The pain started Tuesday morning and has not fully abated since, body-wracking spasms that make me wish I had anything to throw up. My stomach is a fickle thing, surely, but I had hoped we had come to some understanding: I don’t stress you out, and you will behave.

I’m not sure what’s happening to me. I remember when I could function on no food and no sleep. Now I am sleeping as much as I can, eating well, and the pain still comes. I’ve heard Coke is good for settling tummies, but since I can’t manage to swallow that, I’m stuck with Pepto-Bismol and Tagamet, alternating, begging the over-the-counter gods to shine pity on me. Eating crackers and drinking water, brewing peppermint tea and holding my pillow. Just one day without being broken. Just one.

Nothing quite knocks down my all-consuming wish to be self-sufficient like pain. I just want to be held when it hurts like this, and told it will all be okay in the morning.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.