No secret to the masses that I have chronic health issues. One of the ones that has been getting steadily worse over the years is digestive issues. I'd finally gotten a diagnosis and was going to be O.K. (Ha.) Sunday I'd been sick, but cream in my coffee was the likely culprit. Monday I was okay. Tuesday I was feeling gross but managed to some walking on the treadmill. Wednesday, my 40th birthday, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. (So to speak.)
I had guilt tripped my introverted family into being seen in public with me. They'd agreed to a dinner. My brother had even agreed to chauffeur so I could have a drink with dinner. I had plots (and plans) to rope one of my friends into getting a family picture for us. I had gathered as many friends who were able to be out on a Wednesday night. Far too many of my friends have early morning jobs. (What are they thinking?!)
My stomach started grumbling it's complaints around four. I was to leave to drive to my brothers in less than an hour. I decided it was just anxiety about seeing so many people and eating somewhere new(ish). Denial is the first step, right?
By five, I told my stomach to shut up it's complaints and I headed out the door. It was crampy, but I figured, eh, I can push through. I'd managed math class with worse as a teen! (This is somehow relevant, brain?) Deep breathing helped. I was alright till I made it across the Sumas canals. (About fifteen minutes from home for the foreigners.) That is about when I had to pull over and evacuate everything I'd ever eaten.
Let me tell you, if you want to meet a lot of nice people, pull over to the side of the highway and start chucking your cookies. I met a nice couple from Montana who offered to let me have a lie down in their R.V. I met a nice lady from Abbotsford who offered to take me to call an ambulance. I met a very nice RCMP who asked me all sorts of questions.
No, I hadn't been drinking. No, I hadn't done any drugs. No, I don't need to go to the hospital, I explained. Explaining that I had a liver condition that caused nausea and IBS symptoms got me the "You sure you're not a drunk?" look. But, suspicion of cause aside, she was a very nice Mountie. She offered to drive me to the hospital. I said I didn't want to puke in her cruiser. She said I wouldn't be the first. (Ew.) I was also concerned about abandoning my car by the side of the highway. Eventually we negotiated to she would follow me home. (I didn't get to keep her.)
Before I started my car, I got to text my brother and ask him to let everyone know I wouldn't make my own party. As he was on his way home from work, there was limited amounts he could do. I could only hope we'd catch the majority.
I got home. It wasn't a fun drive. Lady Mountie made sure I got in the door okay. I spent the majority of the evening being incredibly sick, trying to put up a brave face on social media and appreciating what wonderfully understanding and forgiving friends I have.
I've had to abandon friends early, I've had to cancel plans on short notice, I've had to do all sorts of socially frowned upon things due to illness or pain. Being chronically ill just sucks and don't let anyone ever try to convince you otherwise.
Same time next year, right friends and family? I'll try to be at my own party this time.