I haven't said much to anyone, but I've been feeling awfully sick for the last month. Can I tell you about it?
Exactly one month ago, on July 21st and 22nd, I had a stomach flu and stayed home from work for two days. I'd been feeling achy and tired for several days before that, but I didn't think too much about it until the "real" symptoms made themselves WAAAAAY too obvious, and then I figured it out. I went back to work on my birthday, July 23rd, and I was feeling somewhat better. Of course, the celebrations over the next few days also helped distract me from any lingering effects, although I knew they were there a bit, off and on.
Now, a little background about me. I don't exactly eat right much of the time--not as well as I really SHOULD anyway. I don't get a lot of exercise. I'm overweight. My gallbladder and I have been parted longer than we were together. When I get nervous or stressed, my stomach and other internal parts rebel. So, given all that, my recent bout with stomach flu, and the fact that I'd quit smoking with a vague notion of trying to become a little more healthy, it's not surprising that when I went to the grocery store a week or two later and saw that Activia yogurt was on sale, I decided to "take the Activia challenge."
I'd tried it before when Activia first came out. The problem was, though, that I couldn't seem to remember to eat it more than two days in a row, and so I soon quit trying. This time, though, I was going to try harder. I bought four 4-packs of Activia in different flavors. Yum! And for the next two weeks, I ate a container of Activia every morning for breakfast.
When I started this yogurt thing, I really didn't expect that eating a small container of yogurt every day was going to do very much. Remember my first girl boss? She saw me eating some one morning and told me she'd been eating it for a year or two and loved it--it really worked! Humm. Okay, so maybe it would be good for me. And I found that if I added a half packet of Equal and some fresh fruit, it didn't really taste like sweaty gym socks after all--in fact, it was pretty good!
Did I notice much of a difference? I'm not sure, exactly. The bacteria in Activia is supposed to shorten the time it takes food to travel from the stomach and be eliminated. Yeah, okay, maybe that worked. I didn't test it--how would you? Never mind--don't answer that. But did I feel wonderful? No, not really. In fact, as time went by, it felt like that stomach flu was coming back again.
I wasn't sleeping well, but I attributed that to other causes. I didn't feel very well, but I thought maybe I was just still having some flu issues or it was the food I was eating. Do you remember when I posted that one Friday night about two weeks ago that we'd had dinner at my sister-in-law's house and I came home feeling really ill and went to bed? I thought it might be the spicy food we'd had for dinner.
So this went on for a little while. By this past Tuesday, I'd started having acid reflux in addition to the intestinal symptoms. And, for some reason, I decided to stop eating the Activia--I don't really know why except I thought that eating it and hurrying all that stuff through my body just might make me feel a little worse.
Tuesday I was typing a document on a case involving a guy with dyspepsia. Just to be sure, I checked the internet to see what dyspepsia was and it was just what I had. I learned that dyspepsia is pretty common and could be caused by many different things, but it could also be a sign of some really bad stuff in those of us in our mid-50s and older. Like cancer.
See, that's the problem with my job--it involves medical stuff, and I'm always quite positive I have whatever it is that I'm working on. So now I was certain I had cancer.
Wednesday came along, and I was still pretty sure I had cancer. I was feeling really, really horrible. Maybe I should go see my doctor? There was a problem with that plan, though: If I went to see the doctor, I knew he'd want to do a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. And by Wednesday I was working on another case where a guy went in to have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy and ended up dead. See what I mean? So I really didn't want to see the doctor.
Thursday, at lunch time, I was sitting in the office kitchen, looking at my microwaved diet mac and cheese lunch, and thinking about how I really hadn't been eating much--no wonder people with cancer lost weight. I threw out my leftovers and sat at the table with my head in my hands, wondering what I should do. Go to the doctor and die? Or don't go to the doctor and die?
I figured that sitting there, thinking about how rotten I felt, wasn't accomplishing anything, so I pulled some applique out of my bag and started stitching. About five minutes later, I realized I was feeling better. The power of the mind? The healing effects of quilting?
Miraculously, throughout the afternoon, I felt better and better. I don't know when the lightbulb went on in my head, but at some point that day, I typed into an internet search engine "Activia side effects," and there it was--people commenting about all the problems they'd had when they tried Activia--all the same stuff I'd been feeling for the past couple weeks!
Don't get me wrong--many, many people LOVE it! If you're inclined to try Activia, please do so--it may be just the thing for you! But it wasn't for me, that's for sure! Now, three days after I stopped eating it, I'm feeling wonderful again. I've gotten two good nights of sleep, and I plan to sleep well again tonight--and sleep in as long as I want because it's Saturday!
If you've ever been pretty sick--and I imagine most of us have--then you probably know how really wonderful you feel when you feel well again. And I'm feeling about 85 percent back to normal, so I'm feeling pretty darn good! So good, in fact, that I wanted to celebrate my return from the brink of death.
What do you think? I spent my lunch hour today getting a pedicure! Bliss!
I hope you have a blissful weekend planned!