Ever had the dilemma of vomiting and shitting simultaneously? It’s a fun time.
The letter from the hospital to my GP officially said gastroenteritis. My doctor at the ED said there was no real way to be certain exactly what caused it, but that all my symptoms suggested I’d either eaten something my body didn’t agree with, I had some sort of stomach bug, or a combination of the two.
I had big plans that weekend. I had shit to do (no pun intended) and was rounding out my week of returning to training by ticking off several things such as getting a body scan, meal prepping and working on my blog.
Instead I spent the first half of my weekend vomiting until there was literally nothing left in my body to spew, hunched over in the fetal position with abdominal cramping and the occasional trip to the toilet, where it was basically like a tap pouring out of my asshole. #realtalk
After five hours of dying on my own, I messaged our family Whatsapp conversation. It went something like this:
Sian (my sister): Happy birthday Fraser!
Me: Happy birthday Fraser. I have gastro.
Everyone else: All of the lols.
Me: How long do I wait before seeking medical attention? Seriously tho.
My younger sister kindly offered to collect me and take me to the hospital as recommended by my mother.
I am forever grateful that I have a nurse for a mum, because she knows when you’re being a baby and also knows when it’s time to get help. I resisted going to hospital initially as I didn’t want to be someone who took up a bed unnecessarily. I work for an organisation where we promote the importance of keeping emergency departments strictly for emergencies … it is ingrained in my brain that unless you are legitimately dying, you avoid the ED.
Now, I know I sound dramatic, but I seriously thought I was going to die. I had waited too long to call an after hours doctor and figured any doctor’s office I went to would probably direct me to hospital anyway. So technically, it was an emergency. The pain in my abdomen was unlike anything I had ever experienced, so much so that I legitimately had moments of being paralysed with pain, and thought things like: “I’m actually going to have to call an ambulance” and “if childbirth is anything like this, you can fucking forget about it” and “someone please kill me now. I hope I legit die right now so this ends.” In hindsight = dramatic. But seriously, I thought it was the end.
Thankfully, the ED was empty and my sister wheeled me to triage and ultimately, into my isolation room. Yes – she wheeled me through because I could not stand or walk or even fucking crawl. See Exhibit A.
I managed to put on my stylish hospital gown (and yes, I remembered thanks to countless movies that the opening goes at the back) and somehow got onto the bed, folding myself back into the fetal position. My teeth chattered thanks to my fever and I apologised to my sister for putting my butt to her, but lying on my right side was the only way I could bear the spasming in my gut.
What felt like an eternity, but was probably only ten minutes later, the nurse who triaged me brought in the drug that my mother had said I would need to make me feel better.
All hail Ondansetron.
Sounds like I’m singing my praises to a Transformer, but no, it’s a dissolvable, anti-nausea drug that SAVED MY LIFE. My body didn’t reject it and within 10-15 minutes I was able to straighten my body and I realised, I was going to survive (yes, #allthedramatics). Once the nausea subsided, I realised just how dehydrated I was. My head was pounding, my throat was so dry it felt swollen and they brought in extra blankets because I was fucking freezing thanks to my fever. But I didn’t actually mind all that much because the pain was going away.
Life started to head back up from there really. I had a gorgeous male nurse put in my first ever cannula … what a moment. Nothing sexier than a hot nurse cracking a few jokes in between asking you if you’d had any vaginal bleeding or blood in your stool, whilst jabbing you with a needle. Romantic AF.
I spent the next five hours in that room, hooked up to an IV and talking shit with my sister in between nodding off from pure exhaustion. This was also when the Commonwealth Games was on and I was able to flick mindlessly between a cycling event, basketball and the Rugby Sevens.
For those wondering, that was where Josh was “having a quiet one with clients”. Righto mate. I could hear my sister watching loud, shouty videos on her phone and before she even said anything I was like “that’s Josh isn’t it?” Needless to say, he did not have a “quiet one”. In his defence however, he brought flowers and chocolates home and got me anything I asked for while I was stuck on the couch later that day. He’s a good sort.
I felt pretty average for about a week following my trip to hospital.
I had a small appetite (which is scary in itself), I felt weak, drained and really flat. Getting sick can kick your ass sometimes. Fortunately for me my sickness was temporary and short-lived, and there’s nothing like feeling unwell to make you appreciate how good it is to feel good. I had my sister and nephews visiting at the time and they helped make everything better. I decided to forget about my goals and things I “had to do” and just enjoy my time with them while I had it. And I have zero regrets.
Today is the first day of May and what better time than a fresh month to stop putting off what you need to do, and just get on with it. I am determined to get back to where I was prior to getting sick (i.e. writing regular blog posts, training regularly and feeling good again). I know I probably sound like a broken record because I’m constantly writing about “getting back on track” – but that’s just how I am. I’m never always going to be on track … I don’t think anyone ever is.
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