Taking a moment to write out all my thoughts, so they can stop swarming around my head like abstract noise (if that’s even a thing). I don’t know if this has anything to do with the illness I’m dealing with right now… but I’m trying to trace as far back as I can to see when exactly I didn’t start feeling too great.
This past weekend, I went back to Troy for the weekend for a wedding. I felt antsy, nauseous, and dehydrated non-stop. It probably didn’t help that I spent about a whole day in the basement too, trying to work on some school work done while watching a couple of Marvel movies. But I’m thankful to my friend who housed me for the night… going back to a place where I’m not guaranteed a place to be able to stay is pretty tough in itself. I left the wedding early because that anxiousness still didn’t leave me, probably because I had so many other things on my mind.
The next morning (Monday), I powered through my classes feeling slightly uncomfortable, but I didn’t think much of it. I couldn’t really eat much, but I also wasn’t very tired either. So I tried to stay awake and get some work done but my mind just was not there. My body felt like it was being poisoned, but I had a few essays to write, so I took a stab at those but my thoughts would not come together. And so I took a nap… one of those naps that makes your head feel like a hundred pound boulder on your head. When I got up, I used the bathroom… and that’s when the sharp, burning pains registered and my mid-back started aching. The nausea only began to get worse and I could feel a fever coming along. Thankfully, some good friends were there to help me get through the night. They helped me finish my laundry, take me to the pharmacy, made me food I could keep down, spent time with me, and even help get all the information I needed to get medical help the next day. What would I have done without them?
I’ve had a UTI once before in my life but it was nowhere near as bad as this one. All the urgent care centers were closed by the time that my symptoms fully kicked in (around 10PM), and so the best thing I could do is call the 24-hour Olin helpline to find out more information on what (felt like it) was killing me. The nurse was very adamant that I take myself to the E.R. given to my description of the level and locations of the pain, but I was also very adamant that I do not have health insurance, so there was no way I’d opt for that, no matter how sick I was. So the next best thing I could do is head to Olin as soon as it opened the next day at 8AM.
I slept for about 5 hours before I woke up around 6 AM the next day with the urgency to pee. And that clawing, stabbing pain inside kept me awake. I couldn’t really cozy up either since my room was so cold. So I decided to stay up, layer up like crazy, and fold my laundry - some of which was still wet, which felt like ice-cold rags given the temperature of the room.
I called the clinic as soon as the clock hit 8, and got picked up by their courtesy van. The doctor was an (upper) middle-aged white woman, who seemed like she was concerned but also slightly annoyed. After we were about 10 minutes into conversation, she asked what my first language was, even though we’d been speaking to each other in English up until that point. I said “English,” but she questioned me again saying, “Are you sure it’s not Chinese? I mean, it’s for the purpose of knowing what language you’re most comfortable with.” At that point, I felt so weak-bodied that I just replied respectfully that it was English. I guess I would have done that in any case, but meh. I wonder what it would have been like if I’d said something snarky in response, asking if she’d be able to speak to me in that language if I’d said otherwise. Thankfully, she didn’t do invasive tests like last time, and all I had to do is pee in a cup.
My results came back and sure enough, the severity of the UTI was just as bad as I’d imagined, but luckily it was nothing some strong antibiotics couldn’t take care of. The bacterial infection did spread from my bladder to my kidneys, which was the cause of the fevers/nausea/upset stomach. I wanted to stay up so I could get some work done, but it seriously felt like a block sitting in my mind, not letting me do anything but sleep.
Since then, things have been slightly better… the sharp pains are gone but my body still feels like it’s being slowly poisoned. I have three classes today, but none of which I can actually go to. I spent the majority of last night trying to readjust my sleeping position because it felt like no matter how I laid, my kidneys were causing a lot of back pain. I finally forced myself to get out of bed and stuff some food into my system so I could take my pill again. I haven’t showered since the weekend, but at least I was able to bring myself to change my clothes today. That’s progress. I don’t really want to bump into anyone here in the caf, but I’m sitting here solely because there’s heating on the downstairs level. I feel gross haha, and I’m dreading the fact that I can’t do anything but rest, especially because my mind still feels so restless.
I have so much school work to catch up on - and one of my teachers hasn’t even replied. I might just have to take a 0 on the 3 assignments I had for that class. I have to make a trip to the insurance company to sort some things out. I need to work, but my boss (in a nice, but firm way) told me that she already found people to cover my shifts and I just needed to rest. I tried to argue it, but she said I’m just going to have to resume work next week.
The hardest part about being sick is that you feel helpless at times and dependent on other people. And even though the friends around me have been more than great, of course there are still moments where you catch yourself feeling utterly alone. Even though you’re not. Even though God is so near at all times, that loneliness is something you can’t quite shake off sometimes. I want to continue denying the possibility that maybe all of this happened because of stress. The kind of stress that you’re unaware of, which is what makes it so dangerous. Your body can’t handle it but your mind continues to inject itself with morphine to numb your conscience. Sooner or later, your body wins.
I am reassured in knowing that God has had me from the very beginning. That while all this is happening, he is here leading me through this so that I might come to trust him and surrender everything to him. It’s a lesson he knows he’ll need to continue to teach me multiple times over this lifetime, in different ways, and a lesson I’m going to need to rediscover each and every time. He’s been here with me through all of this, even though the loneliness is still sometimes haunting.
Screw editing! *click