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21 March 2007 @ 08:44 pm

My stomach doesn't hurt today like it has been, but I had a green salad and a dinner roll and now I'm bloated from here to tomorrow! My stomach is round and hard and swollen and I feel like I'm overstuffed full of pillows or pumped up like a bicycle tire. It's very uncomfortable and I'd really like to get some relief from it but I can't think of anything to do except wait for the bloating to go back down again. 

I've been rubbing my stomach and pressing on it a little to try to get some relief but it just makes me feel more uncomfortable. I laid down to try to sleep it off but that just made me feel worse so I got up again. I'm alternating between sitting here rubbing my uncomfortable tummy and pacing back and forth around the house, trying to walk it off. I ate so little. I can't believe how full I feel!

I keep wanting to curl up in a ball but I can't bend at all because it makes my tummy hurt to try to bend around it. My stomach is hard and a little bouncy and it's making me think of beach balls. I feel like I must have swallowed one! How can I feel and look so full from just a little salad and a roll? This is crazy! It feels awful but at least it doesn't hurt so I'm thankful for small favors.

My tummy swells up so much, I've thought about getting maternity clothes! It never fails that I'll put on my sexy jeans and go out and then my tummy starts swelling up when I'm far from home and it's just aching to burst out of my jeans. What's really embarassing is when I go out to eat and I'm halfway through a delicious meal when suddenly my stomach starts swelling and aching and I can barely keep my clothes on because I'm in so much pain.

One time I was on a date and halfway through dinner I got this unexpected pain in my tummy and it came on me so fast that I ended up dropping my fork on the floor and doubling over, clutching my stomach and let out a groan like "ooof!" It sounded like I'd just been punched in the stomach! My date was really nice about it, but I was so embarassed because even people at the next table stopped eating and stared at me. But I was helpless to hide it as wave after wave of pain washed through my gut so that I couldn't sit back up straight or breathe right. 

I could tell that my date didn't know what to do and I couldn't help him because for several minutes I couldn't speak. Then I got that sudden urge and knew I needed to run to the bathroom but I felt like I could barely get up out of my chair. I panicked! I couldn't even excuse myself to my date. I just groped my way up out of the chair and half-ran, half-staggered to the bathroom, bent over and clutching my tummy the whole way.

I barely made it into the bathroom in time, but then it was one of those killer stomach ache sessions on the toilet where I couldn't get up again for what seemed like forever. I was so ashamed every time I thought of my date sitting there alone at the table with other diners looking at him and gossipping about us. If there had been a back door that I could have sneaked out of, I would have crept away to go hide when I could finally leave the bathroom again, I was that embarassed to come back and face him!

I finally made it out of the bathroom and my date tried to be understanding but I could tell he was feeling really impatient and embarassed, too. He had finished his whole dinner and dessert while he was waiting for me and he said that he would just take me home since I wasn't feeling well. I was actually feeling much better by then and wanted to eat a little bit more (believe it or not!) but I was so ashamed that I just left and let him take me home. 

He never called me again. I guess having a girl make a stomach-ache spectacle of herself was too much for him to handle! I would feel sorry for him if I didn't have to handle it myself, every day. Sometimes I think, "what gives other people the nerve to be impatient with my sick stomach? Don't they know that however bad it is for them, it's ten times worse for me?" But people don't have much patience or compassion in this world - just enough to help the person who is in so much pain they're falling down to the floor but not enough to stick around afterwards.

19 March 2007 @ 09:35 pm

My constipation lasted nearly two weeks. I've never seen my stomach swell so big. I looked like I was in the second trimester of pregnancy and I hurt so bad I could barely sleep at night and barely walk in the day. I went to my doctor and he told me to take a laxative so I did. It turned out that I had a blockage that he didn't spot and so I ended up in the emergency room, doubled over in pain and vomiting more deeply than I knew was possible. I emptied my stomach and all of my colon down to the blockage through vomiting and at the end I was literally vomiting feces. I felt so awful I just wanted to lay down and die. I hope I'm never that miserable again in my life!

My doctor told me to get an enema kit and he had his nurse give me an enema while explaining everything she was doing. I don't get constipated very often, but after that experience, my doctor told me he wants me to give myself an enema anytime I start getting constipated, just in case. The enema was uncomfortable and a little bit crampy but I'll gladly use it to avoid being so sick as I was with that blockage! I've never felt pain like that before.

