The past two weeks have featured much fatigue, feeling lousy after I eat, and increasing amounts of nausea, occasioning much Internet research. I called my primary care provider’s assistant a week or so ago just to regale her with my symptoms, but didn’t request a call back, as I had already diagnosed myself with gastroparesis, which is when food leaves the stomach slowly. The cure for gastroparesis is to avoid precisely everything I eat: whole grains, beans, fruits, veggies, and nuts. (When I said in the last post that I’d apprised my medical health professional, I meant I’d called my ob/gyn to see if she thinks I have ovarian cancer. She doesn’t.)
After several more days of nausea and much time spent lying in bed because I felt too lousy to do anything else, I called my primary care provider back a couple of days ago and the physician’s assistant, who is always right about everything (seriously), called me back and said it could be this and it could be that and to try a bland diet for two weeks, and if that didn’t do the trick, to come in and they’d order some tests.
I called Tom to see if I’m going to die of this and he said I’m not—he’s always right, too—but he also said that my diet is already bland and that I should go to the doctor right now. This was last night, which also featured a lengthy phone conversation with my mother in which we combined our extensive medical knowledge to swap theories: too many carbs? Too much fiber? Not enough salt? Too-large meals? Are grains evil? Could those Paleo people actually be right? But weren’t hippies right first? Why won’t I get a kit for testing my own blood glucose nine or ten times a day? And so forth.
I decided to make some nourishing Bieler Broth this weekend, but then realized I was probably not going to be able to stand up long enough to cook, which is what happened last Sunday, when I spent the day lying in bed instead. So then I thought I’d have store-bought vegetable juice instead, which wouldn’t be as healthy, but good enough.
Then it occurred to me that maybe by “bland diet,” the physician’s assistant had actually meant something in particular. I am now educated on this subject (white bread, Saltines, cooked vegetables, bananas, none of the stuff I usually eat) and will give it a whirl.
One very excellent thing happened this week, which was my meditation teacher’s 60th birthday. We threw a huge extravaganza for Howie on Tuesday evening, with special guests invited, and I, being a longtime student, was invited to speak, and must say it went extraordinarily well. (I had feared I would have to stay home and just ask someone else to read what I’d written.) Afterward, I received many very nice compliments, including from a well-known teacher and writer who told me, “You assassinated it.” This person is a hero to me, so that meant a tremendous amount.
The evening also had a faint bittersweet flavor, as I thought now and then of that person who would have enjoyed the occasion so much, who would have beamed throughout, but who, somehow, just—wasn’t there.