In the last month I have been existing in a dehydrated and randomly sugared state with a perpetually uncomfortable abdomen.
As a result, I have been
a bit of a massive grump. Stomping into the house to escape the hot and humid weather that almost melts me like an ice cube on my commute home. Getting snappy at Scout because she jumps all over me and tries to lick the entire surface of my skin in her eagerness to tell me how much she has missed me and loves me. Ignoring Flame because she never demands attention. Lying on the couch and answering Dave monosyllabically because I can’t be bothered to form words and channel empathy after the struggle to do so all day with my colleagues and patients. Wanting to watch Netflix because it demands nothing from me other than a gasp or two when something unexpectedly shocking happens to a main character.
It’s been rough.
Reason #1 why I was a grump
Lately there has been very little to differentiate me from desiccated coconut. The resemblance has been uncanny: I am just as white, on the slender side, and just as dehydrated. The fact is that people with CF find it pretty darn difficult to retain electrolytes and water in their body on hot days. For me this means irritability, fatigue, weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, and abdominal pains as my intensities try to tie themselves up in knots and hospitalise me (again). I haven’t been hospitalised. I have, however, lined up lifts to hospital just in case I need an admission at 2am. I’ve spent time doubled over in pain. I’ve skipped meals here and there to give my insides a rest. I’ve been constantly monitoring the state of my abdomen to try and stop it going rogue.
Like I said: it’s been rough.
Reason #2 why I was a grump
My sugars have been all over the shop. Up, down, around, over, under and through the green zone but never remaining at an appropriate level for long enough. We all know that my mostly-absent pancreas is not a team player right now. I’m fine with that as a theoretical concept but I’m less fine with that when it becomes a practical inconvenience: sleepiness when my sugars are high; a lack of focus, impaired decision making, sweating and shaking when my sugars are low. Not to mention the hangover effect of a hypo that haunts me for the rest of the day. The perfect breakfast combination has been annoyingly elusive resulting in a hypo every freaking morning.
Yep, it’s been rough as.
Fed up with life being more difficult than it needs to be and harbouring a desire for my family to enjoy my company once more I began a three week journey of self actualisation to de-grump.
I bought a new drink bottle. Nothing inspires one to drink water like a rocking new drink bottle. My drink bottle is so damn fine that it has its own agenda item at staff meetings.
I decorated my fingernails so that I have something pretty to look at when I’m drinking water out of said drink bottle. My colleagues can hardly restrain their burning envy.
I am drinking so much herbal tea that I would not be surprised if a I bled pure lemon and ginger.
I have decided to take salt tablets again which is giving me much opportunity to practice suppression of my gag reflex for the next time I require a nasogastric tube.
I am ingesting banana of my own free will in smoothie form to try and stabilise my morning sugar levels. I experienced extreme banana-ingestion related trauma in childhood when my parents fed me a banana that one time. Banana ingestion is thus akin to Trump stepping down from office and welcoming Obama back to save the world.
I have given up lattes and am embracing long blacks. The volume of milk involved in a large soy latte is apparently kryptonite to my pancreas. As a handy byproduct I am now officially a respectable coffee drinker and have finally fully assimilated into Newtown cafe culture.
My dream of having something sweet for breakfast has been pulverised into fine dust and blown away on the wind. So too has my dream for home ownership, because as we all know, eating avocado on (low GI) toast is mutually exclusive with Sydney housing affordability.
I had a colonoscopy. Twenty-four hours of a fluid diet combined with epic laxatives rather takes care of all of the above problems. It does create some new problems, but hey, I’m trying to embrace the positive here.
De-grumping has been a success! Electrolyte levels are up. Hydration has increased. Sugars are stable. Grump levels are down.
Grump levels are so far down that I am acting entirely out of character. Dave is convinced I’m an android because the other day I picked up the vacuum and vacuumed something. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t believe it. I picked up the vacuum and vacuumed something.
I am totes an android.