Today I mostly feel okay, but I'm still tired from being so sick. Every fifteen minutes or so, I get a sharp cramp for about ten seconds that starts out mild but very quickly ramps up until my whole body tenses up and I grunt a little in pain while closing my eyes and pressing my belly but then the cramp passes and I'm fine again until the next one kicks in. That's not too bad because it doesn't last too long so it's not a lot to put up with even though they are very sharp.

I'm going to go lay down now with my legs curled up and a heating pad on my tummy to see if it helps calm down the aching.

28 February 2007 @ 03:22 am

Nothing much to report today. I'm still blocked up and starting to get cranky about it. I'm usually very nice to people around me but got a little snippy and in an argument with a classmate because I'm feeling so worn down and feeling like someone poured concrete in my lower abdomen as it's just very heavy and achy. Otherwise my tummy has been quiet, but I'd like some relief.

I ate a little bit - some toast and crackers and then a glass of milk, hoping it would get things going, but no. I want to write more, but my energy is so low tonight that I think I'm just going to go off to bed instead.

27 February 2007 @ 05:19 am

My lower belly is burning and bloated. I'm sure I'm constipated now! I had a few crackers and some club soda earlier tonight and my stomach's reaction to that convinced me that I am definitely constipated. This doesn't happen to me very often - usually I have the opposite problem. I'm guessing that this is just another reaction to my sore throat, like those horrible cramps I was having in the bar a few days ago.

One of the worst tummy aches I've had in public happened when I went shopping with my roommate. We took the bus to WalMart and after a little while of walking around the store I was suddenly hit with stomach cramps so bad I thought I might throw up on the spot. I told my roommate I had to go to the bathroom and she said I should hurry because we had to catch the bus home soon so she could get to work on time.

I ran to the bathroom, holding my stomach because of the sharp cramps, and made it just in time. I had awful diarrhea but going didn't stop my stomach cramps. They were just as bad as ever and making me nauseous and cold. I knew I couldn't get up so I just sat there until another wave emptied from me. And another. But no matter how much I went to the bathroom, I still felt miserably sick with sharp pains and goosebumps and sweat and nausea.

After a while, my roommate came in to the bathroom. She kept urging me to get up so we could catch the bus. "Just get up. You can finish this at home," she said. I was so ashamed I couldn't admit to her how sick I was feeling. I knew that even if I could get up and catch the bus I was guaranteed to have an accident (or, more likely, several!) all over myself on the bus and that idea was so awful to me.

I begged her to just go catch the bus so she could get to work on time. She said she couldn't leave me there. I begged her to leave me there. "I'm going to be in here for a long, long time. I'm sorry, but I can't help it. Please go catch the bus so you can get to work." But she refused to leave me and just kept haranguing me to get out of the toilet. I was angry with her for not caring about how awfully sick and in pain I was but at the same time I knew it was my own fault for not telling her the full truth about what was happening to me. I was doubled over with the pain and nausea and laying up against the wall of the stall from weakness.

My roommate stood outside that stall bitching and complaining the whole time that I was in there in pain and nausea, feeling so sick with my tummy ache as wave after wave of diarrhea hit me. I finally finished and recovered enough to leave the stall and she said, "well it's about time!" I was so angry that she hadn't just gone and caught the bus and left me in peace to feel awful on my own time instead of feeling so sick and being harassed at the same time, but I was too weak to even say anything to her about it and my tummy still hurt.

We got home and she went off to work and I went off to bed with my tummy ache except that I had to get up several more times to go to the bathroom and shiver, sweat, groan and cry. I think that was the worst tummy ache I've ever had as an adult, even without the shame of being so sick in public and the annoyance of being yelled at the whole time that I was doubled up in pain and embarassed. I hope I never get tummy-sick in public like that again. I can live with regular old tummy aches, even the very bad ones, when they just send me to bed with a heating pad in private. but it was miserable to be toilet-sick and in public and with someone else who didn't have the time to wait for me to feel better.

26 February 2007 @ 04:15 pm
I feel like I have to go to the bathroom really bad but nothing comes out. I don't know if I'm constipated or if it's because I haven't eaten anything in a long while. But I had to go to class today and my tummy was so bloated I couldn't fit in my desk! I had to sit sideways in the seat and my rounded belly was jammed between my lap and my breasts. It looked like a beach ball and I kept expecting someone to ask me if I am pregnant, but no one did.

