The worst thing ever: a retrospective

You know what’s not fun? Stomach flu. It’s not fun when you’re a child and it’s SURE as hell not fun when you’re an adult.

Today I went to work and I felt fine. About an hour later I thought, hmm, my stomach, it feels kind of icky, like an elevator with the cables cut. That’s a funny feeling. Wonder what’s up with that?

About two hours later, I realized, oh. OH. Huh. I think I’m dying, so I’m going to go home now. And I did. And I slept for FIVE STRAIGHT HOURS. And I was supposed to go to a show tonight but I decided that was a bad idea because although I felt better after ALL THE SLEEPING ZOMG, I wasn’t quite sure I wouldn’t feel like death again in the middle of the show. And the show’s half an hour from my house. And I kind of want to hang out on the couch tonight and loaf with a warm cat curled up to my leg.

Since I have work tomorrow I have to be better by then. There’s not really an option. Calling out sick tomorrow would throw off the whole schedule and make people very upset and I have this crazy work ethic, I don’t know. I might be a little nuts.

This started me thinking. I’m a generally healthy person. Well, other than long-range crap that I take medication for. Those aren’t things that are going to kill me, probably. At least for a very long time. But it’s the short-term things that really stand out in your mind, right? I was talking to someone who’d broken a bone yesterday and comparing war stories and thinking about the various discomfort-scales of things that have happened to me in the past.

Yes, shush, this is what I do for fun. Isn’t this what YOU do for fun?

FLU

I’ve only had the official flu once, I think. I’ve had colds more times than I can count – I mean, who hasn’t? – but when I had the flu last Christmas I pretty much wanted to die. It was two and a half full days of sleeping, one day of being up but WANTING to be sleeping, and then about two weeks of feeling like death after the main attraction was done. Needless to say, I’ll be getting my flu shot this year. At one point I tried to take a shower but couldn’t stand up long enough so kind of sat/squatted on the bathtub floor and dozed and cried a little until the water ran cold. I think if they want to torture people in Guantanamo they could just give them the flu. It’d be better than waterboarding, sincerely. WORST THING EVER RATING: 6/10

BROKEN ELBOW

I assure you there was nothing humerus about it.

I assure you there was nothing humerus about it.

When I was in college, I attempted to put glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. To reach the ceiling, I stood on a chair I’d found on the porch. The reason, I found out later, that chair was on the porch was because it was broken. I didn’t find that out until it collaped under me. I smashed my hipbone and elbow on the floor. “Stupid clumsy me!” I said, and went about my day. Until about an hour later, when I passed out at the mattress store where my roommate was shopping for new bedding. A few hours spent in the ER told me that yes, stupid clumsy me had broken my elbow on the way down. And that is how glow-in-the-dark stars tried to kill me. The next six weeks saw me in a sling (which was SUPER-CLASSY) because they can’t cast a broken elbow, apparently, and I have a bad reaction to codeine and it makes me immediately fall asleep and drool all over and sometimes sleepwalk, so I couldn’t use that as much as I wanted, and there wasn’t a lot of sleeping for a couple weeks because I’d roll over on my arm and wake up saying “OMG OW OW OW!” Also people had to cut up my food for me because I only had one hand that worked. All in all, I do not recommend breaking limbs. It’s not good times. WORST THING EVER RATING: 8/10

KIDNEY STONES

TEN PERCENT! Dude, I don't envy any of you this at ALL.

TEN PERCENT! Dude, I don’t envy any of you this at ALL.

Just after grad school, one night after going out for a very nice dinner, I had a stomachache. I thought maybe I ate too much or something. Stomachache turned into SHARP KNIVES STABBING ME and the things that DIDN’T make me feel better were vomiting, a bath, weeping copiously, or screaming obscenities. AGAIN with the trip to the ER, and they hooked me up to a drip of some sort of painkiller and THAT was nice and then ran a bunch of tests and apparently I had kidney stones and the only thing to help with those is lots of ibuprofen and cranberry juice and you have to let them work through your system. I don’t even remember how long that took but I remember it was NOT FUN TIMES. Worst pain of my whole life. Sincerely. I’ve read that people compare kidney stones to childbirth; if that’s the case, and I ever have a kid, they’re going to have to knock me the hell OUT. WORST THING EVER RATING: 10/10

BRUISED TAILBONE

DON'T EVEN LAUGH. I wanted one of these SO BAD.

