I was going to write something thoughtful about solitude, being solitary while writing and editing and processing photography. Something thoughtful about being artsy and creative.

Except I have this stomach virus and it is making me miserable.

I could go to the doctor where he would tell me I have a stomach virus, but I already know that. I’ve ruled out medication changes because, it turns out, a lot of people have this and I drank from the fountain at the hospital the other day.

There’s no better, faster, or more efficient way of catching a stomach virus than drinking from the bubbler at any hospital. That’s why so many of them have been disconnected. The problem was I was really thirsty and there was no water machine with cups anywhere. I was ready to find a bathroom and stick my head under the faucet, but someone pointed me at the bubbler (that’s what we call them in New England) and I was so glad to get something wet into my mouth, I wasn’t worrying about viruses.

I should have. I had just explained to Garry that the reason they’ve disconnected most fountains is that they are the best way to pass on viruses. They recycle the water and the viruses with it. You can pick up all kinds of things at a fountain — especially at a hospital which you just know is full of sick people. I was just there for an eye checkup, but who know who hit that fountain before I got to it?

Stomach viruses are easy to pick up and equally easy to pass along. Somehow, I have yet to pass this to Garry, which is nothing short of a miracle, but that’s probably because I’m refusing to cook. Just looking at the food is making me ill. Usually, we both get whatever the other one of us has. But this one is probably either water or food-borne, so maybe he’ll get lucky and miss it.

It coincided nicely with upcoming vacation plans. I think last night was the worst. All I wanted was to lie down and sip something with bubbles. Lacking ginger ale, I settled for coke.

It helped.

I didn’t want anything to eat, but Garry more or less forced me to eat something since I hadn’t eaten anything in 24 hours. Even bland food makes me sick. And I have a headache I can’t shake and I’m exhausted.

Today I’m just super cranky, the kind of person no one wants to be around including me. The only people not avoiding me are the dogs and they seem to be immune to people’s moods. Sweet old things.

I grumpily washed the kitchen floor this morning and grumpily straightened the bed and crabbily got dressed. I even snarled at the shower, which I have not forgiven for helping me fall down the other day. We did buy a bigger bathmat so I can reach the towel without having to step on the damp floor with my wet feet — which is what made me fall before.

I haven’t defrosted anything for dinner because there’s nothing in there I want to eat. I  may send Garry back to MacDonald’s. I can’t bring myself to defrost anything because I’ll put it on my plate and then I won’t eat it. The dogs are always willing to help me with unfinished food, but they are hefty enough without additional help.

I’m always surprised, even a little shocked, at how bad something minor like this makes me feel. It’s not lethal and not going to kill me. It’s not even bad enough to see the doctor or need antibiotics. I just feel like I want to yell at anyone who is near me. Washing the floor was good. It did not care that I was grousing at it the entire time. Why can’t it stay clean? Why does it keep needing to be washed?

I really need this to go away and I also need Garry to not catch it!

It’s going around. I discovered this morning if you type “what’s going around” into Google, it’ll tell you. Who needs a doctor when we have Google?

Solitude and solitary is my best bet. The less I interact with humans, the better for everyone. For one thing, they won’t catch this from me and I would be happier knowing I’m not passing it around. Also, I won’t snarl at them for no reason. I want someone to take care of me. Just … don’t talk to me when you do it. Bring me what I need (take your best guess). And be really quiet. Tiptoe.

This is bound to go away soon. I know I must be better than I was yesterday because I’m sitting up. I managed to get out of bed. That’s something, right?

According to several articles I’ve read, water fountains rarely contain viruses. But the problem is, the water in hospitals is suspect in the first place. A lot of public water isn’t very good and is of dubious quality, so if you don’t trust the water coming from your tap, you probably aren’t going to trust a fountain, either.

Our water comes from our own well and it is very clean, very cold, and the only thing it suffers from is an excess of iron which turns my white hair kind of yellow and leaves hard to remove rings on toilets. It’s probably good for us since iron is iron, whether you take it in a pill or drink it in your water. But the quality of most tap water in many parts of the world — this country too — is more than a little dubious. I’m sure folks in Flint and for that matter, in downtown Uxbridge, would attest to that.

Categories: Daily Prompt, Health, humor, Marilyn Armstrong

Tags: , , , , , , ,

37 replies

  1. Hospitals and doctors waiting rooms would beat even cruise ships as places to pick up something nasty. Lots of people breathing the same air and many not taking responsibility for their own hygiene. I’m still catching up with older posts after a couple of days of being too busy to spend a lot of time online so I hope you and Garry are feeling better by now.


