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12 Hours of Vomiting: a Love Story

The first time I threw up for over 12 hours straight I was a sophomore in college. Yes, I said “first” because this happened on several occasions. I have been knighted as “the Queen of Vomiting,” not in a purging way but in a “my-immune-system-hates-me” way. I was essentially on my own for the entirety of this particular episode. My roommate was actually asleep in the other room but if my violent heaves weren’t enough to wake her on her own I wouldn’t have been willing to waste my limited remaining strength on a failed attempt at rousing her from her slumber. This girl was out.

Around hour 11.5 I had a long enough break between heaves to drag myself to my phone in the other room and call my boyfriend of the moment, Shaun, who lived in an adjacent town. Luckily, he answered (it was 5 AM) and made his way to the hot mess that was very ill Cait. Shaun arrived twenty minutes later presenting me with a medium-sized pyrex bowl before he lifted me into his car.

“What is this?” I asked.

“I just cleaned my car so…” he replied, trying to not sound too insensitive to his ailing girlfriend.

I examined the bowl. “This might be too shallow to do the job.”

Shaun stopped and considered this. “Well, I’ll leave the window down too,” he said, reassuringly.

Although the situation called for a sense of urgency, Shaun’s Honda Civic creeped along at an imperceptible speed, as to not trigger any unnecessary nausea.

We arrived at the hospital in one piece with no accidents, to Shaun’s delight. He used this positive mood to gallantly carry me into the ER. Shaun located the nearest nurse and presented my limp body to her.

“Oh dear! You must be very sick! Your skin is drained of color!”

“No, that’s just how pale she usually is,” Shaun winked at her. I shot him a dirty look.

The nurse led us to an empty room and set me up on an IV. As soon as the refreshing fluids began circulating in my dehydrated body I dozed off. When I awoke about an hour later Shaun was still there sitting in the same position on an uncomfortable-looking plastic chair. My movement prompted a smile to cross his lips. He got up, repositioned his chair closer to my bed, and kissed my clammy forehead. He pushed my bangs out of my eyes.

“Hey,” He said.

“Hey,” I said softly.

“I have some bad news,” he said, still playing with my hair. “We can’t ever have kids because I don’t want to pass down your defective genes.” He smiled.

Shaun stayed with me for the entirety of the visit, bought me fruit juice popsicles to help with my low blood sugar and called me every few hours once I was home to make sure that I hadn’t died. He would also doorbell-ditch half gallons of Cranberry/Raspberry juice at my door at 3 hour intervals (how long it took me to consume said product) showing equal parts concern for my well-being and refusal to get sick. It was endearing.

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