Struck by the 24-Hour Stomach Bug

Screenshot_20180517-070626.pngMaybe it makes sense that I wasn’t sleeping well earlier this week. When I woke up at 5am on Thursday, I felt nauseated. This isn’t entirely uncommon when waking up at the crack of dawn, but it’s definitely not something I’ve experienced lately – especially now that my body usually wakes up naturally around 5am. I walked Chip and ate a GU energy gel so I wouldn’t pass out at the gym. Once I got on the elliptical, I planned to my prescribed 5 miles. Instead, I almost quit after 1.5 but instead sucked it up and got through 4 miles. I felt exhausted and sluggish, and my new shoes felt no better than the old ones (review coming up soon).

After my workout, I went home and made my first sugar-free smoothie. Instead of my normal vanilla protein powder-chia seed-spinach-frozen mango-frozen berries combination, I added protein powder-chia seed-peanut butter-cacao nibs. I don’t think I’ve ever had cacao nibs before, but cacao is just cold-pressed, unroasted cocoa beans. Cacao powder is known to have a higher antioxidant content than cocoa, and has been linked to a variety of benefits.

My smoothie was different but good. I drank half of it in the shower because I was starving. But almost as soon as I got out of the shower, I started feeling faint. It was like I was deliriously tired but with cold sweats (my apartment was still nice and cool from the overnight temps). I thought maybe I was just dehydrated and hungry, so I forced myself to finish the smoothie despite the quickly worsening nausea.

So much for that idea.

Within 5 minutes of my last sip, I had puked it all up. I took a 10-minute nap while my eggs boiled on the stove, willing myself to make it to work. I finished getting ready, packed my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the day, and headed off to work. I was probably a danger behind the wheel – I was incredibly weak, dizzy, and nauseated. When I got to the parking garage, I threw up again in a grocery bag in my car.

I wondered if it was the cacao – the only thing different about my smoothie and new to my diet. But then I reminded myself that I felt like crap before and during my workout, too.

Despite having just puked for the second time in less than an hour, I went into the office. I got to my desk and immediately needed to rest my head for a few minutes. Pretty soon, I realized that the walk to the bathroom takes close to 60 seconds and I wasn’t going to make if I didn’t hustle. I got there just in the nick of time, so embarrassed to be puking in public or making someone think I was hungover or knocked up. Speaking of hungover, I haven’t had a sip of alcohol since Saturday night, my and dinner on Wednesday night was the usual – frozen salmon (defrosted, obviously) baked in the oven with veggies and quinoa. I remember feeling very thirsty, especially after taking Tums for some random heartburn after dinner. But I fell asleep quickly and slept great.

After losing what was left in my stomach at the office, I knew I needed to go home. I told my co-worker why I was leaving, and she promptly backed away from me in her chair. That’s when I realized how stupid of me it was to even attempt to work and possibly infect others. She made me swear I was OK to drive myself home. I honestly wouldn’t have been if I lived more than 10 minutes away. That drive was twice as miserable as the drive into work. I rested my head on the window at every one of the 3,359 red lights. Once I got home, I got sick several more times.

By 9am, I was passed out back in my bed. I woke up around 11am, got myself 2 sips of water, and then passed back out again till after 2pm. I let Chip out but couldn’t take him for a walk. I moved to the couch where I dozed on and off till about 9pm. I took Chip out again, and he knew something was up because he walked nice and slow with me and pooped essentially on command. Such a good boy!

By the end of the day, I had kept down 3 glasses of water with Nuun electrolyte tabs and about 25 crackers. I got into bed a little after 9pm and fell asleep immediately. I took Tylenol for my headache (probably caused by both dehydration and caffeine withdrawals) and Benadryl so I could sleep after sleeping all day, even though I probably didn’t need help sleeping.

Not my photo, but from the same boxed mix. Source:

I woke up this morning feeling like a truck had hit me. I still feel nauseated, dizzy, and weak, but at least I’ve kept everything down. I even baked a lemon loaf for something starchy and light to eat. It came from a boxed mix – something I never buy – but it looked good the other day in the store and now I’m glad I had it on hand. I ate a slice of that, my 2 hardboiled eggs from yesterday, 2 cups of coffee with almond milk creamer, and am on my second glass of water. It’s taken my 6+ hours to consume all that, but it’s a start.

I obviously had to cancel my session with the trainer for 6am today, but I’m hoping to get in a decent workout tomorrow and then be feeling 100% on Sunday for the Harpoon 5-Miler. I haven’t been able to run at all this week, so it’s been almost 2 weeks since my last non-horrible run, but I have no time goals for Sunday and am not even worried about a DNF. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of running buddies and drinking my first beer(s) in 3 weeks!


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