This story actually starts 6 years ago.  I believe it started in August right before my last semester of nursing school. I remember waking up, feeling a gnawing pain my stomach like hunger (despite eating dinner) going to the kitchen eating a few things and going back to bed.  Happened a few times that month then went away.  Then as part of our Senior Practicum, I worked the night shift in the local emergency room.  That first night, I remember eating anything and everything to make the “hunger” pains leave me alone.  I was also nauseated all night long.  I just figured it must be growing pains or something. I had never had growing pains (yeah, if you knew me, that wouldn’t be a surprise).  So, I graduated that next February and went to working the night shift in an acute care unit at the same hospital.  For a year and a half, I was nauseated, having stomach pains, threw up a few times. Finally I was done.  I am not a night person.  I hated my life. I hated feeling drugged up on days I wasn’t working and nauseated on the days I was.  So, I stopped working there and got a day job.  I think I was taking Tagamet here and there but not consistently.  I like the more natural methods and not really into drinking gallons of Maalox.  My new job was great, less stress. And since I wasn’t awake at night, I didn’t feel the acid production in my stomach. Then stress of the new job hit and I started having the pain during the day.  My tired, anxious stomach just couldn’t handle it. So, due to a few different issues, I thought, I will try counseling.  If I am having this much anxiety, I need help.  I went to a counselor.  A great counselor.  A few times a month.  And the pain went away. After 8 months of counseling, she said there was nothing more for her to do for me or suggest.  Hooray!  Then I moved.  Then I got a new job. And my anxiety returned.  The pain returned.  I went to using Prilosec and Tums everyday.  Eating more than necessary but anything to keep that acid from eating my stomach up.  I got a upper endoscopy done by a GI specialist as well.  Easier than I could have imagine.  They found some mild inflammation but nothing to write home about.  Keep taking Ranitidine/Prilosec whatever and call us if you need to. Great.  I am not doing too bad.  On non-stress days, I am fine!  On stressful days, my stomach hurts and I want to throw up…SO, the purpose of my post….

I told someone recently part of this story and her response was, “Your stomach is use to responding the same way to the same situation even though you have emotionally changed.  Your body keeps doing the same thing over and over in the same situations out of habit.”

Recently, I started telling my stomach, out loud, when no one is around, and it starts hurting and burning because it’s feeling crunched for time/stressed/anxious, “No Stomach! This is not the way we respond anymore.  That was the old way.  We have new ways and it does not include pain.  Stop it right this minute in the name of Jesus.”

And you know what?  My stomach is hurting less and less.  I’m not saying I don’t still pop a Zantac here and there or keep Tums around but sometimes you need to talk to your body.  Out loud.  Tell it who is boss.  Right now, I am called to be a nurse.  I can’t do my job if I am throwing up in the bathroom.  My body does not run my life.  I run my body.  Of course there is wisdom and we need to take good care of our bodies, giving it care and attention.  But anxiety, stress, worry can’t run my life and wreak havoc on my sweet little stomach.  That’s not okay.  So…I talk to my stomach. 🙂

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