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5:39 pm EDT        73°F (23°C) in Gary, IN

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I don’t know what the hell is going on, but for the better part of a week now, I’ve been feeling pretty sick. I would say this started last Sunday night, with a bad attack of diarrhea that continued into Monday morning and early afternoon; since then, I have seemed to have recurring diarrhea attacks almost like clockwork — every night somewhere between 3:00 am and 6:00 am EDT. I keep a number of over-the-counter remedy type products here with me in the truck, including Imodium for diarrhea, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping it at all.

Yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, it got really bad. I think I had to make four runs to the restroom in a span of just five hours, and I had some severe abdominal pain and mild to moderate nausea to go along with it. The pain seems to have been focused on a couple of places; its most common location is on my left side, in the middle-to-lower part of the abdomen. When it was getting bad, I also had pain on my right side, roughly mid-abdomen or thereabouts.

A few things I have noticed is that not eating, or at least not eating as much as usual, seems to eliminate or reduce the symptoms. I only ate once yesterday, having meat loaf and mashed potatoes (a fairly bland meal), and this morning’s attack was not nearly as bad as yesterday’s. Suspecting that it could be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from some of the reading I’ve been doing, I took two things right after this morning’s attack: another dose of Imodium to stop the diarrhea and the out-of-control intestinal contractions that cause it, and fiber tablets for their generally beneficial effect on the intestines. I had pain pretty bad for about 15 minutes after taking those, but it quickly subsided and I could go right back to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, that’s about all I’ve felt able to do in the last couple of days. I slept almost the entire day yesterday, and I probably slept 14-15 hours last night and into today as well. Then again, the pain and non-stop diarrhea kept me up all night Thursday into Friday; it got so bad that I called for an ambulance to take me to Methodist Hospital here in Gary. They couldn’t find anything in blood tests or on a CT scan, so they released me about six hours later, figuring I just have “some kind of intestinal bug.” I don’t believe them, because I don’t think a bug would go on this long, but whatever.

I did call earlier in the week to make an appointment with the Taubman General Medicine Clinic at the University of Michigan Hospital about this; that is set for 2:30 pm EDT on this upcoming Thursday, July 5. Obviously, I hope this does go away before then, but if not, I’m going to tell them I want answers — and I don’t care whether that means two days in the hospital for tests. I can’t afford to have this illness, or whatever it is, as an ongoing problem as I hopefully start a new job sometime in July. If nothing else, if this is a permanent problem, I need to be put on some kind of medication so that I can carry on a reasonably normal lifestyle and not have to be running to the toilet all the time.

Well, if this doesn’t cause me any more terribly serious problems, I should be headed home with my next load. I have to go get it from a drop yard in Romeoville, IL, which is down between Chicago and Joliet, and take it from there to Grand Rapids, MI for a Monday afternoon delivery. Hopefully, in the intervening 15 days from then to July 17, I’ll (a) be cured of whatever this abdominal shit is, and (b) be preparing to start the new job.