Due to incredibly bad luck, the three hectic days I spent attending my specialty society's annual convention - full days of lectures by day and living out of various hotel rooms at night - was capped with a serious bout of acute gastroenterititis.
It sucks big time to be sick.
My troubles started yesterday afternoon, a few hours after lunch, when my stomach suddenly started doing some serious acrobatics. I'm not going to go into detail about the unsavory bodily functions that went horribly awry after that, but suffice it to say that by the evening, I had lost a LOT of water - and my intestines weren't through making me miserable. I felt weak and dehydrated, but I couldn't bring myself to drink to replace my losses because every time I did, my gut would tumble in protest.
I woke up a few times in the course of the night to go to the bathroom, and by this morning, I was not only dehydrated but also fuzzy from the lack of sleep. Thankfully, my tummy had settled down enough for me to take some soup and more liquids this morning, but my entire body screamed in protest every time I moved. Using the last of my energy, I hauled my backpack heavy with dirty clothes and another heavier bag of freebies to catch a cab home.
As a doctor who knows her stuff, I knew this would be self-limiting and nothing to worry about too much. But as a patient in abject misery, I thought it would never end and wished for a bit more sympathy from my friends apart from being told I just needed to hydrate and wait it out. The problem with understanding what's going on with yourself when you're sick and being surrounded by people who also know what's what is that you don't get to milk this period of vulnerability for what it's worth.
After spending the afternoon in bed despite the sweltering heat, trying to recover from one of the worst bouts of diarrhea I've had in years, I feel marginally human again. Maybe after a few more bottles of Gatorade, I'll finally stop feeling like someone stole my brain and replaced it with cotton.