I’ve been visiting with this couple and the congregation they go to for nearly two months now. Hardly any of the people there know anything about my mental health but some from personal experience understand my physical health issues. There are a few people there with Lupus, 3 with Fibromyalgia and one with MS. There’s also a lady there with ALS. (For privacy reasons I didn’t note the name of the congregation or anything specific.) This group has a good understanding of illnesses.
Tonight when “Fred” and “Betty” picked me up I was anxious. I started to get out of the car at the light and walk back home but I knew that would look crazy. I was near panic and all I wanted to do was be at home. Betty noticed I was extra quiet and asked if I was feeling okay. I told her no. She said she wasn’t either but she was happy I decided to attend anyway. She said her presence and mine would be appreciated. I took a deep breath and stayed in the car.
Once at the service my anxiety level seemed more manageable but unfortunately my pain level was increasing. The next thing I knew I was nauseated, so I got up and went to the restroom. I couldn’t believe I was tossing my cookies in the restroom of a house of worship, but I was. The restroom was beautiful too. My head was in quite a nice bowl on a very nice tile floor with beautiful textile walls accented with gilded mirrors and semi-fine art. I guess if ya gotta puke it might as well be in luxury. The thing is, there’s a speaker system in the restroom so you can hear the sermon in there, which means as I retched I was still able to hear the word of God. LOL LOL LOL The first time I used the restroom there it was most uncomfortable hearing some strange guy’s voice loud and clear in the stall with me. I remember thinking, well, this’ll take some getting used to.
Tonight I ended up needing to stay in the restroom for the remainder of the service but because I had the speaker system with me I was at least able to hear to the finish. All jokes aside, I appreciated being able to stay and hear the rest of it. It was kind of like, yeah, my stomach is a mess but I can still be part of the service. I don’t have to immediately go home or make an emergency out of this. I throw up all the time. It’s at the least inconvenient but hardly ever a true emergency, yet some people may panic or want to stop everything and run me home. No one did that. No one made it into an ordeal.
Here’s the thing. I miss a lot. I miss a lot of social events and other things because I’m too tired to go, my knees hurt too badly, my eyes are dim today, I’m too shaky, in too much pain, in a bad mood from too much pain, etc, etc. I miss a lot so to be able to have a symptom that isn’t taken to emergency level AND I don’t miss anything, that’s touching for me. I nearly feel silly blogging about it but it’s true, I’m grateful that despite illness I got to keep 15 to 20 min of a gather I really wanted to be at because they had a restroom speaker system.
The ride home with Fred and Betty was sweet as usual. Tomorrow I’ll see Betty for a little bit. I look forward to it. She makes me smile.