I started to get a headache and so there I was, trying to listen to class, with my head in one hand and my stomach in the other. Dull aches were shooting up from the base of my belly all the way to my rib cage and I felt so full in my lower belly it was really uncomfortable. I had worn a loose dress to try to give my bloated stomach room to breathe but sitting sideways in the desk made me sit perfectly straight up and just the position of my body was putting pressure on my poor tummy.

Then my gut started complaining again like it was last night! I could feel it right before it started and I thought, "oh no! Don't embarass me in front of everybody!" but my tummy doesn't care about that and so it started making all kinds of noises, down in the bottom of my tummy. There were groans and growls and those strange high pitched whines and very sloshy, liquidy gurgles and those funny crackling, popping sorts of sounds like fireworks were going off inside me. I could tell by the looks on people's faces all the way across the room that everybody in the room could hear my belly complaining loud and clear.

I was so embarassed and waited for someone to ask who was making all that noise, but people were just ignoring it. I could tell that they heard it because someone would be saying something and my stomach would haul off with a huge whine right in the middle of it and they'd stop talking for a second and then go right back to what they were saying. Everyone was ignoring the fact that my stomach sounded like a laboratory experiment. I think all the gas bloating was making a sort of reverberation chamber that was amplifying all the noise because I have never heard a stomach complain that loudly before!

I just wanted to go home! My head hurt and my stomach was so upset and I wanted to fall through the floor from embarassment. I think I might have been starting to look a little green, too, because the girl next to me finally said, "are you okay?" I just shook my head no and she got a funny look on her face and then turned away from me and refused to make eye contact with me again. What's up with that? Why did she ask if it was so wrong for me to be feeling awful? Should I have pretended everything was fine and forced a smile? But everything was not fine: my stomach was celebrating the Fourth of July four months early and my head was really starting to pound.

I wouldn't have even gone to class today but that teacher grades on attendance and I already missed one class. I felt so bloated and ashamed that I almost started crying right there in class, but that would have just made me even more embarassed. I wonder if the shame of crying would have made me cry even harder? But fortunately, I managed to tough it out and didn't have to find out what would happen if I let go and started crying over my bloated, crampy, noisy tummy. I think the teacher noticed that I was so sick because he let the class go early. It's supposed to be a three hour class and he let us go after only an hour and a half. Maybe he was getting squeamish about all the juicy, squishy sounds my stomach was making to serenade the whole class with and didn't know a nice way to ask me to leave without embarassing me even more so he just sent everybody home .

So now I'm back home and I still can't go to the bathroom. I'm debating whether I should try to eat something but my stomach feels so overfilled and bloated that I can hardly stand the thought of putting more into it. I called Angie and ashamedly told her about my situation. I felt so embarassed talking about it, but Angie is my best friend and has seen me through a lot in the past. She started in about the salt water flush again. As soon as I heard those words, my stomach let out a gargling, squeaky whine so loud that Angie could hear it on the phone. It felt like someone had taken my intestines in their hand and twisted them like a dishcloth when that whine tore through me and I couldn't talk for a moment as I recovered from the cramp. 

Angie took that gap in the conversation to tell me that she thought she hadn't used enough salt last time and that she would put more salt in the flush this time and then I wouldn't get bloated like I did before. I sure didn't want to repeat that awful salt water flush but in my weakened condition, Angie pestered and pestered at me until she got me to agree to try it again this weekend if my stomach didn't feel any better. Oh, why did I agree to that? I'm sure I'm going to break that promise because I don't want to go through that again! I'll have to hide from Angie all weekend because she has a way of pressuring me into doing pretty much anything she wants. I should hate her for that, but I can't because I love Angie with all my heart.

Now I have to stop writing and go find something for this headache and then lay down with my growly tummy and try to feel better. I know in my head that I ought to eat something but I know in my gut that I would feel even more awful than I already do if I tried it, so I'm just going to lay down and maybe I'll have that cry that I wanted so bad before but held back on because I was in public. I wish someone was here to lay down with me and take me in their arms and rub my poor bloated tummy and whisper in my ear that everything is going to be all right because they are there and will take care of me and my mean tummy ache.
26 February 2007 @ 01:01 am

My tummy only has mild aches today. It still aches up near my rib cage, probably from being stretched too much. And I'm a little bit queasy. But I probably kept the tummy demons at bay because I didn't eat a single thing today and just lightly sipped a little bit of water. My stomach is bloated so I look kind of pregnant, but there's no pain. I just can't zip and button my pants today.

