To call my stomach a fragile entity is not enough. My stomach is like a glass cell containing a hormonal silver-back gorilla during mating season that occasionally gives off a brief but painful electric shock at random intervals. I have had food poisoning or what felt like food poisoning, e-coli, stomach viruses, intestinal quivers, or what-have-you, more than the average person, I would wager.
It makes trips to the bathroom interesting. Is it going to be a pleasant, euphoric passing of the stool, or will I end up doubled over in pain and cold sweats thanks to a dragon suddenly manifesting itself in my colon? Not that I do myself any favors. I’ll enjoy super-spicy foods and sporadically think, “nah, that chicken salad hasn’t been sitting out too long.”
But why should I coddle my stomach? To paraphrase Office Space, “why should I change, my stomach is the one who sucks!?!” It’s the one with crippling acid reflux, not me. Maybe my stomach should toughen up! Yeah, that’s it, it’s tough love. Or maybe we’re just battling back and forth like a stubborn old couple in a Mexican standoff over who will introduce the divorce papers first. It really just feels like a waiting game before my anus gives up and prolapses itself from exhaustion, being caught in our conflict. (Whatever you do, do NOT Google image search “prolapsed anus.”) You could call the fallout on my anus, collateral–No, “colon-teral” damage. (Who among us is above puns!?! Don’t you judge me.)
The latest in our seemingly endless tête-à-tête was spending my weekend fevered and afraid to be more than three feet (In metric I think…carry the two…divide by the remainder…Yeah, that’s 12 meters) from a familiar toilet or squat spot (Terrible name for a gym. “Come on down to Squat Spot Gym, do some squats, then pop a squat at our juice bar! Squat Spot Gym. Bathrooms are for members only.).
After a perusal of nearly a baker’s dozen symptom-checking websites, I was either gong to die tomorrow, or I had/have Viral Gastroenteritis. A nasty little tummy bug that gives you a fever and turns whatever you eat into molten hot liquid mixed with broken glass no matter what direction it’s rocketing out of your body. My weekend was spent teeter-tottering between the chills and the sweats with a pause to decide which end I wanted to torture with the liquid retribution of a vengeful god.
While my stomach has the upper-hand now, testing my mettle, it has only served to strengthen my resolve. Retribution will be had, stomach! Much like a convict biding time until the release date, allowing the anger to grow and fester for the two accomplices who sent him up the river, I patiently wait whilst my stomach gleefully pokes at me with a rusty spear, hoping soon that my stomach will tire and grow complacent. There will be days where I’ll eat applesauce and toast for entire meals, then, when it feels rested, I will hit back with jalapeno pizza and sheets of that weird film that develops on crappy movie theater nacho cheese when you leave it out too long. I just hope my stomach hasn’t learned to read or I’ve tipped my hand.