Telling Tales – The Stomach Bug
I’ve always wondered what a stomach bug looks like. It sounds like it would be a cute little character that would appear in a Pixar movie. I’ve now decided that little twit is anything but cute. Someone should change the description of this menacing little contagion that hits households every year just in time for Christmas. The “bug” hit us this year with a vengeance. Especially me!
The only thing more exhausting than feeling nauseous for 48 hours straight is your best friend calling, emailing and texting every hour to see how much weight you’ve lost and to remind you to weigh just in case you forget.
I naively thought I managed to steer clear of this virus, this plague, this hideous thing that hit my children and husband the week before. Cleaning up vomit, lying in bed next to my children for comfort, cleaning and re-cleaning sheets, bleaching everything that wouldn’t be damaged and I didn’t feel sick by Christmas morning. Imagine my surprise when a full 2 ½ days after Christmas, I started to feel a little flush. That’s the only word I can think of to describe the feeling of sweating and chills simultaneously. Then the unusual yet familiar noises coming from my stomach started. The churning sounded like a scary little gnome whispering, “I’m back for you…mwhahahahahahahah.” I was at work, so it’s not like I could just take the laptop and phone in my room and work in bed. I had to tough it out through the 10 o’clock newscast.
I made it home, opened a Sprite (which, thank God, we had!) and crawled into bed hoping this bug would only last overnight. It didn’t. By the next morning, I was hot, cold, nauseous and cramping. It hurt to open my eyes. The only thing that made the trips to and from the bathroom bearable was seeing my scale next to the toilet. (This is going to be the best diet ever!) I couldn’t tell you my husband’s name, but I knew that from the time I started feeling nauseous until that moment it had been 21 hours and 44 minutes since I’d eaten.
At the 30 hour mark, the cramps were so bad my husband offered to take me to the emergency room. I thought about it. But snapped out of my sickness induced mania long enough to know I’d rather use that money to take a vacation than pay an exorbitant fee to have a medical resident roll their eyes at me while assuring me “it’s a simple virus.”
But if I was dying, there were some things I needed taken care of in my absence. That’s when I got a text from Angel checking to see if I’d weighed yet. I responded that I hadn’t had a chance to weigh yet because I was probably dying. Here’s the texting conversation that ensued,
Angel- “I’m coming over to pick up those handbags I gave you. And tell Jay to move the dining room table so I can take back that rug. I just got a cramp! You probably gave it to me. I am going to be so mad if you did!”
Me- “If you want the bags you must follow these instructions in the event of my demise. 1. Make sure to deactivate my Facebook page 2 weeks after I’m buried. That should be long enough for my ‘friends’ to talk about how wonderful I was but not so long as they lose interest. 2. Make sure to order extra flowers for the funeral if it looks like there’s not going to be tons. Order 1 HUGE arrangement and on the card sign, ‘To Becky, You were next for my book club. Your Friend, Oprah.’ 3. And when you’re settling my ‘estate’ use part of the insurance to pay my American Express off and just tell Jay it was for some ‘attorney fee.’ And when you do all this, the bags are yours.”
I survived, and now things are back to normal. My boys are enjoying their last few days of break, my husband is still complaining about taking down Christmas lights and Angel is still reminding me that she gets my handbags if I die.
By BECKY ANDREWS