So my tummy doesn't hurt but I am STARVING! And my tummy is letting me know it with gurgles and growls and grumbles. And a couple of times an hour or so it lets out one of those high pitched whines that feels a little like something popping inside me but fortunately none of those whines has turned into a full-blown tummy ache so my belly got a day of rest today.

I don't know how long I can hold out without eating, though.

So, my best friend is all into that alternative health stuff and she told me she was worried about me because I've had this sore throat for three weeks now. The doctor said it wasn't strep and that I should just gargle with salt water. "That's it?" my friend demanded. "That's insane! We're going to fix you up, girlfriend."

I wasn't so sure about that idea. Angie's a sweet girl, but her "remedies" are usually a little strange and she's made me sick in the past. "What did you have in mind?" I asked her, nervously.

"I'm sure you're full of toxins," she said. "You need a good cleanse. I think you should try an Ayurvedic salt water flush."

"That doesn't sound good. What is a . . .  that thing you said?" (and, no, I still have no idea what Angie was talking about. I had to e-mail her to ask what she said so I could write it in my journal.)

"Oh, it's sort of like an enema but it's even more cleansing because it's from the top down instead of the bottom halfway up. You drink two quarts of warm salty water. Because the salt makes a hypertonic solution relative to your body, it has a higher gravity than your blood. Your stomach won't absorb it and it will just drop right through you, cleaning out all those toxins along the way. It's great. I do it myself all the time."

"You've done this? Drank half a gallon of salty water?" I looked at her carefully to see if I could detect any signs of ill effect. "It sounds really dangerous."

"It's nothing!" she assured me. "I'll stay the rest of the night and we can do it first thing in the morning." I wasn't sure I ought to, especially with how awful my stomach had been feeling earlier in the day, but I agreed. Angie made me drink a whole pot of a nasty tasting herbal tea. I was glad she was spending the night and willing to stay up late because that tea really set my stomach back on edge again. All night long my stomach felt hot and just a little bit clenched and it kept making angry growling sounds. My tummy didn't really hurt, but the sensations in it were very annoying to me so it was good to have Angie there distracting me with her never-ending funny stories about who among our circle of friends was doing what with whom this week.

The next morning my stomach still felt very small and knotted together but it didn't hurt. "Are you sure we ought to go through with this?" I asked Angie. 

"Relax, sweetie! It will be fine," she assured me. I watched apprehensively as she put two teaspoons of sea salt into a pitcher and added two quarts of warm water to it, mixing it all well. "Let's go someplace comfy. Bed or couch?"

"Umm.. couch sounds good to me," I said, even though none of this sounded good to me in the least. I was afraid that either my stomach would burst from chugging so much water -- Angie had warned me that I should down it as fast as possible, preferably in fifteen minutes or less -- or that all that salt would trigger hypertension and a stroke that would drop me on the spot. 

We nestled in on opposite ends of my short couch, both cross-legged and leaning back against the couch arms, facing each other. Neither of us had bothered to get dressed yet so Angie still had on her dark blue silky nightgown and I was wearing my flannel jammies. She handed me a cup and filled it from the pitcher. "Drink up now. Remember, as fast as you can go."

I took a big swig. "Euh! This tastes awful!" I complained.

"Just ignore the taste and get it over with fast," Angie suggested.

So I poured the drink into me, swallowing as fast as I could and trying not to think about the salt. I had no sooner emptied the cup than Angie was filling it again, "Keep it up! You're doing great!"

The second cup tasted even worse than the first but the warmth of the water was very soothing to my sore throat and I could feel the knots in my stomach gently unfolding like the petals of a flower. "Hey, this feels pretty good," I said. "Very soothing. This is the best my tummy has felt all week!"

Angie grinned, "enjoy it while it lasts, sweety. It might feel a little uncomfortable by the time you've finished this pitcher . . .  but you'll be okay, I promise!" she added quickly when she saw a quick look of fear cross my face. I live with an uncomfortable stomach as it is. Am I crazy for going along with Angie on something that could set off another one of my tummy aches? Salt is awful in a wound; how did I know it wouldn't be awful in an over-sensitive tummy, too?

