SICK AS A DOG
27 May 2002
I think I'm going to live. I wasn't so sure yesterday at about this time.
I can't remember the last time I was really sick. I've had the occasional
sniffles or cough or what have you, but real
shivering-in-blankets-high-fever-constant-diarrhea kind of sick?...it's been years.
There was a period when I would have these intestinal upsets but I could almost always
trace it back to some dietary indiscretion--eating a bag of Oreos, or a bowl of chocolate
chip cookie dough, for example. Or a dozen hockies (fried bread dough) slathered with a
quarter pound of butter. Or half a pumpkin pie. All those things I've done while hiding in
a back room so nobody would know.
But as we all know, I don't do that any more. I live a clean and pure life,
gastronomically speaking, and unless you can make yourself sick on strawberries and humus
(not together, thank you), I had to eliminate food as a cause.
In the beginning it was just the diarrhea. It is exactly 21 steps from my desk to the
bathroom and I would be afraid that I wouldn't make it in time. In truth I hadn't eaten
enough the day before to produce what I was producing. I swear I was processing foods I
might have thought about eating.
Finally around 11 a.m., I decided to take my temperature. It was nothing to get excited
about--a little over 99--but I pronounced myself "sick" and told Walt he'd have
to go to the wedding we were scheduled to attend by himself. I gave myself permission not
to even think about working and I piled up movies on the DVD and settled in to vegetate
(punctuated by those mad dashes to the bathroom, which continued).
I don't think I watched an entire movie all day. I dozed off an on through The Big
Chill and am only vaguely aware of anything else that I started to watch on Cable
Around noon I realized I hadn't had a thing to eat yet and marveled at that. Now some
people would just not eat, but I had this feeling I should have something in my
system, so I fixed myself two dry pieces of toast. They went down like...dry pieces of
My system was thrilled--something new to process!!
I took my temperature again. The body was now telling me--"Yes, you're really
sick." It was climbing up over 100.
Back to the chair and my pile of blankets and Cable.
I was unaware when Walt left for the wedding. When I next woke up, to get myself some
water, he was gone--and my temp was up to 101.6. The diarrhea seemed to have stopped,
though, so I allowed myself one container of non-fat yogurt. (Sum total of points for the
The dog did the happy dance when I got up, thinking I was going to feed her. I tried to
tell her I was too sick, but she wasn't listening, so I got her bowl, filled it with dry
food, and promptly knocked it on the floor when I was trying to add wet food. I was too
dizzy to even think about cleaning it up and I just figured she could eat it off the floor
as well as in a bowl, so I left it. (She did)
The next time I woke up, I staggered into the computer and wrote an abbreviated journal
entry, just because I'm compulsive and because pride prevented me from skipping a day.
Thank goodness I know HTML. I just did a copy on the previous entry and inserted one brief
I have no idea when Walt returned home. I was still asleep. All I know was that he was
here when I next woke up because I could hear him moving around upstairs. I didn't talk to
him. I managed to stay awake through "Queer as Folks" but whatever was on after
that is a blur.
At some point I woke up and had a splitting headache, so I took some Advil finally, and
then went back to sleep again, this time, amazingly, for a longer stretch (my body must
have realized it was "night" and the official time to sleep).
Somewhere toward the end of the night--maybe it was 5 a.m.--I realized that the sky was
starting to get lighter and thought that surely I must be slept out. It also felt like my
fever was gone. I checked the TV schedule and turned on Dr. T and the Women, a
movie Peggy and I went to see when she was here, but walked out of after she declared it
"rubbish." I managed to watch almost to the end of it and agree--it was rubbish
from beginning to end. Richard Gere (and everyone else!) should have known better. I don't
care if it was Robert Altman--it was still crap.
The movie put me back to sleep again and when I next woke up it was 8 a.m. Walt had, at
some point, gotten up and made coffee and I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee.
I also awoke to no diarrhea.
And no fever.
My body was still not ready for coffee (I discovered), but it was very pleased to have
had some cereal put into it and, thank goodness, the cereal stayed in place for awhile,
which was very nice.
I've now managed to go half a day with no mad dashes to the bathroom, I've had a shower
and feel clean finally, and when I checked the scale, I lost about 3 lbs yesterday. I
wonder if it will stay off. Probably. I still don't feel much like eating.
Uh...thanks for the appropriate wishes--it worked!!!