Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sick Travels

I got home late last night from my spring break trip and even though I'm exhausted and behind on schoolwork and sick as a dog (more on that in a minute), I had an amazing time and I am so freaking glad I went. Before trips, I always stress out about the change in routine, the unpredictability of food/activity, the lack of personal time and space, and on and on and on, but I'm starting to realize that that's all worth it when the upside is getting to see new places and spend time with the people you love. Call it mushy, I don't even care, but I love my family so much and spending the week with them was exactly what I needed to boost myself up again. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and realizing that my childhood home is not actually my home anymore, but I'm starting to really cherish the time I get with my mom and dad, and really appreciate them and not take them for granted. Was that a run-on sentence? Whatever, I'm not changing it!

So the last few days of my trip were awesome. We did a fantastic and pretty grueling hike on Thursday. It was the most taxing thing my poor legs have been through in quite some time, and I absolutely loved it. By the end, my legs were literally quivering from exhaustion and I was thrilled. The exercise and sunshine were definitely good for my mental health, but - full honesty here - a big part of me also loved the fact that I was burning a ton of calories. I loved feeling weak and shaky and depleted. There's still something inside me that can only be satisfied by pushing my body beyond its limits.

Afterwards, though, we stopped at a nice sandwich place (think gourmet Subway) and I was so tired and hungry that I ordered a non-salad something, fully intending to finish the whole thing instead of picking like I usually do at restaurants, and filling in with a safe protein bar later. When my food came, I saw that the bread had been grilled in butter and was greasy to the touch, but I was feeling so good about myself that I said screw it and ate every last bite. And it was delicious and I felt great about eating it. Not gonna lie - there was some guilt later, but the meal still felt like a really positive step.

And then what happened? I got rewarded for all that positive recovery goodness with goddamn food poisoning. Or at least I think it was food poisoning - I supposed it could be a bad stomach flu, but I got my flu shot this year and I haven't had the flu in seriously like fifteen years. On Friday afternoon, we were driving home after a long day of hiking in the desert when I started to feel a little queasy. At first, I figured it was just fatigue from being out in the sun all day, combined with carsickness. By the time we got back to our hotel, though, I was sick. I spent the next twelve hours on the bathroom floor puking, periodically trying to make my way to bed, only to have to sprint back to the bathroom to puke some more.

At around one in the morning, I was so dehydrated I was seeing black spots and couldn't stand up, so my poor tired daddy wrapped me up in my winter coat and called a cab to take us the the emergency room. Luckily it wasn't too crowded, so they got me into a room pretty quickly and stuck an IV in my arm. I got three full bags of fluids pumped into me, plus a morphine drip, potassium pills, and Tylenol for a high fever before I started feeling a little better. They finally sent me home at about six a.m. with anti-nausea pills and a strict diet: only clear liquids for 24 hours, then only simple carbs for the next 24 hours, then gradually adding more foods as I feel up to it.

I got back to the hotel from the ER a little after six on Saturday morning, and had to head back out to the airport at ten. My parents left for Home City, and I left for College City. I had THREE different flights, with two 3-hour layovers. I spent most of the time curled up in the fetal position on various benches, sipping watered-down Gatorade, vowing never to eat again, and repelling all the stupid, happy, healthy travelers around me with my mind. I dare you to sit next to me, Mr. Father Keeping His Three Small Children Occupied in the Airport with Pungent Happy Meals and Noisy iPad Games, I DARE YOU.

So that was all real fun. I got home and slept for a long time and woke up this morning feeling a little better. I might venture downstairs for some toast or soup or something soon, assuming my stomach continues to cooperate. It's a little disheartening that I finally want to eat, and I can't. Does anyone have any suggestions for bland food or clear liquids that are easy on an upset stomach? I don't even know how to handle being sick - the last time I had the flu was in third grade. I am also still incredibly dehydrated - I'm so damn thirsty it's almost painful and I just want to guzzle gallons of water, but there's no way my tummy could handle the volume right now. It took me all day yesterday to get through one bottle of diluted Gatorade, and even that made me pretty queasy.

Okay, enough sick-talk, hopefully this is just a quick bug that will pass soon. Take care, everyone!


  1. Hope you're feeling better, Kaylee! Have you progressed past clear broths and bland foods yet?

    1. Thanks Jess! I actually just attempted my first "real" dinner earlier tonight, which went fine - so I think I might be getting back to normal!

  2. That sounds AWFUL! No wonder you lost some weight. I hate that something innocent (and sucky) like this can trigger you mentally. Try as much as you can to restore to where you need to be. It will make EVERYTHING easier!!