I should have known what I was about to be up against when I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror late Sunday night. It was gray and ashen, the color of a corpse. Sweat glistened on my cold clammy skin as waves of nausea rolled across my body, and a toxic cold fluid filled my veins and squished through my intestines. It was clearly going to be a really long night.
It turns out, it was a really long 36 hours. A. REALLY. LONG. 36 HOURS.
I'm not one who throws up. I have horrible memories of vomiting as a child, and as a grownup, I will go to nearly any length to avoid ever doing it again. So many lengths, in fact, that I've not paid homage to the porcelain god Ralph since August 19, 1987. It's a strange thing to keep track of, I know, but there is some degree of significance attached to the date.
I've been sick twice on alcohol in my life. The first time was in July of 1987, and the second was August 19, 1987. I remember the second time the best because my sister and I had just moved away to college together and I got stinkin' drunk with a boy I had liked for a handful of years. I matched him beer for beer through a 12-pack, then we made the rather questionable decision to go out after more beer, and for some reason, barbecue. I remember throwing up and passing out. The next morning, I vowed never to do it again. The throwing up part, of course, not the drinking part!.....
And so, I haven't. Through my years of bar crawling as a college co-ed, a pregnancy, and six years of living with a little petri dish who drags home every gastrointestinal germ known to man, I have been vomit free. I cleaned up kid poop and kid puke and dog poop and dog puke, I've picked up the remnants of the former living, now rendered lifeless by one dog or another, without a single gag or retch.
But on Sunday night, my internal fortitude was sorely tested. I sat, naked, sweating, and shivering (how is that even possible?) on the side of the tub and prayed to just let it all go. Barf out whatever horrid germ was tormenting my insides and rid myself of the misery. And yet? Nothing.
I am almost jealous of the people who can feel sick and just puke it all out. I have a girlfriend who throws up every time she has a headache or gets stressed out. This is a trait she has passed along to her daughters, lucky devils. In hindsight, it seems rather perverse that I was sitting naked on my bathtub thinking about my girlfriend and her daughters. Until you've been there, don't judge me people!
Regretfully, according to Murphy's Law of Stomach Flu, what does not go up must certainly go down. Most of my readers are pretty smart folks, so I will leave some degree of mystery and let you wonder exactly how I spent most of the next 36 hours. Not a fun day and a half, I assure you.
At any rate, it's now Wednesday evening, and I felt for the first time today a gnawing hunger. I've fed myself like a fussy toddler for the past two days....a juice box here, a handful of dry cereal there, maybe a piece of toast or some watered down sprite. But this evening, hunger came to call. And I've never been so happy to want food in my life.
And so I indulged.
So far, so good.
Like a clear fresh morning dawns after a dark summer night's storm, I feel like I might just live to see another day, maybe even to stretch the limits of a long held record. Praise the Lord and pass the Taco Bell!
Wait! Not so fast!! LittleG just called out from the hall bathroom, "Mom, will you come look at my poop?"
Yes, Shelly, even modern superheroes fall victim to earthly illness. Just hopefully not more often than every two decades or so.
Hugs and Lysol to you all,