As I try my hand at writing about a ‘little something more’ I figured I would write about something that I have quite a bit of experience with…!
GERD (Gastro-esophogeal reflux disease, aka acid reflux) is not exactly one of the more ‘glamorous’ conditions we humans face. I mean, if you look at the advertisements for any proton pump inhibitor( a common over-the-counter medicine that we GERD’ers have to take) you’ll usually see an overweight, middle-aged man…I don’t think you even see paper ads for PPI’s in women’s magazines.. Come on!!
It’s all a little ridiculous- if you do a quick Google search on how many adults just in the United States ALONE are affected by GERD- it’s a whopping 7 million! And they ALL CAN’T BE MEN! Anyways, as someone who’s dealt with GERD throughout her entire adult life (I’ve experienced symptoms on and off since I was 14), I’m here to confirm that yes, we don’t all look like middle-aged, obese, white men….(these guys are really taking a hit this year.. why don’t we just lay some more on them…)
Earlier this year, I had experienced about two and a half months of constantly feeling shitty. Nothing I threw at my stomach worked. I went to see my doctor multiple times, tried different medications- nothing would rid me of the pain and discomfort for more than a few days at a time. I honestly began to feel like I should just throw in the towel and admit that maybe I should just learn to live with it…One night while we were in Houston visiting family- I could not sleep. Tossing and turning, I got out of bed, eyes filled with tears, woke up my husband and told him he had to take me to the emergency room. I had enough.
The emergency room couldn’t find any imminent danger within the walls of my GI tract. Gallbladder- fine. I already had my appendix out. Liver enzymes- all good… they suggested going to see a gastroenterologist when I returned back home…Eventually I had an endoscopy done- a procedure where they put a tube with a camera at the end down your throat and into your stomach and see what’s going on. In the end, everything turned out okay, and biopsies came back negative. All they could find were a few spots of erosion in my stomach wall- signs that my stomach had been under stress, but not concerning enough…
Through all of these ordeals, sometimes its more frustrating not knowing the answer to your problems. All I could pinpoint to when I started feeling like shit was accepting a new position at work. And while I was incredibly stressed with adjusting to my new responsibilities, I didn’t feel like it was enough stress for my body to fight back.
These experiences really made me realize the importance of self-care. Our bodies all react differently to stress, and for me, my stomach was in command. It took me months of giving up my morning coffee, my afternoon tea, foods that I loved to eat but knew that would upset me, trying to be more physically active, and taking time for myself.
As I approach 30 (eek it’s only like 1.5 months away!!!), I feel like I’m having to really learn how to take care of myself. There were so many things that I was not mindful of, signs that my body was sending me that I just pushed away, thinking that they would just work out and I’d be okay.
The start of these incidents was also around the time I started this blog. On my road to self-care, I also came to understand that my mind needed a little something more. And while it’s been a work in progress for the kind of creative outlet I need, it’s helped me immensely on my road to recovery.
Thank you for being there and if you did get to the end of this slightly long essay, I appreciate you!
- Shoes- Old, Michael Kors; featured before-click here
Hope your week is off to a GREAT start!!!