Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The silver lining

I've been sick. You may or may not have known this. Around most people, I don't even say a word about it - I think it's my way of pretending I'm really fine and trying to enjoy life as best I can. If I don't say anything, then people will think I'm okay, which means I must be okay, right? 

Well, sort of, but not totally. 

It all started towards the end of my trip to Africa. At this point, 1 year and 8 months ago. You see, my team and I all decided to raft the nile river. I was told how FUN it was, but that there were parasites in the water and so it was crucial to try your hardest to not fall off the boat and into the water and gulp any of it. Well, I'm sorry but that boat was freaking dinky! Lets just say we were going over the some of the biggest waves ever in basically just a little blow up float. Not exactly secure! I held on for dear life and almost made it without falling off, but I did get whipped off once and it happened so fast that I had no choice but to gulp some water. :/ Immediately after we got back from that weekend trip, I started to feel kinda weird. Then I think maybe the next day I felt like I was going to throw up (which I HATE and hadn't done for YEARS), but all I ended up doing was dry heaving a couple times. It was as if my body really wanted to get something out, but I was fighting back so much and so afraid of letting it out, that somehow whatever it was stayed in. I woke up the next day feeling almost normal again, but the last few weeks in Africa ended up not being the best because I still continued to feel nauseous randomly. Sometimes daily, sometimes not, sometimes the whole day, sometimes just part of the day. It was weird. 

I got back to America and the trip alone threw my body out of whack and I think the culture shock just made it worse. I went home to a family reunion and felt like junk the whole three days. I went to CT with my parents afterwards for a couple of weeks and just couldn't get over this nauseous funk. I felt so weird and I had a breakdown one night just telling them that something was wrong, I just wasn't feeling normal anymore, and it was wearing on me. I mean, as much as I am glad I never threw up since I hate it, it's still pretty much horrible to FEEL like you're going to throw up almost around the clock. My mom suggested that I go see a doctor if by the time I was back in Utah and in school again I still wasn't feeling normal. 

Well, after about a month or two I think I realized in Utah that though my good days were becoming a little more regular, I still was having bad days. I was sure it wasn't a parasite, but I still felt like I must have gotten something. So I went the doctor and they basically looked at me like I was a crazy person when I explained the only symptom of nausea and that it was incredibly random too and just gave me some pills to hopefully help. I was supposed to go back for a follow up visit, but while I was taking the pills I felt fine pretty much the whole time, so I thought "they're helping, I'm fine" and didn't end up going to the follow-up appointment. I don't really like the doctor after all, and I wanted to be fine. 

I finished the pills and ever since then, for pretty much the last year and 4 months or so, I continued to have my good days and my bad days. For the longest time, my good days were plenty enough that I felt like it couldn't be anything big and that maybe it was just something I would deal with for a while as a repercussion of going to Africa. As long as I took pepto, I could usually calm myself enough and the nausea would subside enough that things were fine again. It still wasn't exactly fun, but I kept quiet and dealt with it on the inside by myself most of the time. 

I met Adam and fell in love and was hoping maybe that love was the cure? But no, it happened after we had been seeing each other a few weeks and I decided right then and there I might as well tell him since he was becoming a consistent part of my life and it was hard for me to always pretend I was fine. When I felt nauseous enough, I couldn't pretend, and I didn't want him to think I was acting weird because I wasn't into him or something. He felt bad when I explained it to him, but was always there for me to help me feel better and do what I needed when my bouts of nausea would come. That was among one of the many reasons I ended up marrying him, because I knew he would always take care of me and never think I was crazy. It happened the night we got engaged (of course :/) and on our wedding day too (though most people don't know that because I still put on my happy face and snuck some pepto while we were eating some of the food that we had catered). Following our wedding and honeymoon, it started to happen again a little more regularly. Looking back, I now know it was because I was going through a big life change, and even though it was good, I was still feeling overwhelmed, so that brought it on more. Adam kept telling me to go back to the doctor finally because he was worried it was something that needed to be treated and with more waiting, I could just be making it worse. I was scared to go, because I was scared to find out there was actually something wrong with me. 

I finally gave in and went before Christmas break, took some blood tests, and got a call on the Friday before Christmas after 5pm that they needed to review the results with me. They always tell you in a message that the results are normal if they are, so for a few days I had to wait anxiously, knowing that they had bad results to give me. They clearly had found something. Sure enough, the day after Christmas I found out that I had contracted H. Pylori. It's a bacteria that can live in your stomach and is often caused by contaminated food or water. I'm thinking it was from the contaminated water in the nile river, but I'll never really know if that's the case. I was put on two different antibiotics and an acid reducer pill. Some of these pills were NOT small. If any of you know me well, you know that I am the WORST at swallowing pills. Basically I cannot do it! Or should I say couldn't. 

That's the silver lining. 

When I knew I had to take 16 pills a day (yes, that's right, 16), I just told myself once and for all that I didn't have the time to think about and stress over that many pills. I had to just put them in and swallow them. And swallow them I did! I actually did it! And now I can take the biggest horse pills there ever were. I have officially conquered any pill taking. And that, my friends, is a Christmas miracle. Good thing for that silver lining, because those dang pills made me feel so sick!

As for my current health situation, well... 

Things are still a little up in the air. Because you see, after I got back from the break, I broke out into a crazy rash with little red dots all over my body right before the antibiotics were almost finished. Side note: mind you, I was also suffering from the cold and cough that I still managed to contract during Christmastime that went around my family, despite all the high high dosages of antibiotics I was on and THEN the next day I got into a car accident. I clearly couldn't win and it clearly was NOT my week :/. I went to an urgent care doctor who told me to stop taking the meds. Adam told me to stop taking the meds. My mom told me to do anything BUT stop taking the meds. I myself, didn't really want to stop taking the meds because I was worried the H. Pylori wasn't killed all the way. Well, Adam won (always gotta respect the hubby) and I stopped taking them. Since then, I have still felt sick off and on, but I have been able to notice a trend in that I often feel sick when I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed about something, no matter what it is. And the interesting thing is that H. Pylori can come about because of stress. Sooo it's probably my fault I have it. Anyways, I am currently on a pill that is supposed to help with stress, but it wasn't seeming to help, so my doctor just upped my dosage, I'm still on the acid reducer, and he's having me poop in a cup (yay) to see if I still have H. Pylori. If the stress pill still doesn't help, and he finds out the H. Pylori is gone then I will have to do an endoscopy where they stick a tube down your throat and into your stomach - it makes me want to gag just thinking about it. I am hoping and praying I don't have to do it, even though I would be sedated, but we shall see. 

Welp, there's your update, and now you all know. Wish me luck that I can nip this thing in the bud without dying, somehow, someway. :)

Wishing health and marrow to all of your precious bones. 


  1. I hope that you can get rid of the bacteria! Trev has a digestive disease (Ulcerative Colitis) that's worsened by stress. Unfortunately for Trev, his disease is not curable, and barely treatable right now. Like you, I hope he can feel better without dying, somehow, someway! :) I'll be praying for you, love!! I know how crappy health situations can make life miserable! :(

  2. aw, i'm so sorry girl:( that does not sound found! Shey had to get an endoscopy and colonoscopy (tube up the bum) and he lived! My sis had them too and was way scared, but said it wasn't as bad as she thought. You don't even remember it! I'm just sorry you've been so sick, that is the worst. and from the nile? dang it. Your amazing, i'll be prayin for ya! love ya!