Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter, Writing, and TMI

So, as has been the case for a few years now, the only folks in my family nearby that celebrate Easter had other plans.  Which, to Patrick, means one thing: Disneyland.

But we did depart from our usual routine, and even had dinner at the Wine Country Trattoria -- which is a very nice table service restaurant with (get this!) reasonable prices.  Not just Disneyland-reasonable-prices, but semi-good-Italian-restaurant reasonable prices.  Wow.  Of particular interest is the orange sorbet dessert, served on a frozen navel orange.  Yummy.

Anyhow, it being a holiday, Patrick...ahem...permitted me to use (my) point and shoot camera to take a few shots, on the condition that I also shared the next in his self-portrait series.

(See if you can guess which shot is his.)

In other news, I have been writing up a storm.  I'm just not sure if it's any good -- it probably isn't yet, and probably won't be without a significant re-write, but it's nice to shut up my inner critic and just get the ideas out.

Meanwhile, I find myself watching the beginning of season 9 of Stargate to determine the extent of Cam's injuries...and 'cause that's when the whole Ori thing started.

(Did I mention I liked the Ori storyline?  Yeah....)

Now, as far as the TMI stuff....

Men are babies.

My grandfather has developed a touchy stomach in the last year or so, and often when he goes on dates with his girlfriend, he ends up throwing up the next day.

He threw up today a couple of times, and called my mom this afternoon to say he's going to go to the emergency room 'cause he just can't keep getting sick like that.

Now, far be it from me to be unsympathetic, but....

When I was in 8th grade, I had a rare form of mono that manifested itself with months of excruciating stomach aches that kept me up for hours at a time because the pain got worse when I laid down.  It was literally unbearable laying down; I'd have to walk in circles until it died down enough to sit, where I'd gingerly curl up with a pillow (because if I got too horizontal, it'd all start over again) and try to sleep.  A few hours later, I'd be able to lay somewhat flat.  A few hours after that, I'd go back to bed, only to get up an hour or two later and try to make it through a day of school.

Then, one Friday morning in...it must have been early February (the stomach aches had been going on since August or so), I was getting ready for a half-day of school.  My parents were picking me up afterwards, and we were going down to Anaheim to stay at the Disneyland Hotel for the first time in several years (my dad had started his own company four years or so before).

I woke up and threw up.

(I warn you -- I said TMI was coming.)

I threw up.  To the point that there was only stomach acid, and I kept throwing up.  I threw up until I was literally screaming from the stomach cramps as my stomach tried to keep throwing up when even the stomach acid was gone.

I didn't keep solid food down for a month.

But after that, the other stomach aches tapered off.  For years, I'd get one or two a year, always accompanied by other TMI symptoms that I associate with what was going on when I was in the worst of it.  Over the years, I figured out what I could and couldn't eat -- for instance, I can only eat kosher hot dogs because something in regular hot dogs will trigger a stomach ache.

I know it's no fun to be sick.  And I remember being in the middle of two or three of the worst stomach aches, wanting to go to the hospital -- if for no other reason than that they could sedate me and I wouldn't be aware of the pain -- but literally terrified of the pain that sitting in the car would provoke.

I remember that -- and I remember sitting on the steps outside of my Spanish class during lunch because the smell of the cafeteria was just too much, hoping the yard supervisors or whatever we called them, wouldn't catch me until the library opened for lunch and I could hide in there.

I remember when the fatalism caught up with me on Patrick's birthday and I figured, "What the heck.  I'll throw it up anyway; might as well have a hamburger."

It was the first solid food I kept down in 30 days.

And I know it's awful and uncharitable, but part of me says, "Give me a frelling break.  So you threw up a couple of times.  Come talk to me when you're throwing up stomach acid and not food."

Thank you.  I just had to get that off my chest.  This way, I can be the nice, sympathetic, dutiful granddaughter.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

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