Of Tests, meds and needles

It started when I was in high school, but at that time, it was still manageable. I’d get abdominal pain few times a year, but I needed nothing more than Kremil-S.

Then came college. I’d get Php 500 for my weekly allowance, which included my 2-way fare for Php 120. With the remaining Php 380, I had to buy school supplies, get photocopies of our readings and feed myself thrice a day, 5 days a week. Meals became an option as money was just too scarce. I got diagnosed with gastritis.

After I left college, coffee became my best friend as I worked night shift. Little did I know, this newfound addiction would also become the bane of my existence.

I was earning money but I had to support my family. I worked two or three jobs – four, at one point – and I skipped a lot of meals simply because I did not have time. And so my gastritis persisted and worsened over time.

I thought that was the end of it. I just had to make sure I eat on time and I don’t overindulge on acidic food.

Wrong.

When an ex-boyfriend of mine cheated on me, I’d vomit every time I thought of him and his new beau. I lost too much weight in a span of one month – 20 kilos, to be exact. I’d eat and then vomit after half an hour or so. I thought it was just a phase. I thought I’d get over it.

Wrong. Again.

I moved on, but my condition remained. I don’t know how it started, but after that, every time I get too stressed, I’d vomit until my throat hurts. I can smile and laugh everything off, but my body betrays me, as if to say, “no, you’re not okay.” And I hate it.

Hospitals became my second home, but one that is cold and lonely. I used to come with my mom, but I was afraid they’d give bad news sooner or later so I started going there on my own. It’s difficult to deal with the pain and procedure alone, but it’s harder to accept that I keep losing a battle with myself. No matter how many times I tell myself “mind over matter”, I still can’t win.

I have another appointment this weekend. New hospital, same procedure. Sometimes, I wish someone would hold my hand, and tell me everything’s gonna be okay. Sometimes, I wish I had someone to talk to while waiting for my results. Sometimes, I wish someone would be there to watch over me while I endure the pain.

But I guess, I have to bear it on my own one more time.

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