For the 2nd time in over 2 and a half years, I have called in sick. I hate doing it. It stresses out the other teachers, who have to cover my classes, and I feel guilty. To be honest, my work ethic has changed greatly since coming overseas. I used to justify taking days off for even minor illnesses. I called in when my boyfriend and I broke up. It was a mental health thing because I just could not get my act together and stop crying.
When I worked in AIDS organizations, I couldn't go to work sick, as my bad cold or flu could compromise the health of the clients. I thought that made pretty good sense.
I also counted on getting sick, working with kids who have perpetually running noses and coughs. I have been coughed on, sneezed at, and I'm sure, been exposed to a multitude of viruses I never built up antibodies to fight against while I was living on another continent. However, I have gone to work with cold, fevers, the flu, laryngitis about 3 times, (which is just silly) a pulled back muscle, after having my big toenail ripped out, and doped up on painkillers with 6 stitches in my toe. I've only been NOT able to work twice. Today being one of those times.
My stomach started feeling bad last night, just as I was cooking dinner. I had to keep running to the bathroom to expel fire water out of my ass. Unbelievable. I have been back and forth to the bathroom, I shit you not (pun intended) about 28 times in the last 16 hours. If that wasn't bad enough, I've got these outrageous stomach cramps to go with it. Feels like an internal fist of steel of clenching my gut.
A few days before Christmas 2001 I had something similar going on, accompanied by vomiting as well (I only puked a couple times this time around) and after getting a gravol injection (in my arm, not my ass) at the local walk-in clinic, I convinced my mother to drive me to the hospital. She didn't want to, it was a Sunday and she said "Jenn, they're not going to do anything for you, you already went to the clinic, blah blah blah,.." I said, "Please drive me or I'm calling a taxi." I spent a couple hours with her in the waiting room, getting up to walk doubled over to the washroom to puke or crap water. I started to cry when I barfed on my shoes while sitting on the toilet. Otherwise I lay moaning unashamedly across three vinyl waiting room chairs.
When the docs finally saw me, he hooked me up to an IV because I was so dehydrated and shot me up with some kind of "stop puking" medication, which didn't really work, and an hour later I was still writhing. The doctor came back and "tsk tsk'ed" and then sent a nurse who pulled the metal bars up on the hospital bed, explaining to my mother, "We're going to give her a narcotic."
Demerol. Mmmmmmmmmmm, demerol.
My mom tells me I kept nodding off, then waking up, smiling and saying "Oh! I nodded off!" And then repeating that about 10 times every 5 minutes. Demerol is goooood. I felt right as rain as we left the hospital. Once it wore off, I had a dull ache in my stomach which lasted for a few days. Still.
So, after a whole night of getting up to visit the washroom, I called my boss this morning to tell her. She suggested I go to the doctor, but I told her I couldn't even do that. So she went for me, and got a prescription and walked up here with medicine and a couple 1.5 litre bottles of Pocari Sweat. (Gross name, but it's an "ION supply" drink.) I had a shower after she left, thinking that might make me feel better but I had to interrupt the shower to, well, you know,...twice! At least I'm showering over my toilet here. If I were in Japan I'd have had to slosh down the hall to get to the commode. Everytime I release the fire water in my bowels, there's some mad gurgling replacing the purged fire water with more. If farts are gambles, I would have lost every one. With only a couple hours of interrupted sleep, and my need to be right beside the bathroom and to moan in pain every 10 minutes or so, well, today is a write-off. No school for me. I've been to the bathroom 3 times writing this. I have to scramble to get there if I even have to sneeze, otherwise I'll be all, "Ooops, I crapped my pants."
I dedicate this crap-filled post to the Big Hominid and The Maven. May your shits bring you relief, and your underpants remain unfilled.