Dropping off the Earth: Diary of the gastric-stricken

No energy.

Flat as a tack.

I am expending what little I have on the simple mundane duties that are required of a mother. Nay, a human being. Breathe in, breathe out. Phew, that’s exhausting.

I was struck down by the dreaded gastro bug on Sunday night. One minute, I was out sharing a meal with some of my dear neighbours (great girls, I feel so grateful they are nearby to call on… not that I called on them in my hour of chucky need… I’m saving the favour for something more, dare I say, savoury…)

Next minute, I was lying in bed wondering who had embedded that painful metal rod through the front of my brain.

Then, on cue, every 20 minutes for the first hour, the bucket beside my bed became my go-to.

Never one to under-achieve, I increased the frequency. For several hours, I was given barely 10 minutes’ rest before the next heave-ho session. I called out to Steve every few “times” to refill my sipping water and my bucket water. He was like the best nurse you could ever hope for. Without complaint. Replenishing without a word…. probably lest he be ill himself.

If there’s one thing I can’t cope with, it’s vomit. Not even my own. Even the word makes me feel quite ill. But oh, that sweet momentary relief from the twisted gut pain you get for those brief two minutes or so before the stabby pains set back in. Aren’t they delicious to savour?

By the third hour, I wanted absolute silence. I heard Steve start the oven for their lunch. Immediately, my mind wondered what he was feeding our child for lunch. And for the next unbearable time, all I could think was the word “pies.”

Pies. Pies. Pies. Chuck, heave, groan.

By the fourth hour, I managed to settle my overactive reflexes down enough to grab a fifteen minute delirium-filled sleep. I had You Win Again by the Bee Gees stuck on replay in my head. WHYYY? Sweet mercy, why that song? I was going quietly mad. It reminded me of a scene from “Touching The Void” where the survivor describes being close to death, thinking he would die out there in the snow, and he had a Bony M song stuck in his head. It was one of the only light-hearted moments of the film. I feel him.

By the fifth hour, I would sob into the bucket at the end of the “spiw” (the LGBB’s cute word for it, a mixture I think of “spill” and “spew” that she must have misheard the first time someone said it – I prefer spiw, much better than that V-word I mentioned earlier).

And by the sixth hour I had begun the pleading promises. “If I ever get better, I’ll wash those grimy windows I’ve been looking out of and promising myself I should clean”, “If I ever get better, I promise I won’t drink so much coffee”, “If I ever get better, I’ll do more for world peace…. anything…” You get my drift.

I spent the end of the day quite pleasantly wrapped up on the couch by the fire with my dear little girl placing a lavender eye pack over my forehead, patting my hair and saying, “If you need anything else I’ll be right here. Ukkay?” somewhat patronizingly, but still oh so gorgeous as she flitted out of the room and out of earshot anyway. Bless her.

So that’s where I’ve been. And where I am.

Today, I am left feeling like my ribs have been crushed in a vice, bruised and battered from their enforced workout. So… how are my pec’s looking? Wanna compare core strength? Mine’s pretty darn good today. Forget your work-out fads, just get down on the floor and simulate hurling your guts up, you’ll soon have a shapely torso I’m tipping.


And now, I will leave it to Mr De Becker (Gotye) to describe how grateful I feel now it’s all over…. I’d best get started on my long list of promises.



How does your mind cope over the hours of a sudden, sharp, nasty bout of raging illness? The type where you can’t even distract yourself with listening to music or a TV but you can’t sleep either? Does it go as batty as mine?



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