So, I either got the flu the week of New Years, or I experienced the worst four-day hangover of my life.
(Considering that Christmas isn’t Mardi Gras, which requires four days of recovery, I’m going with the flu.)
Not to say that my week-long illness didn’t start with a hangover.
It was a result of almost THREE WEEKS OFF, PAID (I know....whaaaat??) and the holidays and family in town and WINNING FANTASYFOOTBALL ($298!!! I know...whaaaat??) so, Sunday night, after the Broncos or whatever officially won, I over-indulged and over-celebrated and woke up Monday morning feeling like death.
My brother, Franklin, was still in town for the holidays and I made a big thing out of hanging out just the two of us on my Monday off, but I couldn’t lift my head out of bed until 1 p.m.
And even then, once I got vertical, I was so dizzy I wanted to die.
Mustering up the only energy I had in my reserves, I suggested we eat lunch and catch a movie.
Popcorn! Darkness! It seemed perfect.
I suggested we eat at a Mexican restaurant, and not the nice kind.
The kind with free chips and salsa and actual Spanish-speaking servers and queso dip that arrives exactly 19 seconds after you order it.
I didn’t even look at the menu, “two hard beef tacos,” I told the server, and nibbled at the chips and queso only to have this dizzy nauseous wall get higher and higher around me and by the time Franklin was done with his chorizo burrito I could barely see the top of his head and thought I’d die right there in the booth.
“I can’t...” is all I could say, my plate of tacos long pushed to the end of the table, untouched the moment they arrived.
(“I can’t...go on,” was the rest of the sentence but I couldn't even finish THAT.)
Then I took Franklin’s water, as mine was already empty.
Franklin started eating one of my beef tacos.
“Just get the check, go home and get in bed...you’ll make it though this!” I told myself for encouragement. “Ten minutes and you’ll be back in bed. You have TEN MORE MINUTES in you, I know it!”
Then I saw in horror that the server instead of bringing me the check was about to take the order of a TWELVE-top next to us.
Franklin saw my face fall.
“Yep...lots of substitutions too, I bet,” he joked, thinking I just had a measly hangover.
This will be the end of me, I thought.
FINITO. MUERTO. (How do you say "booth" in Spanish?)
I somehow made it out of the restaurant and back to my bed and faceplanted and then I laid in bed (moaned) for the next THREE DAYS.
THREE ENTIRE DAYS. 50 HOURS. Not a joke.
Alone in my bed, unable to read books, hear music or watch TV, as I was too dizzy to concentrate or focus on anything.
Chills for ten minutes then sweating profusely for the next ten, tangled up in the sheets, kicking.
You’ll feel better in the morning, you’ll feel better in the morning, I told myself the night of the TACO incident, as if I hadn't already been in bed for 14 hours with no relief.
But I didn’t feel better the next morning. Or the next.
It was the same routine. Face planted in bed, unable to move, focus on anything, unable to eat, unable to do anything at all. In the dark alone.
Couldn't even look at Facebook on my phone without getting dizzy.
Couldn't even look at Facebook on my phone without getting dizzy.
Was this really the result of a hangover? I tried to get out of bed. Nope. Dizzy. I could not be vertical for more than 2-and-a-half-minutes. It was absolute hell.
And aside from the 3 ounces of queso, I didn’t eat a THING for the entire three days.
I drank a lot of water, and chewed on ice cubes, but that's all I could manage. My lack of nutrition made me weak.
(“At least you’ll lose weight,” noted my twin sister, Joy.)
Now, in all seriousness, let me tell you, after 42 hours (not an exaggeration) of laying in bed in the dark, alone, feeling like garbage, it gets really hard to, uh, stay positive.
My thoughts of “this, too, shall pass” was replaced with, “I bet this really IS just a terrible hangover, you big idiot, I bet you’ve used up all your hangovers for the rest of your life, haven’t you, BODY?? YOU’RE DONE! YOU’RE DEAD TO ME!!!!)
And then I started to lose my mind.
(Also, my mom's text, "Having fun with your brother?" was making me even more sick.)
I worked myself up about how I had something much more terrible than a hangover, like meningitis (spinal), Ebola (from the Mexican restaurant somehow) the chikungunya virus (Lindsay Lohan), or maybe, just maybe, a touch of stomach cancer.
“Maybe you’re pregnant!” said my roommate, which was scientifically impossible (mom), and absolutely did not help my mental state.
Despite laying in my dark bedroom alone for days, I was only sleeping for four hours at a time due to stomach pains, nausea and a splitting headache.
I had no medicine, no idea what medicine I even needed, and no physical ability to even get up to take anything.
(Side note: This is why there was no Toolbag Tuesday this week, I was dying.)
After three days, on the evening of New Year’s Eve, I was finally able to get vertical long enough to have a little bit of food, (exactly five bites of lobster tail, prepared for the festive occasion).
It was a miracle! But then two hours later I was clutching my stomach again in bed, burying my face into my pillow because now the house smelled like OLD BAY and it was making me more nauseous than ever.
Desperate, I opened the bedroom window to get the smell of food out, but it was exactly 12:01 a.m. HAHAHAHA HAPPY NEW YEAR and my open window meant endless rounds of fireworks and pops and booms.
I smashed pillows against each of my ears but it didn’t work and it took every ounce of energy to sit up, close the window again and lay back down.
...And THAT, friends, was my New Year’s Eve: a days-long hangover-flu without any of the benefits of actually drinking alcohol.
Happy New Year you say?? How about happy FLU year??? Or happy POO YEAR?? EWWWW YEAR??
On the bright side, I was finally able to see straight enough to go back to work today (surprised I remembered how to get there! ha) and I also went to the doctor, who diagnosed me as having a virus, which means he was unable to prescribe me anything good.
And now said virus has morphed into a thoughtful, hacking cough.
“Let’s just hope you’re on the up-and-up now,” the doctor said, which is hilarious because all I’ve been doing since Monday was lay down, down, down.
But now that I'm well enough to make jokes, I’ll tell you one thing, I'll tell you what I’m NOT going to do when my $298 fantasy football check arrives: Eat effing queso.
(Love you Franklin.)
Happy 2015, ya'll.