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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I survived 6-hour Ebola

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I survived Ebola, the 6-hour kind.

Ok, it wasn't Ebola, but about this time yesterday, you couldn't have convinced me otherwise. It started unassumingly enough in the morning at work. I felt like junk. Fatigued. Achey. Then after a light lunch of yogurt and blueberries, the egg burps arrived. I hate those, all their foul-smelling, nasty tasting, sulfuric disgustingness. So, then I felt like junk and smelled like rotting eggs. 

After work, Annie picked me up to take me to parent orientation night at her school. On the way, she said "Mom, did you fart?" 

"No." I wasn't about to tell her that smell came from my mouth, not my butt.

She dropped me off and I chose a seat in the middle-ish of the room. Despite the air conditioning, I was sweating buckets and kept dragging the back of my hand across my forehead to wipe the sweat away. As I sat listening to the principal and other administrators address the parents of returning students, I wished to heck that I had chosen a seat way out of the way of other people. The egg burps kept coming and I kept my lips tightly pursed together, not wanting anyone to wonder if I was sitting there blatantly flaunting flatulence. The more I swallowed the burps, the worse I felt.

After the presentation, I was more than ready to go home. But, I was catching a ride home with another parent and there was an information fair to visit. I stood in a few lines, feeling my stomach bloat by the minute, desperate for some water or, better yet, my bed. I took a sip from the drinking fountain and prayed that my ride was ready to go. 

"Oh, I need to do one more thing," she said. I hadn't let on that I was feeling rotten, so she had no way of knowing. "Sure," I said, as I spied some peppermints in a bowl. I grabbed one, thinking the mint would settle my stomach. That is when everything went, well, Ebola-riffic.

I put the peppermint in my mouth and immediately that pool of saliva that comes right before you throw up made its appearance. I ran to the bathroom, hit the first stall and didn't know which end to put down. I opted to sit, having had plenty of experience breathing through nausea when I was pregnant. As I practice my best "please, please don't let me throw up" breathing, my liquified insides drained. And then, it happened.

There was no breathing through this nausea. I tried to get up and swing my head to the toilet, but the result was a very art deco-ish swirl of vomit that coated the side of the stall and the wall behind the toilet. I could only think to pray that a.) there was no one else in the bathroom and 2.) that I did not have diarrhea or vomit dripping from my clothes. 

Thanking my lucky stars that my clothes had been spared attack, I got some wet paper towels and cleaned up what I could, though the result was no where near "clean." I left washed up as best I could, went out to alert the school staff that cleanup was needed in stall #1 and prayed that my ride was ready to leave. Thankfully, she was. 

I worried about getting sick again on the way home. I didn't mention anything to my friend, feeling bad that I was going to be placing my germy self in her car for the next 20 minutes. Instead I tried to make conversation and was silently thankful that my friend is a nurse, in case something unspeakable did happen.

I got home, dropped everything and took myself straight to bed. Which is where I stayed for about 3-1/2 minutes before I was assaulting our own toilet. And that's how it went for the next several hours. Time was a blur. I couldn't fall asleep, but I couldn't read or use my phone. I don't believe I have ever been that deliriously sick in my life. Eventually, I gave up trudging back to bed after getting sick and instead laid on the bathroom floor. 

By 1:00am, the torrent of bodily fluids appeared to be over. I awoke this morning feeling like I'd been run over by a garbage truck with a head that felt like it was in a vise. I called in sick to work and spent the rest of the day sleeping with intermittent periods of answering emails from work. 

And now, 24 hours later, I'm bravely attempting a baked potato, watching Cinderella on DVD, and sharing this story that you probably wish you hadn't read. 


Beth Zimmerman said...

I'm glad you are feeling better!