*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.” -Unknown
My left side hurts.
May/June2010. I’d just graduated from high school. Life happened fast, and now I was 18 years old with no idea of what I wanted to do for a life work. Being uncertain, thankfully that was okay with my family. Since I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I decided washing windows with my Dad, which I’d done during the summers before, was a good fit. I liked physical work, and washing windows was a very physically active job! This will give me time to figure out what I might want to do with my future, I thought.
July 2010. Our family was in the process of helping put together a benefit for a family friend who had cancer. It wasn’t until mid-July that I said out loud, “Mom, my left side hurts.” She looked at me immediately concern shown in her eyes.
“Where does it hurt? Point to where it hurts, Kelly.” she inquired searching my eyes in all seriousness. I shared painful physical symptoms of gas, bloating, headaches, and a dull ache that was very severe at times, and diarrhea. We talked at length, deciding it was time to pay a visit to the medical doctor.
A week and a half later, I attempted to not squirm in my chair while in the waiting room with Mom next to me. My abdomen hurt and my head was pounding. My hands, clammy. It was time. A Physicians Assistant called my name. On the other side of the waiting room door, having me stand next to the measuring tape to get my height, 5′ 6″, then she motioned me to the scale and I stepped on it. She wrote down 157 pounds. I was the heaviest I’d ever been. My weight didn’t matter to me, as long as I felt well and healthy. And that’s why I was there at the medical center. I didn’t feel well OR healthy. I felt bloated, inflamed and on fire.
Sitting down inside the examination room, getting asked many questions and telling her my symptoms, the doctor came in and repeated her questions. Common procedure. I told the doctor, “I recently quit eating dairy and that seems to help some, but it doesn’t make all my symptoms go away.”
Mom spoke too, saying “Kelly is the kid that never complains about pain. The fact that she has shared it is an obvious concern to us. Kelly came to me telling me about her pain. She could pinpoint it, but can’t reach into it.”
The Doctor palpated my abdomen. At the end of being poked and prodded, she said, “I’m sure it’s just some IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome). But let’s do some testing to make sure it’s nothing else in the meantime.”
At that point in my life I hadn’t had much patience. IBS? Are you kidding me? Immediately feeling defensive, I calmed myself down and Mom gave me that I know you’re ticked off but don’t be a jerk look. I attempted to throw the Doctor’s observation aside and focus on the conversation. My mind reeled.
I agreed to having blood drawn, giving a urine sample, and testing for West Nile and few other diseases. “You should get your results via a phone call in a few days,” the Doctor had told us. I’d nodded my okay, completed the tasks asked for, then Mom and I walked out of the clinic into the fresh air, at last!
My stewing silence lasted about 10 steps until I was far enough from the building before blurting out, “Are you kidding me? IBS? That has NOTHING to do with my left side pain.” I was steaming and starting to boil over. I was angry, had a headache bigger than what I went into the appointment with, my left side hurt, and yes… you could say I was a hot mess. I attempted to hold in the tears, my emotions, thoughts, words that I wanted to say, and tried to be tough. I was also on the verge of tears. By the time we got to the car, hot tears were trickling down my face. And so my journey begins…