**Warning. If you have a problem reading about bodily functions this is a post to skip.**
There are times when a body completely takes over and the mind has no power whatsoever and the sheer primal force of it shocks me. Biology highjacks my muscles and my brain rattles around, helpless to do anything but observe.
I was cold all evening. I usually am so didn’t think much of it until I began to shake from it; great spasms of tremors. My stomach hurt….no my insides hurt. I could close my eyes and trace the outline of my stomach with my mind because it felt like a rock the size of a softball. I crawled under the electric blanket but still couldn’t stop shivering. My muscles were exhausted and I hoped a hot shower would ease things. I sat on the floor of the tub, letting the heat soak into my bones, which was all great and good until I stood up. I had enough of a warning to turn off the water off and lift the toilet lids. I haven’t vomited since I was in labor with Quinton, 10 years ago. All this rushed through my head, reminding me of the thought I had when the urge to push began. My uterus took over and everything else was along for the ride. and I likened it to vomiting. Muscles contracting and forcefully pushing things out of my body. So last night I kneeled there, drooling over the porcelain, hoping that was the last of it, and then again, and again, all the while a dislodged part of my brain was saying, “hmmm I should really clean this toilet more often.” Finally my body relinquished control and I got cleaned up and collapsed into bed, grateful the feeling of stone in my belly was gone and that the shivering hadn’t come back.
I find my mind to be a funny thing. I found myself repeating I’m grateful, I’m grateful, I’m grateful. I honestly wouldn’t have imagined I could access that emotion so soon after watching my dinner in reverse. But I was. My brain, crazy alert and awake, feeling grateful for so many things. That I have a working toilet, an electric blanket, hot water, that I have a partner I could wake if I got too scared. And it was scary – being so completely overtaken. Which became another thing I was grateful for – I have a renewed, visceral memory burned in my brain allowing for greater compassion for when my kids throw up. It’s scary. Period.
This morning brought the joy of dry heaving and a higher fever, aching muscles, and a bone weary weakness. But it also gave me two amazingly sweet kids, happy to sit by me and keep me company. Isabella kissing my forehead. And Quinn, after I’d been resting on the couch for a long time, whispering, “Mom, can I get you anything?” And then later, while I was laying on the floor in front of the fire he stood guard over me, keeping the dogs from harassing me. He made a shake that soothed my tummy, tangled with me, and persuaded me to watch TV with him.
I would not wish this on anyone but I also wouldn’t wish it away either. Because despite it all, as I chanted last night, I am grateful.