Regurgitas (Not for the squeamish)

While my reaction to the last round of chemo has been better (Silver Lining), the nausea has been much more acute.  What this means is that I have nausea everyday, all day, but sometimes it feels particularly bad.

Well, today, that pesky nausea upped the ante.  I woke up feeling nauseous, as per usual, but it felt different.  Couldn’t quite figure out why. I could hardly imagine what would unfold.

The HOTY (a/k/a Husband of the Year) and I planned to go on a lunch date.  Fun, right?  I was craving yummy fish tacos (the clean, healthy, non-fried variety) from one of my favorite restaurants. This may sound strange, but sometimes my nausea is ameliorated (if even just a little bit) by eating. So, we put the top down on the car and cruised in the sunshine (doused in sunscreen because I burn at the drop of a hat these days).

On the drive, he asked me a couple of questions about my day (in the interest of good marital communication) and I found that I couldn’t talk – because I was so nauseous. When we got to the restaurant, he got out of the car and came over to open my door (he is the HOTY, after all) and lo and behold, I couldn’t move – because I was so nauseous.

We have an “Audible” policy in our home:  when we need to change plans, we do – without looking back.  So, the HOTY said, “Audible” and we left.

I told him that I needed to just go home (I was not the ideal date – AGAIN!).

On the way home, it (meaning the immediate urge to heave!) hit me like a Mack Truck, requiring a rapid response.

Of course, we were on the 101 Freeway, 8 minutes from our home, doing about 80 mph (I mean the speed limit!) when I felt that awful, dreaded sensation in my esophagus (I felt it in my esophagus because I ignored it in my stomach!).

All I was able to utter was “Pull Over.”  The HOTY coasted on the side of the road for what seemed like an eternity (though, I’m sure he would beg to differ citing the reality that it was a mere handful of seconds) and then I said “Nooooooowwwww!” at which time he stopped immediately.

I then proceeded to open the door and get my head out the door quickly enough to empty the contents of my stomach.  The HOTY was right there with me (though he was held captive, on the side of the freeway!), handing me a towel and water and just being silently present.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  I DESPISE throwing up.  In my non-FBC life, when I have a stomach flu, I will lay in bed for days rather than toss my cookies.  I’m NOT one of those people who thinks that retching is cathartic, who feels “better” after.

Not only do I think it abhorrent, but I am so unattractive when I heave.  I moan, cry and laugh.  Yes, laugh.  That nervous, twitchy laughter.  Kind of like people sometimes do at funerals. Ever seen that?  I feel so sorry for those people, as I do for myself when I upchuck.

And the sick twist:  while hurling, all I could think about was meat.  Ewwwwwww.  As you may remember, I’m NOT a meat eater.  Don’t like meat and the longer that I don’t eat it, the more it grosses me out.  Why on earth would I think about meat when I am a gastric geyser?  Where is the neuroscience here? On second thought,  I don’t want to know the answer because it will only make me think about it again, which makes me cringe.

After I was done, with tears, snot and drool still pouring out of me, the HOTY said, “If you feel better later, maybe we could go out to dinner.”  He was serious. Really?  REALLY?  I felt so sad for the HOTY.  All he wanted to do was go out to lunch and have a nice conversation.  FBC. FBC. FBC.

When I finally made it to my bed, I was freezing. Ice cold with goosebumps, despite the fact that it was 75 degrees outside. I knew that all the remaining red blood cells in my body were going to the aid of the abdominal situation, thereby rendering my peripheral extremities without warmth. Go figure that the one time I could really use a hot flash (actually wished for one!), none was to be found.

I finally drifted off to sleep for a few hours and by evening, I shuffled out of my bed to be with my family.  Crisis (wretching is indeed a crisis to me!) endured.  …and the hot flashes came back (and made up for their afternoon absence with stronger, more frequent appearances).

Silver Linings of the day (because you KNOW I have to find some!):

  1. The HOTY. What else can I say?
  2. I made it to the side of the road, in a stopped car.  As a friend told me, the freeway presents a huge problem for heaving: BRDS (Barf Return Due to Speed).  Just picture it.  Or don’t.
  3. A long, restful nap.
  4. Finally Five and the HOTY brought me a Tinker’s Chocolate Malt, which made me feel so much better.

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Comments

  1. says

    WOW! Talk about a journey of grace in the midst of madness. Thanks for sharing so openly and what a hero your HOTY is!! :) Esp. love your theme of finding the "silver lining" even on the worst of days. God Bless you as you continue the fight with FBC!!!

  2. Amy says

    Hollye-

    What a bust. If he is a HOTY, that makes you a WOTY! Love the audible.

    Thanks for solving my Kale chip mystery. I kept cooking them at 425 and they became inedible. I had given up until now . . .

    Love to you all –

    Amy

  3. Kim says

    I'm so sorry to hear it too. I'm with you on that… I'll take almost anything over the nausea. You're in such good hands with the HOTY (audible moment!) & just think of all the wonderful lunches you'll share when this is all over. Thank you for sharing your day – even though I've finished chemo, this helps me to process it still. Take care,

    Kim

  4. says

    Oh, so sorry. I totally get it. That AC just killed me and I couldn't eat a thing and was nauseous for 2 weeks at a time. Not much I can say, except good for you and HOTY sounds like a gem. Hang in there. XO