No sooner did I get home than the diarrhea started. This was something of a surprise, as I've been fine for a couple of weeks. The surprise factor got jacked up a few notches when absolutely everything I'd eaten in the last 12 hours came out in a completely fluid mass.
So, alright, it's time to spend the day in bed and feel sorry for myself. But NO, no can do ... got a call from the store because one of the registers had locked up and wouldn't reboot. And on top of that, Precious (we didn't name her) threw up all over the bed and I had to go take the blankets to the laundromat before the stains set in.
No sooner do I get to the store than the crippling, can't-stand-up gut pain kicks in. I spend 10 minutes sobbing in the bathroom (alternately on the toilet and on the floor next to it) and finally drag myself, whimpering, downstairs. A routine computer fix takes nearly 45 minutes and I limp back over to the laundromat. Throw a few more quarters in the dryer, and I'm starting to feel very chilly and lightheaded. Acting purely on instinct I stagger outside and lie down in the sun to warm up. In case you've never dealt with acute dehydration before, THIS IS A BAD IDEA.
So naturally by the time I stagger back inside to check the clothes, on top of dehydration I've got heat exhaustion. And vomiting. Heat exhaustion causes vomiting. Which causes more fluid loss ...
I don't know how I stayed conscious long enough to make it home. No thanks to my brain, which had already shut down from fluid loss. Chalk this one up to willpower and stupidity. I have just enough energy to stumble upstairs, crash onto the bed, and hallucinate for several hours. Thank goodness that I've dealt with severe fluid loss recently enough that my good instincts kicked in. I started drinking small quantities of liquids, and cooled myself down with a wet towel to the forehead. Barely able to move due to vertigo, continuing ultra-severe diarrhea (no texture to the liquid whatsoever), and flatlined energy levels, I at least had the good sense around 8 p.m. to preemptively call in sick to work.
I've spent all of today recovering. I just hit the point where I can keep my first solid food from passing through straight away -- a bowl of plain rice. I managed to crawl out of bed earlier this afternoon to watch a movie. Other than that, I've been lying here thinking about what I'm going to do to the sunofabitch who did this to my intestines, when I find him.
Between this and previous episodes, smart money is now on a lactose OD -- we went out for ice cream on Saturday, then Kady made us fettucine alfredo last night, and I followed that up this morning with a protein milkshake (before the diarrhea kicked in full-speed).
So, this is now going to be Day 2 of the new, lactose-free me; I'll go cold turkey for two weeks and then chug a glass of milk in the lovely procedure known as an elimination diet. If that mysteriously turns up negative, next target will be wheat/gluten.
I'm getting sick of being blindsided by this. Literally. And this one was already way too close for comfort to the "Needs Hospitalization Urgently" zone; if I hadn't been able to find some electrolyte powder left over from last year's hiking trip, I might have needed a trip to the ER.
So ... um ... yeah. I'm afraid I'm going to need to call mulligan on the writing meme until I've recovered. First story is mostly done (put in a lot of effort on Saturday evening), but I won't post it until I'm actively working on the writing again.