Having a disease is a great way to get educated about your body.
I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I've seen pretty much every organ of my body imaged in some way or another, I've had half a dozen MRIs and lots of ultrasounds, so I have a pretty good idea of how and where everything fits.
And I think having a disease makes you comfortable talking about things that maybe other people aren't super comfortable talking about.
But the drawback is it makes you fascinated with your body in ways that other people necessarily aren't.
For example, as I've mentioned before, I have an umbilical hernia. Some days, it's not a big deal. Other days, it's a problem. But I'm learning how to manage it, like anything else. This morning, as I was pulled out of sleep by my husband's alarm, I knew something was wrong. I hurt. So I did a quick, sleepy mental assessment. Was it kidneys? No. Liver cyst pain (which is my least favorite, because that pain takes me down). No. Hernia pain?
Ah yes, that was it. The pain of feeling pressure in the front of my abdomen and having my intestines squeezed. THAT pain.
I stayed in bed, fueled by self pity, for longer than I should have, but had to get up to greet both the day and the construction workers who were coming to fix some issues we've been having in our kitchen. (When I say issues, what I really mean is giant rotting holes in our kitchen floor caused by two different appliances leaking for years, unbeknownst to us, the homeowners. This is what they call "hidden damage", or "super lame homeowners who don't check the bottom of their fridge for leaks" but that, my friends, is an entirely different post/rant/ice-cream binge-eating inducing topic.)
The workers have to move my refrigerator, and they have to take the doors off to move it, so I had to get it emptied, transfer the contents of the freezer to the freezer in the garage, pack the fridge contents that would fit into a cooler and throw everything else away. Then I had to get my daughter off to school, and also continue to discuss the never-ending awfulness that is our kitchen with the workers, so needless to say, I didn't have a chance to deal with my hernia pain until hours after I had woken up.
While I don't run as much as I did these days, I still try to fit a regular work out routine in during the week. It's a short routine, maybe 15 minutes, but it makes a difference, or at least I have to tell myself that as a justification for giving up my gym membership. I do yoga, some squats, and try to do some ab work to counteract the hernia action. I have no idea if the ab work I do is effective at all, but it can't hurt, and I figure that when or if the day comes that I will have this hernia repaired, having strong abs would help with the recovery process, even if right now they don't really, you know, line up exactly. Also, I imagine that being in decent shape will help with the transplant too, whenever THAT day comes.
Problem is, it's REALLY hard and kinda painful to do push ups and planks and especially sit ups with part of your intestines hanging out of your body. So, after the workers were settled in with some steady hammering and my daughter was safely on the bus, I sat down to deal with my hernia for the first time this morning.
Which means that I lied down on the floor, put my knees up, relaxed my belly, pulled it outwards just a bit, and then started poking my intestines back where they are supposed to go. It's not a pleasant process, and I kind of have to grit my teeth, but the relief of having everything back in place is worth it.
This morning, as I put my knees back down and felt pain free for the first time all morning, I thought, "My body is so weird."
And then I wondered how many other people take time in the morning to poke intestines back into place. Maybe more than I think? I don't know, it's not something you talk about in polite conversation. Although, as I mentioned before, *I* would personally LOVE to talk about it in polite conversation, maybe while munching on some chips or something, but I'm pretty sure the topic would just gross most people out. Especially if we were eating. Again, that whole, "I have a disease that I'd like to discuss because I think about it all the time but you probably don't think about your internal organs every minute, in fact you probably never think about them at all and you're looking kinda yicked out so I should probably not mention the beauty of my spleen" thing.
Anyways, I can now do some sit ups, which is always a good thing. And I can talk about sit ups, right? That's polite conversation gold, right? I won't mention my intestines hanging out, I swear.