I can’t remember the last time I threw up. I know I have done in my adult life, because I know exactly how it feels – the uncontrollable squeezing of the guts, the violent heave you are helpless to stop – but I truly can’t remember the incident. My inability to vomit means whenever I get a stomach bug, it usually kicks my butt twice as long as a regular person, because it has to go alllll the way through me, and out the only exit.
We drove up to Sacramento to visit my parents for spring break. We stopped at our usual rest stop and ate a disgusting roadside meal. (I usually pack us a lunch, but was too damn busy this time. Next time I’m TOTALLY making time to pack that lunch!) I know the roadside meal wasn’t responsible for the misery I would later endure, but I will now forever associate that rest stop with violent diarrhea.
We got to my folks’ place in time for dinner, had a lovely time, and went to bed. The next morning during breakfast is when my adventure began.
I’ll spare you the details. Just know that Montezuma was revenging on me big time. My colon traveled into the future to blast out things I hadn’t eaten yet. By the afternoon I was in a bad place. I was extremely dehydrated. I was freaking out about my milk drying up, and so frustrated with the fact that I had a freezer full of milk at home, but it might as well have been in space orbiting the moon for all the good it would do me.
I decided I wanted to go get some I.V. fluids. Every sip I took just punished my butt within two minutes. I needed to hydrate, and I needed it to stay IN.
So my mom took me to a clinic. I was dizzy, and my hands were beginning to cramp up, so I guess it was a good thing I was getting replenished with electrolytes.
After waiting a very long time, the doctor finally came in to see me. He examined me, and listened to my complaints, but when he realized I wasn’t throwing up, he said the best course of action would be to drink electrolytes and just hope they soaked in before I crapped them out.
(He was a little more elegant in his speech, but you get the idea.)
I answered with a weary, “I have been trying that all day. It will just come right out. I just want fluids, doctor! I’m running out of milk!”
He scowled at me in confusion, thinking I was maybe a little bit delirious. “In your fridge?” He asked.
“No.” I answered. “In my boobs.”
The light clicked on for him. “Oh! You’re lactating.” He still tried to push the oral thing. “I’m trying to save you the pain and expense of getting I.V. fluids. If we were in a third world country you wouldn’t even have the option.”
I was fully whining at this point, fearing he was going to refuse to give me I.V. fluids. I wasn’t about to let my copay go to waste, just to be told to keep trying not to poop my pants. “But we’re not in a third world country. We’re HERE. This is why I came here.”
At this point he kind of threw a tantrum, and stormed out of the room to get me fluids. He seemed so pissed that I was actually a little nervous that he would be sticking me with a needle momentarily. He was a very busy doctor. He was the only doctor in for the day. Plus, he hadn’t had to put a needle into anyone in a long time. It certainly didn’t help that my mom was watching his every move, and insisting he wash his hands in front of her because she didn’t believe that he had just done so. (It was a beautifully awkward moment, that I wasn’t able to fully appreciate because I was writhing in misery and beginning to get cramps in muscles I didn’t know I had.)
Finally the I.V. catheter was in! Blessed, blessed saline was pouring into my veins.
My mom left me at this point to go pick up some Pedialyte for when I was ready to go home. As I lay there, alone in the small room, fluids soaking into my parched flesh, I began to come back to life. I could actually feel my lips plumping. As the bag drained lower and lower, I became more awake, and got happier and happier. I was even motivated enough to take a selfie for you, dear Internet!
This is me.
This is my beautiful bag of saline, and the 3D butterfly poster on the wall.
Am I not stunning, what with my flushed cheeks and chapped lips? Also, what the hell was I looking at? I’m thirty-five years old and have still not mastered taking a selfie with my phone. *shrug* I guess I was missing out on important life skills all those times I didn’t make a duck face and snap a pic. (That’s ALWAYS, you guys. I have NEVER made a duck face and took a picture of myself thinking I was sexy. If ever you find a duck face picture of me, know that it was done in parody.)
That’s pretty much the highlights of my story. I had Norovirus. I got fluids. I lived. My milk didn’t dry up! And the next day I didn’t poop even once.
Now, let us all pray that this is the last post I have to write about vomit or diarrhea for a very long time. Years even. In the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit, AMEN.