Last night, my body felt foreign to me.
I have always had a sensitive stomach, and sometimes certain foods – whether by preparation, flavors, age, or some other unknown forces – cause my stomach to go into revolt. Yesterday evening was one of those times. After our fairly uninteresting dinner of gnocchi, marinara sauce, and garlic toast, I began to feel queasy, culminating in racing to the bathroom to vomit.
As I sat on the bathroom floor and watched my dinner reappear, I thought back to the times when I was pregnant and plagued with morning sickness throughout the first trimester. Nothing would stay down, and vomiting would only bring me temporary relief. When dealing with food issues, many times I feel much better after clearing the contents of my stomach. However, that wasn’t the case last night.
I lay in bed, my stomach in knots, frequently getting with my body trying to rid itself of every last remaining inch of food. At one point, I felt incredibly lightheaded and like I couldn’t catch my breath. Only one other time in my life could I remember feeling that way: when I was in the hospital delivering Iris. My blood pressure dropped and I called the nurse over, terrified. She gave me a shot of something and I felt better. But for a brief moment I had no idea what was happening to me and thought I was dying. Feeling it again last night, while only fleeting, made me wake Ger, wondering if I needed to go to the ER – that perhaps dehydration was getting the better of me, or something else was going on. But the moment passed quickly.
After regaining my senses, I dragged myself into the shower, figuring that the water would further jolt me back into the present. I didn’t bother to close the door to the shower stall and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Face miserable from hours awake and contorted with repeated gut-punching. A shape that I hardly look at anymore, and it felt uncomfortable.
Only recently did I begin running again, after years of hiatus. I haven’t done a 5k since pregnant with Nelle. After losing Iris, I did hot yoga multiple times per week and the hours I put into the practice showed their reward. But yoga has been pushed lower on the ladder behind other demands and I have only gone out running twice. I could see the lack of care in myself.
I stood in that shower for an unknown amount of time. Leaving meant facing the cold of night and crawling back into bed, hoping for relief and sleep.
What should have been a simple moment of food poisoning instead threw me back into so many past moments – the morning sickness, the hospital, and my previous physique. I did not need that added layer. I lay in bed wishing, wishing that it would just be over but instead I didn’t fall asleep until nearly 4:30 am.
Today, I deal with the aftermath. A stomach raw from its nighttime shenanigans and still rejecting most food. Overwhelming fatigue and headache. And some memories that I had pushed to the bottom of the pile, resurfaced.