For the past two weeks I’ve had crazy stomach pains, varying intensity from “slightly more uncomfortable than normal” to “holy crap, what started the war between my large and small intestine? I swear bombs and poisonous gas are seeping through my digestive tract and slowly killing me.” When the war of the bowels started interfering with my work, I succumbed to the inevitable and made a doctor’s appointment.
I have this ritual for going to the doctor. I imagine that I have the worst condition possible, which is usually cancer. I prepare myself for my terminal diagnosis, practice what I’m going to say to my friends and family, and come to grips with my rapidly approaching death. This is crazy and dramatic, I know, but this way when I go to the doctor and get my boring diagnosis (which can almost ahelways be fixed with over the counter drugs. Seriously, why do I even bother with the doctor) I feel extremely relieved and thankful for my health and my life. It basically makes a mundane obnoxious act much more exciting.
I went through the same ritual this time around. Of course I did not have cancer. I did, however, have an ulcer. This struck me as incredibly odd. See, I spent the first 20 years of my life being a complete stress case. Had I gotten an ulcer in high school it wouldn’t have surprised me in the least. But in the past 4 ½ years I’ve really toned it down. I’ve embraced a more laid back, go with the flow lifestyle. I like laid-back, fun Brianna way more than stressed out Brianna (although admittedly, stressed out Brianna is a lot more productive). So why now, now that I have trained my mind to embrace a more carefree lifestyle, does my body choose to produce an ailment that is so closely related to stress. I’m baffled.
I asked the doctor if something else besides stress could be causing the ulcer. She said named a few other things and tested me for them, but they all came back negative. I did some research and found that sometimes food allergies can cause ulcers. And while I don’t have any severe allergies, I have suspected for a long time that dairy was not doing my stomach any favors. So maybe I need to lay off the dairy.
I’m going to keep looking for answers because honestly, if the amount of stress in my life right now is causing me ulcers I am in some serious trouble. This is probably the least stressful time in my whole life. Once we move into the “buying a house/ looking for a new job for Joe/having kids” stage of life, we are in for a treat. I have a feeling stressed out Brianna will resurface with a vengeance. And my poor gastrointestinal tract will pay the price.
Have any of you ever had an ulcer? What caused it? What helped it go away?