Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Thing About Being Sick

Is that I hate it.  Really really bad.
Throwing up is traumatic. It goes against nature. Your body says, “oh geez.. what have you done? Alright, we’ll get rid of it. But just so you know, this is totally NOT how I operate, normally.  But I will, because it’s my job, and because i can, and because I'm always cleaning up your stupid messes. But you’re not going to like it. Ready… and...HEAVE.”   

I feel like my body’s mad at me for being careless and I am punished.  And after getting the message from my stomach, all the associated parts of my body are like, “what? Really? @#$%, again?? Ok.. fine…”   And the esophagus waits, standing by for the push back. The muscles push and the ribs brace themselves and my teeth say “blarrgghh!!... awesome...”  My lungs freeze, my sweat glands go into overdrive, and all the little capillaries hold hands, put on a brave face, and do their very best to hang on.  And when it's over, there's a collective high-five.   And I’m over there, moaning and groaning and wondering why this is happening to me, whyyyy?   Because I am wussy mcwusserson when I have the heaves.

This past weekend Sean and I both got sick pretty much at the exact same time. I had been puking for a couple hours when he said, “I don’t feel so good” and I was like, “yeah right, stop trying to copy me.”   But then he got it too.   Instinct tells me to make a situation like this into some sort of game or competition, like “let’s see who can make the best puke noises!” or  a Double Dare-like game where you have to fill a container past a line within a certain amount of time. But unfortunately being in this condition confuses and numbs my brain and all I can do is try to distract myself from the trauma. 

When I have the heaves, I have to be distracted. I can’t just go to bed and lie in wait for it to build..and build.. and build. Boiling, frothing. It’s torturous.  The looming and building pain. That’s the worst.  So when I’m in a lot of pain like that, where I can’t do anything but wait, I need to be distracted. And the best way to do that is to put in a movie that soothes me.  A couple of years ago I hurt my foot in a really bizarre way. I slipped getting on a subway train and sort of kicked the edge of it, right on the top of my foot, which is a terrible place for an injury. Anyone who’s dropped a sizable bottle of shampoo on their foot knows what I am talking about.  Anyway, it felt fine a few minutes after but hours later when I woke from a nap, I was in excruciating pain. The foot looked fine. No swelling, nothing.  But it hurt like the devil. I had a fetus inside me at the time so I was reluctant to take drugs. It was terrible.  The only thing that helped was watching Jurassic Park, for only a T-rex and velociraptors can help me forget my pain.

This time it was Star Trek, the new one.  The perfect sick movie.  So Sean and I spent the night perfecting our synchronized vomit routine.  I’d throw up every 2 hours with outstanding stomach cramps in between. I’d make Sean pause the movie every time while I rolled around mumbling, “why vomit.. why.. just come up.. what do you want from me? I’ll do anything.. just tell me…..” 

And then the next day, with both of us ill, presented a new situation: How to take care of a child when both parents are zombies? It was interesting and new.  And even more, how to do it when I have regressed extensively to my own childlike state?   Crumpled on the floor in a heap I mumble to Julian, “Julian.. could you go get me some water? Please? C’mon…”  or “I can’t take care of you, Julian, don’t you understand?! I’m sick!”  and he tries to repeat the word “sick,” giggles gleefully, and then jumps on my stomach.  It just doesn’t work well at all.

Fortunately it was the weekend, and as rough as it was, I’m kind of glad we both had it. Because though 2 sick parents can’t take care of themselves let alone a child, at least the pair of them can entertain him with their moaning and whining and delirium. And he can rub his flu-shotted self in their faces. Suckers!

Good fun.

6 comments:

Annie said...

So very sorry. That was the thing I was most scared about having another baby. How could I possibly take care of a kid, while pregnant?! I'm such a pansy when I'm sick. Which is why my kids developed a serious morning t.v. habit. Only took me until about two months ago to successfully attempt breaking the habit. Counting pregnancy, that's only what, 21 months of watching an hour of t.v. to start the day. It was like Folgers in the-eir cup.

Joel said...

We've been really lucky that our illnesses are usually staggered, so one of us is more or less healthy to wrangle the kids. Instead, our trial is just that we never get any sleep. I'm not sure which is worse.

lindsey v said...

Isn't the body amazing? But so sorry you're sick, that's super sucky.

Ashley said...

Aw, I didn't know you had the heaves! (Although, for the record, I'm against the usage of that phrase. It falls into the "dawg" and "bev" category. :D) Anyway, hope you're on the mend.

Amberbop said...

Some descriptive aspects of this post almost got me ready to join the club. That's great descriptive writing there jen-mo. Also high five on the capillaries holding hands. That is SO what happens.

Brooke said...

This makes me think of that sad eternal night of throwing up that we experienced together at Monticello. You'd over-heated at the pool that day (I think) and consequently heaved all night long. I feel like I held your hair back, but really now it's all just a nightmarish blur of a memory.