Birthday cake, wishes and nausea.

Happy birthday to me, on the 30th.

Birthdays, birthdays, birthdays.
You think of getting dressed up, and having drinks with friends or family, gifts, laughter, reminiscing over the past year and all of your achievements, and dreaming about the year to come and all of the progression you are yet to make.

I think of it being just another day… another lonely day.

More than anything, it is a reminder that time has not stopped whilst I have been sick.
I am still here with minimal achievements, answers, management, and oh yeah, I’ve aged another year.

Who invented the line, “happy birthday” anyway? Why is there an assumption that it will be a happy day? I now feel pressured to be happy on my birthday, but what if it isn’t the case?

I won’t lie. I have thought about this day for weeks now, and have silently wished for pure health upon waking. I want to have a happy birthday.
I have begged for a mere twelve hours nausea-free, dizzy-free, but I can now safely say that this will not be the case.

My recent rough patch has lasted over two weeks. It is still very much here. I wish I could say I knew what triggered it, but I don’t. I just woke up and went straight back to not eating, incredibly bad nausea which left me by a toilet/bucket/bag and an inability to digest ANYTHING.
I have lived off of a juice a day, a bottle of water a day… or days of nothing, for just over two weeks now.
It’s so frustrating to see that slight progress, and then to decline and not know why.
I stupidly forced large meals down my throat in hope that if I fought past the nausea, the food would decide it was happy in my stomach and digest without a problem (not the smartest idea, Cass).

I guess it did as expected, the opposite to what I hoped.
It rose to my oesophagus, burned the back of my mouth… I held a hand to my mouth and rushed to a bathroom in numerous occasions, but it decided that it wanted to go back down, struggled to digest and sat there for many hours rotting in my stomach.

And, desperation consumed me.
I was clutching at invisible straws.
I tried Ginger tea, Peppermint Tea, Apple Cider Vinegar, anti-nausea bands, acupressure, anti-nausea medication, lemon scented things, peppermint gum, barley sugar.
I googled anti-nausea remedies until my eyes burned.
I consulted social media.
Does anyone else have these super crazy moments of desperation where you try everything and anything?

It obviously lead to no success.

I visited my Acupuncturist, in hope that he could perform his usual magic and give me some relief. For once, I felt nothing upon leaving his office.
Whilst in my session, I cried for the first time.
Cried, blubbered, created an ocean of tears.

“I’m only twenty two!” I cried.
“I d-d-don’t want to live like this. I d-d-don’t know what I am d-d-doing wrong. How c-c-can I return to a job like this or even g-g-go out? I have tried eveeeeeeerything. When will this s-s-stop?”

*drowns in sorrow*

My Acupuncturist (having the sweetest soul on this planet) calmed me with his soothing, caring tone.
“I won’t give up on you. It’s just a rough patch, remember that”

So, my inner self dragged my sick self out of those doors and continued to tell myself up until this current moment, “it’s just a rough patch”.

Back to the celebration of my birth – usually, my favourite part of birthdays is the cake part.
I think there is something special (and equally awkward) in being surrounded by loved ones, serenaded in joyous song; then to blow out the candles, make a wish and celebrate by eating dessert.

I could wish for many things;
A cure for myself, management, freedom.
But I honestly wouldn’t choose any of the above.
I would ask for nobody else to have to suffer with what I have/like I have.

I can be brave and face this illness day by day, but the thought of another child growing up with this illness or an adult being diagnosed in their prime years, is heartbreaking.

Unlucky for me, Gastroparesis isn’t fond of any food, let alone cake. And, I love cake.
Which leads to me asking one thing from you.
If you are in good health on Thursday, please cut yourself a big slice of your favourite cake and enjoy every single bite!

I do hope though, that by some miracle, I wake up Thursday feeling great. If not, I will try and enjoy this celebratory day to the best of my ability, and stop being so hard on myself.

I am trying so hard to take this one second at a time. I feel really overwhelmed most days.

Be kind to me, illness.

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22 comments

  1. Happy B-Day Cass! On my 23rd birthday I was suffering major depression I had intense gut wrenching pain that according to modern medicine was all in my head. At that time I was living off of water & V8. I’d force myself to eat peanutbutter straight out of the jar. And u know what I decided to do. I woke up one day, walk out my front door with a bag of personals and never looked back. I traveled across Canada, suffering every step of the way. I found a world of pain and suffering, I found homelessness and chronic illness. But I found something else, I found extreme kindness. I found peer support, and I found love. I found a new home and progress. And it lasted for a while, life kicked me down again. Sent me home in tears and fears that I might take my own life. But again I found caring people much like your acupuncturist. They told me the worst parts are temporary. WE will get through this my parents said, my Doctors said, I said to myself always; One More Day. And here I am 31 Yrs old. Still experiencing the good with the bad. Making progress even if it is not as fast as I’d like. I trust you will have a happy birthday, u will turn a year older. The sun will rise and fall. And you will carry on 🙂

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  2. Happy Birthday for Thursday! I had my birthday about a month ago and felt terrible leading up to it, but the actually day itself wasn’t too bad. I hope you have a nice day, even if it’s different to what you imagined you’re 23rd birthday to be like 🙂 xxx

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  3. I’m so sorry you’re not expecting to enjoy your birthday. I’m broke and probably won’t come across any cake but if I do find myself in possession of any dessert on Thursday I will savour every bite while wishing you the ability to do the same. I hope your rough patch decides to give you a break, I was so happy that you were doing better for a bit.

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  4. Happy early birthday! I can’t tell you how many awful birthdays I’ve had and I’m only 18! (I spent my 16th in the hospital.) Unfortunately pain and depression doesn’t take an off day when you’d really like it to. Just throwing this out there, but even if you can’t eat cake on Thursday maybe plan to eat cake on the next day you’re feeling really good. You don’t necessarily have to do all of the celebratory birthday things the day of but you should still celebrate in some way even if its small. I mean, you’ve not only lived another year it sounds like you’ve survived it and that’s something to celebrate even if it seems small. Sending all of my good thoughts your way in hopes that your birthday is a great day 🙂

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  5. I’m sorry you’re struggling. I hope you ended up having a good birthday, even if it was a little more difficult than you may have hoped. I kind of understand what you’re going through because even though I enjoy my birthdays, there are so many times when I wish I could enjoy it more but my anxiety gets in the way.

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  6. I am so moved by your wish, not for yourselves, but for others. That leaves me and I’m sure many others to wish for improvement and ultimately renewed good health for you. Wishing you blessings for your birthday.

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  7. Well, I can’t have cake….but in the spirit of participation, I will do naughty things to some ice cream. 🙂 Hugs. Birthdays are overrated. I found that lowering my expectations helps (although mine was a bust this year, the hubs completely forgot) – but the best part is 1) it’s over and 2) you get a chance for another one.

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  8. Here I am at nearly double your age and I don’t rate birthdays either. They’re fun when you’re a child but after that…meh! My wish for you is that an effective treatment for gastroparesis is found soon (I have another friend with it) and that this rough patch ends soon xx

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