My little empire / I’m sick of being sick

If I’m awake at this time, it usually means one of two things; either I’ve been awake all night (true) or I’m feeling sick (also true). I first started feeling light-headed in the taxi from S’s last night, and ever since it’s been a series of trips to the toilet, rushed grabs for the plastic bin in my bedroom, and half-awake grumbling. It was bad this time; vomiting up acid through my nose, bile in my throat, a pounding headache and still the feeling of needing to be sick even though there’s nothing in my stomach save for a cup of tea.

Confession time; I have a phobia of vomiting. Not the act itself, but of the feeling just before, a fear of the retching and heaving. After experiencing acute cholecystitis a few years ago, I thought I’d managed to leave the majority of the phobia behind – vomiting black stuff all over the A&E department of my local hospital sort of put things in perspective. Last night though… I got scared. I cried. I ended up sticking my fingers down my throat and apologising to the ex-bulimic gods in the hope that they’d understand I just needed the nausea to pass and that I wasn’t indulging in a good old purge. It probably sounds strange that I could have been bulimic yet be terrified to vomit, but it’s not that odd really. Bulimia gives control over vomiting; you choose when and where it happens. It’s the lack of control I’m scared of.

I wish I knew why this was happening. The idea of pregnancy briefly flitted through my head, but I’m going to dismiss that straight off. The vomiting isn’t regular enough, my periods are fine (I only finished one yesterday), I’m on the pill, and I have no other signs. Plus… that’s the last thing I want or need, and I’m going to ignore any further thoughts about it. I’m just worrying myself unnecessarily because I’ve been a bit broody lately. Still, something has to be causing it, along with the stomach upsets and headaches. I can’t even begin to pintpoint any medication which could be the culprit; all of the pills I’m on (prescription or not) have nausea as a common side-effect, although I’ve never experienced it before really. Not to the level I have recently. Last night I took two paracetamol, cipralex, metformin (a likely suspect, but I should have settled on it by now) and slimming pills. It could be any or all of those. Most likely, my stomach is just destroyed from years of painkiller abuse. This is why I don’t want to see a doctor about it; I’ll finally have to admit just how reliant and careless I’ve been with over the counter and prescription medications. At one point I was taking eight paracetamol and codeine tablets every few hours. If I admit that… things are going to change. I’ll finally be labelled the addict I am, and I’m not sure I’m ready to go through that.

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27 Comments

  1. Out of concern for a sister living a life similar to mine. Chronic pain usually brings a host of meds, sometimes these meds and the combo of them together have so much acidic buffering as fillers that they can cause abdominal bleeding. Nothing to mess around with. It’s a good sign that you’re not seeing blood, at least fresh blood. But old blood can be dark and black, even look like coffee grounds.
    This could be a serious set of symptoms. Please don’t hesitate to be checked in on if they continue much longer.
    And ….sending you gentle hugs tonight (I am not sleeping either) and wishes for a better morning

    • Oh, thank you for the lovely reply; I honestly didn’t expect anything because it’s such a grim post – nobody really likes reading about vomit! I’m not seeing any blood, just bile. I know that’s usually cause for concern, but I had my gallbladder removed a few years back and sometimes the bile goes the wrong way, or builds up… so I suspect that’s pretty normal for me.

      I was taking naproxen for a while for sciatica, and my stomach has never been the same since. I think it’s was the straw which broke my camel’s back… I did vomit a small amount of blood whilst taking it, but my GP wasn’t at all concerned. I think years of abusing my body has taken its toll at last *sigh* I just wish I had the right attitude and could start looking after myself.

      I plan to do a bit of reading, then I’m going to try and sleep while the sickness is calmer. I hope you get some rest; I know how difficult it is to battle chronic pain while you’re tired. Gentle hugs right back.

  2. I took Cipralex for about 6 weeks, and that’s how I felt almost the entire time, every minute of the day. Even though I switched to Dexedrine, the nausea was continual but controllable. Now, 3 months later on Dex and it’s almost completely controllable:) But I have to watch carefully what I eat during the day, so far, small pieces of fruit and raw veggies (miniscule amounts) keep me somewhat nourished until the evening when the drugs wear off and I can eat a bit of normal food:) Vomiting is such a major drag, and for me, it was usually triggered by the gagging when I brushed my teeth. And such a painful, completely irritating feeling which makes it impossible to be our usual charming selves LOL Now, I take no medications past 7AM. No matter what. I am better able to control my psyche during the day rather than in the evening, end of day, hours.
    That’s the trouble with aging; all the abuse we inflicted upon our bodies as younger adults catches up to us and then we pay….and pay….and then pay some more:(
    Feel better. See the doc, change the meds. It’s worth it.