But Angie has been my friend for a long time and I trust her when she says she's done this same thing lots of times so I dutifully trudged my way through all that salt water, finding it more and more difficult to keep bringing the cup back to my mouth. Finally she emptied the last of the pitcher into my glass and, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I tossed the last twelve ounces or so back quick as a flash.

"There. How do you feel now?" Angie asked. I had been so preoccupied with the strong taste of the salt water that I hadn't been noticing what was going on in my stomach while I was drinking. I put my hand to my belly and was amazed at how big and hard it was. The top of my stomach, just below the rib cage, domed out hugely. It was a little hard to breathe with all the pressure my stomach was putting on my diaphragm and my stomach ached in a way that reminded me of eating too much food but at the same time felt different and unlike anything I'd experienced before. 

"I feel very bloated," I replied. "It's not that bad, though." But as soon as those words were out of my mouth, my stomach began a slow yet monumental shift away from just being stretched and bloated and ominously toward being painfully uncomfortable. "Wait. I may have spoken too soon," I said.

"Massage your stomach," Angie said. "It makes it easier on your body. And if it gets too tough, we'll get up and do some yoga together. That will get things happening quickly."

I was afraid to ask what "things" meant so I didn't say anything and instead started rubbing and kneading my stuffed belly. There was so much water in it that any pressure I put on my stomach with my hand was translated into pressure all over my entire torso, top to bottom and front to back. I slid the elastic waistband of my pyjamas down below the firm lower curve of my belly and undid the bottom buttons of my top so I could pull it open, exposing my giant stomach. I get a lot of bloating and swelling in my tummy from gassy indigestion but I was not at all prepared to see my stomach as distended as it had become from the salt water flush. It was massive and pregnant-looking. And it was really starting to hurt!

A crampy pain was starting in the pit of my stomach and the pains of being overstretched everywhere all over my entire belly joined in to make a symphony of aches and cramps. "Angie, this hurts." I whined, starting to feel that familiar bellyache shame creeping over me. I was so embarassed by the cramps in my stomach and wanted to crawl away and hide from her even though she is my best friend in the whole world. "It really hurts!" I said, and tears came to my eyes. Tears of shame at being seen by someone else when I was hurting and tears of pain as my tender belly realized what I had done to it and began hurting in earnest and tears of helplessness and vulnerability. I felt like I had trapped myself into something that I couldn't get out of. 

My stomach was more full and swollen than I could ever remember it being and there was nothing I could do about it but wait for it to pass. I know the course of a too-full belly because I lose all self-control when I sit down to eat certain foods. Pizza with double-extra cheese is one of those treats that I just can't stop eating until the entire box is empty even though I know every time that I will pay dearly for it. After I eat an entire pizza, I spend several hours curled up and crying in pain. Having half a gallon of salty water in my stomach was so much worse than a whole pizza and I started panicking at the awful feeling that was growing worse by the moment because I anticipated that I would feel this awful for many hours and I didn't know how I was going to be able to stand it. I felt like I'd swallowed a heavy, hot boulder and it was growing in size by the minute. It wouldn't stop swelling until it had burst me wide open!

I imagined that Angie would have to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital to fix this predicament I'd allowed her to get me into and, instead of being angry with Angie, I was terribly embarassed at the thought of being wheeled in to the emergency room with my massive, bloated belly and being forced to explain, in detail, exactly what I'd done to myself - not just to one person but to stranger after stranger after stranger as a parade of ambulance attendants, nurses, doctors, and such asked me what had happened.

The shame and the pressure and pain and the fear of being stuck for hours like this were too much and I started sobbing but the pressure of my stomach cut all my sobs in half and the body contractions caused by my fear and weeping were making my stomach squeeze and lurch and slosh around. The sloshing made me feel nauseous and I realized I was stuck cross-legged on the couch because I couldn't bend my body past the rock-hard mass of water-logged belly enough to sit upright or get up off the couch. My struggles made me more nauseous and I was afraid I was going to throw up all over myself, as helpless as a newborn baby. My mind was racing and no logical or coherent thoughts were possible any more. I whined and begged, "help me, Angie! Angie! Help! Oh! Help! Why did I do this? Help! Oh! Oh! Oh!" 

