Gallstones? Being Sick While Sick With MS


The other day I woke up feeling a bit nauseated. I was
hoping it would pass so I got ready for work and made my way there feeling no
better than I had when I woke up. When I got to work, I let my manager know
that I needed to go home sick but I should be good enough to stay till they
could find a replacement. As I started my day (planning to stay about 3 hours)
I started feeling worse. The nausea was not phased by my attempts to ignore it.
Now my legs were feeling really weak with each step I was unsure if my knees
would buckle under the weight of my upper body. And hour an a half in and I
could not do it. I talked to my manager and explained that I would not be able
o stay any longer and she told me it was fine, I didn’t have to stay till they
found someone, I just needed to rest. That was nice, so I went home.
When I got home I fell into bed and knocked out for a good 5
hours. When I woke back up I thought I was feeling pretty good. Maybe I ate
something bad? I decided to take a shower and go to the store. So far so good.
After a while however, my stomach started cramping… I drove home from the store
and by time I made it inside I was starting to experience a sharp pain just
beneath my sternum. It was getting worse and I called my mom to ask her what
she thought it was; she said it sounded like a gallstone. Then it all came back
to me… about seven years ago I experienced this same exact thing and gallstones were the conclusion I came to. I
didn’t go in to the doctor’s back then because that was still when I wanted to
avoid the doctors at all cost (little did I know what would be coming in August
of 2010). This episode of abdominal pain lasted about a week before it
subsided.
Now it was back and after doing some reading online it
looked like I was due for another “episode”. I was hoping it would ease up and
I could make it to my infusion on Wednesday where I could ask for pain meds and
all the testing to confirm what ever this may be. It got worse and worse that
night though… if I had to imagine what it feels like to have a knife plunged
into my upper abdomen that is what I would think it feels like. I took a bunch
of Benadryl to fall asleep and even still it took me a couple of hours twisting
around in my bed trying to find the least painful position I could.
The next day I felt much better, just a heavy pressure where
the pain once was. I tossed around the idea of holding off till Wednesday again
but then I thought about how miserable I was the previous night. What if that
happened at work? I could barely walk that night and if it hit in the middle of
work how would I get home? So I called off again and went to Urgent care. I hate Urgent Care. I forgot how miserable
it is and though it’s not as bad as the ER it is still not fun. I checked in at
9:20am and was not placed into a room till about 1:20pm. Then I waited about 45
minutes for the doctor who walked in, asked a few questions, told me it
probably was not my gallbladder but an ulcer, instructed me to take antacids,
have my doctors order the right tests on Wednesday, and to wait in the waiting
room for a prescription for Zantac… 5 hours of my day, of my life, was gone, 5
hours to be told to go see my doctor and take some OTC medication for stomach
acid issues. I told him OK, left the room, walked into the waiting room, and
left the building. I was not going to wait another hour for a prescription for
something that is over the counter and would not help me in any way shape or
form.
So I went home and tried to take it easy. Watched a movie,
rested, ate dinner, and went to bed. Today I woke up feeling fine and as I
enter the evening I still feel ok. Hopefully this doesn’t come back but I will
be sure to bring it up on Wednesday.
I did a lot of thinking over those 5 hours and for the
remainder of the day… One thing I couldn’t stop thinking was “I don’t have time
to be sick with MS and maintain a life let alone be sick with something else, plus MS, plus some sort of weight loss
issue, plus the need for some sort of physical therapy routine, plus maintain a
life”. I was so overwhelmed, there was too much on my plate! I have always said
that when MS strikes the world doesn’t care, it keeps on spinning. Then I
realized that MS doesn’t care that you have work and bills, it strikes whenever
it feels fit. Same with any sort of illness. Then the most depressing thought
struck me; a thought I have already had when I was first diagnosed, but now?
Now it actually had some weight to it that it has never had before. “I am going
to live with this for the rest of my life.
I have to climb the same mountain as everyone else but with 200 extra pounds
(90kg) on my back”. The definition of the word “chronic” just got so much
longer.
I talked to a friend online (who also has MS) and though we
were not 100% directly talking about this situation, everything he said related
to what I was going through. It made me think a lot (our conversation) and I
had to remind myself how far I have come. Apparently I had told him a while ago
that my goal was to move out by October 15th and I had actually met
that goal ahead of schedule. About two and a half years ago I was in a
wheelchair being spoon fed thinking I may never walk again. Now I moved out of
state, I have an apartment, a job, a car, and the ability to do so many things
I never thought I would do again. Once I thought about this my depression began
to fade. All things considered, my situation is not bad at all. Nothing worth
fighting for comes easy right? My problem solving skills are not what they used
to be but the problems in my life? They are nothing and I know I can overcome
them, solve them, it’s just going to
take me time, time to clear my head enough to see the solution.

I feel good physically and
mentally today. I enjoyed my day off and I am ready to face tomorrow. I have my
infusion, I want to do some job hunting, get all my medical bills organized,
and just… be productive. I am going to take control back and plan out my next step since I only
planned as far as I am now. I need to figure out what I am moving towards in
life and what my ultimate goal is. Most importantly, I need to figure out how
to clear this fog out of my head so I
can actually see a move or two ahead like I used to be able to because right
now I feel like I am living life as someone who simply reacts. It’s like I am at a 4 way stop and I know I have to choose a
path but the fog is so thick that I can’t see more than 10 feet down each road
rendering me clueless as to where they will all take me. This is no way to
live.

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