Last week, I experienced a new echelon of sick.

The sickest sick I’ve experienced in many moons.  And suns.  And stars.

Three days of raging illness with every symptom in WebMD’s rather extensive checklist.

(Except for “craving to eat ice, dirt or paper” but definitely including “poor personal hygiene.”)

The kind of sick that even though I’m a stay-at-home Mom and completely responsible for two little lives, I at times could not, no matter what I tried, hold onto consciousness.

Then I’d wake up to discover that my youngest had blanketed the entire room (including all furniture) with meticulously crushed cracker crumbs, and that my eldest had scattered notes all around my resting place as if she was leaving them on my grave.

Get Well Soon Notes

It’s actually disturbing how minimally concerned they were by the fact that they seemed to have assumed I had died.  They played and chased and entertained themselves, and on the occasion that I would open my eyes, Noah would look over, smile, and say, “Hello, Mommy!!”, with mildly happy surprise over the fact that I’d figured out how to rise from the dead.

But we survived.  And most thankfully, no one caught it but me, despite their attempts at convincing me otherwise.


But the fact that no one else ultimately did concede to the illnesses’ control made me suspect a possible chance of food poisoning.

(I did eat leftover shrimp the night before contracting my illness.  And shrimp do seem to carry an air of suspicion that other foods do not possess.)

(Except for oysters.  I would indict them of any crime over shrimp.  But then again I do NOT eat oysters.)

The night after my recovery, I had a very realistic dream of it being the middle of the night (as it was), and me running into Ali’s room just in time to see her voluminously puking off the side of her bed.

…Which was followed up by me screaming at God, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth and caustic questioning of his motives in torturing me so.

(Do you think that God would get upset over someone severely questioning his judgment while dreaming?  I do hope not.)

But the worst part of the entire illness was clear: My Illness Weight Loss Amounts fell significantly short of projections.  And IWLA is the one silver lining that I suspect everyone, whether they admit it or not, looks forward to at the end of such a virus.

I was cheated.  Totally cheated.

But at least I’m not craving dirt.

15 thoughts on “On Being Gravely Ill.

  1. Oh goodness! Poor you, I’ve been there and had the same assumption, food poisoning. I also was seriously disappointed in the IWLA! It’s just not fair to suffer that much, not eat anything and then not lose a single pound!

    1. Exactly. It’s ridiculous is what it is. Especially since I just know my husband would have lost TEN pounds by what all I went through. Men have it so easy.

  2. Ugh. I have so been there. Usually my kids are partying over my head, bouncing on the bed, and destroying the house while I try dearly to hang onto life itself.

  3. I’m sorry you were so stick. Glad the illness didn’t destroy your sense of humor though! I wonder if I am tempting the sickness fates by finding humor in it??? You are so right about IWLA, no one admits to it, until now that is, when you brought it into full public light, but we all appreciate it (except for those few people who actually have trouble gaining weight and we all know that it is a bit hard to have sympathy for them anyway).

    1. I think you’ll be okay. But if you think you might get sick, enjoy eating everything under the sun, since you should have IWLA soon.

      (Unless you’re treated unfairly like me.)

  4. Ha! I wonder how many people know what health issue is related to craving the ingestion of dirt. I do. I, too, have scoured WebMd in search of professional input and people who are symptomatically sympathetic. But fortunately, in my case, the cravings never went that far for dirt. I didn’t lose my hair, either, thankfully. But the IWLA–complete opposite of my desire!

    Vanity spared: +1 for good hair
    Vanity lost: +37lbs’ worth

    Yikes! And yes, my husband ALWAYS loses weight he’s sick.

  5. Ugh, sorry you’ve been sick. :( That is the worst! I’m too big of a baby to stick it out. I would have called my mom! Haha :) Love the little notes Ali made. So sweet. And yes, I always secretly hope for the IWLA. :)

    1. I would have totally called my Mom too – but she was in Memphis with my Dad. And no one else loves me enough to take my “could get sick at any moment” kids – ya know?

  6. Those notes are so sweet! I’m sorry you went through it and didn’t even get illness related weight loss, but I’m glad you are on the mend. Note to self: day old shrimp? Leave it for my husband (cast iron stomache, never gets anything regardless of what he eats, actually thinks if meat smells a little off just heating it well suffices… ughh!)

  7. I have long suspected that IWL is a myth perpetuated by catty females who want you to remain at your current weight so they can maintain bragging rights to being “the skinny friend”. That, or I may be the only person in history who could gain weight while puking for a week straight.

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