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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Medical Report: Surviving an Upset Tummy...

Pulling into the parking lot at work this morning was like returning to the scene of a crime. Where I might normally be scanning the lot for an open space to park in, I instead focused on the remaining outline of stained asphalt directly next to the parking spot I had occupied just Monday.

My quick inspection revealed that, though birds and other varmints may have plucked the chunks away, it would take a good rain or a guy with a 2,500 PSI power washer to undue the incredibly huge film of phlegm left when I projectile vomited, not once, but three times as I attempted to leave work two days ago.

Yes, there is definitely something going around; and I got it. I find it interesting how these things catch up to you. You see, only this past weekend, my wife had complained of some minor tummy infraction that was of no concern to me because, frankly, I never get sick. And since I never get sick, I have no problem with breathing the same air or sleeping in the same bed, simply because my wife feels a little queasy.

I may need to rethink that one.

Monday morning, I rolled into work as happy as a clam and for some reason, the first cup of coffee at work tasted slightly off. Mind you, I had already had three or four cups of coffee before getting to work, but I don’t really start counting until I’m on the clock.

Anyway, I hadn’t thought much of it until I started in on my cup of Raspberry yogurt from HEB, complete with a healthy scoop of granola from the bulk section. (This weekend, I was able to get into the bulk health food section without the overly helpful heath food adviser trapping me into a conversation about colon cleansing or the benefits of flax. Oh sure, I've been know to sprinkle flax seed on my fruit but I just don't want to stand in the middle of HEB and discuss it with an "adviser".) Anyway, as I took spoonful after spoonful of yogurt into my mouth, something very strange began to occur in my stomach.
Or further down.

Thankfully, we have an Executive Men's Room near my cubical and off I went. I'll spare you further detail, but trust me, this is not the type of thing you want to handle in a public restroom with the potential of some senator widening his stance nearby.

So a while later I emptied my nasty coffee out and got a fresh cup and decided to go for my cup of fruit. I know, it probably sounds like all I do at work is drink coffee, eat and crap; I do more but it isn't quite as interesting.

For some reason, it was taking me a really long time to finish off the fruit. And even though I had a fresh cup of coffee, it just didn't seem right. So, let's fast forward to later in the afternoon but suffice it to say I had paid several visits to the men's room, but most of them, all bark and no bite if you get my drift.

I opted for an old trick and decided a nice Sprite would have somewhat of a soothing effect on my stomach by creating an Alka-Seltzer like environment whereby I could burp a few times and get on with the day. I got about 4 sips of Sprite down my gullet before I really started to feel achy and bad.

Honestly, I was convinced I was experiencing PMS or at least the physical parts of it, because, as bad and crampy as I felt, I had no desire to kill men or yell at anyone.

At about 2pm, I decided I had had enough and thought I would go home and lay down a bit. I think the walk out to my van in conjunction with the Sprite had created some other sort of disturbance because when I sat down in the seat, I first thought I was having a heart attack. Don't worry, I feel this way a lot, especially when I have to take a few hours of PTO for something silly like being sick.

Anyway, as a huge sweat overcame my entire body, I instinctively swung open the door and in a single motion unstrapped my seat belt and unloaded a wave of Sprite, coffee, fruit, and I'm going to assume yogurt along the bottom of my inner door and by ricochet, onto the pavement below.

I try to avoid embarrassing scenes so I quickly jumped back into my seat and contemplated laying my seat all the way back and taking a 30 minute nap in hopes that if anyone had witnessed my little fire hose action, they would think that perhaps they were imagining things, after all, the only guy in that van is taking a nap. I know, not very bright thinking, but it was all I could come up in the two to three seconds before I was reaching for the door handle again. This time, the torrent of goodness included a few strands of undigested steak from the night before, and quite possibly, portions of my testicles.

Of course, out of the corner of my eye, I could see a man dressed nicely in a suit walking several rows away from me and though I'm sure he wanted to make contact with me to inquire as to my condition, he knew the man-rules well and continued on his way as though this were a private matter, and in fact, he had never even seen anyone else in the parking lot, especially a guy who just unloaded with a third wave all over his tie, slacks, a bright yellow shirt and some fancy shoes.

By now, I stood outside the vehicle for some strange reason reaching for my comb. I know it makes no sense but if this is to make the paper, I'd like to at least have combed hair to go along with my stained shirt and one of those long hanging snot-like strands of goo that shoots from your nose and mouth following an especially violent purging.

Call me a model, but I felt a lot better. Honestly, I contemplated going right back into the office and finishing the day had it not been for, well, the throw-up all over me.

So, I drive home and when I get to the house, I walk in and my wife looks at me. I don't recall the conversation but I know she said, "You didn't take pictures did you?" And that was it, I was out for the count. When I woke up later in the evening just in time to go to bed, I had made the mistake of trying to drink several bottles of water in just a few minutes to recover the lost fluids. Big mistake.

So, before I brushed my teeth for bed, I spent several minutes throwing up in every possible drain in our bathroom. Yep. Why stick with the toilet when you can use the sink and the tub? And then, once I had that wonderful just finished blowing chunks feeling going, I started from the other end. In the toilet, not the sink or the tub.

After a really restless night where I ended up in the living room sitting upright on a recliner watching re-runs of Fox News programs, I got up to get ready for work. I never left the house and with good cause. That was Tuesday.

So this morning just when I got up thinking things were back to normal, I had one last little "incident". My kids like to use the term "Sharted".

But, through the judicial use of Saltines and tiny sips of Gatorade, I was able to manage my situation well enough to make my way to work and to park far, far away from the scene of that horrific incident on Monday.

In 18 hours or so, I may be ready for a huge serving of Thanksgiving turkey. I'll just keep a clear path to the parking lot.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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