Christmas has always been one of my favourite days of the year. The combination of excited anticipation, pretty lights, presents under the tree, warm drinks and endless amounts of food just makes me happy. As some of you have already read, I decided to go on a little trip this year before Christmas. It sounded like a nice way to relax and have fun with some friends in time for the holidays. My trip really was wonderful. We stayed at a beautiful resort with the most friendly staff and amazing views. There was so many options of things to do and places to go. I checked some things off of my mile-long bucket list like snorkelling, swimming with dolphins and visiting the Caribbean! Overall, I loved Cayo Coco and had a very nice time.
Although I managed to participate in new and exciting happenings and have a great time, that did not eliminate the often harsh reality of my life. If you have been keeping up with my blog, you will know that I have been suffering with mostly unexplained stomach pain for about two months now. It started shortly after I began an iron supplement called Proferrin. It started as small twinges of pain, spread to wide spread abdominal pain, then graduated to full-blown agonizing all over abdominal pain. The bad pain lasted for three days, then it petered off and only happened sporatically. Knowing that I would be leaving the country, I got checked out at the hospital to make sure I would be okay to travel and that nothing was going seriously wrong. The ultrasound was fine and I was told that my stomach was producing excess stomach acid. Which I've now learned is known as 'Zollinger Ellison Syndrome'. Antacids were prescribed and I was told that there was a large possibility that the acid had caused a peptic ulcer in my stomach.
Equipped with new meds and slight knowledge of what was going on inside of my body, I excitedly flew to Cuba, ready for a crazy week of fun in the sun. My stomach pain was well maintained for the first couple of days but on the second night, I made the mistake of enjoying a few drinks. You'd think with all inclusive drinks on vacation, having a couple wouldn't be a mistake. But trust me, this had to be one of the worst mistakes I've made in my life. I woke up the next morning to my abdomen in severe pain. It was an intense squeezing and burning feeling deep in my stomach, low in my pelvic region and high under my ribs. After tecta, zantac, gravol and about a gallon of water I finally managed to get out of bed. This wouldn't be nearly as troubling if I were within the comfort of my own home, in my own bed, with my own bathroom near by and not on vacation sharing a room with friends.
After that whole episode of pain, I went about the day the best I could. Although I avoided alcohol from that point on. Then a new little symptom decided to surface. For some reason my stomach decided that it should torture me by putting myself into an agonized state about 15-30 minutes after I ate or drank anything other than bottled water. This is still continuing now, 5 days later. I started out assuming that this pain was from an ulcer, but this is not a symptom of having an ulcer. That doesn't mean it isn't related but it's a little confusing.
Like I said, I managed to have a great trip through the pain. But now that I'm home, I'm more ready than ever to figure out exactly what is going on within my body. And that is going to be my biggest goal this new year. I'm foreseeing many hospital visits, doctors offices, needles and tests in my future. The theme of my blog is brutal honesty, so here it goes. I love the Christmas season and I would love to be that person who has a great vacation, no complaints and is fully positive and happy the majority of the time but this isn't always the reality. On this Christmas day I am beyond grateful but I'm also discouraged, hurting and nervous. A happy circumstance doesn't negate the harsh things. But I will keep focusing on the little things and they joy that they bring because life goes on whether we're ready for it or not.