Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I awoke around midnight to the sound of my daughter screaming. As I leapt out of bed I felt the fatigue wash over me. She was standing. In the middle of the room with her pajamas half off. She had wet herself again.

We have been potty training for the last few months. We left diapers long ago. But every few weeks....I drag myself out of bed and change her sheets and cloths. And I usually don't think twice about it.

Except now. I was finding the manual labor in the middle of the night to be more tiresome then usual. I kissed my daughter and then ambled back to the bedroom. I collapsed in bed. A wave of nausea came over me. Then a feeling of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach.

I had an inkling something was wrong.

For the next few hours I tossed and turned. Waves of mild nausea coming and going. I grasped my abdomen hoping to calm the tumult that was brewing inside.

Around 4am my wife turned to me...why don't you just go throw up already? I guess my mental moaning had become verbal. I stood up unsteadily and made my way to the bathroom. And that's when the odyssey began.

Gut wrenching...body shaking...mind numbing retching. For hours. Uncontrollable. Belly pain...nawing...the kind that won't let you sit still for a moment. Finally followed by relentless joint and muscle pain.

I spent all day in bed. I cancelled work. Cancelled thought. Cancelled any meaningful activity. Every moment became an epic battle concentrating on getting better. Each attempt at raising out of bed was met with dizzying nausea and unsteadiness.

Now this morning. After sleeping 12 hours straight. I feel better. Still tired and achy...but alive. A little warn for wear.

And I wonder. After feeling so defeated after just a measly stomach flu...what it must be like to deal with real illness. Cancer, heart disease, emphysema........the pain my patients live with every day.

Maybe this should be a gentle be a little more kind...a little more empathic.

And oh yeah...a little more thankful.

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