Today’s Happy Note: Drinking my weight in iced tea.
Hello friends! Thanks everyone for your well wishes. I’m on the mend, definitely, although still not totally repaired. I am having tests done at the doctor’s throughout this week, so we shall see where that leads. It’s surprisingly hard to keep myself hydrated — I’ve been consuming a weird mixture of ginger ale, gatorade, iced tea, water, and salty broth. I have eaten a few things — mainly plain toasted bagels and instant noodle mixes, which are surprisingly yummy. I like the Simply Asia mixes because they are salty and tasty yet very simple (no gluten! The noodles are rice noodles).
Right now I’m munching on frozen fruit. I really wanted to change things up a bit and figured frozen fruit can’t kill me. I know too much sugar is no good but I didn’t have a lot. I also ate a banana at some point.
Going through this has been very hard on my body. I’m guessing my weight has probably fluctuated about 10 pounds, plus or minus, in the last three days. This has also been a big emotional struggle. Carbs, plain and simple, on their own, are a BIG fear of mine. And guess what? This weekend, my diet has consisted of noodles, rice, toast, and bananas. With a side of salt. And gatorade. Not exactly health food city.
I still fear my body — its tumultuousness, its fluctuations, its imperfect shape. But for the first time, these past few days, I was in awe of it. My body can take this terrible infection — my guess is that I must have lost 10-20 pounds of fluid in about 48 hours — and survive. The pain I experienced this weekend was the worst pain I have ever felt. I am not sure how it would compare to labor, but I’m guessing it was on a similar scale: intermittent stabbing cramps every half hour to hour for about a day and a half. And it wasn’t just pain and fluid loss — it was nausea, headaches, weakness, just exhaustion. Somehow, though, I have strength. If I have a strength to overcome this, the precise pudginess of my stomach or the disproportion between my huge thighs and my small waist cannot possible be relevant.
I am hoping this moment can continue to be a turning point for me. I have finally come to not just understand, but to believe in my body: I believe in its bizarre makeup, its inexplicable reactions (I gained five pounds this weekend), its sugar imbalances. And with this belief comes an acceptance. I cannot control things. We have different bodies. Fuck the BMI scale. I am not yet perfectly accepting. But I know that it took two things to get through these past few days: a tremendous physical strength (doctors said I would recover much faster because my body was already so healthy) but also a mental power. I spent many hours talking myself through a bout of pain that I thought would kill me (okay, so sometimes I’m a little melodramatic).
So I know this: I have raw physical and mental abilities that exceed the shape of my body. When you are writhing on the floor trying to crawl back into bed after spending half an hour in the bathroom, it doesn’t matter if your pants are a size ten or a size four. It matters that you find the strength within you to make the journey.
Part of the beauty of this illness has been realizing that this strength applies to all things in my life. At the end of a marathon, no one cares (myself included) if I weigh 145 pounds or 155 pounds. After making it through multiple 20 page papers at the end of a term, what matters is my ability to analyze, to write, to look at things in new ways; not how many calories I have or have not eaten.
I hope I can sustain this way of seeing things. I feel lighter; not just physically (although I have lost a massive amount of blood and fluid), but mentally. I need to believe I am beautiful. I am.