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Did you get my message? HELLO? I spent the whole night howling into the giant white porcelain telephone we keep in the bathroom, trying to let you know I wasn’t feeling well and probably wouldn’t make it in to work today, and that you’ll have to get your internet entertainment somewhere else.

Hello? HELLO?!? Maybe it was a really bad connection. There was this ghastly background echo of gagging and retching. I also wasn’t firing smoothly on all circuits: I was delirious and dehydrated, and I think I briefly turned into a worm, all endoderm and smooth muscle and peristalsis. The hindbrain emesis circuitry was working just fine, though, and was doing a fabulous job of moving my dinner through my digestive tract. Backwards. Let me tell you, I really regretted all those jalapenos I’d put on my salad.

I tried to warn you. I was sending out warnings to every one of you every 45 minutes all night long. I was pretty frantic. Oh, well, maybe they’ll show up in your voicemail later.

Uh…one thing. I might have accidentally uploaded an attachment. I pushed the button on the upper right of the porcelain phone’s console, and it made a wooshing sound like it was sending something big off into the world.

You might not want to open that.

Comments

  1. says

    Now I further practice my worm imitation and burrow under some blankets. You should ask me to do it at parties sometime, I’m an excellent worm.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    Argh. My sympathies, PZ, and lots of get-well-soon wishes! Also Nice Cup of Tea, stat (repeat as req’d).

  3. SteveV says

    Those visits by Ralph and Hughie are never welcome.

    I’d offer a hug if could be sure they won’t follow me home.

  4. blf says

    I really regretted all those jalapenos I’d put on my salad.

    So that’s where they went. The mildly deranged penguin was making an avocado, herring, and escargot baked cheese soup yesterday, and couldn’t find the jalapeños.

    Serves you right, you poopyheaded jalapeñonapper!

    (I’m not kind sure what she substituted, but it did take several machete strokes and an airstrike to subdue it. After it was baked.)

  5. otrame says

    Ah, yes. At first, afraid you are going to die. Then afraid you WON’T die.

    Been there. Sorry you’ve been there, too.

    Popsicles. Lots of Popsicles. Trust me, they help with the dehydration and you are less likely to throw them up again.

  6. shouldbeworking says

    Are you sure you didn’t infect us too? I mean, with all those viruses traveling trough the Internet I read about, anything is possible.

    I feel your pain. School is back for me too and I’m recovering from interacting in a confined space with 132 different sets of pathogens.

  7. TGAP Dad says

    I hadn’t realized that thing was a telephone. I guess I really HAVE been talking out of my ass…

  8. dianne says

    (I’m not kind sure what she substituted, but it did take several machete strokes and an airstrike to subdue it. After it was baked.)

    Probably serrano. Couldn’t be habeneros. They eat machetes and multiply when subjected to air strikes.

  9. blorf says

    So the usual speed and volume of delivery, just a swap to creationist quality? I’ll skip that thanks.

  10. says

    Feel better soon. That stuff is the worst. Be aware, though, that the strain going around now will ease in a couple of days or so. That is a false recovery, a day or so later, you’ll have a relapse again.

    Just thought you’d want to know.

  11. says

    This may not be what you want to think about right now, but let me give you some important advice:
    apple sauce

    As an erstwhile expert on throwing up, I can tell you with certainty that apple sauce is crucial to keep in your house. It’s the only thing that tastes about the same coming back up as going down. The pectin buffers the acids and there’s sugar in it so you can actually get a little energy if you need it. Avoid the chunky kind. I keep a bottle in the refrigerator and about every 2 years it winds up really saving someone’s day. It’s got to be better than throwing up all those jesus crackers and baby blood, any way you look at it.

  12. Trebuchet says

    Ginger Ale! At least that’s what my mother always gave me when I threw up as a kid, and there’s actually some science to it I think.

    My last bout of something like this affected both ends! Nothing like heaving into a bucket while on the pot.

  13. rq says

    But the ginger ale has to be de-carbonated i.e. flat. Then again, nothing tastes good in that state of worminess. (By the way, being a worm works best in a closed sleeping bag. Getting out is a bit of a hassle, but it’s more wormy.)

  14. Sastra says

    I spent the whole night howling into the giant white porcelain telephone we keep in the bathroom …

    I thought you weren’t going to debate Ray Comfort.

  15. UnknownEric says

    I’m lucky, because I seriously haven’t vomited since January 1995. I’m not even joking.

    Been sick plenty of times, but haven’t upchucked.

  16. pedantik says

    Sorry, I know this was no fun, but even if it means I’m a horrible, terrible person (or worse, a Republican), I had to laugh at your description of a very unpleasant evening.

    But then, I think that’s what your were going for, right?

