Monday, March 22, 2010

Yawning in Technicolor (GROSS ALERT)

So...not last Saturday night, but the one before that, I got very, very sick. I went in the bathroom and came out several hours later, and then tried to sleep, but like clockwork, every freaking twenty to thirty minutes, my stomach would hurt and I'd have to go again.

Early the following afternoon, after I'd finally gotten a little sleep, my belly still hurt but I was pretty sure I was all done, on the grounds that there couldn't possibly be anything left to eject. So I tried to take my pills. On an ordinary day I take seven pills of various sizes, for various ailments, and I nearly always do them all in one gulp, no biggie. But not that day. No, that day will go down in history in our household as The Day I Barfed All Over Everything.

Immediately, the pills came up, along with great quantities of puke. My bedside trash receptacle was right there, only about half full and lined with a bag besides, but I thought I could make the three steps to the bathroom sink. I made it about half a step, and the unthinkable happened.

Casualties included my lampshade, my husband's ancient copy of Ender's Game, my History of God book, the gardening journal I spent months on, and various ointments and beauty treatments from the top of my nightstand. I am in the process of washing most of the clothing I own, because my clean laundry piles were in the splashdown range. Luckily I had finished LOTR, and actually put it away, and for once I didn't have any library books out, or I'd have had a grim phone call to make. If nothing else, I am unlikely to pile that much junk at my bedside ever again. Spouse was just horrified--he got what he could, and stripped the bed, but puke makes him puke and he had to get out of the room. It wasn't until last Sunday, when I was picking crud out of my clock radio, that I realized just how awful a tableau it must have been.

Spouse took good care of me--he got me to the doctor, made numerous trips to the pharmacy, and called to check on me from work, and made me the few foods I could think about eating, like instant mashed potatoes.

I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I have never, ever, EVER been in that much pain. Granted, I don't have much to compare it to--I've never had a baby, and I've only ever had a couple of surgeries, and the last one was in junior high. I'm very lucky to not have to deal with anything hurty on a regular basis like so many folks do. But this was almost a spiritual experience. When things stopped hurting so acutely, I found myself in this weird state of bliss and gratitude. (I should point out that I was pretty out of it once the Phernagan kicked in.)

Another strange thing: I SAW the phone ringing. I mean, I heard it, too, but this was freaky. I'd be lying there trying to read Bloom County cartoons, and instantly everything on the page would be distorted, like the panels had been printed on a layer of glass that suddenly shattered. I'd have the visual disturbance, and then I'd realize the phone was ringing. It went away immediately, but I've never had anything like that happen before.

I worked this week, though, without any problem. A couple people pointed out that my face had cleared up. I don't know if it was the not eating for a couple days, or the sweating, or what. I have a number of friends who will periodically go on "cleanses," eschewing food for a dubious cocktail of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and honey or agave nectar. They'll do this for more than a week, which seems insane to me, and yet I can't help but wonder if maybe it's not completely nuts. I do know that my portions veer too large--especially when we're eating fast food or take-out--and that Twizzlers and I need to have a serious talk. Or maybe I'm allergic to milk or something. I don't know.

Things are mostly back to normal, although the other receptionist at work has been out with her own stomach troubles, and I'd feel terrible if she got them from me. Also the brown felted cardigan sweater I wore several times a week during the winter is still lurking in the laundry pile, possibly tainted. It's too nice to throw in the machine, so I have been assiduously avoiding it.