  2. Sorry to hear you’re both suffering from the virus. My daughter and I now carry bottled water with us when we go out. We don’t have bubblers in our territory anyway, so that threat is eliminated. Whenever I go to my doctor’s office, I wash my hands as soon as I can afterward. One can pick up all kinds of crud from their offices and hospitals. We are spared so little when it comes to picking up germs or inhaling polluted air. Hope you both feel better soon.


    • The older we get, the faster we pick things up and the longer it takes to get rid of them. I’m trying to be patient, but I’m not doing all that well. We don’t go OUT that much, but when we do, we come back with something. I know older people are more likely to pick up anything that’s going around, but it is truly tedious.


  3. Hope you feel better and less grumpy soon, Marilyn. We call them bubblers in Australia too. Like you, I try to avoid them. We now have these new fangled things (re-filling stations, but really just taps not located in bathrooms) which are set up to fill drink bottles.


    • They keep saying the bubblers are safe. Maybe they are, but there are a lot of sick people wandering around in hospitals. I don’t even like being in a waiting room with them. I believe that going to the doctor or hospital is THE best way to get sick. Nice controlled environment where everyone gets to breathe the same air. And that coughing person who says it’s just an allergy and isn’t wearing a mask? It isn’t an allergy.


      • I agree, Marilyn. Many sick people have compromised immune systems, and vice-versa. Infection control in hospital must be exceedingly difficult at the best of times. Clean water and clean drinking receptacles for patients, staff and visitors would seem a minimum requirement from a public health perspective. Flu season is full on at the moment. Last year when I had a bad respiratory infection, I wore a mask for my doctor’s appointment. She told me the masks aren’t greatly effective, but they are better than nothing.


        • This is the real reason they throw you out of the hospital as soon as they think you can survive at home. It isn’t because of insurance: it’s because they have so many diseases racing around, they figure if you aren’t sick, get out before you leave with something other than what you came in with.

          We don’t need masks. We need gas masks and oxygen tanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • 🙂 Getting sick does tend to extend the stay.


            • I remember when these rampaging and high contagious diseases first showed up in hospitals and it was a big deal on the news. But they never got rid of them. Now, they aren’t on the news and EVERY hospital has them. You only find out about them if you or someone you know works there … or you are sick and they are shipping you home when you are sure you aren’t ready to be anywhere but the hospital. THAT is when they explain that you just need to recover, but you aren’t sick. If you hang around you’re sure to get sick, so they want you out before you come down with something new and ghastly.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry about your stomach virus. I hate those because, well, you know why. Feel better soon.


  5. Sorry to hear you’ve gone down with a rotten stomach virus, Marilyn. That would certainly stem the creative juices. You’re entitled to feel super cranky. But I hope you feel better very soon, and that Garry avoids it. I’d give cleaning a rest for a bit if I were you. Put your feet up. And take care. 🙂


    • We were expecting company. We NEVER expect company … and I pointed out (grumpily) that if HE felt like I did, he would have canceled the event. After a while, he said he’d cancel it — except it turned out, he’d never gotten the phone number, but I found their landline on our phone. But they never answer their landline, so it took a while to get through, but eventually, Sheila (his wife) got him on the cell — and SHE already had the stomach virus and wasn’t coming. Now Garry’s got it too, so he is extremely sympathetic. Amazing what a touch of stomach virus does for a man’s attitude. Turns out, the entire town is sick. These bugs are highly contagious. Fortunately, they also pass pretty fast. And Garry is SO sympathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, men can have unique qualities when it comes to sympathy and bedside manner! Sorry Garry has picked it up too, so I hope you’re both all better soon. At least your guest wouldn’t have been disappointed that your get-together was cancelled if she had it too. Stomach bugs do tend to be very virulent. Get well soon. 🙂


        • That’s the thing. Apparently, these little buggies can stay contagious for several days after symptoms are gone. My son had it already, as has everyone who lives in town. The grocery store is virus central.


  6. Hope it passes quickly.


  7. sounds like Movie time Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ll just have to tough this one out, Marilyn…..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Feel better soon, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is my intention! We used to get a lot of these in Israel, though they were almost entirely rotaviruses whereas here they are noroviruses. Same symptoms, just different virus. Garry is lucky I haven’t been cooking. That’s probably WHY he hasn’t gotten it. But because all our food is in amounts for two people, taking out that much food when I know I’m not going to eat … and hot weather tends to lower appetites anyway …

      I’m sure the dogs are disappointed. They are always glad to take care of leftovers.

      Liked by 1 person

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