Sick Leave.

Gastroenteritis.  If there were another term for hell, this would be it.

Gastroenteritis.  It sounds not as bad as the unbelievable pain that it is.

Those who know me know that the one thing that has tormented me most since moving to England has been my stomach.  At first, I thought it was the sheer shock of such bland food with such good beer (HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?), but now it just seems that every couple of months my body wages all-out war with some food group in England.

It’s not that I haven’t become a full-blown hippie, because I have.  I’m practically sitting at the borderline.  You may never get me to cross over to “organic” but I wash, cook and eat food that I know.  Or, at least, I think I know.  Government conspiracies aside.

This time I really don’t have the faintest idea what set it off.  I had pub night on Friday – and everyone knows you don’t eat on pub nights, all your calories are consumed through liquid, so that’s out.  Saturday was BBQ, which was all cooked, minus the pitcher of Pimm’s I consumed.  Sunday I cheered at Race for the Cure (aka The World’s Best Excuse for Wearing Pink) and had a lovely – and cooked – lunch after wards.   I honestly can’t point to one thing, not one moment, that is that magical “AH HA!” that doctors on television shows have.

All I know is on Monday I woke up thinking, “Hmmm, I’m feeling a bit ill…” and several hours of being in a ball on the bathroom floor later I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I could call anyone to bring a quick end to this awful misery…”

Gastroenteritis means “Irritation of the stomach and intestines.”  For those not familiar with what that is like, have a 300 tonne (or ton – it all feels the same) elephant jump up and down on your stomach for 6-9 hours.  After you have removed all the liquid from your body (which you will) invite a monkey to punch on your kidneys for the rest of the evening.  In between all this have 600 people tell you what you should be doing to stop all the suffering.  Or, in my case, have the survey worker show up to get a run-down on your soon-to-be-former-rental-home and tell you to drink boiling water. (It actually works, ma’am.  Sorry I puked three times while you were there.)

I did all I could to keep my mind off things and fluids down.  I tried to watch Inspector Morse.  For those unfamiliar, Inspector Morse is a really, really, really, really old television show that they shot in Oxford.  Every time I have managed to find one they show Morse whining about things like “computers” and “mobile telephones.”  He has a murder case (because we like killing in Oxford) and he toodles around in his little red car with some “young man” in tow.  There is often a beautiful woman who can’t act, and in the end they either figure it out, or they don’t.  He also goes to lots of pubs and visits Wolsey College – which is a play on Christ Church, which originally was founded by Cardinal Wolsey well before America was discovered.  It’s fun to watch because the acting is rather crap, and you get to try to figure out where they are actually shooting.  Sadly, I could find no true joy in watching that or the Graham Norton Show.  (For those who haven’t seen that it’s like Inspector Morse with a gay man and lots of lights and sparkle.)

Anyways, so yesterday sucked.  Today is much better.  Around noon the monkeys packed it in and I’m contemplating moving beyond bread and rice.  It will be nice to get back to the normal world after the house-bound existence.  And hopefully, no return of any elephants or kidney-punching monkeys.

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