Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stomach Virus Science

Just when one thought one could not take any more pain or discomfort, the human body once again shows its resilience, stamina, and yes, its sense of humor. It is interesting what one thinks of when one is staring at the bottom of one's toilet at two o'clock in the morning. For your reading pleasure, I have tried to capture some of the science behind the stomach virus. The facts listed below are from my own observations. The chart below describes the cycle of events with which the stomach virus is comprised. I think it fitting that a diagram describing this most terrible of circumstances is in the shape of what electronics engineers call a "Saw Tooth" wave form. Hopefully the test boxes and arrows are sufficient descriptions of the typical sequence of events. This will prevent me from having to delve into graphic and uncomfortable details.

1) There is a point during a stomach virus where you will cry out to your god. Even if you think you don't have one. And ask to be put out of your misery.

2) I need to chew my food more efficiently. I mean, really, if I can recognize an entire meal and dessert 6 hours after ingesting them, what kind of nutrition am I really gleaning from what I have ingested? The pork stew was really good, the first time. But after recognizing it distinctly 6 hours later, it was disturbing. Not only was the nutrition contained in that meal completely wasted, I had to taste it again, and see it again as if the film were run backwards. That particular pork stew has been removed from any future menus. That, in itself, is not fair, as I do not think it was the stew's fault at all. I think it's Perryville's water.

3) You've all heard people say, or perhaps you've made the observation yourself, that they can't do more than one thing at a time. "I just can't seem to multi-task", as the modern venacular goes. During the above described sequence of "saw-tooth" steady ramp-ups in discomfort, and sharp declines into a brief period of magnificent internal peace, comes a point when the worst multi-tasker in the world CAN do two things at once. I will spare you any more gory details and leave you with this illustration:

The north bound and south bound trains have left the station - simultaneously!

4) You will lie to yourself and to God, even if you think He doesn't exist. You will say stupid things like, "I will never do such and such again, I promise." or "I will never eat this particular pork stew again!" or "Please let this be over and I will go to church every Sunday!" It is better not to make those promises as I suspect that God, even if you think He isn't real, may hold us to those promises.

5) Your dog will stare up at you, generally during the R rated portion of the diagram, with an expression on his face that seems to ask 'You gonna want that? You're just wasting it you know'
6) There are two kinds of people in the world. The first feels that twinge of nausea, the gradual intensifying of the queasiness and say to himself "I am not going to puke! I am going to hold it down with all my might and make it find another way out!" This person steels his nerves, summons his courage and with all his might we tries to stay just at the crest of the "saw-tooth" in hopes that eventually the pork stew will discover a more dignified form of passage. I am this kind of person. I would rather be in the relatively dignified sitting position than the kneeling one any time and will endure almost any amount of discomfort to do so. The second kind of person feels like they should just go with the natural course of things and the sooner it comes out - even if both trains leave the station - the sooner it will all be over. I guess there are lessons to be learned either way.

7) And finally, modern bathrooms are wonderful. However, in cases like this, the bath tub can be a problem. Especially if you have one of those drain plugs that you activate with your foot. I am sure the inventor of this infernal device felt the convenience of opening and closing the bath drain with one's foot would far outweigh any inconvenience that might be caused during a stomach virus. I want to warn you - do not allow the north bound train to arrive in the bath tub station! The cute little foot-activated drain plug has a rubber seal around it to stop water when it is pressed. When it is open there is not a large enough opening for anything but water and the odd hairball to pass. So not only do you get your pork stew back in the toilet, if you make the decision to purge in the tub, and then try to rinse it all down the drain, you will have reconstituted pork stew in your bath tub. The PRIME DIRECTIVE in our house is - "If you vomit in the tub - YOU clean it out!"

I hope you enjoyed the lesson for today and I hope it will help you the next time you find yourself in a similar situation...


  1. HAHAHAHA I am laughing so hard atm! I'm sorry you were sick but I just cant help it!

  2. I haven't been sick like that this winter (knocking on wood) but I would sure like to HUG that little dog of yours!!

    Miss M.

  3. I was that sick and I have that tub.