SOLITUDE AND A STOMACH VIRUS – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Thursday – SOLITUDE / SOLITARY

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.