I'm sure at least a few of you are wondering why the only thing I've been blogging about over the past few days are video clips of Les Miserables. Where are the lovely photos of Paris? Where are some of those amusing anecdotes about French life, or married life, or all of the above?
Well, I've been in hiding. Sequestered. Stuck in one place. Although not by choice.
All that new, fresh blog material is waiting somewhere outside my door. "Outside" - where I have not been able to set foot since some time early in the day on Thursday. Why? Umm...
Well, I wasn't planning to blog about this at all because... well... it's been extremely unpleasant for me to experience, it would be almost as unpleasant for you to read about it, and frankly it's no one's business anyway. But in the interest of transparency and adding to our French vocabulary as the situation dictates, I will offer THIS explanation in French, because I think it needs no translation:
Just between us: J'ai été constipée. Oh, so constipée.
I have essentially been going, in no particular order, between bed, couch, kitchen and toilet since Thursday afternoon, and that's about it. Clearly, nothing blog-worthy to see, right?
To be candid but stopping short of being overly graphic (even I have limits): This is not something I usually suffer from, at least not since I was a small child, and if anything I sometimes seem to have more of the opposite issue, i.e. too much "activity" rather than not enough. On those rare occasions where (let's just SAY IT) constipation has occurred, it has been a 24-hour thing and then that's it, but THIS? Has been the worst case I can recall in my life.
There have been moments over the past five days (has it really been FIVE?) when I have wondered if there was something even more sinister taking place in my lower abdomen because the pain and discomfort has been just that bad at certain times. Appendicitis? No, the pain, although sometimes lower right, shifted location. Organ prolapse? Couldn't rule it out but seemed unlikely (although I admit I'm still wondering a bit about this one). Knots in the intestine? Oy, let's hope not, or would they have to shoot me like a poor horse? I have run the gamut of other possible causes through my head while simultaneously trying not to panic and overreact, hoping that nature (plus a few prunes and some useful items from the pharmacy) would take its course. I was even tempted to try eating an entire jar of orange marmalade on the strength of having seen that particular item used as remedy in an amusing scene from the BBC miniseries of "A Year in Provence", but decided that the BBC's adaptation of Peter Mayle's book had been unreliable to begin with, so why would I take medical advice from them?
The bottom line (no pun intended) is, I have no idea what brought this on, as I don't think I was eating anything unusual last week that would have triggered an episode such as this, and I haven't been sick with anything else lately (knock on wood). Words like "bloated" don't even begin to describe how distended my lower abdomen felt. But without resorting to too much detail, I can at least say that I wasn't totally "blocked up" and that there was, uh, at least some "progress". Just not enough progress. That's why Georges went to the pharmacy for me and why I've started eating prunes, like I remember my grandparents always kept in their fridge.
(Sigh.) I have now become a 75-year-old woman who needs prunes to "keep regular". Next thing you know, I'll be doing Ex-lax commercials.
I only hope that, once it has 100% worked itself out, that this won't become a regular occurence. This is no way to live, seriously.
Having been trapped at home means I missed out on doing all sorts of fun things on the weekend with Georges and the 2 out of 3 kids who were with us. I did make it out to a nearby restaurant with them on Friday night but ate lightly and was nearly doubled over in pain by the time we went home. We didn't even get to see "Lincoln" which we'd really been looking forward to; I just wasn't willing to take the risk of paying to see a 2 1/2 hour film and then possibly having to spend half the movie in the Ladies'. I also slept horribly for the past four nights, though last night was finally a bit better.
As of this moment, I have been gradually improving and no longer feel that I will need to go and see my doctor, but my body feels battered, bruised and exhausted. I am sick of being stuck in the house so I may venture out for a bit of food shopping just to get some fresh air and move my stiffened back and limbs around a bit. The lack of activity is giving me a stiff neck and headache, and that's too much to bear on top of everything else.
Give me a few more days to get a bit more energetic and "balanced" both inside and out, and then I'll be out there taking more pix and finding MUCH more pleasant and interesting stories to share. Thanks for your patience.
And by the way, if you're ever in France and in need, ask for "Ducolax" at the pharmacie. Same product name in French as in English! Good to know, right?