This entry may border on TMI (too-much-information) but I wanted to let you all know that I went home from work today sick with the stomach flu. This merits attention because this is the first time I have thrown up in like twenty years.
I am not joking.
My last case of projectile vomiting happened when I was like 10 years old at the funeral home where we went to see the body of my twenty-something cousin--also named Yvonne--who tragically died in a car accident. I did not know Yvonne very well, but I remember feeling a little strange before we left the house, and I remember this full stomach feeling and needing to go outside constantly for fresh air. On top of all this, I cried like a baby. I was so traumatized by this dead person with my name. When we were close to leaving, the feeling came over me and I dashed down the stairs trying to run into the bathroom but didn't make it. So I threw up all over the floor, spewing in all sorts of directions, like little kids do, until someone grabbed my shoulders and thrust me into the bathroom and over the toilet.
Throwing up was a horrible feeling, one I never wanted to experience again. And I might be wrong, but I don't think I did for twenty years. Sure, I had a few bouts of vomit. The first time I flew by myself on an airplane, I threw up outside on the pavement before we went into the terminal. That was more like a mouthful of crap, like I was making a big spit or something. In college, a medication I took made me dry heave for a few hours. But that is all I can think of. Even when I drank alcohol during college or my first years in New York, I never puked. Ever. Sure, I felt bad sometimes but feeling bad was so much better than chucking it and I would try to will it away and did so successfully.
My brother Pete, on the other hand, seemed to get the stomach bug once a year when we lived in the same house. I remember the days where he stayed closed up in his room, in his red and black checked flannel pajamas, my grandmother tip toeing around him, trying to take care of him the best she could. I would avoid my brother like the plague during his yearly illness and a few days after, terrified I would get the bug, too. I never did.
And then today. I woke up early for a morning run in Central Park. And my stomach kind of hurt, but no biggie. I watched a beautiful rose-colored sunrise framing the Manhattan skyline and it was wondrous. My nausea increased when I went to work. I sat down in my boss's office and told her I didn't feel well, but don't worry, I never throw up.
Around noon, my concentration was shot especially since I began visiting the bathroom very 10 minutes and walking back to my desk I felt that oh-so-familiar-after-all-those-years fullness in my stomach. I took a cab home. Popped an Immodium in my mouth and then proceeded to throw up my breakfast. Luckily, I was close range to a toilet and even though I have little experience, I figured out how to aim properly this time.
And so I am home sick. Horribly, horribly sick with a fever on top. Pete in his pajamas sick, with no grandma to dab a wet towel on my head. It's just as bad as I remembered it. Dan stopped by before his poker game to drop me off some Pepto, saltines and ginger ale. I think my illness came from the Chinese food we ate last night, the place where Dan insists we eat from about once a week, even though I don't really like Chinese. Scared that we may never order from there again, Dan tells me he will eat my leftovers to prove me wrong. That it wasn't the Chinese. That I got sick some other way.
I like no way, dude.
Worse than me being sick is to take care of Dan when he gets sick. Do you think he would let me go to some poker game? Hells no. He turns into an invalid when he gets a cough. I don't get sick all that often, so I hope it's another 20 years until I feel this way again. Help me will it away. And more importantly, hopefully Dan will not catch the bug either.
UPDATE: I learned today that my mom, Pete and Annette are also sick....which means that we probably got sick during mom's birthday dinner. Dan's reply to this discovery: DON'T THROW OUT THE CHINESE FOOD!