DON’T EVEN LAUGH. I wanted one of these SO BADLY.

I’m really terrible on ice. Just the worst. Really ungainly. So I walk like a careful penguin. One day when I first moved here I hit a patch of very tricky ice and down I went right on my caboose and I thought I was fine until I sat down in my car and I was like, huh, that’s a little ouchy. “A little ouchy” turned into “OMG WTF BBQ” over the next couple of weeks and apparently I’d bruised my damn TAILBONE when I fell so I was sitting down like an old person and I think I needed one of those circular pillows people get when they have butt surgery or something. OUCH. WORST THING EVER RATING: 4/10

BROKEN FOOT

I broke one of the...um...middle-purple-colored bones, I think.

I broke one of the…um…middle-purple-colored bones, I think.

In college, I may have had more to drink than was advisable. On a regular basis. One night, we decided to walk to Denny’s (which, in an intelligent marketing move, was right next to the campus – I must have eaten my weight in chain-restaurant diner food over my two years of living on campus, sincerely) and the grass was wet and I slipped. I didn’t FALL, I just SLIPPED. And I twisted my foot a little, and you know, whatever, I’d been drinking. But the next day my foot was all black and blue and it hurt to walk on and it got all swollen up and I’m not quite sure why, exactly, but I totally never went to the health center about it, and eventually it healed but I still have a bump in the middle of the top of my foot where the bone was broken and never healed right. (I have also broken each of my small toes at least once, if not more than once, over the years, because I tend to stub them on things. I’m not smooth, yo. Both of my little toes are hellaciously crooked.) WORST THING EVER RATING: 2/10

MONO

I DIDN'T EVEN GET IT FROM FIRST BASE DAMMIT. Sigh.

I DIDN’T EVEN GET IT FROM FIRST BASE DAMMIT. Sigh.

When I lived overseas for a semester in college, I was the lucky recipient of mono, which meant I spent pretty much a month or six weeks or so sleeping. I would get up (well, most days) and sleepwalk to class and go home and sleep. We only had classes Tuesdays-Thursdays, giving us 4-day weekends, so I would get in bed after my last class on Thursday and sleep, with brief getting-up times for bathroom breaks and maybe some toast, for FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS. I’ve never been so tired in my life. My roommates got worried about me and they’d be like, “are you OK?” when they’d see me awake and I’d mumble “mmrph toast sleep bed tired” and go back to sleep. It was a very long stretch of feeling like I was a zombie. I was not a fan. WORST THING EVER RATING: 7/10

CHICKEN POX

Why the HELL does this kid look so CHEERFUL? Sheesh.

Why the HELL does this kid look so CHEERFUL? Sheesh.

I caught chicken pox from my brother when I was much too old to have chicken pox. Third grade, I think. If you get it at that age, it hits you very hard, and you get lots of scars. So my mom would scream at me constantly “DON’T SCRAAAAATCH!” and I’d have to pretty much sit on my hands to stop myself because SO ITCHY. Chicken pox is not a fun illness. I actually was very lucky and I think I only have two scars from it, one on my forehead and one…well, nevermind where the other one is. BAD TOUCH BAD TOUCH.  What’s fun about chicken pox is it can come back as shingles when you’re a grownup, and I had that happen a few years ago. Good times, by which I mean the opposite of such. WORST THING EVER RATING: 3/10

So, in the battle of worst things ever, KIDNEY STONES WIN. I recommend you stay away from kidney stones. How? Hell, I don’t know, what do I look like, a medical professional?

I’m going back to bed now because STOMACH FLU. I have the best furry nurse. He is quite sure he will purr me healthy. I’m not convinced he can’t. He’s a very good purrer. He’d win in the purring Olympics, for sure.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

26 responses to “The worst thing ever: a retrospective

  • emuse

    Oh no! That’s the worst.

    Two things: do not go to work tomorrow. No. You are not allowed. It will throw off the schedule a lot more if the whole place comes down with the flu because of you. (I got in a bit of a fight with a guy at Sbucks the other day because he was sweating and coughing and sneezing and why? Why are you at Starbucks? You are not a member of Congress or the Senate who absolutely must be at work right now, random sick guy!)

