Friday, February 29, 2008

Things I don't understand #19...

...My mysterious stomach ailment or...why my stomach decided Thursday night would be a good time to turn against itself and the rest of my body. (Yes this is a post about how I got sick last night, but I think we both know you're a bit of a sadist when in comes to me and you secretly enjoy my suffering...or at least find humor in it. Maybe a little too much?)

Depending on how well you know me, you might already be aware of this little "feature" of me. If not, I'll try to lay it out for you. Despite that fact that I rarely get sick ( I worked at my former employer over 7 years before I missed my first day because of illness) and despite my claims that "I have the immune system of a horse", I have also been "blessed" with certain issues which tend to bring me back down to earth. The one of which I'm speaking is mainly composed of random bouts of nausea and random pains in my stomach and lower abdomen area. At it's peak level of performance, I am inundated with nausea with a chaser of stomach cramps. It's a lot of fun. The culmination of this particular level came about 5 years ago when I ended up in the emergency room on Christmas Day. On the way to said ER, I had prayed, not that I wouldn't die--that was already a forgone conclusion in my mind-- but just that I would have a peace about it. So after they ran all their tests, including a x-ray of my abdomen, they told me I was...dehydrated. You think? Might that have something to do with the fact that all solids and liquids that where once in my body have left long ago? And the only thing I've had in the last 24 hours is a couple of sips of Sprite (BTW, when and how did the clear soft drinks become some form of elixir? They never seem to work. Especially on someone who drinks sugar water about 4-5 times a year.) They gave me an I.V. and an hour later I went home. You might be saying, "This guy should go see a doctor." You're so cute, really, let me pat you on the head...such a cutie. Since the first pain in my stomach about 9 or 10 years ago that had me convinced I had appendicitis, I have been to various and sundry doctors. They do their blood work. Nothing. I've had multiple ultrasounds. Nothing. I had a doctor finally diagnose me with something. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with all the nausea and abdomen pain, but he tried, dangit. So with that as our backdrop, we return to last night.

Oddly enough, I can usually feel these little episodes coming on and have found that immediately over-hydrating and trying to eat something benign will usually quell any massive attacks. On this day, though, the two glasses of water and the banana at 4:00 had no effect. By 5, I had moved all operations to the bed. By 6 I was freezing, despite the fact that I was fully clothed, under the covers and the temperature flirted with 70. By 6:30 I was fully entrenched in the seemingly endless campaign of "Jason's Stomach Wants to be Empty '08" which included both the nausea and the cramps. But I was fighting the good fight. Later the point of attack was modified, and let's just say I got out flanked. By 8 last night, I was sure that my stomach was pretty much empty. And it's not like there was all that much to begin with. Along with the banana, all I had had was a cup of cereal and a PB&J. So it's not like my body was retaliating for me pulling a Kobayashi or something. At any rate, the nausea and cramps continued to build in intensity. At 10:30, "We're Down with Up Chuck '08" campaign had all the votes it needed. As I knelt at the porcelain throne, I was surprised by two things. One, there was actually stuff in there. I really thought all previous consumptions had already been evacuated. And Two(*warning* this might be too graphic those of you with a weak stomach), pieces of banana were still present. Banana should not be able to survive in the human body for almost 7 hours. Essential, my digestive system flipped me the bird and went on strike. Bastard. Oh, this might be a good time to mention that for the last 6 months I've been imbibing one of these yogurt drinks that are supposed to help strengthen your immune system and assist your digestive track. I did have one yesterday morning. And I'm not saying it was completely useless, but you remember at the end of Saving Private Ryan when Tom Hanks' character pulls out his service revolver and starts firing shots at the German tank as he realizes that he'll never see his wife again?(Too much?) The effectiveness levels might have been similar.

So after orally extricating myself from any connection to food in either a solid or liquid form, I immediately felt better. I wondered why I had delayed this for so long. Within a few minutes, the thought of sleep seemed possible. I started to drift off. At that same point I also started to dream, even though I don't believe I was completely asleep. Here's where it might even got a little weirder. During my non-dream dream, part of me or maybe my conscious (or sub-conscious?) decided to object to a moral or ethical decision I had made in such dream. More or less that I was allowing the dream to continue along this path. But get this, in the sub-dream to my non-dream my alternate self (or split-conscious) was represented visually by Academy Award nominated, and Golden Globe award winning English actor Clive Owen. Huh? What's he doing here? (He was actually dressed very similarly to the picture you see at right.) At this point I realized (somewhat consciously) that I'm having a debate about my non-dream with myself as Clive Owen acts as my own agent in the dissenting opinion. This causes me to wake, and I agree with Clive (myself) that I will assent to his viewpoint if he (Clive) goes away. He does, and I fall back to blissful sleep. For ONE WHOLE HOUR! Why it's so hard for a tired, sick person to fall asleep completely evades me, but at 3:30 I was still lying there wondering what else I could do. I eventually was overcome, but before that I found out a couple of things when I resorted to flipping around on the TV hoping something or someone would knock me out. (1) There's a reality show (on Bravo I think) that features a dating service strictly for millionaire men. Some chick takes their money then scours L.A. for suitable mates. Shockingly, women want to be set up with rich guys. Most the time, it starts where 2 of the clients (men), are dropped in a room of 20-30 models/actresses/younger, attractive women and they always (shockingly) seem to like the men. Then the matchmaker does all the leg work in setting up individual dates with the hot chick of the guy's choosing. What a country. (2) I was actually quite shocked by this and keep in mind at 2:45 am I'm just flipping from channel to channel to see if anything can hold my interest for 2 minutes. Well, if you happen to flip by the Oxygen network at about that time, you might see what I saw. Which was two women selling...wait for toys. Yeah, I'm serious. In the 90 seconds I saw, I discovered things I didn't even know existed...and then there were the products (Ha, see what I did there...I led you in one direction and then WHAM, funny time.) But really, is this appropriate? Can't a sick guy just be sick without having to see that?

Well, I did sleep. I then woke up and had a nice piece of dry toast for breakfast. Of course, I followed that up with a #1 at Chic-fil-a for lunch. So yeah, I'm one of those guys who likes to get right back on the horse...and then write an incredibly long and inane post about the falling off part.

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