Stomach Flu Follies


This past week, I was the unlucky winner of the worst stomach bug I’ve had in years.  I started vomiting Wednesday night (Happy World Arthritis Day to me y”all!) around 10 and it continued until Thursday around 3pm.  I will spare you the gory details but it’s Sunday night now and I STILL have no appetite.

When I sleep, I like it completely silent and pitchblack.  I have a white noise machine, blackout shades, and a sleeping mask. The only acceptable noise is rain. When I don’t feel good, I must have it quieter that completely silent and if I could figure out how to transport my room into a blackhole, that would be fabulous.

Thursday was just horrible.  Even with my blackout shades pulled as tight as possible, there was still light. I dozed very fitfully in between getting sick every 30 minutes, couldn’t get comfortable because I felt so lousy and because of the damn sunshine, and had really strange, disorienting dreams when I could sleep.  Several times, I woke with a start because I swear to God I heard footsteps in my room, knocking, and then a phone ringing that wasn’t mine.  I remember thinking am I sick enough to hallucinate?

I live next door to one of my friends from college.  Our bedroom walls are shared and are very thin which has led to some, um, awkward moments.  Last year, when I had bronchitis, she texted me at 3am telling me to get either some water or a cough drop because the coughing was keeping her awake.  So yes, when we’re both in our respective beds, we’re really only 2-3 feet away.

Anyways.  She gets off of work at 330 so I texted her at 315 that a) if she stopped and got me some Sprite on her way home, I’d give her $20 and b) if the vomiting didn’t stop soon, I may need her to drive me to urgent care.

She texted me back immediately that she’d been home sick all day and had I been in bed and getting up all day because she swore she heard walking.  So yes, we were both sick as dogs in bed 3 feet away from each other hearing each other jump up to get sick and thinking we were losing it.

The whole point of this is:  I’ve noticed when I get sick like that, my RA is usually better.  I don’t know if it’s my immune system sending an evite to my joints saying PARTAY IN THE STOMACH or what.

I also wonder if it’s the lack of food.  Case in point, I’m still feeling better RA wise because my stomach is still kinda blah so all I’ve had to eat since Wednesday is Sprite, soup, and then I got crazy tonight and had a hamburger patty (which is not sitting so well. BOO.)

Or maybe all my immune system cells that are normally attacking my joints are just hungover from what they did to my stomach?

Who knows.  It’s just nice that I only have to deal with one problem at a time.

6 responses »

  1. Pingback: Stomach Flu Follies | Arthritis Painkiller

  2. Stomach viruses do suck! And I’m with you I like it as dark as possible with everything turned off and super dark curtains. My only problem was trying to make it to the bathroom when I needed to. Hope you’re feeling better.

  3. This is a fascinating post. Thanks for writing it up.

    There is some scientific evidence emerging that **TOO FEW** stomach parasites/critters/invaders, etc. may have a lot to do with auto-immune disorders. One theory is that we used to live in a world where food was dirtier and more dangerous, and where hygiene standards were lower. Our immune systems developed over the millennia to hunt down a whole host of invaders that are now (thanks to our super-clean world) no longer there. Which leaves our immune system all revved up with nowhere to go, but to our own body parts. This is RA in your case, but the same applies to Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s.

    Do some research on an interesting German study done with pig-whipworms. Subjects in the study were intentionally infected with a harmless parasite, the “pig whipworm”. (The microscopic pig whipworm actually can’t attach itself onto human intestines, so it does no damage. But the immune system still knows it’s there). Anyway — long story short — when the subjects immune systems suddenly had a “real” threat, all the symptoms of Crohn’s disappeared.

    Your blog post about stomach flu is a very similar case.

    Maybe I need to eat in a few sketchy restaurants!

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