I joke all the time that I’m a grandma. I adhere to an early bedtime (9:30, earlier if I can help it). I don’t like loud environments like bars or concerts. I will turn down plans if they start too late. I don’t like being out past midnight. My weekends revolve around my naps. Etc etc.
And it appears my body is catching up to my grandma behaviors.
It started way back in 2011, my last semester of college. I was stressed to the max and ended up developing shingles from all the stress. Shingles! At age 23! How ridiculous is that?
Well, the fun doesn’t stop there. Last weekend, I started feeling unwell. On Saturday, I didn’t have any sort of appetite. I went out to breakfast with some friends, ate an egg sandwich and ordered a latte. Both were fine, but I had some… well… digestive problems right after. (I would apologize for the TMI, but we’re all adults here, right? Digestive problems happen!)
After my breakfast, I didn’t eat anything for the rest of the day. If you know me and my appetite, this is highly unusual. I like to eat and I can rarely go more than 2-3 hours without eating. But alas, I just figured my breakfast was that filling… until later that night when I started feeling like I was coming down with the flu. I had nausea, chills, body aches, and a slight fever. I was terrified I was going to spend the night throwing up. I haven’t thrown up since January 2009, and I’d prefer to keep it that way.
I didn’t end up throwing up, but I was so chilled that I piled all of Dutch’s blankets on me and turned off my ceiling fan. And then later on, I got so hot that I could have sworn my air conditioner was broken. I also didn’t sleep at all on Saturday night because of my body aches and nausea. It was real fun times.
The morning brought more digestive issues, body aches, and a fever. I also started having some stomach pains that were really strange. It felt like 10-12 knives just sticking me in the middle of my stomach. I still didn’t have much of an appetite, but I forced myself to eat.
Monday came and I felt a bit better, but not great. I took a shower and realized there was no way I’d be able to make it through a day at work, so I called in and went back to bed until 10 a.m. I was still having the stomach pains, but luckily all of the other symptoms were gone. I had very little energy, though.
I spent most of Monday wondering whether or not I needed to go to the emergency room to make sure these stomach pains weren’t appendicitis. I even called my doctor, and she said the best thing would be to go to the ER for testing. But I really, really didn’t want to go to the ER.
Later on that day, as my stomach pains got progressively worse, I asked my mom to take me to urgent care (I wasn’t sure if I could drive), but when we got there, they told us they had just taken the last patient of the day. Of course.
So, I went home and told my mom I’d call her if things got worse.
Thankfully, I was able to sleep through the night just fine. When I woke up, the stomach pains weren’t as severe and happening much more infrequently. But I still decided to get checked out at urgent care, just to make sure it wasn’t something more serious. The resulting diagnosis was diverticulitis, which is an inflammation in the digestive tract and super, super uncommon for people in their twenties.
And if you just said to yourself, “Oh! My grandma/grandpa had that!” then yes, I know. In a highly unscientific study I have conducted, 80% of the people I told about my diverticulitis responded that way.
So, in my twenties, I have had diverticulitis and shingles. I guess I’ll be receiving an arthritis diagnosis any day now.
(Also, antibiotics FTW. The nurse sent me home with three antibiotic prescriptions and after the first dose, my stomach pain had decreased immensely and I started feeling like myself again. Modern medicine is amazing!)