The Pits of October

October used to be my favorite month, but now it bothers me. Five years ago this week marks the beginning of the end with my ex-husband. It’s the month my ex-husband and I met (in 2000), the month we were engaged (in 2006), the month we got married (in 2007), and it is also the month when everything ended (in 2017). Here we are again in October. I hate October. This October brought my teenage daughter having surgery, spending entirely too much shared space with my ex, having a horrible reaction to poison ivy, and ending up on prescription steroids (only to experience all the side effects that go along with that).

I’m sensitive to my surroundings – who I associate with, the food I eat, what I drink, and the medications I take. I know this and I live my life accordingly so I can feel my best each day. I avoid sweets (including sugary drinks) and fast food, I usually work out regularly, and I limit medication I take because, from past experience, it doesn’t end well when I have too much of anything. My medicine intake is limited to seasonal allergy medicine, occasional ibuprofen (for a headache), and a daily probiotic. If I don’t pay attention to what goes into my guts, I always pay the price.

I desperately needed to destress after spending consecutive days with my ex as our daughter recovered from surgery. I took care of her as she recovered at home, worked at home, cared for my son, and took care of my ongoing awful poison ivy reaction. The stress of being around my ex was enough to make me not feel well, let alone all of the other variables mixed in. I found myself slipping back into my old ways. I was disassociating – going through the motions, where I’m there but not fully there. I was walking on eggshells – watching what I said so I didn’t invoke a negative response from him. It was hard to go back to that “place”.

I was finally looking forward to a calm weekend on my own. Both kids went with their dad over the weekend since my daughter was finally feeling strong enough to travel in a car. Once I dropped my kids off for the weekend, I picked up some Indian food and headed home to stuff my face in peace while I caught up on some shows on HULU. I was going to sleep in and simply relax for the weekend without worrying about anyone else.

That Friday evening, free of all responsibilities, I happily ate my spicy Indian food and started watching an episode of a show. The food was so satisfying. I finished the whole plate. Toward the end of my hour-long show, my stomach started to make noises.

Oh no.

I made the unavoidable trip to the bathroom, with stomach pains so intense I wasn’t sure what kind of sick was going to be. I was in there for a very very long time. I’d exit the bathroom, and turn right around and go back in. Apparently, eating Indian food after lots of stress and being on new steroid medication was not the best idea. It was miserable. On top of it all, I was still itchy from the poison ivy rash. My nerves were shot. My stomach was shot. My hope for feeling good ever again was just shot.

The next day was a slow start. I didn’t make it to the shower until about 2 pm. Everything I tried to do was a challenge. I laid on the couch for the majority of the day. Somehow I mustered up the energy around 5 pm to go to Target since I needed so many little healthcare-related things. After Target, I was starving. I had barely eaten all day. I decided that chicken noodle soup and a Mediterranean bowl from Panera should be okay. I picked it up as carry out.

It wasn’t okay.

It was like deja vu from the night before. Not long after I finished my meal, I was howling in pain in the bathroom again. Thank God I was all alone. This time it was clear that the spice from the Indian food had exited and burnt the literal shit out of my rear end. I was mortified, winded, and feeling more hopeless than the night before.

This was not a relaxing weekend. Not at all.

That night was the first night I slept through the night without constant itching. Hurrah, I was less itchy from the poison ivy rash, but the downside was my stomach hated me and I was going to have raging hemorrhoids for the foreseeable future.

On Sunday, it took me just as long to get moving as it did on Saturday. I finally got the strength to go to the grocery store and I bought as many sensitive-stomach-friendly foods as I could find. I came home and made ground turkey and rice for dinner. No more food indulgences for me, not until my body has recovered from all the built up stress and medication.

Today I returned to work after more than a week of caring for my family and myself. I feel slow and tired. The pits of October is halfway over and thank God for that.

Stifle Me Not

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