…and of a few other things. But since some time ago, I promised to tell you about the state of my tummy (and I forgot to do so *cough, cough, cough*), I figured it would be mildly polite to start with the belly. The doctors still can’t figure out what’s wrong. Not for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of the number of studies they’ve conducted: for my eyes, my stomach, my spine, my back and things I’m almost sure you rather not know about.
Remember a few weeks ago, when I freaked out about certain findings and told you that I wouldn’t share until I received clear results? Well, the pathologist found bacteria in my tummy that widened my physicians’ eyes and brought a lot of tension to my life. The kind of bacteria in question is most often found (over 90% of cases) in individuals who are moving towards the last stages of AIDS. The idea of adding an immunodeficiency disease to a body that already had so many painful things going on was worrying to say the least.
The results of the HIV test came back negative, and I am being treated for the bacteria. But the pain in my stomach hasn’t gone away… worse yet, it’s moving… which is a tad weird. I’ve been tested for everything from well-known immunodeficiency illnesses to rare strains of leprosy (go ahead, laugh; I won’t hold it against you. I certainly burst into laughter when I heard “leprosy” and me being discussed in the same sentence... in 2014. Lazarus jokes are quite appropriate, too).
In the meantime, my chronic pain continues to throw fits of jealousy. I think it hates the attention my stomach is getting. I’ve been seeing neurology and orthopedic medicine for the pain. I also have a new physical therapist, who is helping me develop new ways to exercise my sexy body without adding more pain to my already too long existing collection.
My days seem not to have enough hours in them. Hence my interactions have been of the spritz and run nature these last couple of weeks. Things might look rather gloomy, but trust me; they could be worse. I have so much to be thankful for: a husband who is always there when I need him (and more important, who is kind, loving and intelligent enough to give me space when I need him to), a group of friends who check up on me often (but don’t act like I’ve betrayed them when I need some quiet time), I have doctors who talk to me.
That last one is essential for my sanity. I’ve lost so many things due to the changes in my health: running, sitting comfortably, driving, wearing contact lenses, eating when I want, exercising when my body and brain need me to, writing longhand, reading printed books for long periods of time, cleaning my house the way I want, watching TV with my family… after losing so much, I don’t know if I could survive not having control over what happens to me medically, even if just in the tiniest of ways.
Last week, I spent hours discussing rare bacteria with a microbiologist—I was worried about being contagious, thank goodness I’m not. The doctor explained everything from history of the bacteria, to transmission, to what is known of mutations, to possible treatments (which, by the way, are risky… and really scary).
Having this information might not offer any obvious physical healing, but knowing what’s going on (or might be going on) inside my body gives me back some of what I’ve lost. I might still bare my teeth at the fact that I can no longer drink my coffee as soon as I wake up… But understanding what Helicobacter pylori and Mycobacterium avium complex might do to my gut if I don’t follow certain behaviors and take my medications as prescribed, makes compliance quite easy to stomach.
All right, this post is getting ridiculously long, so I’ll stop here. I just wanted to keep you posted. It is important to me that you understand some of my seemingly sporadic behaviors. I know you worry about my sexy bits and that, too, helps me deal with a lot of what I’ve lost. So gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón, my Wicked Luvs. You rocketh very mucho. Now I’m off to write a bit of Lum and Darlene… Following those two around is all kinds of soothing. ♥
“Adore”, anatomical heart and lung collage, by Bedelgeuse