Monday 12th July 2010
Another entry which is not for those of more delicate constitutions.
This didn't turn out to be the best birthday ever. I had woken up at 4.30am feeling a little unsettled, but thought it was just the effects of the red wine. I began to feel nauseous, but didn't worry too much about it. After all Saturday had been the big night for drinking. And it's been ages since I have been properly sick.
But within half an hour I was kneeling on the bathroom floor and having a look at my dinner in reverse order. Why was this happening? What was to blame? The oysters? The chips? The mackerel? The booze? Or was I just like a Roman who had eaten so much and had to visit the vomitorium before moving on the next course of rich delicacies? I am not concerned that this is not what a vomitirium actually was, because this is what a vomitirium should have been.
Weirdly I hadn't felt all that unwell before and I felt fine afterwards, but an hour later the same thing happened again. And then an hour later and then again an hour later. Impressively I was managing to bring up a greater volume of spew on every visit. I would have thought I had emptied the contents of my stomach the first time, but it kept on coming. Was this how life would be now? Had no one told me? When you hit 43 you violently vomit every hour for the rest of your life.
Or was my mind somehow angry that I had let myself down by daring to have a rest and not write another AIOTM (AIOTM) and had decided to make my body create a visual representation of the script?
And every time it had happened I felt OK again for a while, so I was able to convince myself that once we'd left the hotel we'd be able to head for Sutton Hoo as planned, but gradually I realised that the only sensible option was to head home and hope for the best. Still my stomach managed to find more stuff to rid itself of and on the last occasion in the hotel bathroom I reminded myself of Mr Creosote from "The Meaning of Life" so voracious and impressive was the purging. What the fuck was all this stuff and where was it coming from?
It is a surprisingly long journey home and I felt pretty awful as my wonderful girlfriend drove me back, our chance of a rare day away together lying in ruins. I was feeling increasingly awful and at one point joked that she should just push me out of the car and leave me to die on the roadside. At this point though if I had been offered a quick and painless death I might have taken it. I couldn't bear the idea that I was at least two hours away from my bed and every time I looked at the sat nav the estimated journey time seemed to have scarcely gone down at all. But as we approached London I had use of the plastic bag I had had on my knee and threw up all the liquid I had drunk that morning.
Of course it felt doubly unfair that all this was happening on my birthday and that my body has somehow managed, as usual, to find a convenient window of relaxation to allow illness to descend. Almost like it was trying to give out the message that I should just carry on working myself into the ground, because it's only when I stop that I get this punishment.
Finally we got home and my girlfriend was a fantastic nurse for me (though maybe not in the way that one might have hoped on one's birthday) going out to buy me sports drinks and some sachets of brackish powder which was meant to reintroduce lost salts into my body. There can have been absolutely no spare fluid in me at this point. My mouth was parched and my skin felt dry and I was worried that I might never be able to ingest anything and keep it down again.
But things improved gradually and I kept the sports drinks and salty drink and even a yoghurt down and had a restless and strange sleep in which I dreamed up a strange AIOTM script amongst other things. I was a little feverish and losing sense of reality a little. Later on as I tried to get to sleep at night my brain was questioning what was meant to be happening at this point and I was trying to work out how it is you get to sleep at all. I tried to reason with myself, "Come on, you've done this thousands of times," but my brain couldn't recall how I was meant to do it.
It was all like some grim portent of aging and losing your health and your mind. It was at least a reminder that I am not as young as I was. I don't need balloons or birth certificates to tell me that.
Somehow I eventually managed to overcome my sleep amnesia and just fell asleep anyway. I wish I could remember how though, cos I don't know how I will fall asleep tonight.
We'll never know why this happened. There are plenty of suspects. The oysters may seem the most obvious candidate, but for some reason there was something about that mackerel that makes me blame it. But it could be anything couldn't it.
On the bright side I weighed myself at a point when I had hardly taken any fluids on board and found I was almost 2kg lighter than I had been last week. So maybe it's get me on the road to weight loss. Nothing like being a greedy pig to set you back on the path to righteousness.
Happy Birthday to me.
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