To the best of my knowledge, I have never mentioned my stomach aches on this blog. Today that will change. In my family we refer to these stomach aches as "one of THOSE stomach aches." My parents know what this means. I've been getting them since I was 8 years old. I can still remember my very first one was on Thanksgiving, a few hours before dinner, but a few hours after the snacking had begun. I suddenly felt awful. There was a cramping feeling in my gut, and I turned green. I was in so much pain! I remember being sent to the bathroom, and then being told minutes later to lie down on the floor. And how I thought it was awful and humiliating that my mom put a bag of frozen peas on my head. But it didn't matter for long, because minutes later I passed out from the pain. I never know how long I am unconscious- was it minutes or seconds? But then, suddenly I came to, and the pain disappeared. My mom took me to some doctors, who never found a reason or explanation for this, and life went on.
I didn't get another stomach ache for a long time. I don't remember how long. But then one day it happened again. I remember thinking I was going to die from the pain. Since then I've had one of THOSE stomach aches about once or twice a year, for my whole life.
With the exception of that very first one on Thanksgiving, they have all happened in the middle of the night. Always while I am deep asleep. It always starts with me dreaming that I'm being tortured, or that I'm horribly ill, and then waking up to realize the pain is very real. Within minutes I will be on the floor, writhing in pain. Not long after that I will start begging and pleading with God (silently in my head) to either save me from the pain, or to just let me die sooner rather than later. The pain is that severe. And then, almost always, I will pass out from the pain. The passing out is something of a sweet release for me. I hate the sensation, but at least I'm not in pain anymore. And almost always, as soon as I can pass out, and come back to, the pain will go away almost as quickly as it came on, and just disappear.
I HATE THESE STOMACH ACHES.
Last night was unfortunately one of THOSE nights. I went to bed about 1 am, and woke up at 3:30 in excruciating pain. I went through the usual motions of going to the bathroom, drinking some water, trying to get back in bed, repeating the cycle, all while the pain got worse. Ever since leaving my parents' home, and living on my own, I've always made sure a phone was nearby, just in case I needed to call myself an ambulance. So far I've managed to hide these events from all of my roommates.
Last night as I found myself getting to the point where I knew I was going to black out, begging with God to just either black me out or let me die, I crawled to the floor (with 1 cat and a dog anxiously circling me), and blissfully passed out. Unfortunately, for the first time ever, that didn't solve the problem. I came to and blacked back out several more times, until finally around 7:30 am, I came to and realized I wasn't in anymore pain. I moved back into my bed and fell asleep.
Sleep didn't last long, as I had a conference call at 9, that someone had to call and tell me I was late for. I've felt awful all day long, as is usually the case after an episode. My stomach is a bit out of whack, and my energy levels are all sorts of screwed up (a side effect of both not getting much sleep, and from passing out over and over). But I'm alive and I'm not in excrutiating pain anymore.
I hate these episodes. When they are over with I'm always cheered by the thought that I won't have another one for a year. But some day I want to find out what causes these horrible pains, so that I never have to endure another one again.
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