The last twenty-four hours have been less than ideal for me. Between feeling like my bedroom was spinning to sleeping with a garbage bag nearby bedside table in case I get sick and can’t make it to the bathroom, I have had what most would consider the stomach flu. Except unlike the full-blown stomach flu, this is the condensed, Sparknotes version. All the same symptoms, but all in the span of about a day. And trust me, the symptoms are just as bad. Worse even. For the sake of those lovely people who have been blessed with never having the 24 Stomach Flu, let me break it down for you, stage by stage:
Stage 1: Huh, that’s weird, I’m suddenly not feeling to well. You day will start off normal. Nothing out of the ordinary will happen, you’ll go to you classes or work, you eat the same thing you always eat for lunch, but then, something changes. You begin to feel a little off. You may get a stomach ache, even though all you ate for lunch was a turkey sub and Baked Lays from Subway. At this stage you blame your ill feelings on indigestion or not eating enough.
Stage 2: Wow, what is going on with me? Now you know it’s probably not indigestion. The Peptol Bysmol you took is not helping. Not only do you now have a stomach ache, but thinking about food is now causing you to become ill. You may also experience dizziness and sudden fatigue.
Stage 3: Okay, I really don’t feel well. At this point, you pack up your work, tell your boss you need to go home and hope to god you can make it there before getting sick all over the sidewalk. You stumble home, trying hard not to smell the Domino’s Pizza and Chipotle you must pass on your way home.
Stage 4: Why is the room spinning? I think I’m going to be sick. Hopefully you made it home vomit free. If you have, bonus points to you! If not, sucks to be you. You are now laying on your bed, wishing that the ceiling would stop rotating and your bed would stop jarring. Your backpack/briefcase/whatever-you-carry-your-work-things-in bag has been dumped on the floor along with your coat, mail (if you even bothered to get it), and shoes. You can pick them up later when the idea of bending over is to pick them up, not to throw up in the toilet. Most likely at this stage, you will get sick. And it will be violent. And you will feel like crap.
Stage 5: The “Dear God I’m Going to Die” Panic Attack. You’ve gotten sick. It was awful. You feel awful. You crawl back into bed, limbs shaking from the strain you just put on them. As you lie there trying to regain stability, a horrible thought runs through your head: I’m going to die. What ever this is, is going to kill me. At that moment you wish you had ordered the meatball sub instead of the Turkey sub, because the meatball was what you really wanted but you didn’t get it because it was higher in calories. You wish you had the strength to write a quick will, so that your friends and family know who should get your monkey cookie jar and who should get your giraffe figurine from Nigeria. An overwhelming fear overcomes you when you realize neither of your roommates/family members are home and they will come in and find you dead, half in your pajamas, half in your work clothes with your hair slightly damp from rinsing the vomit out of it. You wish you had shaved your legs the night before so the coroner wouldn’t have to touch your hairy legs. All of this happens within the span of about a minute to a minute and a half.
Stage 6: Acceptance of your impending death and peace knowing you’ll soon be done with whatever this is. After the panic attack subsides, you suddenly don’t really care if you die or not. If you die, you get to go to heaven, and you won’t feel like crap anymore. And at the time, that sounds pretty good. You don’t want to die, but you’ve come to terms with it.
Stage 7: The Major Nap. As you drift off to
Heaven sleep, your body just kind of takes over and puts you in a coma. You’re out for hours, and not even an earthquake or the apocalypse would wake you. This is a good thing, because at least you aren’t throwing up.
Stage 8: The fullest bladder ever; also known as the biggest pee in your life. If you were taking care of yourself prior to the major nap, you would have been drinking plenty of clear fluids or Gatorade. What little managed to stay in you have now made it to your bladder and honey, your bladder is about to burst. You run to the bathroom, happy that for once you’re not there to vomit. Relieved that your bladder is no longer empty, and that you didn’t get sick, you think maybe you’ll try to eat something.
Stage 9: The sudden food cravings. Because you haven’t eaten anything in quite a while, your body might want something odd, but nothing that would make you sick again. Like mashed potatoes. Or a PB&J. Or buttered noodles and parmesan from Noodles and Company. If you’re lucky enough to have those foods, you’ll make them. If not, you’ll find something else to eat.
*Optional Stage: The revert to sickness. If your food craving did not make you feel better, it may cause you to get sick again. If this occurs, stages 7-9 might be repeated.
Stage 10: The Second Major Nap. Just to be on the safe side, you’ll take a nap after you eat something. This nap will either confirm or deny whether you are getting better or not. If you wake up during the nap and get sick, then that’s a bad sign. If you make it through this nap without getting sick, the light is at the end of the tunnel my friends.
Stage 11: The starvation mode. If you Successfully made it through the Second Major Nap, you will most likely wake up starving. It will feel as though your stomach is a black hole that will suck itself away if you don’t get food this very instant. You will be ravenous. Don’t make the mistake though of eating whatever is in the fridge. That will just make you sick again. Eat a full meal, but make sure is still bland-ish.
Stage 12: I’m totally fine again. What the crap? Suddenly, all is well. It will feel like you were never sick. And there’s no particular reason for it. All you know is you were on your death-bed a few hours ago and now you’re completely better. C’est la vie.