For the previous installments:
“Jenny, we’re going to Disney World this weekend!” my mother announced.
My Dad had been called on a quick business trip to Orlando, and my mother, being the spontaneous woman that she is, had decided to pack us all up and go with him. No biggie right? A weekend away from my world of college classes (during the summer too) would be a nice break…or so I thought.
Four hours later, our huge clan of a family was packed into a room much too small to adequately accommodate a family of eight. But we were at Disney World nonetheless. Soon the boys were off to the golf course and the girls headed to the pool.
All was well until…
My stomach started to feel like there were a million knives trying to get out from inside. The pain almost brought me to my knees. I was miserable all weekend. Even the pure joys of the tea cup ride, Cinderella’s Castle and “It’s a Small World” couldn’t soothe it away. It hurt. I hurt like I never had before. And we couldn’t figure out why.
After we came back home I came to a full recovery. I passed it off as just a random bug and carried on with life as usual.
But it happened again two weeks later, and then again, again, again and again.
I started to watch what I ate. Surely there was a reason I was feeling this way? Soon all forms of my beloved dairy products were out of my life and replaced with “healthier” foods and daily exercise. Sack lunches full of things only people in nursing homes have to eat became my daily packages for survival on school days.
“You little guys are my best friends.” I said to my prunes one day – which is never a good sign for a 17 year old.
I certainly wasn’t normal, but then again I never was in the first place. Things were changing in every aspect of my life and these daily health struggles were frustrating for sure, but also still manageable. We still didn’t know what caused it or why it was happening to me. It became something that I just had to deal with.
High school graduation came and went. Soon I found myself on the phone with my future college roommate. It was official – I was moving off to college!
My life was about to take another huge turn down a road on which I was not prepared to embark.
“Hi, I’m Ashley!” said a deep and melodic voice on the other end.
To be continued...