Thursday, December 10, 2009

Checking My List

Add Denver Omelet to the list. That’s the note I made to myself at 3:30 a.m. as I hunched over the toilet and regurgitated the last of my stomach contents. The list, of course, is the "Things That Give Me the Flu or at Least Cause Me to Be Violently Sick."

As of December 2008, I hadn’t thrown up in 20 years (although figuratively I’d probably thrown up a thousand times during that span). This was a Joe Dimaggio streak. But records are meant to be broken and so roughly a year ago, I awoke in the middle of the night and raced to the bathroom where with one heave, my record spewed apart. The next morning, having gotten that out of the way, I looked forward to twenty more vomit-free years. It’s also when I added to the list "enchiladas from a certain Mexican restaurant."

When I awoke the other night with a gurgling, churning stomach, I could only lament how unfair it was. How could this happen two years in a row? After 20 good years? A whole generation of not vomiting. Was I even sure I remembered how or when it was coming? No need to worry; the body remembered.

The next morning it was time to diagnose myself. Was it a 24-hour bug, the flu, or maybe swine flu? On the positive side, my body was empty. There was nothing else left to come out of it, so I had that going for me. Turns out, you can’t be tested for swine flu until after you are dead. Therefore, if I die this week, then it was probably swine flu, and with all the media hype surrounding it, I may as well file my will. On the other hand, at 3:30 a.m., I was ready to die.

But as the following day drew to a close and I seemed to have no more desire to vomit, I ruled out flu and officially diagnosed myself with a 24-hour bug. A nasty, virulent, hope-I-never-meet-it-again bug. Unless I die this week, we’ll chalk it up as another successful diagnosis by Dr. Me.

For future protection and vomit prevention, it’s time to record the list of things to avoid in order to avoid vomiting:

Things That Apparently Make Me Sick

Recent Years
Denver Omelets
Enchiladas from a certain Mexican restaurant

Previous Decades
(based on fuzzy childhood memories)
Hostess Cupcakes (partially frozen)
Canned Mexican Corn
Brussel Sprouts
A Happy Meal left in a sweltering car all afternoon
Raw Frozen Pretzels

Strong Possibilities
The Titanic Movie (actually I’ve never seen it, but I’m pretty sure I’d vomit)
Rum (this might have been my fault—but it could have been the rum’s)

On the positive side, I lost 6.5 pounds this week!

[Some people still need to learn how to be sick. First, you don’t have to help it along by screaming at the same time. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen whether you protest loudly or not. Plus, there’s already enough noise just from –well, the normal noise reverberating in the toilet. Second, rinsing your mouth, washing your hands and face with a cool rag after—these things make you feel better. Finally, if you have even the slightest notion you might be getting sick, arm the bathroom with a freshly sanitized toilet and a clean washcloth.—Editor.]

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