I woke up this morning feeling like I had gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson the day before, and Iron Mike went to the body with unbridled ferocity. My sides and abs ached and were cramping up and my head was spinning. Not good times, and I feared the worst...that the dreaded Stomach Bug of 2013 had hit me and hit me hard...but I wasn't going to go down without a fight.
After some initial waves of nausea, I fumbled my way downstairs and ate a fistful of Tums and chased them down with about a pint of water. Both gave my rumbling gut something to think about as I took a shower, dragged a razor across my face, and got dressed. Luckily, I ironed clothes the night before, otherwise I would have been hard pressed to throw something together that matched, let alone looked presentable. So, I didn't show up to work looking like a hobo...I had that much going to me.
There are two ways to fight a stomach bug. The first would be to not fight at all, just succumb to the sour stomach and let loose the ghost in the nearest bathroom. The second would be to throw everything you have at it...Tums, Pepto Bismol, Alka Seltzer, ginger ale...anything and everything...give the peasants revolting in your digestive track all they can handle...and that's what I did, but add some frozen breakfast taquitos to the arsenal because a brotha has to eat, no?
With a stomach full of antacids, I drove off to the train and regretted that decision almost immediately. Luckily, it was close to being science project cold out this morning, so I opened the Black Mamba's windows and let the arctic air flow over me. Oxygen is a natural stomach settler and in this instance it made me feel good enough to press on. Near the train station I stopped off at a coffee stand and purchased some apple juice and Sprite for the road as a substitute for the ginger ale they did not have. This helped some, but ginger ale or gatorade would have been better.
However, once I hit the train everything nearly derailed for me. Because the train was full, I had to sit facing backwards. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but with my nausea rapidly approaching DEFCON 2 levels I began formulating a contingency plan in case the perimeter was overrun and there was no holding back the partisan bastards in my stomach...do I barf in the bag with my workout gear, do I run to the restroom downstairs on the train, do I take my jacket off and tie the arms together to create a make shift barf bag? So many options....
I arrived downtown without incident, but my fellow riders had no idea how close they had come to reliving a scene from 'Contagion' on their commute to work this morning. I stepped off the train and into the cold Seattle morning. Remember how I said inhaling oxygen is a natural way to treat nausea? Well, oxygen mixed with a hearty helping of diesel fumes is the exact opposite. I took a deep breath and got a lung full of fumes and almost lost it, but again, I kept it together even though my mouth was getting watery and the pressure was building. The only thing I could do was to keep moving and get to fresh air. Once I was clear of the fumes everything started falling back into place...
My desk contains emergency rations of Alka Seltzer. Why I did not know of the magic properties of Alka Seltzer back in my stay out till 4am closing down the bars booze hound days is beyond me. Alka Seltzer is an elixir and has saved my ass more than once. Today was another one of those days. I ripped open a packet and dumped two enchanted tablets into my water...a minute later I let the effervescent wonder wash over me as I drank it down. About ten minutes later I was feeling close to human again, but by 11AM the spins revisited. I pounded down another dose of Alka Seltzer and made a fateful decision; I went for a 2.5 mile run.
During the first mile of my run I honestly think my body was confused. Confronted with the stomach bleeding brought on by the Alka Seltzer, the virus raging a violent war against it, and my increased heart rate my legs said, 'eff it', and we chugged along at a decent clip. When the second mile approached things got a little sportier. I was feeling lightheaded and queasy, but picked up the pace. I wasn't going to give in to this bug and figured by increasing my heart rate I would be increasing....something else that might destroy the virus. As a precaution, I did keep my workout towel very close at hand. The last half mile was touch and go, but I finished with a quarter mile sprint. A brief cool down period later it was off to the showers and back to my desk...
Let's just say things weren't too pretty when I got back to my desk. I was tired, dizzy, and wave after wave of nausea was crashing down on me. I took a big swig of water and made fateful decision number two of the day...I stuffed the peanut butter sandwich I brought for lunch into my yap. That soon became decision number two of the day I instantly regretted, but the PB sandwich stayed down and actually quelled the anger inside me. A liter of water, another handful of Tums, and a meeting later and my day was done.
The train ride home was much better than the ride into work. I made TBH chicken fajitas for dinner, did some dishes, and now I'm sitting here hammering out this post. I'm still feeling a little beat up, but much better than I did this morning. And for those of you wondering if I infected the entire office, well, according to my doctor the time you are actually most contagious would be 24-48 hours before symptoms appear. So, co-workers you are safe...everyone else I was around this weekend, not so much. Sorry about that.
1 week ago