The ugly, painful side of Nick’s spinal cord injury has been bothering him lately. Even though he’s battled through a lot of his paralysis to learn to walk again, he still deals with the invisible complications on a daily basis. Nobody ever thinks about the miracle of their intestinal system until it isn’t working properly anymore.
Nicks intestines do not work. A normal person experiences peristalsis, the contraction of muscles that pushes food through the digestive track. Not Nick, the nerve damage from his spinal cord injury causes his body to stop pushing food and waste along once it gets past his stomach. That’s a lovely mental picture, isn’t it?
Apparently we don’t have it all figured out either. In the last year he’s been to the hospital three times with intestinal blockage. And now twice in the last week, he has been up all night with severe abdominal pain and nausea. He was up all night last night, spending most of the time with his head hanging over the bed into a trashcan. We discussed many times whether to suck it up and go to the ER, but there were signs that he is not completely blocked, just backed up. After pushing on his tender belly for several hours, the pain slipped away as the sun began to rise.
I’m sharing this out of frustration more than anything. When it’s 5 am and you’re still awake, dealing with a fucked up complication that will NEVER go away, because an incident outside of Nick’s control occurred during a split-second of time almost a year and a half ago… dot, dot, DOT!
You catch my drift? Maybe I should still be sleeping like Nick is. Someone is grumpy over here.