    I’m scared of this right now because I don’t really know where I would go. It would be bad.

    Stay in bed, snuggle with dumb cat, drink tea, sleep a lot, watch bad movies. Stay HOME! for the weekend.

    Hugs.

    Like

    • emuse

      I guess that’s just one thing. The other thing, Thing Two, has fled. Hmm.

      Feel better!

      Like

    • lucysfootball

      I went to work. I was better enough, and it was a good thing I did, because (as usual) we were short-staffed. I know. I shouldn’t go to work when I’m sick. But if I don’t, the circumstances are worse. Believe me. (And I’m pretty sure I’m not contagious-sick…but if I am, sorry, people, that’s the risk we all run working at a 24-hour business.)

      (And I bet the guy at Starbucks was working because he doesn’t get paid when he stays home. Sad, but true. There was a time when if I was sick, and I stayed home, I couldn’t pay the rent.)

      Like

      • emuse

        No, he was a customer. And I do get it. Most of my jobs I haven’t had sick days or vacation days. Just show up or no.

        Like

        • cynthiaw

          Yeah, contagious people can probably skip going in to a Starbucks, although I’ve had a sinus infection before and gone out in public when I looked like I was dying because it’s not contagious. Even though no one knows that – so I feel the need to announce it a regular intervals.

          On the other hand, I had a lady yell at me for being sick in Walgreens once. Umm… it’s a drugstore and I’m here to go to the clinic and get medicine. That’s like yelling at someone for being sick in the doctor’s office.

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          • emuse

            Oh, this made me laugh! I had a lady cut in front of me waiting for a prescription because she was late for an appointment and I was obviously just sick.

            Like

        • lucysfootball

          Oh, a customer shouldn’t have been there. Really sick customers should try to go to the doctor and maybe the pharmacy and stay the hell home as much as they can.

          I’ve had mostly jobs where you go in, no matter what, or you don’t get paid. My regular job’s good about sick time, thank goodness, but my part-time jobs are still you play or no pay and them’s the breaks, kiddo. Luckily, my full-time job pays better now, so if I have to call out of the Saturday job once and a great while, I can afford to do so. Not OFTEN, but SOMETIMES.

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          • emuse

            Yeah. If you are a customer, use the damned drive through if you absolutely must have your coffee, although I think you should tuck in and stay home and not infect my friendly neighborhood baristas. (This guy was red and sweating and sneezing.) If you are sweating profusely due to illness, you are either having a heart attack or way too sick to be in public. Heart attack: go to hospital and under no circumstances should you be drinking coffee! Right? Right.)

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            • lucysfootball

              Agreed. Or make some coffee at home. I mean, who wants to even leave the HOUSE if you feel that terrible? I know all I want to do is curl up and sleep. It’s a trial to even get out of bed to make toast.

              Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Damn, you’ve broken every part of your body at one time or another. Try to be more careful, will you? I worry about you.

    Also, I second your rating on kidney stones; nothing beats the feeling of wanting to rip open your skin, climb out and die just for the pain to stop. On a related note, morphine makes me physically sick.

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    • lucysfootball

      I haven’t broken anything lately! It’s been…um…probably a whole DECADE since I broke anything! HOORAY ME! (I will be more careful, though. Thank you.)

      OMG DID YOU HAVE THE EVIL KIDNEY STONES? I am so sorry. They’re a billion times worse for men, too. They have so much further to go. THE WORRRRRST.

      Like

      • Andreas Heinakroon

        I’m not convinced kidney stones are worse for men. We just tend to complain more than women. And they don’t have to travel further in the kidneys, which is where it really hurts. Once in the urinary tract, it’s plain going.

        But yes; it does hurt. Badly.

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        • lucysfootball

          I think it was my (male) doctor who told me I was lucky I wasn’t male, because it would hurt worse if I was. But I was loopy on painkillers at the time, so who knows what he really said. A giraffe could have walked through the room and I’d have been like, “la la la the world is SO PRETTY!”

          (I’m down with men being more complainy, though. My dad + a cold = THE END OF THE WORLD!!! Heh.)

