Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nausea and Me - A...Ummm...Story?

So in the last post, I said "I was going to tell the whole saga in big detail, even going back in time to all the problems I've had with motion sickness and general stomach sickness my whole life. Since I was a child. And I was going to call it "Nausea and Me: A... Umm... Story?" But I will spare you that and you're welcome."

Well, eff you guys, I'm doing it. And I'm sorry.

I'm doing it because I remembered very vividly a story from my childhood that is critical to this whole thing. And it's very dramatic. I guess you could call it a near-death experience. And I'm doing it because I feel particularly dizzy today. The motion sickness is reminiscent of the motion sickness I felt during the near-death experience. Teaser? Yes.

Also, when I tell stories like these, while they seem normal to me, because, well, I lived them, to others they're like "*crickets* Ummmm, well. Huh." Which shocks me each time because I totally forget, each time, that most people didn't have a childhood like mine. I guess. In my life, I've been truly afraid for my life at least three times. Wait, four. I don't know. And these aren't roller coaster stories or even driving off the road or being a few cars behind an almost accident. That's sort of normal. No, mine are... well, you'll see.

Holy crap, what a build-up.

Oh and always there's some detail that I've forgotten until I actually say it, that sounds effed up even to me. And that's shocking too. Because I'm like, huh, wow, I get how that would be a weird way to act now that I'm a parent myself. Moms don't normally do that, do they? I mean, they shouldn't do that, right? Right.

As far as parenting goes, this video kind of represents what I do really really well. I follow people around who seem to know what they're doing and then do it (frequently going overboard at the time). Cause I know (know) that what I grew up with is not the way to go. It's from the movie Point of No Return (which, I know, I know, is a lame version of a French movie, blah blah blah), but the scene starting at 3:20 has always stuck with me. A true aha moment for me.

Oh, this in no way relates to Phebe. And for that I am sorry too. I'm going to go try to get the history for my plot of land to see if it could've been her property at one point. That would be cool and like, cosmic, or something. I'm pretty sure this whole project is cosmic regardless. It's just my living on her land would push it over the edge.

Without further ado, Nausea and Me:

When I was very young (starting at around 4 or 5) until my teenage years, I used to get violently ill a couple of times a year. Usually Easter and Christmas. I would spend hours and hours puking. Eventually, of course, dry heaving. Until I passed out from exhaustion. I just couldn't stop. Specifically, it would last about 4 hours. Usually it was catalyzed by too much chocolate, but not always. That was what it was blamed on. I recently discovered that this phenomenon has a name. Who knew, you know? Cyclic vomiting syndrome. Like the whole Asperger's thing, just knowing the name for this and knowing that maybe other people have experienced it helps. And as GI Joe says, "Knowing is half the battle." Or something. I never watched that show.

Like I said, it continued into high school but by college, as far as I can remember, it pretty much went away. Either that or I confused the consequences of my stupid binge drinking in college with the CVS. Possible. Anyway, I stopped drinking at 23 and haven't experienced any CVS days since then either. Until I got pregnant, of course. Holy God, did I get sick. Not hospitalized-level sick, though, and for that I was extremely thankful.

The good thing (the only good thing) about morning sickness was that there was always going to be an end to it. One way or another. What I have now is this vague, yet nearly constant motion sickness. And the accompanying tightness in the stomach. Nearly constant. And there's no end in sight. It may possibly be related to colds and/or congestion and, since my daughter just started Kindergarden and my son is two, if there is an end in sight for this uninterrupted sequence of colds we're all experiencing, it's years away. Makes morning sickness seem like a walk in the goddamned park. Oh, and there's fatigue. Heavy fatigue.

I hope my fancy NYC doctor finds something (while at the same time I'm terrified he'll find something). I just want relief.

I still haven't told you about the near-death thing. Maybe it's not that big a deal. Anyway, we used to be wealthy, I guess. My dad was a successful surgeon/proctologist in Florida during the decade when Katie Couric's husband died of colon cancer so everyone started getting colonoscopies. Are you done giggling over the proctologist thing? Can we move on?

Where this money is now a days is a mystery to me, but, it is true that we thought we were wealthy. And my dad liked to sail. And he's kind of got delusions of grandeur about a lot of things. Well, now he's just insane due to the drink, but he always was, let's just say, overextending himself. So he thought he could captain a sailboat by himself, with minimal experience, in the Bahamas during hurricane season (because then, boat rentals are like super cheap!).

We did this for years. And mostly without incident. We would rent a sailboat for a week, island hop, and come back home tan and with tons of contraband shells as souvenirs. It was mostly a lot of fun. Until one year when it wasn't.

One year, we experienced a sort of a perfect storm type of scenario. Kind of all of a sudden, the engine died. And while my dad is pretty good at motoring a boat and also sailing in open waters with good wind, he is not good at sailing exclusively to move around. So we were out in the open when we started seeing ominous clouds. And when he radioed the rental place to get them to come out to get us, they told us there was a tropical storm moving through and they couldn't get to us until the next day.

He managed to get us into a very very shallow cove (uninhabited, of course) and we spent hours trying to anchor. That's difficult to do without a motor. As I'm typing this, of course, I'm wondering why we didn't take our dinghy (which did have a little motor) and take us kids and one of the moms (we went with another woman and her son) onto shore. I guess because it was uninhabited? And maybe we thought it would be ok, that once the anchor stuck it would be fine? In any case, we did think the anchor stuck and then we prepared to wait it out. With life vests.

Only, the anchor, of course, wasn't stuck. And, only, another sailboat thought that our little cove would be a good place to wait out the storm too. And while they may have been actually anchored, we were not, and of course we made straight for them when the worst of the storm was upon us. It's kind of a goddamned miracle that the boats didn't crash and capsize.

What was I doing while all this was going on, you ask? Why, I was down in the cabin puking my effing guts up. Over and over and over, for hours. And hours. I was dangerously dehydrated by the end of it. To be fair, it wasn't just me down there, it was me and my brother who is one year younger than me. I'm guessing I was about 10. Everyone else was on deck helping out/screaming with fear/sobbing/singing spirituals (true, that). My mom came down to help my brother and me periodically, but mostly we were on our own.

So eventually that day ended and the sun came out the next day and the water was still. And the rental company came to tow us back to the main island. And we checked into a hotel (which I believe my dad was against for some reason- money, I guess?) and I finally ate and slept and regained my strength. I remember the relief of checking into that hotel like it was yesterday. Safety. Land. Nourishment.

So that's my story. Oh, here's the questionable parenting part. And for once, I think, it originates with my dad (although, my mom went along). We went back the next year and the next year after that. I don't believe I wanted to, but, we did.

I'm sorry for the build-up and for the potential let-down on your part. And for the digression away from the main point of this blog. I find these kinds of posts cathartic, though. I've never been very vocal and this is a great way for me to get a lot of these things out.

Sorry. Until later...

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