One of the effects of small fiber neuropathy is a condition called gastroparesis. That's a fancy name for "your stomach is on strike." What happens is a disruption of nerve signals to the stomach, and the stomach doesn't know to do its job. The result is constant nausea, premature fullness during meals, weight loss without trying (not entirely a negative), and vomiting (rare for me, thankfully). And now, as I have discovered on my very own... dehydration. Turns out the rheumy was right, even though his test was unfair. My kidneys are angry at me right now and I'm on extra medication for the pain. Not good. I should take better care. And I will. Herein is my plan of action.
I am going to be on anti-nausea medication on a regular basis. It's not enough to try and tough it out anymore. Forcing myself to suffer is not bringing positive results. It might be lauded in literature, but in my reality it's not the way to go. I don't like adding another pill to the mix at all, but it can't be helped. The consequences of not taking it are not acceptable. I am responsible for this. Therefore, I can change this and make it better.
I am going to carry a bottle of water with me at all times. I'm going to make a game of it like drinking games for cheesy movies, only for me it will be water. I will place bottles of water around the house and every time I enter a new room, I will take a drink. Every time I go to take a break from whatever I'm doing, I take a drink. At every meal I will drink an entire glass of water. It will grow into a pleasant ritual that will ensure my kidneys' health.
It may be a little silly or strange, but when it comes to my health, that doesn't matter. Avoiding dialysis is far more important than avoiding blows to my pride. Instead, I can use my embarrassment as an opportunity to enhance my humility and remember that for all my talents, I am human and a delicate flower. I need to be cautions, not cocky. Pride goeth before the fall, and when I fall, I hit the ground hard. It's better for me to blush and own it.
Also, it's an opportunity to build self-esteem. Following the rules of my game will make me feel like a good girl. It may be a simple act---taking a sip of water---but for me, it's obviously more difficult. So it doesn't matter that the act is small. The act is important. And since it's easily accomplished, that's a little boost to my esteem each time. My new routine is a joyous opportunity for growth rather than a new oppressive obligation. Taking care of myself becomes rewarding and fun, and as a result, easier to do and easier to stick to. #winning ;^)
I had originally tilted this post "Consequences of chronic nausea." But it quickly became obvious to me, as I put my thoughts on the screen, that I wasn't talking about consequences. Oh sure, technically there are consequences, but my attitude towards them makes all the difference. My life may be more difficult to manage than most people, but these "consequences" have made me clever, enduring, patient, and wise. I may have times when I think the cost was pretty steep, but I cannot deny that there have been great benefits and opportunities from getting sick.
Strange how the world works, neh?