The ER doctor was doing her job. She was reminding me that I needed to do a better job of taking care of myself. She wasn’t trying to make me feel bad, but her words… ugh, they stung anyway.
I had the most wonderful vacation in early June. It had been five years since we had been to the beach and five years since our family had gone away for a week to re-group, re-set, and re-charge. We began planning this vacation two years ago, long before COVID and without knowing just how much we would need this break.
It was perfect. It felt like we were gone for a month. We laughed and jumped in the waves and just relaxed.
The day after we arrived home, I started having some stomach issues. I thought it might be a stomach bug or something I ate or the occasional stomach side-effect from my Tecidera… I didn’t pay too much attention to it.
That night I didn’t sleep. I was up and down to the bathroom or rolling in bed with stomach cramps. In the morning, I tried to get ready for work and ended up laying my face on the cold hard wood to keep from passing out.
Long story short, I battled these symptoms until day 4. On Day 4, I ended up at urgent care then the ER with an IV and wonky bloodwork and an initial diagnosis of colitis, then later informed by the Health Department that I had SALMONELLA POISONING! They have still not determined where I picked up the Salmonella, but it’s terrifying to me that I literally ate the same things as my family and none of them became sick. It just goes to show you my body isn’t always able to fight back (and how many times are we exposed to food poisoning at restaurants and don’t know it!)
The ER doctor also gave me a stern warning that I needed to take care of myself and follow up with my doctors because as she so lovingly put it, I’m “special.” She said, You’re a special case. Your doctors know your medications and your limits and you need to always check-in with them after anything like this.
I’m over two weeks out from the initial symptoms and I am still not 100%. I battled fatigue all last weekend and my stomach is much better, but still not fully healed. I am finally back on the full dose of my MS medication after having to stay off of it for over a week–the longest I have had to stay off of it since I started in 2015.
In the grand scheme of all the hard in this world right now, this is nothing, but folks…. Can I just whine for a minute and say I HATE THIS. I hate MS. I hate that my immune systems is compromised and it takes me significantly longer to get over things that everyone else. I’m so thankful that with vitamins and a healthy lifestyle, I don’t seem to catch most viruses that people pass around… but when I do get sick, I GET REALLY SICK. I freaking hate watching my husband worry about me. I seriously want to throw things it makes me so angry. He is so strong for me. For goodness sake, he made me homemade whipped potatoes that were the creamiest, dreamiest potatoes of my entire life when I was sick because that was the only thing that sounded good to eat. He refused to let me sleep on the couch another night when I was so sick, even though it meant I kept waking him every time I had to get up. He didn’t want me to be far from him in case I needed him. What would I do without him?
Friends who suffer from a chronic illness, we are special. And if you’re like me, you HATE being special. You hate people worrying about you and having to take care of you. But I believe with my whole heart there is purpose in all of this. I don’t know what that purpose is and I may never know on this side of heaven.
Take care of yourself. And let your loved ones take care of you.