This birthday was probably my worst birthday in memory.
My illness in September never quite went away. For over a month, I’ve had a stomach upset that’s just … there. I’ve been existing on the blandest, most basic food possible. Thankfully, Hong Kong knows how to do this food well.
Initially, I enjoyed the weight loss that came with this, but now I’m fed up. The idea of never eating anything spicy, or just so little food, for the the forseeable future, kills me. Not to mention the timing – I am scheduled for a trip to India, which means not only would I have to stay away from all the food that would otherwise have been the highlight of the trip, but I would be in mortal fear of coming down with diarrhea in India, as I am prone to at the best of times.
The most depressing thing was being told a day before my birthday that my test results came back negative for infections. You’d think that would be a good thing, but I was hoping something would be detected so it would be easy to prescribe something targeted to knock it off.
Now, it’s pretty much a guessing game of dealing with symptoms. I actually teared up at the doctors. Fortunately, he’s sympathetic and tried to give me something to help the symptoms.
I’m not a fan of a big shebang on my birthday but I was scared to even eat my own birthday cake. I allowed myself a can of coke because that actually calms my stomach, though it’s not something I want to live on because that would undo all the weight loss that is the only silver lining to this whole saga. Okay, and my facialist said my skin is much better. Obviously, on a diet a congee. Meh.
Oh, and I’m now an expert at dealing with shit. I mean literally. I have done a stool test once in my life as a child and have avoided one ever since. Just the logistics of collecting poo – a substance I should have made my peace with considering how much of my life is spent dealing with it – kill me. But just when you think you can only sink so low, you realise, there’s a bottom under the bottom and this one involves scooping excreta of the solid kind.
Because of course when you need to collect poo, your body goes into panic mode and it refuses to come. As if you hadn’t spent every second hour on the potty these past few weeks.
We had booked a body check – at which I discovered I have slightly low blood pressure (and I am now convinced it’s a PMS thing) – and I had been firmly said I was not going to do a stool test. But then I decided to do it, considering that is my main problem. Then my gastroentrologist asked me to do another one.
Meanwhile, Mimi has fallen ill with similar symptoms – three times in the past month – and we had to do a stool test for her to.
So I’ve basically been carrying shit in little bottles here and there. This is my life now.
So, yeah, I had not agenda on my birthday except to not spend it primarily on the pot, and for that I have the gastro to thank.
So what do I want for the coming year? For my gut to get it’s act together.