Originally posted December 31, 2010...
A very short holiday entry is an order, I’m afraid. I firmly believe that the body will sometimes withold sickness during busy periods with the knowledge that you will eventually slow down and that’s when illness will overtake you. So you can imagine my relief when my shift ended on Boxing Day prior to three glorious days off and I felt great. In optimal health, I spent two wonderful days with family out of town in one of those big, inviting houses on a snowy hill that you only see in movies. It’s an amazing house in an picturesque area, so idyllic that I sort of expected to see Sandra Bullock cleaning out the horse stables with a hunky farmhand, all the while questioning her ambitious life back in the city, or a bunch of sexy teens on a weekend getaway whose fun is cut short by an unwelcome visitor, murder. From there, Jon and I drove my visiting parents back into the city where we put them up in a fancy downtown hotel for the last day of their visit (our Christmas present to them, plus they couldn’t really stay comfortably in our apartment unless they slept on the rickety futon or disgusting bathtub). And again, I was in a grand state for the last day of their visit. “So much for my ‘body witholding sickness’ theory”, I thought, smugly, as my folks made their way to the airport. Then I woke up this morning and ran to the bathroom, where I’ve spent most of the day, with the worst stomach thing ever.
Dream: Stop having stomach things.
Goal: Achievable, but with great difficulty. I don’t have any food allergies, or even food aversions, so an upset stomach from something I’ve eaten is rare. More often than not, my queasiness is the manifestation of stress, nervousness, or bathroom proximity. I have this weird fear that as soon as a bathroom break is an impossibility (like when stuck in traffic, or performing in some awful play), I will immediately have to go to the bathroom, not be able to contain myself and literally burst to my great humiliation. Or my stomach churns before an audition, convinced that instead of handing them my resume and telling them what scene I’m doing, I will barf on their heads and cry as I wet myself. My long-winded point is this: whenever I do have legitimate tummy trouble, it’s made all the worse because I worry about it so much and worry translates for me into churning guts.
Plan: Identify and elimate all possible causes of stomach things. Like,
Stress. Wouldn’t that be nice? “Oh sorry, I can’t work any double-shifts or have any meetings with management, it makes me rumbly in my tumbly.” When I called a coworker to cover my shift today, he surpised me by agreeing. I was sure that he would think, “What a dink, that James! Takes three days off and extends his vacation with this ‘weak stomach’ excuse! A dink, that James!” Maybe he does think that. I sort of do, and I’m the one with the stomach thing. Could it be that I “chilled out” so much during this holiday that I hurt myself? Which leads me to another probable cause.
Alcohol. I didn’t get filthy, stinking drunk at any point this holiday season, but I figured out today while laying beside the toilet that I did drink moderately every night for the past six nights in a row. Six days of moderate drinking surely equal two days of American college student drinking, don’t they?
Fancy foods made up of more vowels than consonants. Maybe it wasn’t the free booze (5 vowels to 4 consonants) that got me as much as the asiago cheese (7 v to 5 c). I don’t know, I’m reaching here.
Today at work was coverable, thankfully, but I can’t get out of the next few days of work, as nobody would be willing to close on New Year’s Eve and open on New Year’s Day like I am. But it’s my fervent hope that whatever crawled into my intestines and died only needs 24 hours to pass through. Jon has been an unbelievable nurse to me today, going out for Pepto, Gravol, Powerade and chicken soup (we had a can of chicken soup in the house but it expired a month ago, and when I contemplated making it anyway, Jon said, “Yeah, I’m sure that will cure your stomach flu, expired food!” Point taken). And whatever my body has witheld from me this past week, I am incredibly grateful. This post-Christmas Christmas with my giant, wonderful extended family (21 people in one room) and post-post-Christmas with my folks and Jonny, were the best I’ve ever spent. But we’re getting a little too sentimental here, excuse me while I barf.