Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mom, can you pass the side of norovirus or gastroenteritis?

My SO and I rode north to New Jersey for Thanksgiving this year for her first turkey eating with her soon-to-be in-laws, while I return the family visitation over Christmas. There were two events of note this day…neither my sister nor I had to do any leaf raking and I voluntarily peeled all potatoes and apples (it helps that I negotiated a deal to watch football on the HDTV in the kitchen). We sat for dinner around 4, said thanks, released some tears, and enjoyed some laughs. The food was great (as usual) and I made sure to enjoy my can of cranberry sauce. After cleaning up, my mom’s friend visited and we enjoyed mommy’s homemade apple pie and (thanks to my SO’s request) pumpkin pie.

Friday was spent visiting friends, showing-off the ring, and finishing off my faithful Chicago reader’s chocolate chip cookies. Dinner was leftovers so when my SO and I arrived around 6:30 for chow, we saw that the leftovers were still leftover.

This was no match for my stomach virus.

My sister was upstairs where she got to view Thursday’s meal another time. My dad was in the same boat and occupied the other bathroom on the second floor. My mom had been showing signs since Thursday afternoon that she wasn’t feeling so hot either. I wasn’t feeling bad, but I also wasn’t hungry – something I should have been because lunch was seven hours ago. The only non-stomach virus members went to the store to buy soup, coca-cola (for its syrup), and some gaviscon. As we were checking out, my stomach started its freefall.

I left my SO around 10 to test my old bathroom’s flushing capability and share the company of my sister and mom. My sister and I were on a bike chain that was constantly in motion from her room to the bathroom. We took turns on 3-minute intervals and eventually worked our way to 10 minutes. By then I was trying to sleep in my old room, but still woke-up at least twice an hour to take care of business.

Rumble, rumble, rumble goes the tummy.

Flush, flush, flush goes the toilet.

Dawn broke on Saturday with my immediate family still feeling the wrath of gastroenteritis. Our plans to go into the city to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and have dinner weren’t going to happen. I needed to rehydrate, but I only felt worse after a few sips of water. My SO showed no signs of the illness and was relegated to a day with her soon to be in-laws who felt horrible. She was a trooper though and stayed with us. By 4 that afternoon, my sister was feeling much better so she and my SO went to the mall to break their cabin fever. My mom was also feeling better, but my father and I weren’t 100%. My body still ached and my stomach could barely stomach (haha) two slices of toast. My dad got a violent case of hiccups and was taken to the ER by my mom. My sister and SO returned and we checked on my dad who was doing much better. We picked-up some Chinese food (white rice for my sensitive stomach) and waited for my parents to get back from the hospital.

The meal was without incident until 9. That’s when it became apparent that my SO’s hunger pains a few hours before weren’t hunger pains as she got to see her Chinese food again and again. She and I switched roles as I got some restless, but bathroom-trip free sleep and she was upstairs in my bedroom for quick access to the bathroom. This proved our theory wrong that it was the turkey’s white meat to blame. My SO only ate dark meat and since she hadn’t gotten sick we thought it was a combination of eating white meat, the turkey being organic, and the refrigerator not working well enough to prevent bacteria. Lo and behold, it was something beyond my mom’s cooking as she has never undercooked anything, always using a meat thermometer and a very sterile kitchen to prevent any illness.

You know it's coming back up.

By Sunday, my parents, sister, and I were feeling better so we had our reliable breakfast before leaving of lox, bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes, and onions. I thought my stomach was ready for the acidic combination, but I was uncomfortably wrong. My SO and I stayed later than we expected and left around 3 when we had a window of no nausea. The drive home only took an hour longer than normal and we timed it well so we missed traffic for the Jets, Ravens, and Redskins home games at 1. It also helps when you have zero desire to stop for dinner. From Friday's lunch through Tuesday, I had gotten by on some white rice, a few slices of bread, and soup. Things are better now having had a real lunch today, but I’m not about to be the first in line for any heavy significant food for a few more days.

I think this should be a new diet. The best way to lose weight over the holidays is to get yourself a horrible stomach virus, but at least we weren't on a cruise like these folks.

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