In sickness and in health

I went to a wedding this weekend. I went armed with meds – usually my purse is good for a few ibuprofen, tylenol, various anti-diarrhea meds, allergy pills, and even a stray decongestant. Pretty much everything is OTC. This is only the third formal occasion I have had to go to since becoming chronically ill and the first two were unpleasant to disastrous. The last one, I spent the majority of the evening hunched into a ball with menstrual cramps from hell hoping I didn’t pass out in the bathroom. “Never again!” I swore, hence the meds.

This particular wedding was much better than those last two. I can’t always predict when I’m going to feel unwell, and if I do start to feel unwell, I don’t know if it’s going to just be a passing unpleasantness or end in an ER visit. One thing that helps is to know the people around me are caring and competent so that if (and really only if) I am taken down, I can count on them to help me out. Unlike the person I went to the last two weddings with, my current partner is an actual grown up and can manage to take care of himself and even me if I need it.

Another thing that helped me feel comfortable enough to go to this was that the bride is a friend who is herself chronically ill. Endo, wretched IBS, and fibromyalgia (or ? – she’s still in the throws of diagnosis) top the list of things my friend B____ has. This means I didn’t have to go into the wedding with apprehension about looking bad or making her feel bad if I had to bail. Of all my friends, I know B___ will not take it poorly if I ditch out in the middle of everything because I’m feeling unwell.

Fortunately, yesterday was pretty decent health-wise for me. My gut’s a little screwy – my doctor increased my elavil, gave me a script for donnatol (which I’d rather not take if I can help it), and scheduled me for another colonoscopy since there’s been enough increased pain and potty trips that I’m starting to lose weight again. But the pain wasn’t as bad as it had been the night before, no nausea, and I was otherwise ok. So I made it through, and happily, B____ seemed to make it through with only one trip through my purse for ibuprofen.

What struck me about the wedding and what is the reason for my post was the vows she and her partner exchanged. Her health status featured prominently in her partner R____’s vows. I wish I could remember them because he managed to put into words sentiments which were so honest and understanding and, well, just right, that I thought “Yes, that is exactly it”. If I can get a copy of his vows and the couple’s permission, I’ll post them up here.

migraine friendlier internet

A lovely plugin/add on was recently brought to my attention. It’s called “flashblock”, and when it’s installed for Firefox (which is the browser I use), it blocks those super annoying flash ads – you know, the ones that feature often flickering, dancing, flashing, and otherwise strobe-like visual patterns in the margins of your screen. These are very annoying for most people, and for a few of us unlucky folks, these ads can be a migraine trigger. I use the Firefox browser one, but there is a version for Internet Explorer available too. Here’s a blurb from the IE flashblock site:
Flashblock is an extension for Internet Explorer that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash / Shockwave content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to view the Flash content.
Flashblock for Mozilla, Firefox, and Netscape browsers
Flashblock for Internet Explorer browsers (via Foxie)