A look of genuine concern crossed Angie's face and she leapt up and came to me immediately. "Oh, honey! It doesn't do this to me. I'm so sorry! I never would have suggested this if I'd known it was going to turn out this way! Calm down now. Breathe! Breathe slowly!"

I could hear her but I couldn't respond. I was hyperventilating now because of the sobs and the pressure and difficulty in taking a full breath. My panicked breathing was making me feel dizzy and lightheaded and more crampy and nauseous. I could only moan and whine now, "eeeeeeee! oooooh! eeeeeee! uuuuuuuuh!" each whine trailing off to a cascade of hampered sobs.

"Look at me!" Angie ordered. She took my face in her hands. "Look at me! Slow down! It's going to be okay! I'm going to help you stand up. I think it will help take some of the pressure off. Stay with me, sweety!" She ordered me sternly, thinly-veiled fear behind the confidence. I sensed Angie's fear and my stomach cramped harder in anticipation of a terrible outcome to this ordeal.

Angie hopped off the couch and eased me up. My torso was stiff as a board because I was too overdistended to bend at all. Angie got me to my feet and tried to help me walk and stretch but I just wanted to go to bed and lie down, nursing this strange and aching sensation of being so full I thought I might die from it. "I have to go to bed," I begged.

"No, honey, that's the worst thing you can do right now. You want to stay up and move around."

But I was feeling frightened and miserable and wanted to go hide under the covers from the monster I had created in my belly. Angie's insisting was to no avail and so she followed me in to my bedroom. She helped to ease me onto the bed and I looked down at my stomach. Normally, laying on my back makes my stomach fall toward my spine and look almost flat. But not with all that salt water in me! My stomach was perfectly domed up , even while lying on my back. I put my hands on it and rubbed and I could feel my stomach moving around inside me, rubbing against the other internal organs. "I want it to stop. Please make it stop!" I begged.

"It will pass soon," Angie promised. "But you really ought to get up. This isn't good and it will take longer to go away if you're lying down." 

I ignored her and managed to roll to one side. Angie laid down behind me like spoons and gently stroked my full tummy for me. It was soothing enough that I drifted off to sleep, despite the cramping fullness in my belly.

I awoke about half an hour later with the sharpest, most awful bathroom cramps I've had in years. They were so bad they caused a nightmare and I woke up screaming. It was a good thing I had Angie there with me because she knew right away what was happening and she pulled at my body and spoke encouragingly to me, urging me to get up as quickly as I could.

I was whining as Angie helped me to the bathroom and as soon as she'd settled me on the toilet half a gallon of water came gushing out of me, carrying everything inside my entire digestive tract with it. The swelling of my stomach immediately went down by about half. The cramps subsided and I stopped whining. I fell forward as much as my still-stuffed belly would allow me and put my head in my hands. I shook with dry, raspy sobs at the incredible relief I'd just experienced. I started to get up but Angie put a hand on my shoulder.

"No, sweety, just stay there. You'll be in here for a while." And she was right. I spent the next hour and a half alternating between shaky relief and wracking intestinal cramps until my entire body was wrung empty from everything that ever could have possibly been inside me. Angie had said I would feel very clean inside afterward but really I just felt hollow and empty and a little bit as if I'd been turned inside out.

"Oh God, Angie. What did you do to me?" I moaned. "What did you let me do to myself?" I remembered again everything that my friend had watched me say and do that day and blushed with shame. 

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Angie said, and there were tears in her eyes. "I never wanted to hurt you like this! Oh, honey!" She threw her arms around me and hugged me, and we both had a good cry together. "You're going to be okay now, though," Angie said. It sounded like there had been moments when she wasn't so sure of that herself. 

I finally felt finished and Angie helped me get up and stumble back to bed, bent over now from the after-effects of the salt flush and grateful beyond words that I was finally able to bend over again. Angie tucked me in and tiptoed away. I fell asleep almost immediately and she was gone when I woke up.

All day long, since I woke up, my stomach has been making loud rumblings, some low-pitched and almost soothing in a strange way and some the high-pitched whines that seem to always come along with a twinge or cramp. The top of my stomach where it was so bulged out just below my ribcage is sore and achy, especially if I arch my back to stretch my tummy out.

