Knock on wood that I'm not jinxing myself and make yourselves comfortable, y'all, cause this one's gonna be a LONG one!
Remember this? Almost a month later, I'm finally about all better. I was kinda vague with y'all about everything so I'm going to spill now.
SO. Approximately (well, almost exactly) two months ago, I came down with a nasty bout of what we thought had to be salmonella. It was gross and no fun, but passed in about a week. I was tested for salmonella but the tests were negative, so we chalked it up to just a random virus.
A few days after that, one night, I came down with horrible stomach pains. That's what lead to this day. Collitis was the diagnosis. The antibiotics they gave me for it ripped my stomach apart and left me so nauseated and sleep-deprived that I didn't eat or sleep for almost four straight days. Finally, in desperation, I paged the on-call doc and begged for relief.
Oh, that relief came. Sweet, sweet relief in the form of a little white pill. It took away my nausea and knocked me out. As long as I was on the pill (which I was, constantly, for almost 4 days straight and then sporadically after that), I was okay. So I survived that week.
The next week, D. was going out of town again, this time for 2 weeks. I was once again dog sitting for her three amazing dogs, staying overnight in her house.
I made it through the first night okay. I had some anxiety (which I tend to have when sleeping alone), but managed everything okay. But the next day? Was bad. I felt very anxious and couldn't figure out why. On top of that, my bathroom issues were returning as was the familiar collitis-induced stomach pain. My illness was supposed to be over, so why wasn't it going away?!?
I had a friend stay with me for the next several nights just so I wouldn't be alone. But each day things got worse. I felt like I was drowning under anxiety attack after anxiety attack. I'd never had those before, so they were very foreign and very scary. I was getting sicker and sicker with nausea and bathroom issues, and I lost 6 lbs in about 3 days. It was absolutely horrible. Usually when I'm scared or upset, I talk to my Xanax, but my Xanax was in Europe and could only e-mail once a day. Plus, I didn't want to worry her too much, so I didn't tell her much of what was going on.
I tried to find the root of my anxiety. Since someone was sleeping over, it wasn't the usual fear of someone breaking in. It was more that I was just getting sicker and sicker again, and we couldn't figure out why. I went to my doctor again a week after D. left. She was very concerned (which, of course, caused more anxiety) about why I wasn't getting better, but she chalked up most of the nausea and bathroom issues to exaggerated anxiety.
Which, of course, didn't help my ANXIETY.
The days passed and I just got worse. The only times I felt a little relief was at night when I'd walk the dogs. I felt better then, and would have walked them all day long except I was so busy.
Finally, a week and a half into dog sitting, I just snapped. I was crying and blubbering and just couldn't control myself. That afternoon I went to see Dr. C., a psychologist. I cried during the entire meeting--I just couldn't stop. A lot of grief over A. and E. trudged up in that meeting, interestingly enough.
Dr. C. sat with me for an hour and listened as I cried. At the end of the appointment, she led me through some breathing and relaxation exercises, which I liked, and instructed me to go out and buy a relaxation CD. I left the appointment chewing on a piece of chocolate she gave me (which really is the best medicine) and feeling better. Hopeful that I could get the anxiety under control.
I saw Dr. C. again two days later. In the interim time, my anxiety had subsided a lot. I'm a person who likes to have things IN CONTROL, and my mind was out of control and I couldn't get it back into shape. Just knowing that I was on the way to that with Dr. C.'s help was an extreme relief. I slept a bit better and didn't cry at all at our next appointment.
Finally D. came home. Honestly? The woman is the best friend anyone could ask for. She hugged me and listened to me and said exactly the right things to comfort me. I felt so much better, too, having her home.
A few weeks after that my stomach issues finally started to go away. I began fully eating normally again and just hoped everything was behind me. Now, after more testing, though, we think in addition to collitis I also had a parasite (which GROSSED me out to no END)--which, ironically, the collitis antibiotic helped partially get rid of and eventually passed on its own.
So there you have it. Physically, mentally, emotionally...I am so much better than I have been these past two months. It was really, really rough for a while there. But I'm out on the other side.
P.S. 23 days.