Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Indignities of Chronic Illness


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Living with a chronic illness often seems like a series of indignities strung together by the normal experiences of every day life. Case in point: What happened to me over the weekend.

The hubby and I went to a friend's wedding and had a great time. Although I knew I was getting a migraine I was able to back it down for a few hours by taking some Tramadol. We had a great time at the reception and I even danced for a while. In retrospect that's probably what did me in.

After the wedding we stopped at a convenience store so I could use my Imitrex injection in private (had to lift up my dress) and to get something to drink for the ride home. The shot helped with my head pain, but the Zofran I took didn't keep the nausea away as well as I'd hoped. I increasingly felt like I was going to throw up, so I got my plastic bag out of my purse just in case. I ended up vomiting a few times. Because I didn't know what else to do with the bag, I held it on my lap thinking I could buy time until we got home. I was so wrong.

After about 15 minutes I realized the stuff was running out of the bag and soaking through my dress and on to the seat under me. Luckily my husband had some napkins I could use and found something to put the bag in that he could grab right away. It was so awful on top of everything else I was going through with the pain, nausea and fatigue.

When this kind of thing happens my first instinct is to crawl into a hole, hide it and try to forget. But upon reflection I realize I can't be the only one who has these kinds of experiences. Knowing that inspires me to share them. Feeling ashamed and keeping it secret only gives it more power. If I can let it go and maybe even laugh about it that's obviously the better way to go. And who can complain about being with the kind of guy who takes charge in that moment and helps you figure out what to do? He even cleaned up after me when we got home. I wish it hadn't happened, but he never has and likely never will make me feel ashamed or embarrassed. Next time I'm remembering to put a big freezer safe plastic zipper bag into my purse.

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.