Now I'm wondering yet again what could have caused all this, and yet again I come back to "what if I damaged/tweaked/pinched my vagus nerve?" I keep remembering that fateful day in theater class where I was moving in twisty feel-the-space-around-you ways, like you do in theater class, and I suddenly got a searing pain in the middle of my chest that left my eyes welling and me gasping. It was gone in probably less than a minute (of course to me it felt much longer) and I didn't think any more about it, but within a week I started to have reflux problems. That coupled with the test results, or lack of results, I've been getting makes it make more sense every time. Reflux, then poor esophageal motility, then a half functioning Gallbladder- all of those things as far as I can tell are controlled by the vagus nerve and the fact that all of them aren't functioning well, but also don't have anything specific wrong with them seems like strong evidence to me. But at least so far there isn't a conclusive test for vagus nerve functioning and no way to reverse it even if it was conclusively proven to be the cause of my discomfort. But the why really doesn't matter. I have had a perspective change.
This poor body of mine is like a tatty old footstool with the stuffing leaking out, patches that clash, and springs sticking out the top. In other words it needs some serious TLC, and that's exactly what it's going to get. Before I would sew on patches willy nilly, poke the stuffing back in the holes, put duct tape over the springs, and pretend that it was all fine while looking at other footstools online and dreaming that I had them instead. But this is the footstool that was issued to me and I can't trade it in and maybe in time I won't want to. It's got a good frame, and some of the patches don't look so bad, and there's no rule that says I can replace the springs and reupholster the rest. It's time I stop kicking this hated thing that I've shoved in the corner, ashamed that people might see what a mess I've made of it. It's time to pull it out and start working, in the garage at first keeping my treasure safe from the judging eyes of those that don't see it's potential, then gradually sharing it until it sits in the pride of place and it's elegance commented on by all who visit.
Thank for bearing with my rambling and extended furniture metaphor. I know I will look back on this post and think it was so cheesy, but it needed saying (I'll think that line is cheesy too). But maybe future Caroline will have learned the self love by the time she rereads this to give it an accepting smile that present Caroline has not yet learned how to do in her 20 years on this planet.