Flush with Pain

As I sit and type this, I do so while in pain. It began Friday even after going to bed; first a stabbing pain that came and went in a flash, followed by the need to sit on the toilet a couple of hours later.

But since the pain had vanished, I thought nothing more about it. In fact, I did something I very rarely do – I went to the movies and ate nearly two large tubs of popcorn.

That’s where this really begins, because I also ate two small beef tacos for an early dinner and then a good-sized bowl of rice after getting home and before bed. About two in the morning I grew hot and sweaty, but also felt chilly.

Since I often have night-terrors that include night-sweats, I didn’t think much of it. That all changed when it came time to get up, and the left side of my lower abdomen had me doubled over in agony.

Though I hurt, I forced myself to take a shower and get dressed. However in less than an hour I was back, laying on the bed, chilled and sweating.

But being the ‘macho man’ I’d like to think I am, I didn’t stay down for very long. In fact, I deliberately returned to my daily routine, having a second cup of coffee and a couple of pieces of bacon for breakfast.

The pain didn’t go away and I was thinking that perhaps I needed to go to the VA hospital for a quick exam, but them I passed gas and felt tremendous relief. The pain subsided for 10 or 15 minutes and I knew in an instant what was wrong – I have a case of diverticulitis.

Simply put, diverticulitis is an inflammation (or in severe cases an infection) of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines. The formation of the pouches themselves is a relatively benign condition known as diverticulitis.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and a change in bowel habits. I hit all the high points, save for nausea — thankfully.

One of the things that can trigger an onset of diverticulitis is popcorn – and as stated before – I ate two large tubs while a the movies. But I may have already been in the throes of the disorder the night before and the popcorn jus’ made it worse.

Anyway, changes are coming – more fruits, veggies, salads and the like; less red meat and grains. And finally, longer walks — perhaps more hiking, too.

At present, I am on a clear liquid diet, mostly warmed water, to help flush my system. I still haven’t had a really colon-clearing bowel movement (I’ll spare you the details when it happens,) and standing up is still a painful (though less than it has been) activity.

One final thing – in my experience – only the passing of a kidney stone is worse than this when it comes to pain. In fact, I deliberately stopped drinking whole milk afterwards.

And now — time to return to my ever-humble commode.

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