06.07.04

Balance and equilibrium

Posted in Married life at 6:27 pm by ducky

I folded laundry this evening.

Normally, this is not big news, but yesterday I would have been completely unable to do so. Yesterday, I woke up at my mother’s house with not just my Favorite Husband but also a seriously maladjusted inner ear. My balance was shot, and moving my head would make me violently, painfully, convulsively motionsick.

It’s pretty amazing just how horrible something “simple” like throwing up can make you feel. There were times when my body seemed to be straining to expel everything it could from anywhere it could: get it out get it out getitoutgetitout! How else to explain the immediate sheen of sweat over my entire body? How else to explain the tears?

A cousin described a bout of vomiting as being very much like giving birth: involving painful, racking, whole-body convulsions that she had absolutely no control over.

The doctor told me to expect to be down for three or four days, but thankfully that evening, after I had emptied myself completely, I achieved freedom from nausea enough to walk down the hall and exult to Favorite Husband without either falling over or wanting to puke.

I had a little bit of water the next morning and threw it right back up, so elected to pass on any further intake until Jim had driven me the two hours safely back home. A call to medical tech support taught me that dehydration can lead to nausea, and that I needed to come back to food and drink very slowly. A mild soda the night before hadn’t stayed down, so I got a bit more creative: I started sucking on peanut butter M&Ms. I’d suck slowly on one, and when it finally dissolved, I’d have another. This slow, steady influx of sugar helped enormously.

Then, when my husband sat down with his dinner beside me, for some reason, his pickle looked really good. Now, my intellectual and emotional natures rather recoiled from the pickle. A pickle? After a day of tossing cookies? My corporeal nature, however, was unfazed by popular opinion. It wanted the pickle. Body wanted four or five pickles, in fact, and Reason and Emotion wisely stood aside.

I can’t imagine any doctor ever prescribing M&Ms and pickles as sources of sugar and salt to restore electrolytes, but it seemed to work for me.

This meant that in the evening, when the dryer buzzed,

and then buzzed again,

and buzzed again

that I felt competent to fold laundry.

I also felt like it was something I needed to do, as (drumroll) my husband is in the process of taking his very last take-home final in his very last class! Yes, after only about twenty years, Jim is finally finishing his MS in CS from Stanford University! This is way cool and something that I heartily support — even if the past two quarters have been drains on both of us.

My Favorite Husband was an absolute prince while I was sick. He held my hand, held my head, helped linearize my perambulations, wiped my forehead with a wet washcloth, and spent another night at Mom’s instead of coming home to study for his exam. So even though I didn’t feel completely steady on my feet, I felt that folding laundry was the least I could do to repay his kindness.

Jim DeLaHunt, I love you very much. Thank you for standing by me in sickness as well as health.

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