46. The Stomach Flu

Recently, I have been coming down with the stomach flu quite frequently.

You know the drill – a gassy, nauseous feeling, followed by stomach cramps from the very pits of hell; and just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, comes the explosive diarrhea and vomiting.

(at this point, I think that it is pretty self-evident that this post is not for the squeamish. Too late?)

Like I said, I’ve been getting it quite frequently, especially over the last few months, in between my episodes with tonsilitis and the miserable, miserable flu. In fact, I’ve developed for myself a zen-like state to deal with the pain, along with muscle relaxation and breathing techniques to keep the queasiness low, thus preventing the explosive vomiting. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the diarrhea. I mean, all that nasty stuff has got to come out somehow, right? I’d just prefer that it not pass through my taste buds on the way out.

But what they say is true – prevention is better than cure; or in my case, damage prevention is better than damage control. Why go through the misery? Why suffer this malady? Why sit through this misfortune?

(I would go on with “malediction”, “maelstrom”, and possibly “mjölnir”, but I think I’ve made my point)

I have finally conducted a google search to see how I can prevent this nasty bug from biting me so frequently in the days to come. After looking through five or six sites though, some of them offering quite unorthodox advices on how the stomach flu can be prevented, I think that age-old wisdom prevails:

Wash your hands.

It’s a bad habit of mine, really – not that I don’t wash my hands, but that I don’t usually watch where my hands go. It doesn’t bother me that the handrail has been touched by 10,000 people before me – neither does the fact that my food has been prepared and handled by bare hands disturb me. I don’t give a second thought to whether my cutlery has been cleaned properly, and I definitely don’t really care if the food that I’m eating was prepared properly.

(but it’s delicious!)

It’s also a bad habit of mine that I tend to chew on my thumb when I am thinking. Also, I obsessively touch my face whenever my hands are free. Bad, bad habits that I have never quite shaken off – and now I pay the price for it, I guess.

The argument is that even if I did wash my hands frequently as I went in and out of places, there’s no preventing the stuff that I come into contact with from contaminating me all over again. And hey – if either way, I’m still going to get sick; I think I’ll go for the one that requires less efforts.

But right now, sitting here, generally feeling down in the dumps after a full day of pain and suffering, I think I might just give this good hygiene thing a shot. Who knows, right? It may even work for me.


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