Caring for People in Pain First Person

Reminders Of Progress

It’s been discouraging lately.

Things seem better. Classes finished. Social life opening up. Exercise improving.

But the setbacks still get you. The mourning for where you think you should be instead of where you really are. That’s where I was today.

Until I got into my car. I opened the back door. The dog jumped out. And out of the door’s side pocket spilled half a dozen car sickness bags. Not fancy, professional emesis bags that people who suffer from constant vomiting use. Not the air sickness bags you get in plane.

Just sealable plastic bags. Each with a napkin in it. Because five years ago, every time we got into the car, my son would throw up. His pain was bad. His vertigo was really bad. He threw up multiple times a day. Every single day. And car trips were one of his triggers. So we packed plastic bags with napkins to wipe his face. Plus bottles of water to rinse out his mouth and get rid of the taste.

But I’d forgotten.

He hasn’t done that for years now.

person wearing red top holding clear plastic bag
Photo by Anna Shvets on

We figured out what was causing his constant vomiting (pain and migraine were causing intestinal slowing, resulting in gastroparesis). Once that was FINALLY diagnosed and addressed, his daily vomiting stopped. It had been a couple of years since I’d even thought about it.

Until they all spilled out on the driveway.

That’s one reason record keeping is so important. Not just to remind you where you are now. Or to log your pain. But to log how far you’ve come.

At least 730 days since we needed an emesis bag. So long ago, I’d forgotten we ever had.

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