I Can Barely Find My Shoes

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The darkening skies have lifted to show off a mild blue sky and yellow buds on naked trees. I was up all night suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which seems to have some connection to my Fibromyalgia though I don’t really understand it. At 4am, being a mother of two teenagers I became a child myself. I was alone in the house except for my dog and the children fast asleep downstairs. I was in a lot of pain and sometimes pain takes away my judgment. I go online to see if any of my friends are there because I need to talk to someone calm, motherly.

Luckily my friend, Michal, who lives in a different country, is awake and I ask her the same things I know deep inside. It is the same advice I would tell my children or friends or my spouse to do. The fact that she is awake and talking to me calms me immediately. She tells me to drink Coke and to stir the bubbles out with a fork or Alka-Seltzer, baking soda and water…..I tiptoe down the stairs and I am overjoyed that I have found a dusty yet unopened bottle of ginger ale to drink. In my race with pain I had totally forgotten the right things to do. It was her being there that made me feel better, more than the few sips of soda that I swallowed in the dark.

We all need people sometimes, whether we have a chronic disease or if we are perfectly happy and healthy. I have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Narrow Angled Glaucoma but it took these diseases to learn to ask for favors. A few weeks ago I asked my friend Sarah to go with me to the city because I would not, without someone’s help, be able to make it home if  my eye doctor needed to do surgery at the Eye Hospital. It was hard for me to ask her, but I did, and I needed her help desperately. It taught me the balance between being independent and dependent and the fuzzy middle line we all try to achieve. I don’t think twice about offering help to a friend or an acquaintance but feel awkward asking. I have relied on my husband for the last two years, when he was home, unemployed,  to such an extent that I needed to relearn my own skills and find my independent self again. I had lost her, she was hidden in piles of soft, flowered comforters, next to pre-made cups of coffee and the security of my husband’s endless amount of hugs.

I am glad I have found my old self again because I  need to make decisions and be responsible for myself. At the same time I am glad I can finally ask for favors when I really need them. I don’t like having all these illnesses and I don’t like that my husband is working five days a week far away from me. I do like knowing I can handle things myself, even if I do need help once in a while from a friend. There are so many decisions to make in a single day, so many minute details that I actually trip over them every so often. I get out of bed in the morning, slowly, with aches and pains and I do everything I need to do when in fact I can barely find my shoes. Sometimes there is a strength that we all have inside that enables us to pull ourselves together and go through the day and the long nights. I am not always able to do everything on my own and I do need help at times but I am happy that I have rediscovered me, balanced albeit sometimes unsure.

9 thoughts on “I Can Barely Find My Shoes

  1. Bentyl (brand or generic) is unfortunately a prescription drug. There are OTC drugs for gas and cramping (contain something that sounds like samythicone — can’t quite remember how it’s spelt) like Phazyme (spelling off too) but I never found they worked with me. An more natural approach is charcoal capsules — but I’m not sure if there would be problems with your prescription meds if you took the charcoal ones. Wendy would know!


  2. I’m glad to hear your friend was online when you went looking for advice and some understanding.
    I take the generic form of bentyl when the cramps have me doubled over. I’ve had IBS for so long now, I’m used to a certain amount of continous pain.
    One time after an operation, a nurse showed me a position to lay in to help with gas cramps. I’ll email you a description once I figure out the words to describe it.
    Hope the tummy is better, and better behaved.


  3. Awww Laurie! I’m so sorry you were suffering in the middle of the night alone! I’m glad u found a friend online to help u! I’m sorry I wasn’t on. Hope your belly is feelin a bit better today. I know all to well the pain of IBS and Colitis…I’m headed to a new GI doc tomorrow morning to discuss any dietary changes and anything else he may suggest, even though I know several docs have already said no one can fix my cemented insides, I’m hoping some diet ideas will help, and even though I can’t afford it…I think I need a virtual colonoscopy…they can’t do the normal kind, due to my adhesions and abnormal anatomy.

    Anyway Big Sis….sorry I wasn’t around. Sure hope you are feeling better. I’m proud of you for finding your independant self again…you’re a strong woman! Never be afraid to ask for help from friends…that’s what friends and family are for! xoxoxo


  4. It is scary when we are alone and don’t feel good. My Hubby is going camping this Thursday and will be back Saturday afternoon. I am usually okay when he is not around, even being admitted in the hospital from the ER when he was off with the Scouts camping once. We do depend on our partners even if we don’t want to admit it. And that’s perfectally fine I think! So glad you were able to find someone to talk to.


    P.S. When I get really bad cramping from diahhrea I take a tranquilizer…Ativan (generic Lorazepam) and it calms down the cramping. I hope you are feeling better today!


      • Laurie, I didn’t want to mention this before but what the heck! I get really really bad gas pains sometimes and horrible flatulance. (aka – farts) Believe it or not I will drink a half glass or so of white wine and it settles that down right away. Doesn’t help the diahhrea pains but it sure works for my gas. (Really) Funny thing: When I was a little girl my Gramma lived with us. She used to sit at the kitchen table with a jelly glass of beer, and she always told everybody it was for “medicinal purposes” She said it calmed down her stomach. We used to chuckle behind her back but now I wonder if it really did help her! My doctor told me once that Ativan works on the same brain receptors as alcohol…I don’t do wine and pills at the same time though! (really!)
        Hope you have a good night tonight!


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