home is where mama is

Denver got some spring snow this weekend.  Which meant that people lost their shit and totally forgot how to drive.  There were accidents galore, and people were epic complaining about snow in almost-April.

I did not complain.

Mostly because I had no reason to be out in it.  I somehow perfectly timed my drug test to completely miss that boat (and oh, what a testing experience it was).

And then there’s the fact that I love spring snow.  It reminds me of home…what Colorado used to be like before global warming started showing up.  And man, we really need the precipitation.  Fire season has already started.

And well, it’s just pretty.

I really, REALLY wanted to go out walking–to take pictures–but my body had other plans.

###

Now, I haven’t felt very well in a long time.  I’ve been chronically exhausted for years.  I sleep poorly, no matter what I do.  When I’m exposed to any cold or flu or bug whatsoever, I get sick.  A couple of years ago, though, things changed in a big way for me.  After bopping along like normal for a long time, I started having severe–nearly debilitating–stomach problems.  We’re talking the kind of stomach problems that land you in the hospital.  Of course, me being me and dealing with my life the way it was, I didn’t go to the hospital or even the doctor.  Suddenly, absolutely everything made me sick.  It started after a particularly bad bout of food poisoning.  From then on, food became the enemy.  Which was why I started trying really hard to change what I was eating.  I noticed that certain foods made things worse.  I was fairly terrified of the whole thing because I worried that I, like my parents, had an ulcer.  Considering how God-awful that year had been, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.  So, I made changes and found something called an acid reducer.  And suddenly, I wasn’t the Tums PosterGirl.

I got better.  Not 100% better, but better enough to live my life.  But I was entirely too dependent on over-the-counter meds to control ongoing symptoms.  Now, once I got insurance, I should have gone to the doctor.  I should have discussed it with the doctor when I finally did go to the doctor.  But I didn’t.  It wasn’t problematic enough to cause a fuss.  And I really don’t trust modern medicine.  It failed me–my mother–once.  It’s hard for me to put faith in it, though I am well-aware of all of it due to my bio degree and etc.

Back in I don’t even remember when (months ago), my roommate gave me a cold.  Now, I don’t just get colds when I get colds.  I get bronchitis.  Or some epic sinus infection from Hell.  Asthma sucks.  And, sure enough, I got the latter.  It would not go away.  We’re talking months of not being able to breathe.  And my asthma has been uncontrolled.  (It still is).  I finally had it and got to the doctor–a new one, who made me really uncomfortable.  I like the practice…not the doc.  He literally asked me six questions and gave me a script for antibiotics.  My symptoms did point to bacterial infection, but the antibiotics didn’t help much after the first couple of days.  It was all well and good to treat the bacterial infection, but my sinuses were clogged because something was causing me to produce mucus like a big SlimeMonster.  Probably allergies.  I get them every Spring.  And with all the Spring-like weather, I’m guessing I got hit early.

During the sinus infection from Hell, I’d caught other stomach bugs–which I thought were other strains of the flu or food poisoning.  They went away until I did the antibiotics.  And then, suddenly, I was back on the Tums PosterGirl track.  I finished my script–10 days worth–and then continued feeling sick.  And then I got ear infections.  I figured the antibiotics killed all the good bacteria in my belly.

So, I got proactive.  I changed my diet more.  I tried to drink more water and sleep better.  Took all kinds of supplements.  And then I broke out the big guns…tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract.  And I did a cleanse.  And finally, about a week ago, my sinuses and ears ACTUALLY cleared.  Citrus is amazing.  And my head finally felt better.

And then I started getting really, really bad pain every time I ate.  I took probiotics.  I found all kinds of homeopathic aids.  And they helped.  Until Friday night, when my body decided it needed to kick my ass.

For 48 hours, I was pretty much the sickest I’ve ever been.  We’re talking no sleep, doubled over–crying and shaking from stabbing stomach pain and pressure.

Nothing helped.  Anything I ate.  Anything I drank.  Didn’t matter.  At one point, I told myself I would never eat again.

I suspected it was gluten.  Mostly because I’ve suspected an allergy for a while now.  I have had a love-hate relationship with it in recent years.  I simply cannot eat bread or fluffy anything anymore.  But I’ve usually been alright with whole wheat pasta–which is what I ate before the epic sick happened.  I had already planned to do a primal, gluten-free thing after this week…because I was feeling low-level sick and wanted to do another cleanse because it had helped me temporarily.  I love gluten-y everything, and it’s in everything, so it was kind of a big deal.  It’s one of my weak spots and would take lots of discipline.  So, I told myself I’d just do tea, juices, and broth on Saturday.

It was a good idea, in theory.  Long story short, my body wasn’t getting enough food–so it decided to get my attention.  So, if I ate food, it’d stab me.  If I didn’t eat food, it’d stab me more.  If I happened to doze off, I’d jolt awake with the pain thirty minutes later.  I quickly realized I needed to eat something, but cooking anything myself was just not happening.

Which really sucked because my poor roommate had/has the cold from Hell and basically slept all day yesterday.  So, I ended up having to wake him up to have him make me soup.  After a couple of times, I felt too guilty to wake him up and tried to do things for myself.  Which made me ask myself: “What would Mama do?”  And, though, it sounded like the worst thing to do–I did exactly what Mama would do.  And around midnight, I started to feel like me.  By 2 am, I felt completely recovered.

Now, I’m not sure what the heck caused the horrible yuck of the past two days.  Food poisoning, allergies, stomach bug?  Who the heck knows.

But I do know my Mama made me better.  And that kinda makes me happy.

###

I don’t miss my Mama as much anymore.  Which makes me feel guilty.  I still think I should miss her more, but then some part of me can’t.  And then, it just happens.  Thankfully, the dreams are nicer now.  The ache is a little easier to cope with.

I seem to miss her more at night or when I’m sick–when I wish I had someone to care for me or when someone is caring for me.  I always feel disappointed that it’s not her, and I compare what they do to what she did.  And it’s always short of what I need/want.  Because I need and want her.

I used to say it doesn’t get easier–just different.  But I think I’ve reached the point where the scales tip more toward easier…but that doesn’t mean easy.  If that makes sense.

I still think of her every day.  I still want to talk to her every day.  But, some days, like today–I smile because I remember who she was, who she has been to me, how I’m like her. and how she’ll inform the person I’ll be in five years.  And, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to be someone like that for my son/daughter–one day.

My parents are very much here with me today.  That makes all of it a little better.

And I have an appointment with a naturopath in mid-April to figure out, once and for all, what the heck is going on.  Which would make my parents wonder how the Hell I became a hippie.  And that, too, makes me smile.  Because–even in that small way–it makes me more like them.

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