We may have found our answer
With Craig back to work it’s amazing how quickly one can slip back into old routines. I craved it and was actually glad to be able to plan my days again but getting Craig back into a rhythm was a bit harder. After being off work for nearly three months, he’s been working outside as we face one of the hottest and most humid weeks of the year.
I have been working like a mad woman trying to get pieces ready for the gallery in Indy. Once I have everything dropped off then I can begin concentrating on the art fair I’m participating in next month – and it will take me every bit of that time to get ready for it. I’m excited but a bit nervous, too. I haven’t had my work on display at an art fair in well over a decade. It’s interesting being an artist at a fair. It’s one of the few places one can actually act like the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ and get immediate feedback on completed work. Passersby aren’t shy about their feelings, either. I’ve heard nice things said about my work as well as downright crude comments. People don’t realize that they can easily be overheard, especially when they are commenting less than a foot away from where the artist is standing (this happens a lot). It’s almost like standing in front of an audience half-naked. Luckily, I’m a bit more comfortable in my work than I was when in my twenties. When you’re young it is easy to take criticism as a personal attack, but now you just have to realize that art is a very personal thing and not everyone will like what you do, and that’s okay. Well, it’s okay as long as they don’t try to chew me up and spit me out, that is. lol
Though Craig still has no diagnosis for his nausea and pain over the past three months, we think that we may have figured out what was wrong – and you’re not going to believe it. In fact, I hesitate to mention it for fear that we are wrong but I have to tell you that as of this post he has been symptom free for the last several days.
It all started while we happened to be having a conversation about him needing to reorder some medication from the pharmacy. He remembered that he received a notice during the last refill (3 months ago) stating that there was a new manufacturer for the drug, which is called omeprazole; it’s used to treat heartburn by reducing acid in the stomach.
As soon as he finished making that comment we both kind of froze and just stared at each other. The symptoms he’d been having (nausea when he ate, inability to digest anything solid, pain in his gut several hours after eating) could be explained if say, one was producing too LITTLE stomach acid to break down solid foods. Wouldn’t it just basically ‘sit’ there? we thought. It was way too simple an answer but also too coincidental that his pain started around the same time he began using a different generic medication. Not all generic medications are the same; they can work very differently from person to person.
We immediately decided to do an experiment. He would spend the next several days weaning himself off of the omeprazole and slowly increase his food intake. He would also cut his coffee intake significantly and follow a strict diet so as not to produce heartburn. He’s been doing this for nearly two weeks now. Symptom-free! Astounding. His next move is to wean himself off of the anti-nausea and anti-spasmodic drugs that he was given to combat his symptoms. If he can successfully stop taking those along with the omeprazole without any issues then we have found our answer.
I can tell you that he is terribly excited at the possibility of putting all of this behind him, but he also made the comment, ‘If this all works out, I won’t know whether to laugh or cry!’ He’s not the only one. Every single doctor we went to asked that he bring his medications with him yet not one doctor really looked at what he was taking. Multiple tests, a surgery, thousands of dollars later and all of this may come down to a conflict in medication.
Believe me – I am grateful that nothing serious has been found, but to think that all this time Craig may have been unknowingly, unintentionally making himself ill puts a knot in my stomach and I feel silly for not having thought about it sooner!! It’s so easy to reach way out and beyond for an answer to a problem when it could very well be sitting right in your lap (or in our case, our medicine cabinet). A very valuable lesson to be learned here though if we’re right.