I can’t find any clean underwear. If I’m going to be in a surgical gown, I need to make sure I’m wearing clean underwear with no holes. Not a thong though, and not boy shorts because they ride up. Not a pair with lace. Maybe an all-cotton blend. What’s classy for medical procedures? I don’t want to seem promiscuous when I get put under anesthesia to get a large tube shoved down my throat. I regret never buying matching bra and underwear sets.
Tomorrow morning I’m getting an upper-level endoscopy. This means that a doctor is going to knock me out, stick a tube with a camera down my esophagus and into my stomach, and look around a bit. While he’s in the neighborhood he’s going to take a few biopsies of my stomach tissue. This scavenger hunt of my insides is supposed to find the solution to the question “Why am I always vomiting?”
Being sick is something I’m becoming used to. I can’t sleep sometimes because my throat is pushing up all the food I tried to swallow earlier. Hardly anything stays in my body for more than a few hours. I miss eggs and bacon, turkey sandwiches, soup, ice cream. I miss going out to lunch with my friends. Sometimes when I’m in the car, I need to pull over to vomit. I’ve developed a bizarre envy/hate relationship regarding every person who’s ever won an eating contest. Eating one sandwich is too much of a challenge.
This test is supposed to find some possible diagnoses. Maybe it’s a chemical imbalance or maybe I’m allergic to wheat. Maybe I just need a few pills and I’ll be fine. It could be something so small that I’d fix it right away. But it could also be something bad. It could be that this problem I’ve developed in the last eight months will continue to worsen every day until I can’t do the things I want to anymore. Which is exactly what I’m afraid of it being. My greatest fear is stopping what I’m doing before I’ve done anything worth being proud of. Being considered worthless. Useless. The only thing I’m trying to run away from is inside of me.
To prepare for my procedure I keep telling myself to pretend to be brave until I become brave. The plan for tomorrow morning is to get up at 6:45 AM and drive to the hospital. Change into my gown, get an IV, and force myself to be brave. Two hours later I should have some pictures of my stomach and maybe an idea of why it isn’t working.
Hopefully I’ll be wearing a clean pair of underwear.
-Sarah Beth Kaye