As an artist, I have the luxury of being self-employed. This is great in a lot of respects- I’m my own boss, I give myself some slack when I need it, I hound myself also when I need it. It does not always mean security to be self-employed. I must also sell myself, constantly look for work and opportunities, and pay for my own medical bills as I can’t always afford the insurance. If I’m not feeling well, I can’t just take the day off because then I don’t get paid. So artists usually don’t, especially if they’re freelancers like me. So for an artist to completely stop production, it has to be bad. Everything was put on hold in my life- Everything stopped.
This is one of those instances.
As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I’m not Supergirl. While I usually try to fly at a steady pace with my work my life has been hindered recently by long wakeful nights of moaning in pain and trying to ignore it, hoping it’s not serious. I’ve been throwing up, having gastric problems. It was interfering with my life by forcing me to leave social gattherings early to run home and feel sick. And that’s the best description I had for how I felt. “Sick.” I felt nauseous sometimes and bloated at other times. I had tight pressure in my abdomen and lower gut. Your mind wanders when you don’t have the expertise to diagnose yourself. Could it be my appendix? Do I have cancer? An ulcer? Acid reflux? Tape worm? Giger Alien? I know that there is a joking condition called “medical-student-isis,” where young pre-meds think they have everything they’re learning about because they read too much into each description. Webmd.com is like that too, but for the layman.
You type in your symptoms and their software narrows down the possible diagnosis. I’m typing everything in and some very common problems are popping up as well as some very scary options.
I am no expert so I go to the doctor.
After an entire straight week of stomach pains and throwing up in the middle of the night followed by a short respite and another long week of the same, Ian finally insisted I go see a doctor. I borrowed some money from my parents and off I went.
His diagnosis is that it might be a gall stone that is too big to pass. “Too big to pass” translates to “you might need surgery.” A common surgery, which is good, but life-changing for a while, which isn’t completely bad. I have referrals for an ultrasound, rescheduled for tomorrow. I have changed my whole diet to limit the pain while we are still identifying the cause of my symptoms.
No meat. No fat. No oil. At all.
I’ve been eating a lot of vegetarian food and recipes friends have offered. Some healthy foods I can’t eat like hummus or tuna. I feel better, as in little pain (compared to before), but I miss meat, cheese, potato chips… Ian and I discovered these awesome black bean burgers through a friend so I can have “almost meat,” which is nice… but it’s not quite the same.
The good news is, I’m alive and not dead. I probably won’t die today or tomorrow. The bad news is if the stone is too big to pass and I don’t get the surgery, it can be life threatening… If I do get the surgery, I’ll be able to re-introduce all of the good foods of man’s creation into my pallet again (which I really am looking forward to). Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit and salad and tomatoes and soy… I just want to keep enjoying them and not get sick of them.
However, my figure looks amazing because I cut out oil, fat, meat, etc. etc. etc…
So to all of the vegetarians and vegans out there I might have rolled my eyes at in the past- Okay, you were right- I admit it. You can live a perfectly normal life without meat…
But I do miss it… and can’t wait until I can exercise my canines again. Until then, I must live vicariously through you.
May your fork be with you
So if you’re biting into a hamburger tonight, prepping a pot roast, or chowing down on bacon- I’ll be there. I’ll be there with those eating duck and goose, escargot or mussels, I’m the little devil on your soldier whispering you can fit in one more bite. I’m there with you and your hot dogs, sour crout, ketchup, mustard, relish, and all. We breath together when inhaling turkey or venison. I’ll be there eating potato chips and popcorn with you in the theater while we both lear at the guy who brought the individually wrapped candies down in front who is sharing them with me. When you enjoy fish tacos or fried chicken, you’ll see me- there… Smiling at you like Obi-Wan Kenobi…
Go forth, my minions and friends. Eat meat. Eat it for your ol’ pal Glych.