Monday, January 09, 2006

The Pukersons

Well, it finally happened. I got sick. I mean, like, really sick.

I've boasted a little about my superhuman immune system before. I've remained frustrated that I never get to call in sick to work. Whenever I hear of someone who has called in sick, my first thought is, "Ugh. Lucky!" Even if the reality is that they're writhing on the floor in agony, it's not how I'm picturing them. In my head, they're camped out in bed, surrounded by books and bottles of Diet 7Up, watching bad television with a little thermometer in their mouth for good measure.

I haven't thrown up in 14 years, for any reason, whether it's illness or drunkenness. Sure, I've come close. But vomiting is just something I simply do not do. I refuse to throw up; I don't see it as an option. I don't care if it supposedly "makes you feel better." Whereas some people are resigned to the fact that throwing up is a part of life, I think, "No. There has to be another way."

I know lots of you probably throw up all the time, like, once every winter or something because of this thing I've heard about on the news. How you say, "the flu"? Is that right? But since this is practically an event for me, I thought I'd make a huge deal out of it and chronicle the entire thing for you. It's my little Halley's Comet, although a lot more colorful. And chunkier.

All day Wednesday, I'd been feeling a little off, but didn't think much of it. The symptoms mostly mimicked that of my previously documented IBS, although perhaps a little more intensely than usual. I've plugged through worse, so I ignored it. Jasclo and I had lunch, and afterward we went shoe drooling. I kept clutching my stomach and doubling over in pain. She'd ask, "Are you okay?"
"Yes, yes. I'm fine!"

I'm sorry, I didn't want to stop. We were proceeding up and down the aisles in an orderly fashion, and I wasn't quitting until we got to the end. Eventually, though, I caved and asked her to just please take me back to my car. I wanted to go home and rest.

I came home and, feeling a little better, puttered around the house for a bit. Then I collapsed on the couch and fell asleep. The Mr. asked what I wanted to do for dinner, and since my stomach seemed to have settled down a little, I chose pizza.

This choice could forever alter my life.

We had a nice dinner. I ordered a slice, a salad and some wine while he got a personal pizza. We came home and drank some more. Wine for me, beer for him. I plopped down the on the computer, lit my peach-scented candle, put on some music and sipped the wine. Eventually, it began to taste strange to me and was no longer appealing, and I gave up with half a glass left. Then the peach candle...boy, did it always smell this nauseating? I blew it out.

The nausea washed over me in waves. I needed to lay (lie? lay? lay lady lay?) down again. I logged off the computer, made my way toward our bedroom when I suddenly had to make a right turn and lunge for the guest toilet. It was coming, and I had no choice this time. I threw up four times in a row. Who knew my stomach could hold so much? The Mr. helped me to bed, where I tried to go to sleep but could only curl up and wish the pain would go away.

Once each hour, I had to throw up. From midnight until 6 a.m., instead of sleeping, I threw up. Around 2 a.m., the Mr. came into the bedroom, announced "I'm not feeling so good, either" and vomited.

Around 5 a.m., I started getting kind of thirsty and drank some diet Sprite. At 5:30 a.m., it came back up. Then, there was nothing left and I began the dry-heaving portion of the program. Then it started coming out the other end. And the chills came, alternating with fever. I kept throwing the blankets on, throwing them off, putting them on, never fully satisfied.

The Mr. and I eventually fell asleep and slept until late afternoon. The vomiting was over, but we still had the intestinal distress to contend with. We initially thought it was food poisoning, but now it's sounding more like "winter vomiting disease." Is there a vomiting disease for all seasons? I hope not. But it could have come from anywhere.

I woke up Friday feeling better, but I still seized my big moment to call in sick. I only felt perhaps 10% guilty about it, too.

The only thing I'm worried about now is that all this puking may have ruined pizza for me. My beloved pizza. I cringed whenever a commercial aired the whole time I was home, and I covered the takeout menu from the restaurant where we had dinner Wednesday. I just couldn't stand to look at it. There's still some hope, though. I ate a frozen pizza for dinner Saturday night and felt fine. If I can stomach that, things are looking up.

Well, until I blog about this again in 2020...