Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh, My Gut

Last night I woke with what Regis used to call the "grippers". I kept the bathroom light on as I trotted to and from the bathroom. I was transported back to the back bedroom in the house I grew up in. When we first moved there, the room was an upstairs kitchen, as an old lady, Mrs. Johnson, lived in the upstairs at one time. My mom and dad chose it as their bedroom and I often slept with them. Dad got up with the light over the sink to get me a drink of water. The light last night felt like that light for some reason.
A lot of remodeling was done in that house, like that kitchen changed into a private room with a full tub and shower, back stairs to the kitchen and a large closet. Mom and Dad used that room for quite a few years. I was supposed to have a little room on the east side, the carpet chosen, a maroon pink, since I wanted a pink room. My sisters were to share the front bedroom overlooking Main Street. A short little hall, more like a landing at the top of the curved stairs, led to another bathroom, remodeled with a double sink, and bathtub. The big middle bedroom was my brother's. The three back rooms all blended together, with no central hall, the only drawback I could see with the lay out of this house.
My sisters did not get along at that time and quickly my second sister shared the middle bedroom with me and Dan went into the small room with the maroon pink carpet.
But I think I spent the most time in that back room. I sneaked in when my dad worked midnight turn or laid there until he was home from afternoon turn, then pretended to be asleep so they wouldn't move me into my room.
One time as convenience to my sister entertaining a girlfriend overnight, I slept with my mom. In the morning, Mom discovered that my sister had locked the door. She shrugged at me and we went down the back stairs. But they weren't carpeted and Mom wasn't too happy to use them.
When I was in first grade, my sisters were both all ready in college. I seemed then to have some stomach ailment. Was it first grade stress? I threw up I felt almost every night. My teacher, who was ancient as the hills surrounding our town, missed a lot of school. Her substitute was even older and meaner. Was I worried about my teacher leaving, too? Or was worrying about spelling after Christmas break fearful to me? I was sure they meant cursive writing and I didn't feel ready to do that. Christmas party time, I had a cute little red and white dress with an adorable gray mouse on the pocket. I still love gray Christmas mouses to this day. But I was sick. My stomach hurt so much. My teacher was very sympathetic to me and I felt accepted, even though I was scared about that spelling in January.
At night, I laid in my parent's bed with a towel, in case I couldn't make it to the bathroom. My mom would rub my stomach and I used a heating pad.
By the end of the year, the pediatrician was going to work up the situation. The first test was the simple urine test, only I couldn't pee in that doctor's office. My mother turned on the spigot and even the sound of running water didn't help. We went a few blocks over to my grandmother's, who scolded me for not peeing when it was required, but I was relaxed and was able to pee in her dim old lady bathroom.
No more tests were done because I seemed to have a miraculous recovery. I don't know if they ever did figure it out. My mother often said she thought I was worried about my teacher, but didn't know how to voice my concern. It could have been that or just that fear of added responsibilities, like spelling in January.
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