This was the first thing that entered my mind a little over two and half weeks ago when my doctor handed me a diagnosis of diverticulitis. Growing up, I always related this gut wrenching monster as a disease reserved for the senior set. The generation that advertised Geritol, compression hose, and the benefits of prune juice. I couldn't have been more misguided.
After scrounging for any bit of info I could get my hands on, I found that like most on line medical research, there were more contradictions than consistencies. I decided, with the help of my NP, to take it to the people. I tracked down a Facebook group for women with diverticulitious and other digestion ailments. These outstanding ladies range in age from Millennials to the Greatest Generation, each one of them sharing their pain to help newbies like me. They've faced the battle with courage and grace, stood their line, and in most cases emerged victorious. I felt like a fool. I had judged their ailments and very real pain as part of an aging process for those who didn't really take care of themselves. They would indulge in whatever desserts, fast food, or fried foods, using the excuse of growing old as a gateway to allow the demons to invade their gut. SO. NOT. TRUE.
If not for these women the past few days, I feel I would have plummeted to the depths from which I'm not sure I could've crawled out from. Everything I've experienced has been depressing, perplexing, painful, and at times—hopeless. But they've pulled me up, sat me down with straight talk, and guided me...a stranger, who just weeks ago thought they'd brought this on themselves out of neglect. Their kindness has been unending and their generosity a cup I fear I could never replenish to the capacity they have given me.
I had a doc visit today, my PC ordered a catscan, and Friday I see my gastroenterologist. The road ahead is long but I'm not alone. I've made friends who are willing to walk this journey with me, and I with them. So my confidents, a lesson learned the hardway but one I'll use the next time I'm quick to judge, assume, or doubt, without walking in someone elses shoes first.
Peace out...have a beautiful week!