And I still have a sore throat.
24 February 2007 @ 04:45 am

Well, I hardly ate anything today after all that pain and suffering yesterday. My lower belly, below my belly button, felt heavy all day and had a slow, dull ache in it. It felt like I was carrying around a hard ball down there and I spent a lot of the day with my hand wrapped underneath the curve of my belly, gently pressing up with the flat of my palm in a soothing rhythm. 

But above my belly button, my stomach felt just awful. It felt like I had a greasy wax paper sack filled with vinegar slung from my ribs, swaying back and forth with every movement. I mean it literally felt like my stomach was only attached at the top and kept lurching and churning around inside me. I had to go to the store in the early evening and I kept stopping and leaning on the shopping cart to try to rest my poor, tortured tummy that was just sloshing and swirling around in me. I kept feeling too hot and a little bit dizzy and was really glad to get out of the store and back home where I could have a few crackers and try to calm the beast in my belly.

I have always had a sensitive stomach, as long as I can remember. The earliest tummy ache I can recall is from a time in my life when I was still in diapers and could understand language but wasn't yet able to talk very well. It was that age where I would often point and grunt if I wanted something and my mother would say, "use words. I don't respond to grunts," and I would get so annoyed because if I knew the words, I would have just said them!

I was staying at my grandmother's and she had the most wonderful corn in the world. It had been growing in her garden and was very fresh when she cooked it up and cut it off the cob. She gave me a big serving of it and I remember pretty much ignoring my other food and just eating that wonderful, sweet corn. I let her know I wanted more and she just kept feeding me corn. I guess she figured I knew when I was hungry and would stop eating when I was full. But I was a greedy little child and that corn tasted so good that I just kept spooning and spooning and spooning it into my mouth until my little tummy was about to burst and even then I kept spooning it because I was still so young that I didn't really understand that the pleasure in my mouth was making the pain in my tummy. I just wanted to eat and eat and eat. 

I didn't stop eating until my tummy was hurting me so badly that I couldn't eat any more. I started crying from my tummy ache and put the spoon down. My tummy hurt and the tray table of my high chair was digging into it painfully because it had swollen up so much with all that corn packed tight into my belly and all the gas that was already starting to form as my tender young belly struggled to digest the harsh sugars and fibers in corn. My grandmother looked to see why I was crying and saw the high chair digging in. 

"Oh, you ate too much!" she told me. "Your little belly is too full. Let me see if I can help you." She unfastened the high chair tray and when the pressure was removed from my tummy the trapped gas all started moving around inside me and I hurt even worse than before. I started howling from the awful pain, very confused and disoriented. I still didn't realize why it hurt so much - I was still just a baby and didn't understand the connection between the wonderful time I had been having eating the sweet corn and the awful time I was now having with such cruel pains, worse than anything!

I remember feeling sick in my belly and being gripped with those awful cramps. I remember my grandmother picking me up and hugging me while I cried. She held me in the burping position and patted my back but that meant my little belly was pressed hard against her and she was also jiggling me up and down a little bit and I was miserable. I couldn't burp and I just felt squished and jammed full and nauseous. After a while, my grandmother must have realized that she was hurting me more than helping or else she got tired of trying unsuccessfully to burp me. She gave me some kind of medicine that tasted awful and then took me in her cool, dark bedroom and laid me on my back on her bed. 

I could feel the weight of all that corn in my belly pressing down on me. My grandmother sat on the bed next to me, pulled up my little shirt and started rubbing my swollen belly in little circles. I could feel the pressure and pain building and my stomach started making bubbling sounds. I could feel all the bubbles moving around inside me, in long lines up and down inside my gut. Finally I passed gas. It was long and noisy and very painful, feeling like it was ripping through me inside. I cried louder when the pain hit me and then I passed gas again and again, writhing and crying from the pain.

I remember my grandmother saying, "don't be embarassed. Don't be ashamed. That's a good girl. It will help you to pass gas. All that corn is hurting your tummy and you need to get that gas out of you." That's when I realized I was hurting because of corn. It was many, many years before I could bring myself to eat corn again. And it's also when I realized that what I was doing might be something to be embarassed about. But I didn't fully associate the idea of being ashamed with passing gas and so, to this day, when my stomach hurts I feel embarassed and ashamed about my tummy ache and I try to hide the pain from others. If someone notices that my stomach hurts, I feel ashamed and if someone else says out loud that they have a stomach ache, I blush and feel embarassed to hear something so intimate.

