A few weekends ago we drove down the coast for the day to visit my brother and his girlfriend. My parents met us there and we had a little belated Father’s Day celebration.
The day was lovely, being out in the sun felt lovely, the food was fabulous: we had chips and salsa, crackers with artichoke dip as appetizers, then my brother grilled fish and shrimp for make-your-own fish tacos served with beer and lemonade shandys. Yum!
After that, with my husband pushing me in the wheelchair, we went to the pier to see the annual car show of vintage Woodies, the wood-sided vehicles that are often associated with the surfing community.
I took a “go bag” with extra underwear and a change of clothing, so when I needed it, it was not the distressing event it could have been. I felt relaxed and prepared. And here, I thought my bladder would be my biggest worry of the day.
We got back to their house and had coffee and cake in the backyard under the patio umbrella. We talked and laughed and I felt so pleased that I could accompany him on an outing that he was so excited about.
Unfortunately, when we got ready to leave, were actually in the car at the curb even, I suddenly had another episode of explosive vomiting. In fact, I threw up in the gutter on the shoes that Mother Hen had bought me after a previous episode. I scared everyone there.
My husband wiped me off, while my mother washed out the gutter and my brother brought me a to-go cup of water. Then he drove me home, promising everyone he’d call once we got there with status.
Feeling miserable for having scared everyone and spoiling the ending to a lovely day, I nevertheless had to have him pull over so I could throw up once more on our way home. By the time we got home, I was dizzy and tired.
I was too weak to climb the stairs in our house, so he had to carry me up to the second floor and get me into the shower to wash the rest of the vomit off and then steered me into bed, where I promptly fell asleep. The next morning, I woke up refreshed and chipper: my strength had returned and I was able to navigate the stairs in my usual, lurching way.
In the days since then, I’ve tried to figure out what caused this and how to prevent it in the future..
It obviously wasn’t the food since no one else got sick. And although my vision became wobbly — I really don’t know how else to describe the phenomenon — the fact that it did not occur until late in the day, and then I returned to my normal the next day, suggests that vertigo wasn’t the primary factor,
Although, now that I think about it, I was highly susceptible to car-sickness as a child!
I have experienced wobbly vision after I get over-heated and he reminds me that nausea and vomiting is one of the first signs of heat exhaustion.
And while I was not sweating profusely, I deduced that even though I was not aware of the increase of heat burden on my body, the episode was most likely due to the cumulative effect of the heat of the day.
n.b.* Add water and a hat to future “go bags.”
*n.b. = nota bene, Latin phrase meaning “note well.”