  17. says

    Hey PZ, can you please (pretty please) share this info from Hemant Metha?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/09/15/no-seriously-why-havent-you-voted-yet/

    Basically, the Secular Student Alliance, Camp Quest, and Foundation Beyond Belief are three great atheist groups that are in the running for a $50,000 in grant funding from Chase. The top 46 groups get a guaranteed $50k, with lesser amounts going to those who place lower. The SSA and Foundation Beyond Belief are about to be bumped out of the top 46 and they only need a few dozen extra votes to secure the full amount. I’m sure it would do a LOT of good if you could blog about this and encourage everyone to give them a few extra votes. :)

  18. dianne says

    Have you considered turning to evil Big Pharma products yet? There are a number of anti-emetics which will shut down emesis up to and including cisplatin induced emesis.

    Also, if you’re getting dehydrated, go to the hospital and get the fluid put back in via a vein. Dehydration’s bad.

  19. Mattir says

    Norovirus and its friends are really awful – one episode where everyone in the M family got it in succession was enough to give me a serious handwashing fetish forever. I hope the Trophy Wife is making you dry toast and shaking the fizz out of the gingerale for you, and also unplugging the internet for the house…

  20. cicely says

    Happily, jalapenos are not a communicable disease, and don’t travel the Intarweebs. Corporeally.

    Speedy recovery wishes, PZ.

    Also: Tidy Cat™ brand cat litter tubs are admirably deep, vomitting into, for the purpose of. I can really recommend keeping one next to the bed, for all your Nocturnal Barfing Needs.
    -

  21. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    Get well soon PZ. Remember to drink lots of homeopathy; it’ll keep you hydrated.

  22. cag says

    I woke up this morning to what could only be described as a religious movement, all shit and no substance. At least it went the way the plumbing was designed.

    May your recovery be swift and uncomplicated.

  23. woodsong says

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, PZ!

    My last serious bout with something like that was, like Trebuchet and Audley’s, from both ends. Combined with a sprained ankle. I’m sure there are less pleasant experiences than having the runs when you can’t run (and are one floor above the bathroom), but I haven’t found one yet!

    Take care of yourself! Be a good worm, and drink lots of fluids. How can you slime things properly if you let yourself dry out?

  24. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    This doesn’t sound to me like “stomach upset from hot peppers.” This sounds more like food poisoning or a stomach bug that coincidentally set in.

  25. cyberCMDR says

    Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians had this kind of reaction when they told lies? They probably would be dead within a day.

    Get well, PZ. The world needs all the sanity it can muster.

  26. scarlettalgee says

    Delurking to add to the chorus of well-wishes. I’m a librarian and I swear, once school starts, the afternoon crowd drags along a new GI bug every week.

    Re: applesauce–in my experience Pepto-Bismol (or your pink bismuth-involving goo of choice) actually tastes better coming back up. Sweeter. Unfortunately, it seems much better at coming back up than at staying down in the first place.

  27. alektorophile says

    Somebody mentioned ginger ale. My mother always had us drink a sip of coke or two, she still maintains to this day that it is the best remedy for any stomach ailment. Mind you, she also uses it to unclog drains… Now, as an adult, I avoid the stuff, if nothing else because it elicits a kind of Pavlovian response.

    Chile peppers aren’t too bad. Never get sick after eating sushi. Nostril-exiting nori is no fun.

  28. says

    May you recapitulate the evolution from worm to slightly-more-complicated, bifurcated worm more quickly than actual evolution. I.e. get well soon, PZ!

  29. A. R says

    More seriously though PZ, you might consider this if dehydration becomes a problem. I advise replacing 1/2 of the water with orange juice.

  30. markr1957 (Patent Pending) says

    Not sure how well promethazine travels via the intertubes but I’m feeding some into my USB port as I type. Get well soon. If this fails you can always try some travel sickness pills.

  31. ednaz says

    I am sending one of my clones to you. She will give you a little bell to ring and will wait on you hand and foot.

    If she gets aggravated, she will simply run to the nearest woods and scream, then return and carry on.

    She has done this whenever my Hoodlum gets sick (and our son when he was little.) : )

  32. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    PZ, I am sorry that you are ill, but I am very glad you wrote about it. That was some damned fine writing—biology and all–a humor classic.

    Get well, keep writing, please.

  33. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    My tummy likes egg-drop soup when it is feeling bad.

    I fortunately do not know how it tastes on the way back up.

    (My mom always gave us 7-Up when we were ill. I cannot drink it now, especially when I am ill. I switched to Sprite as a remedy, and now cannot drink that, either. (Thanks, Mom.))

  34. UnknownEric says

    (My mom always gave us 7-Up when we were ill. I cannot drink it now, especially when I am ill. I switched to Sprite as a remedy, and now cannot drink that, either. (Thanks, Mom.))

