perhaps Laura suffers from the same disease? And my stomach totally wasn't into me. I mean, he was IN me, but he wasn't INTO me.

Renee Collins said...

Dude, that sucks. :(

The closest I've ever come to feeling your pain is when I had morning sickness, which luckily only lasts three months or so. I can't imagine four years of it. bleh.

I truly hope you can find a way to feel better soon.

K. M. Walton said...

Wow, that is plain awful. I can't believe you have gotten no word on what is causing this! And you said this has been going on for years - that's crazy.

p.s. have you read Aprilynne Pike's new book Wings? Your situation sounds very much the MC's - but her reasons for not being able to tolerate food are pure fiction.

Sara Raasch said...

Renee -- That's part of the reason I'm 98% certain I don't want kids. I've had enough stomach issues in my life without adding a baby and pregnancy hormones to the mix. *shudder*

KM -- I haven't read Wings yet, but I want to! I keep getting more and more reasons to read it. I shall have to buy it soon.

Wyman Stewart said...

The trouble with your problem is you may be allergic to milk or any number of other items or maybe they haven't performed the right test yet. (I know, that made you laugh. So, I will stop it.)

Since age 22 or 23 years old, I have suffered with what I call Irritible Bowel Syndrome, for lack of a better word for it. Originally, my problem was called "Nervous Stomach". I am 56, so I have heard it called "Nervous Stomach", "Irritible Bowel Syndrome", "Diverticulosis", "Diverticulitis", and have heard of something called "Chrone's (Krone's?) Disease", along the way. My IBI seems to have some connection with lack of fiber in my diet, but adding plenty of fiber has not cured it.

It has evolved with time. I have known the feeling of being curled up in a fetal position, wondering if I am going to live. I have learned walking out my front door to go somewhere may be a mistake. A couple of weeks ago I canceled some important appointments because of my illness, and may find it difficult, if not impossible, to go back to college for job training to find a new work field. I am unemployed. It's no fun, I'm sure you will agree. How many times I have put in 8 to 14 hour days sick, when I was working? Just dragged myself through. A person needs a paycheck.

However, don't give up. Keep searching for answers. Keep looking to the future. Keep writing. In every life their are obstacles. It is our duty to find ways around, over, and through these obstacles. You're young, so medical advances may find a cure for you that it's not found for me. I don't believe in blame the patient. We do not choose to feel this miserable and IT IS NOT IN YOUR HEAD, as one doctor suggested to me once.

:-) For me, one tough point is I am a guy and they say it is women who suffer from this kind of problem the most. That makes me look like I am a guy who is weak; not tough enough, but I know better. Then too, I used to work with a friend, who always asked, "How are you?" when I arrived at work. Being honest, I usually had to say, "Not very well", for my stomach was usually churning. One day he got tired of hearing my reply, so he let me have it with both barrels. After that, I just told him I was okay.

So, it is a lot to live with, but don't ever give up. Maybe one day I can purchase your first great novel. (Sure, it will be great. You wrote it!) Who knows, maybe it will be called: "How To Kick Your Stomach Without Really Trying." Okay, maybe you better choose your title. Take care, God bless, and you are not alone. Sadly, there are thousands, maybe millions of us privately engaged in this personal battle with our organs. No matter the name of the problem, "This is War." Our job is to win. Best of luck to you.

ChristaCarol Jones said...

Sarah, this all sucks ass, and I'm so sorry :( On a brighter note, love the new look of your blog. At least I'm pretty sure it's new? Been a while since I've checked my blogs lately. Hang in there!

cindy said...

i hope you feel better soon, sara. *hugs*in

Samantha said...

Oh sara-

Hugs! I agree...maybe you have food allergies??? I've always had a horrible stomach too. Long story short, I just did a cleanse (a rapid cleanse) and it really helped. And I've cut red meat out of my diet. Also, check into natural supplements like slippery elm, fiber, etc. You'll find a cure! Don't break up with your body!!!

BTW: Hi, sorry I haven't been around...


Nick said...

Good luck with that! I'll perform a ninja ritual for ya.