Seven weeks post-op, and I am *almost* normal! Well, normal as defined by me, at least. As defined by my doctor, though…not so much.
Since I was having nonstop anxiety and despair about the lurking organism H Pylori turning my stomach into a witch’s acidic brew (not a scientific description), I decided to become a camel for awhile. If I take my proton-pump inhibitor, I don’t have pain. So why worry about taking a double dose of toxic medicines to kill the organism? Can’t we just coexist peacefully?
Unfortunately, my doctor doesn’t share my opinion. Something about nutrition, absorbing enough calories to gain weight, etc. So he gave me the number of an infectious disease specialist and told me to see the psychologist and the specialist, pronto. I already had the psychologist appointment, but I confess that the mere thought of “infectious disease specialist” brings nightmarish thoughts of books like Outbreak. You know the one where the monkey virus comes overseas from Africa and then spreads like wildfire, requiring whole towns to go under quarantine? Where people are sealed off into bubbles while giant bleeding sores break out all over their bodies until they keel over and die a ghastly death? Yea, that one. Or maybe it was called Contagion — and it’s entirely possible that I have completely mixed the plots of both books/movies in my memories because y’all…I’m not 20 anymore. My mind just doesn’t hold details like book titles. Horrific scenes? Yep. But not necessarily titles.
Anyway, I digress. So those aforementioned memories are the reason I quietly wrote down the “infectious disease specialist”‘s phone number and then promptly forgot it on purpose. I have gifts to create and wrap, goodies to bake, laundry to fold, ovens to clean. I mean, who has time for infectious disease specialists, anyway?
I wasn’t counting on the fact that said specialist would have someone call me while I was out shopping at Michael’s picking up items for the goodies I plan to make on this rainy afternoon. Did my doctor actually call that doctor about me? I can hear the conversation now:
I’m sending you a very weird woman, old enough to be gray but still young enough to have a teenaged daughter. Her blood serum test was negative for H Pylori, but an endoscopy showed clear gastritis and a biopsy found an active H Pylori infection. Oral antibiotics won’t work with her due to her drug allergies and her debilitating anxiety about taking medications. I prescribed xanax for her anxiety, and she wouldn’t take it. I’m at the end of my expertise and don’t know what else to do with her. So here: she’s your problem now.
And then the doctor on the other end of the line says, “Thanks a LOT.”
I wasn’t home when she called me, and I may or may not call her back. I think I like being a camel. Sticking my head in the sand until I find a way to handle the anxiety is what will get me through the day. Besides, I’m holding out for a miracle cure. Jesus can heal this infection just as surely as he healed leprosy (also a bacterial bug, by the way). He knows me and loves me despite myself, camel-tendencies and all.