    • Cheers for the reply! I’ve been on cipralex for around four years now, so I doubt it’s anything to do with that, although I did miss two over the weekend by accident, so I suppose it could be the medication re-settling. I hear you about brushing your teeth, it’s one of the reasons why I put it off sometimes – I’ve got a poor gag reflex anyway, and it’s guaranteed I’ll retch at least once :(

      I find I feel better taking my medication before bed, although I have to take beta-blockers throughout the day (never had sickness off those, so fingers crossed!). Technically it shouldn’t work, but it seems effective for me.

      As for aging… ach, I wish I wasn’t still a young adult! I’m 26, and have the body of an old lady, for so many reasons. I’ve done so much damage, and I’m beginnining to really regret my past actions now.

  3. Holy Shit. I write my blog because I have learned that despite the differences in our experiences there is still a sameness to the pain that others can relate to, and there is some peace in knowing you are not the only one. The week before last I wrote a blog called “Scared To Death” in which I chronicled my fight with anxiety. In it I describe being terrified of vomiting. For me it is the actual act, I actually feel nauseous every day of my life as a symptom, but am terrified to throw up. I can look back and see the root of the problem, but still feel the idea of it is absurd. It is a fear that has directly affected the course of my life and, despite the reason why I write, I thought I was the only one.

    • I did actually read your post about anxiety… I just get shy sometimes on other people’s blogs and get scared in case my comment comes across as daft or patronising. I need to get over that :/

      I think fear of vomiting/nausea is one of the worst, apart from agorophobia (which I also experience to a degree). It’s not absurd… if you’re anything like me, the lack of control over your body is a horrible, horrible feeling. My mother also suffers from it, I think it’s perhaps one reason why I do… it’s probably quite common, but it’s not the sort of thing which is spoken about in good ol’ ‘polite society’.

      I’ve never really considered treatment for the phobia, but maybe now is the time to start researching. You’re right, it does directly affect your life. If I find a miracle cure, I’ll let you know.

  4. Hang in there. Sometimes a tummy ache is just a tummy ache. A quick consult with a doctor wouldn’t hurt. Are you making sure to drink enough water. I’ve found with all the meds that have to take for depression and Type II Diabetes that my stomach goes bat shit from time to time. If I make a concerted effort to up the water things usually settle down.

  5. i’m so glad that someone else besides me writes candidly about vomit. it’s so central to bulimia, and to avoid the subject would be an injustice. yes, this is a “grim” post as you stated above, but it is real. you mentioned a potential desire of wanting to get pregnant. i’m still undecided on that prospect, but my heart opens everyday, a little bit more, concerning the subject. alicia silverstone wrote about pregnancy today: http://www.thekindlife.com/post/exercise-for-pregnancy. and i wrote about my thoughts on pregnancy here: http://nicoleandgwendolyn.com/2011/10/18/the-ex-bulimics-baby/. i am so curious to know what you think specifically about this subject . . . and about my take on it. i hope that your monday is lovely because lovely people deserve lovely mondays. x

  6. Thank you for following my blog! I always appreciate when someone new begins to read…but I’m also always sorry to find yet another person living with chronic illness. I’m sorry you’re feeling so ill, or hopefully by now the nausea has stopped? I HATE nausea. I get nauseated often and that feeling is just terrible. I take zofran pills sometimes to help. I’m on alot of medications for my illnesses and pain, so I guess nausea comes along for the ride….at any rate, I look forward to reading your blog!
    T

    • The nausea hasn’t stopped, but I’ve stopped vomiting for now and have managed to keep some food down.If it carries on much longer, I’m going to go to A&E – it’s not really an emergency, but I’m worried that something may have gone wrong with either my stomach (as I said, I’ve abused painkillers for a long time) or my lack of gallbladder, which I had removed a few years ago. The last thing I need is for something to go wrong in that area; I refuse to ever spend another second in an NHS hospital unless I really need to, the experience of the constant admissions and rubbish doctors destroyed my trust.

  7. Believe it or not, it’s the paracetemol in the ‘8 paraceta…(however you spell it) and codeine’ pills that could be causing problems with your liver, which could be causing the current stomach problems. You should have your liver checked and also get tested for Hepatits B & C if you ever shared a cocaine straw or hypodermic needle with anyone else. I really hope you don’t have either of those diseases.

    • I hadn’t considered it could be liver related, so thank you. Luckily I’m very familiar with the signs of liver problems; I had major liver issues a few years back related to a gallbladder infection, and was tested for hepatitis at the time (I have never injected drugs or shared anything to do with drugs, but have a lot of body piercings, so they thought it was important to test) and it was clear.

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