A week after my stress diagnosis, I was going on holiday. For the first time in ages. I was super looking forward to it, especially as I was taking my Mum, who’d never been abroad on holiday. It was going to be really special. Posh hotel, private transfer from the airport, plenty of spending money, sunshine and, as it was my birthday while we were away, cocktails! My brain, however, had other ideas. The week leading up to departure, I was still plagued by stomach problems, locked in a cycle of feeling sick whenever I ate, and worse when I didn’t. This was probably not helped by (and don’t tell the nurse practitioner!) me not taking the anti acid type tablets. I became convinced that they would make me feel worse, and as someone with an extreme vomit phobia, feeling worse was not a happy thought.
These same symptoms showed their ugly face a few times without the trigger of food or being hungry. Whenever I left the house to go somewhere unfamiliar. A little baffling, as I still thought the diagnosis of stress was, frankly, a load of hooey. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I had a vague thought that it was way more serious than that. A stomach ulcer, Barrats Oesophogus (which my Dad had suffered from) or even cancer. My need for decent sunshine kept me going though, and I managed to get to Barcelona without incident. Once there though, things really kicked in. I was unable to eat anything other than nibbles of rice cakes and sips of isotonic drinks, and everytime I left the hotel room I thought I was going to faint. Barcelona remained unexplored by this usually intrepid traveller and her Mum.