Most of us have seen this poster on the windows of a Whole Foods somewhere in the city. I pass one everyday. Sometimes I pass it multiple times a day. I remember when I first saw it and how it gave me that feeling of “awwwww yeah, I can get down with that!”. It truly resonated with me.
Funny though (but not really), last November, November 23rd to be exact. The night before I was supposed to have a photo shoot with Prevention magazine (SIDENOTE: even though it wasn’t a big story, I was so excited because I really want to do more things like this - becoming a fitness/body parts model is a real goal of mine) I was jolted out of my sleep by a sharp knife like pain in my abdomen. I tried to go the bathroom - thinking it was something I ate. Drank water. Almost took a Tylenol but because I had no idea what was going on I decided against. Laid back down and eventually went to sleep even though pain was still there. Got up a few hours before the shoot hoping that the pain would be gone but...nope! I was up but had to keep taking breaks to lay down because the pain was so bad. I called my mom and she said I should call them and let them know so that they could call off the shoot. The thought of doing that didn’t seem right to me - they had planned for this shoot for weeks and a photographer who they hired was on his way to my home with his two assistants. They arrived and after one of the first shots I let them know that my energy may be low because I thought I ate something bad the night before. The shoot lasted from like 9am - 6pm - we were in front of my house, in the park and then went down to the High Line and let me not forget it was freezing that day. A day that was supposed to be one of the most exciting days of my life, “my first real photo shoot”, was literally one of the worst days of my life - honestly. Let me speed the story up a bit so I can get to my point. I called my mom when I got home and she inisisted I go to ER. I went. Was there for what seemed like an eternity. They did a million test - gave me antibiotics and pain killers and told me I had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease - I’m sorry huh? I was given perscription for more antibiotics which caused my stomach to distended (I looked like I was at least 9 months pregnant) and was told to see the OB/GYN the following Friday. Took antibiotics. Stomach remained distended. Using the bathroom (pee or poop - yes I said poop) was so fucking painful. Went to OB/GYN on the Friday and they said that my cultures had come back fine and I didn’t have PID. I asked why would my stomach be distended and why I was still in pain. They said the distended stomach was gas and that I should continue the antibiotics and the pain should disappear. Might not have been the best descision but...I decided to stop taking the antibiotics - in my mind if I didn’t have PID what was I taking the antibiotics for??? Stopped antibiotics and stomach went back to normal but the pain still persisted. They mentioned that there was a lot of inflammation in the pelvis area so I started trying to eliminate things that I know would cause inflammation and I was adding ginger and turmeric to everything - even made a turmeric salve which I rubbed on my belly. Drank prune juice a few times thinking it would help me poop out whatever toxic shit was in my belly. I walked around for 2 weeks like this. My mom finally insisted that I go back to ER. Dec 7th went back to ER sat and waited to be seen and on Dec 8th (my birthday - one I will never forget) I went through the same everything I had gone through on Nov 23rd. They did the same test, said I had PID all over again (one nurse even informed the doctors that I had a history of PID - ummmm...no!!!), gave me antibiotics again, pain medicine again, ran a set of new test and then decided to admit me because they found an absecess. While laying in the hallway waiting to be admitted a doctor said that they found it peculiar that they couldn’t see my appendix and wanted another specialist to look at my scans. Once he did they finally realized all of this was my appendix - it had ruptured and that is what formed the absecess. The same specialist was available and said that he could perform a minor surgery to insert a tube in my belly so that the absecess could be drained. That was the single most scary moment of this whole ordeal because I tried to get a hold of my mom - the service was so horrible where I was in the hospital that I wasn’t able to let her know what was going on. The doctor said that the surgery wasn’t major but because there was so much inflammation in my belly and because of my size that it could be a little tricky. All I thought is I could die right here and no one would know where I was - dramatic I know but...thankfully went well. My mom flew out (thank god) and stayed with me in the hospital for 9 days (I love lil Rabie Baby). There were so many other things that happened that were horrible - way too many needles (one night they tried like 6 times in one arm to hook me back up to an IV), my blood pressure kept dropping (which really concerned them) and the pain from walking (which they made me do 2- 3 times daily) and trying to use the bathroom (which I had to do) was still bad - it was a lot. I was finally released on December 16th - yahoo! The night after being released I had to return to the ER because the antibiotics caused extreme swelling in my feet and ankles and the doctor was concerned about clotting. Going back seemed like the nightmare never ended - again it was horrible. I was given some compression tights and sent home. I had 7 days of antibiotics to take, each day I took them, slowly started to feel better and the pain started to get less and less.
Okay I know a while back I said that I would speed the story up and...I kinda didn’t but...the point to my long ass story is...me, the person who completely resonated with that Whole Foods poster “Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love”. Me, the person who works out like a freaking fiend walked around for 2 weeks - 2 solid weeks feeling like shit and did nothing about it. Why? Two main reasons: They said nothing was wrong, it was gas and it would pass and the main, main reason was I didn’t have insurance, didn’t have a lot of money and I was scared that it would end up costing me a fortune. “Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love” - I do love myself but...I was so disappointed with myself. I handle taking care of my body on the outside (lifting weight and taking classes) but what about the inside? “Treat your BODY like it belongs to someone you love” - again I do love myself but...my actions weren’t in line with this at all because I was worried about money or because THEY said everything was okay. I WAS NOT okay though for those 2 weeks and those two factors should have made NO difference. I should have taken myself back to the ER. We are only given one life - one body and it’s my duty to treat it like I love it. That is the life that I profess that I lead on a daily basis to my clients and to all my friends and family so...I now KNOW and WILL treat my body like it belongs to someone who loves it because I do - all of it - every inch of it - inside and outside. My hospital bills ended up totaling around $60,000 - I contested it and a few of the bills were lowered - its honestly like a full time job trying to situate it all but I now have insurance (even though its expensive as shit) and have been to the all my doctors and had all my checkups and I am good and...I intend to stay that way because I am and will always be in love with this body of mine. So grateful!!!