My grandmother kept rubbing my tummy and I kept passing gas and slowly I could feel the pain and pressure leaking away. Finally I ended it all by filling my diaper, mostly with completely undigested corn. I can remember seeing all that corn in my diaper when my grandmother changed me and understanding that I had put all that terrible, swollen, cramping agony in my tummy myself and now all that misery was laying there in my diaper. I still felt pretty bad but I wasn't crying any more and pretty soon I was able to drift off to sleep. I woke with the tummy ache gone but the massive cramping pain etched permanently into my memory.

23 February 2007 @ 05:56 pm
I had some very sharp cramps last night. I hadn't eaten anything all day but I had been sucking on butterscotch candies all day long because I am getting over a sore throat and the candies sooth and coat my throat. I also seriously overdid it on throat spray which causes my stomach to cramp up really bad if I overdose on it. By the time I got invited to go out to a bar with my friends, I still hadn't eaten anything except for about two dozen butterscotch candies and a big overdose of throat spray.

We stayed at the bar for several hours and I drank lots of club soda with lime because I didn't want to drink with my throat still sore.
It was at the bar that my stomach started cramping up. At first it was gentle enough that I could keep the pains shooting through my insides to myself. I put one hand on my stomach and rubbed and pushed at it a little bit. But after all that club soda, I realized I needed to pee really badly so I excused myself and went to the bathroom. The door was locked so I waited and that's when the cramps really hit hard. 

A cramp stabbed through my gut like a heated knitting needle, making me suck my breath in and wince. Three more cramps came in rapid succession afterwards, so fast that I couldn't collect myself in between them. I was leaning against the wall and clutching my tummy and panting, trying not to make noises that would call attention to myself. Someone came out of the men's room and hit me with the door. They apologized but I was so cramped I couldn't speak and could only offer a polite smile in return. Then some more cramps bent my body. My hands were trembling and I could feel a thin sheen of sweat on my face as I could do nothing but hold my stomach tightly and rock my upper body back and forth, whining a little bit very quietly, almost under my breath. I wanted nothing more than to empty my bladder, which felt like it was about to burst from all the club soda and was making my sugar-induced cramps even worse. What could be taking that woman so long in the bathroom? 

Just as I was about to get bold and use the men's room, the door to the women's opened and two women came out together. I wonder what they were doing in there? I bolted myself in and so gratefully relieved the pressure from my bladder. Since I hadn't heard anyone trying the doorknob, I stayed in just a little longer, doubled over and hugging my stomach tightly, rubbing and squeezing at my belly until the cramps eased enough to go back and join my friends. 

I had some more mild cramps for a while, sitting at the table, then came home. When I got home I decided I ought to eat since I hadn't had anything all day. I ate a small bowl of pasta with vegetables and then the cramps hit again, twice as hard this time. I was sitting in a chair when they hit me and I doubled over, my hair falling down in my face, my knees rising up, my breath coming out in hot pants, struggling past the waves of pain. But now that I was home, I didn't have to hold back and so I rubbed my poor tummy, stopping to clutch it desperately when another wave of cramps slammed through me, moaning "oohhhhhhhhhhh!" and "oh! oh! oh! oh! oh!" as the cramps were almost overwhelming to me and I could hardly stand it. 

The agonizing pain scooped me up and made me into a rag doll, unable to do anything but hug my tender stomach in my arms and gasp for air and tremble all over my entire body from the sharpness and incredible ache that took over my entire being. My whole world became my stomach, swollen from the abuse of all that sugar and throat spray, painfully bloated from gas and the club soda, hard and demanding. Oh! It was sheer agony! 

Finally I was able to stagger to the bathroom, bent over from the pain, and I sat there crying softly in between cramps and whimpering, then groaning and suffering through knotted up cramps that felt like a vise crushing my insides. Emptying my bowels felt like hot knives in my gut but once I was through, the pain started to ease up a little bit although it was still worse than it had been at the bar. I was shaking like a leaf in the wind and covered in cold sweat and absolutely drained of all energy. I shakily got up and went to bed where I curled up in the fetal position and nursed my aching tummy until I finally went to sleep. 

This morning I feel much better but I don't want to eat a thing. Especially not any more candy! Oh! Just remembering it hurts!