Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Food. Poison. Ing. Ack.

Hi guys, if you've been thinking that I've been less garrulous than usual this week, you were right. Or you may have noticed nothing at all, or simply assumed I was being slothful, and at any other time you would have been right too.

Anyway, apologies for the radio silence. On Tuesday I managed to scrape out enough energy for an answer to Guess what this (food) is #2 before crawling into bed again to rest my aching, oh, everything.

For the 48 hours from Monday 11:00, I was down with a really horrible strain of food poisoning/food intolerance that just didn't want to go away.

***Scenes involving human body functions follow.***
***You have been warned.***

The main suspect is the yoghurt I had from the canteen that morning, although my stomach was already slightly vulnerable from indulging in ice-cream (I'm a little lactose intolerant) and champagne the night before (I'm also a little allergic to alcohol but I adore sparkling wines, Bailey's and Midori.) Yes. I know.

Since my insides were already a little tender, the only thing I could face on Monday morning was, ostensibly, what I thought would be a beneficial and healthy food: low-fat peach, banana, and passionfruit yoghurt. This was at approximately 9am.

At about 10.30 I started feeling quite nauseated. Okie-dokie, I thought to myself, now, who would have the good anti-nausea meds? Ah! L, my lovely and pregnant colleague.

Except she was over the morning sickness and only had ginger tea to offer me.

Drat. Sipping the tea helped a little but at 11:00 what was in there absolutely had to come out. Run for the bathroom!

After two lots of throwing up (and more), I decided that I should go home before my cubicle looked like something out of The Exorcist.

I headed off for the car, walking very slowly, because I had parked my vehicle a 20-minute walk from work to save on parking fees. In my enfeebled state, it took me 35 minutes to walk there. Although it was an incredibly slow trip I was rewarded by a sight so monstrous it was almost beautiful: a glistening, shirtless whale of a man on his bicycle waiting at the traffic lights. With man-boobs.

The first 24 hours were the worst, as I encountered monstrous betrayal from a normally well-behaved digestive system. Food poisoning is a very ew-some affliction for fastidious people, and I didn't feel clean unless I had a shower after each visit to the water closet. Luckily I had lots of clean towels.

If I had to get up, I would walk around half-bent over, because straightening up would make my stomach cramp painfully. I lay in bed, trying to relax enough to ease the cramps, which were like small hands wringing my guts dry. At the same time I was trying not to relax too much, in case something bad happened to my sheets. A delicate and agonising balance. Luckily my sheets stayed clean.

Mostly I lay there with a pillow under my knees and another on top of my stomach, and listened to the bubbling and gurgling noises coming from my belly. I was too dizzy to read and at times, too weak to pull up the bed-covers when I felt cold. Very frustrating. So I slept and woke, in fits and starts, often running to the bathroom, showering, and then falling into bed again.

It's funny how your body is very firm about what it wants to eat when you're ill. All I could face was water and some watermelon. On Tuesday morning, the smell of someone's cooking seeped in under the door and made me gag. Later that afternoon, my mother brought me some rice porridge, standard Asian sickbed fare, cooked with some fish and a little stock. It was very good.

So I think I have a good idea of what to expect with labour pains now. Whoop-de-doo. Oh, and you know what the final indignity was? The crimson tide decided to rise at the same time. So I got me a trifecta! Freaking awesome. I was watching for the Horsemen of the Apocalypse to complete the picture but the slippery bastards must have peeled out through the back.

If anyone has been grossed out by this tale, I entreat you to go for a nice restful walk to ease your mind. Sing a happy song, play with the bluebirds, pluck doughnuts from the pastry trees, and ignore any hospitals or aged care centres you may pass, safe in the knowledge that your body will never fail you, that only the poor use toilets, and that sick people are a myth perpetuated by the broccoli farmers.

YES, I am being sarcastic! For goodness sake, my mother is a nurse and she has to deal with that sh!t every day. She has to see it, treat it, clean it up, and comfort the people who have to deal with it. And she does it with grace and compassion and dignity.

It wasn't all bad though, on Monday night I had an interesting dream where Jake Gyllenhaal was trying to smother me with a blanket, but in a nice way.


girl and dog said...

Well, I'm sure seeing the man boobs made everything else pale in comparative disgustingness... Hope you feel better!

ジェネヴィーヴ said...

I'm jealous of your dream.

Feel better! (if you're not already) ♥

an9ie said...

Girl, they were almost a work of art I tells ya! The perfect shade of burnt bronze, all shiny in the sun . . . Maybe the loss of fluid was making me delirious :)

Genevieve - Awesome dream, although for once I would like the men in my dreams to romance me, and not so much try to kill me. Sigh. Stupid subconscious.

Thank you for your kindness and good wishes! Seeing comments like these is better than slices of chocolate cake :) Someone cares! How lovely!