    That’s how I am with Orange Gatorade. Just tasting it reminds me of the flu.

  35. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Gatorade? Feh. That stuff isn’t nearly as good at rehydration and re-electrolyting as they claim. There are some children’s electrolyte solutions, such as Pedialyte, that work much better. I keep some for medical and exercise emergencies.

  36. Jack Krebs says

    PZ, I really admire your ability to write a creative and amusing post under such circumstances – good outlook on life.

  37. catwhisperer says

    Aww, there’s not much worse than simultanous front-and-rear ejection, get well soon!

    Woodsong – I nominate “throwing up with a freshly broken collarbone” as being more unpleasant. Just breathing hurts, and you don’t know how much the painkillers are helping when they’re not staying down for long, so you just keep taking more until you find yourself slumped in front of the TV, deliriously warbling along to “songs of praise” and asking people who come to check on you if they’re ok, because they look a bit blurry.

  38. DLC says

    PZ : received your message. your new Buick is on it’s way*.

    I’m sure everyone else has mentioned to drink liquids if you can keep em down, include something with electrolytes in it if you can, and … pretty much hold on til it passes. There is some good evidence that ginger helps with nausea, btw. Eh. enough of my nanny routine for now. get well soon.

  39. Sili says

    My last bout of something like this affected both ends! Nothing like heaving into a bucket while on the pot.

    Better to know and do it that way round.

    Rather than having your head in the bowl when you realise you’re firing on all cylinders.

  40. Brownian says

    (My mom always gave us 7-Up when we were ill. I cannot drink it now, especially when I am ill. I switched to Sprite as a remedy, and now cannot drink that, either. (Thanks, Mom.))

    That’s how I am with Orange Gatorade. Just tasting it reminds me of the flu.

    Er, I tend not to get the flu (unless the person reading this is a coworker, in which case all of those flus on Friday afternoons were totally legit and I was so terribly sick and etc.)

    I did spend an unpleasant few hours upchucking most of a bottle of Laphroaig, and then a few more upchucking nothing at all.

    Just last month I had a sip from a friend’s flask; the only Laphroaig I’ve drank since that incident fifteen years ago. It was…okay.

  41. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    In the electrolyte-drink line, there’s a Japanese drink named “Pocari Sweat”. I didn’t realize it was electrolytes, and somehow read ‘Pocari’ as ‘peccary’ and was really confused to be offered pig sweat. It’s actually grapefruit-ish and good.

    Um, in the awkward disease-combinations category, I offer diarrhea with hemorrhoids, in the woods with no toilet paper.

  42. Ichthyic says

    I offer diarrhea with hemorrhoids, in the woods with no toilet paper.

    …and you ended up using poison ivy?

  43. eddyline says

    I hope you get well soon, PZ. If dehydration becomes an issue, remember: fluids go in better through an IV than PO if you can’t keep ‘em down.

  44. yellowsubmarine says

    Get well soon, PZ. I’ve had the same bug and still remember how much it sucked. Is blacking out while sitting up a hoot or what? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. It wasn’t until after I started being able to keep food down again that I realized the illness had robbed me of my ability to digest anything : /. Yogurt helps alot. Also tepid baths help with dehydration if you can’t keep water down. Good luck!

  45. krubozumo says

    Just make sure it is not the precursor symptom/s of something more serious and worse. As a biologist you might or might not notice a hint or two that darker causes lurk than just overindulging in peppers.

    I have been very lucky not to have GI problems after living for years in the tropics. But I have had Dengue twice which they tell me is not a good thing, and malaria, well, once every couple of years more or less. Both start with severe headache and yes a lot of puking your guts out.

    So get checked out if you don’t recover pronto.

    JMHO -

  46. says

    I spent the whole night howling into the giant white porcelain telephone we keep in the bathroom

    Also known as speaking with Barack in the Oval Office.
    Best wishes for Getting Better Soon. And yeah, hydration. As a child, my mother would give me 7-up for such illnesses. Don’t know if it worked, but I always liked it. As a young adult, I always kept enough alcohol in my system to pretty much kill anything. Don’t know if that worked, or even remember if I liked it.
    Nowadays, I just avoid contact with people. It’s science. It works.

  47. David Marjanović says

    Ginger Ale! At least that’s what my mother always gave me when I threw up as a kid, and there’s actually some science to it I think.

    …Oh, so that’s what people did before coke & pretzels were invented!

    Beer is almost isotonic, just a bit of salt is missing. Coke must be similar (a third of it is sugar, FFS); the advantage is it lacks alcohol.

    Without the fizz that prevents me from tasting anything because it just hurts, coke is actually pretty good… apart from the fact that there’s so much phosphoric acid in it that it has a pH of 2.8 after the fizz is gone. Yes, we measured that in chemistry class once.