Earlier this week I had a nasty bug that caused some pretty disgusting symptoms. One was a massive headache that lasted a few days. The other, and I can’t believe I’m typing this but here goes: The other was some gut-wrenchingly painful stomach cramps and explosive gas and diarrhea.
Picture this: I am sitting in a meeting with some parents, teachers, administrators, and a student. My stomach starts rumbling and growling so loudly that the other people in the room must be wondering if there is an impending thunderstorm or why there is a train running through the halls. I start shaking and sweating profusely as I attempt to hold in what I know cannot be held in many more minutes longer. And THEN, the room starts getting darker and darker, a sure sign that I am about to pass out.
Passing out is nothing new to me. In fact, I am a pretty frequent passer outer. I discovered the reason for this after a particularly memorable incident when I had terrible diarrhea, passed out in my bathroom and fell against the door, and then had my wonderful husband attempt multiple times to open the door against my head. The ER doctor I saw for what I thought was a broken neck informed me that I have a “vasovagal response” to things like diarrhea and vomiting, which means I may pass out after doing either of these things. Pleasant. I’ve also learned through many horrifyingly embarrassing experiences that the opposite is also true.
Which is why I am HORRIFIED at the thought of passing out in this meeting and running the risk of crapping my pants in front of all these people. I put my head down in my hand and look at the paperwork like I am very intently reading it, all the while praying that I don’t pass out, please don’t pass out, please God, let me not pass out, please, for the love of all that is holy, let me not pass out and shit my pants in this meeting.
Luckily, the faintness passed. Unluckily, the stomach issues did not pass. Well, they passed, but not in a pleasant way. As soon as the meeting was over I made a beeline for the bathroom where I stayed for quite a while. Then I thought it was silly (not to mention awkward) to be sitting in the bathroom at work when I could be sitting in the bathroom at home, so I left early and went home.
After two days of spending nearly 36 hours on the toilet, as if things couldn’t be worse, I also developed the oh-so-pleasant condition known as hemorrhoids. This morning Mr. Wizard came into the bathroom where I was getting ready for work and saw my tub of Equate brand medicated pads.
He asked “Mom, what are medicated pads?”
“Oh, you do not want to know.”
He smiled knowingly and said “are they because your uterus is bleeding?”
Now, let me explain. A while back Mr. Wizard saw a box of my tampons on my bathroom counter. I really need to keep that kid out of my bathroom. He, of course, wanted to know what those were for. So I briefly explained the menstrual cycle. But he was not appeased with my Cliffs Notes version and wanted all the gory details. Knowing that if I didn’t explain things to his satisfaction, he would probably turn to Wikipedia, or worse, other 8 year old boys, and who knows what kind of misinformation he would be given then, I tried to be as accurate and age-appropriate as was possible. Thus the reason my 8 year old son now knows the word “uterus”.
“No, they are not for periods.”
“What are they for then?” he asked.
“Just grown up stuff. Why don’t you go down and get some breakfast?”
He looked at me like I had lost my mind. “I eat breakfast at school. I have every day for the last three years.”
Then he picked up the tub of Equate brand medicated pads and read it.
“Mom, what are hem-er-hoids?”
“Buddy, I don’t know. Can you go get your backpack ready and get your shoes on?” I asked, almost frantically.
“If you don’t tell me, I’ll just Google it” he replied.
My mind flashed over the many horrifying, gruesome images of hemorrhoids that he could possibly view on Google.
“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that can come out of your anus.”
I wish I could have taken a picture at that moment. His horrified expression was priceless.
“You mean veins come out of your butt hole?”
“Yes, that is what I mean.”
“Does it hurt?”
“It only happens to girls right?”
“No, it can happen to boys and girls.”
“What?!?!!? Will I get hem-er-hoids?”
“I hope not!” I said.
“Why do you have hem-er-hoids?”
“Well, because I carried you and your sister and brother in my tummy for a long time which put pressure on my veins and now I am more likely to get them.”
Then he was relieved. “Oh, well I am not going to be pregnant so I don’t have to worry about that!”
And he skipped off downstairs to play Pokemon. Whew… dodged a bullet there. Kind of. I’m a little nervous to hear from his school about what kind of nuggets of wisdom about uteruses, anuses, or hemorrhoids he may be imparting to his teacher and/ or peers. I guess I can rest assured that his information will be pretty accurate.
I am just grateful that I am starting to feel better. This illness and all its issues has been a pain in the ass.