          Like

  • Charleen

    I’ve never had a broken bone, and it’s not often that I come down with a major flu. But I feel like I spend almost all winter either coming down with or getting over a cold. Honestly I think I’d rather have a few really bad days than three months of feeling like I’m at about 80%.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    Like

  • Samantha

    I agree on not going to work if you don’t feel better tomorrow, because contagiousness and getting everyone else sick. :/

    I’ve totally had the bruised tailbone before, and had the chickenpox when I was little. Although I barely had any spots on me, but I did have copious amounts of nausea and vomiting. :( It was not fun.

    My mom had mono when she was younger, and the same thing, just completely wrecked for about a month. She thinks she got it from a glass at a casino, so it’s why she always uses straws now. I don’t blame her. That would be traumatizing. :(

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I went. I had to. It’s a 24-hour business; we all know there’s a risk of catching people’s illnesses. And they understaff on the weekends. If I hadn’t gone, there would have been trouble.

      Mono was terrible. I just felt like a zombie. I had no interest in doing anything but sleeping. I felt like I was in a fog. Gah. I hope that never happens again.

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      • Samantha

        I might be totally wrong, but once you’ve got it once you can’t get it again? But i could be wrong. It seems like that’d be the kind that you’d be immune to afterward :)

        That makes sense. I’m glad that you made it through though. Being sick at work is one of the worst things I can think of. :(

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        • lucysfootball

          I think mono’s one of the ones that once it’s in your system, you CAN get it again. But I also might be wrong…I think a doctor told me that once, but maybe I’m misremembering.

          Like

  • Nerija S.

    Dude, I had chicken pox when I was in fifth grade. So…um…booyah? Or something? But yikes, I keep hearing about shingles lately (well, 3 times in the past year–you’re the 3rd). One person I knew got it in her eye. Another person’s mom got it in…a much lower and even more not fun place.

    The thing I hate most about being sick is the throwing up. Which, I know, shows I haven’t experienced the more fun illnesses that come with even worse symptoms. Like kidney stones. I can’t imagine the pain, nor do I want to. I’m kind of a pain-o- phobe. I’m ok w/ shots, though, by now. I’m just dreading the day I break something… I actually imagine scenarios sometimes, like what if I catch my foot on the stairs while carrying something heavy? *shudder*

    So for now, food poisoning rates worst. Oh, sweet anti-nausea stuff they IVed into me. On a related note, I may never order fish tacos again. At least not from a bar/pub. In my defense, all my friends also had fish tacos and they were just fine. Jerks.

    In conclusion: Ahaha, humerus. ICWYDT. I actually have a rimshot app on my phone now. It also does crickets and the waah waah waah waaaaah trombone sound.

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    • lucysfootball

      I was lucky – my shingles weren’t terrible, and didn’t go anywhere bad (I mean, they were itchy as hell, but they were just on my hips and stomach, mostly, which is lucky, but strange) but they did take forever and a day to go away, which was the worst.

      I DETEST throwing up. I’ll do most anything to not throw up. I mean, if it has to happen, to make me feel better, fine…but if I can avoid it, I will. Blech.

      That is the saddest, because I LOVE fish tacos (NOT A EUPHEMISM!) I just discovered them recently, and how did I not know about them earlier? SO GOOD!

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  • Heather

    You were blogging while you had a stomach virus?! Wow. Hat’s off to you. I haven’t had a stomach virus in a long, long time, but I can do NOTHING while I have one. Except moan and lay very still.

    I have also broken each of my toes AT LEAST once. It’s not fun, but at least it’s relatively tolerable compared to what you’ve gone through. Sheesh.

    I know they say “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but if that means going through all of this stuff and coming out alive, I’d rather just be a weakling, thank you very much. Haha!

    Feel better, snark buddy!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Yep. I have DEDICATION, yo. (Nah. I just had slept all day and what else was I going to do?)

      Seriously, toes are the worst. I constantly trip over things I know are there. I’m so clumsy. Then I yell at myself. “YOU ARE A DUMMY! YOU KNEW THAT WAS THERE! WHY CAN’T YOU CONTROL YOUR SILLY FEEEET?” I say.

      I’m feeling a lot better today. Ate some food and everything! Stomach seems to have stopped rebelling. Thank goodness. I’d really like to make it through the week of work since I’m going to be out for a while at the end of the week. (YAY VIRGINIA VACATION!!!)

      Like

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