Friday, January 14, 2011

Diarrhea and Angels

A few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night and felt a little sick.  After lying still in the dark and worrying for several minutes, I got up and went to the bathroom, and felt better.  I shivered back to the bed and got under the covers, all chillbumpy and cold. 
I worried about my stomach.  Could I be getting sick?  I was out of work recently for the flu and then for the migraine, I can't miss any more work.  Maybe, despite being overweight and eating too much, I am actually malnourished. I don't eat enough vegetables, and though I've cut down on fast food, I still eat too many snacks.  I tried to remember what I'd had to eat that day.  My stomach clenched and I started to feel sick again.  I leaned over and got a Tums off the nightstand, and tried to chew quietly so I wouldn't wake up Greg.  Every now and then he has trouble sleeping, and I didn't want to disturb him if he was sleeping well.  
Maybe it's a stomach disease.  My mother had colon cancer and I've never had a colonoscopy.  I should make an appointment, but how expensive are they?  My huge deductible insurance probably won't cover it.  I laid on my back in the dark, clutching the covers and picturing medical equipment, vulnerabule buttcheeks peeking out from hospital gowns, doctors with rubber gloves on...  And then I go back to the bathroom.
A few minutes later I'm back in bed, tense and scared.  My stomach clenches again, and now I can feel a headache starting.  I laid blinking into the darkness and wanting to cry.  What if I died?  I keep meaning to arrange to have a cemetery plot in the tiny graveyard where my father and other relatives are buried, but I haven't done it.  I don't even know who to call about it.  Why haven't I looked into that?
And while I'm lying there, cold and freaking out, a quote pops into my head.  I can't remember it exactly, but it's something about how every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, "Grow, grow".  What does that quote even mean?  I don't believe in angels.
But somehow it comforted me, and it occured to me that comforting was what I needed right at that moment.  I pictured an angel bending over me, stroking my forehead, whispering, "It's okay.  You're fine."   And it actually helped, I started to relax under the blankets and I felt better.
Then it occured to me that we do have Pepto Bismol.  I tiptoed down the hallway on the cold ceramic tiles and drink a capful, then tiptoed back to the bed and curled up under the covers, feeling like I'd taken care of myself.
And the next morning, it was all like a distant memory.  I wasn't sick.  Except possibly in the head.  Why does the tiniest thing freak me out beyond all reason, just because it's the middle of the night?  It seems ridiculous now.