Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tumor, part I

WARNING!!! This post is not for the weak-stomached. Vomiting will be discussed in detail.
I think I have a brain tumor (*queue family member with a butchered Arnold Schwarzenegger accent* "Eet's NOT ah Toomah!"). Most everyone I know also knows that I'm a borderline hardcore hypochondriac, so take that blunt statement with a grain of salt. A very BIG grain of salt. But to explain why I've come up with that deduction, I'll discuss, in this post, the first symptom of my self-diagnosis.

Lets start with my headaches. Actually, they're migraines. I've had two memorable migraines in the past that have induced vomiting. The first was in the middle of the night sometime during my senior year of high school. I woke up after feeling extreme pain in my head for a couple of hours. I sat up. Realized that I had nausea. And a lot of it. It was overwhelming. I tried to drink some water and take some pills for it to go away. I went to the bathroom and debated if this nausea was the throwing-up kind or the kind that just feels uncomfortable but sits there and does nothing. I leaned over the toilet bowl to test my limits. I didn't have to try too hard to get something out. I threw up instantly very violently. After I was sure it was over, I leaned over the bowl to look at my vomit (when I'm tired, I'm pretty delirious) and saw the pills that I took not too long ago. In my delirious state, I got a bobby pin and poked the pills that sat in my own vomit. Yeah. I played with my vomit. Don't judge me. I threw the bobby pin away, for those curious. Or maybe I accidentally dropped it in the toilet and flushed it down with the rest of the disgusting mess. I can't be sure on details in my half-sleep state.

My first migraine-vomiting episode was awful. I took more medication and ate something (I have no idea why I did that since if it was the stomach flu it was going to come right up). But it wasn't the stomach flu and it stayed down and I went back to sleep after an hour and half of staving off the urge to throw up again. I woke up later that day and went to school, not entirely sure if what happened last night was a really vivid dream. But I get into the bathroom and see multiple bottles of pain-killers and a wet towel and decided that it really did happen. I didn't know what to make of it at the time, so I went on with my day.

Second instance was maybe two months after that night. Me and my sister had been working at our favorite restaurant, Bob Evans (I'm joking when I say it's our favorite. It's quite delicious if you know what to get, but FAR from my favorite). We wanted to go see "Angels & Demons" but before our shift was over, we got some food with our 50% discount (I don't know why it isn't free...stupid corporations). I had the quesadillas for the first time and was quite impressed with them at the time.

We then left to go home, clean ourselves up and change out of our work clothes, and headed out to a late showing of the movie. I had started feeling a headache near the end of the shift but thought nothing of it. When we get to the theatre, it's a dull throb. And for what it's worth, I have to wear glasses when viewing movies. Otherwise I squint and look ridiculous. I don't wear them all the time because I don't like the idea of being enslaved by an inanimate object to function normally in society. That, and my eye-lashes always rub up against the lenses.

So I put on my glasses and get prepared to watch a movie with the oh-so-attractive Ewan McGregor. I get through the first third okay, but the headache starts getting worse. We're sitting close enough that I could see without the glasses...for the most part. So I take them off, thinking they're the reason why my headache was getting worse. But the nausea comes and it's now what I call a migraine. The nausea comes in waves that I have to fight. It's a mental battle. I close my eyes, concentrate really hard on swallowing and not spewing. I swallow as much spit as I can muster to keep the vomit from coming up. I also concentrate on my breathing and making sure it's stable. When I get the urge to throw up, my heart rate gets very rapid as does my breathing and succumbing to those things will most definitely end in vomiting. After I fight those urges, it goes away for about 3 minutes. And those 3 minutes are pure bliss. And then another wave comes...

 I vaguely remember, in my delirium, scenes that may or may not have occurred in the film: Tom Hanks being stuck in a vault of some kind with poisonous gas, Ewan McGregor flying, a man being burned alive, a guy with a glass eye (random detail...), A really annoying guy who doesn't die (I remember feeling pissed about that), someone being framed, and Ewan McGregor, wait, that's "Moulin Rouge!".

Sarah, at some point, asked what my problem was. I think she even had a tone like "What's your deal?!" and I told her, trying not to break my concentration, that I needed to throw up. She said that we could leave, but since we paid good money to see the movie, I didn't want to ruin it for her. She told me to go to the theatre bathroom, but I refused to throw up in a public bathroom. That's just inconsiderate to the people in the bathroom and the prospect that my face would get close to that bacteria-infested plague of a toilet bowl almost made me throw up all over again, despite all my efforts. So I sat there, half the time watching and half the time clamping my eyes shut and breathing rhythmically while swallowing my own saliva, until FINALLY the film ended. We walked out of there when I was under enough control and made it to the car.

On the way back, when I didn't have to concentrate on not yarking, I told Sarah NOT to talk to me. It breaks my concentration. But the entire time, she was asking stupid questions:
Sarah: "You need to throw up?"

Me: "Yes. I already told you. Now don't talk to me before I throw up in the car."

Sarah: "What do you want to listen to? I don't want to play something that will upset your stomach."

Me: "Shut up."

Sarah: "Don't throw up in my car, okay? Let me know so I can pull over..."

Me: "What did I say about not talking?!...Okay, a new wave of vomit is trying to come up. Now, shut up!"

Sarah:.............."Want me to pull over?"

Me: *Doesn't say anything, just sits in the fetal position, trying not to vomit*

The moment the car pulled up by the house, I grab the popcorn bag that I carried with me in case I did throw up (I remember it had a picture of the new "Star Trek" characters as a promotion for the upcoming movie) and ran into the yard and threw up in the bag. Once I was finished, I folded the top neatly and placed it in the garbage can that's kept in our garage. After I threw up, I felt LOADS better. I took some medication and then asked Sarah if she wanted to do something else that night and told her that I was hungry and wanted to eat Jimmy John's or something like that. She was concerned because I had just thrown up and she thought I was sick with some sort of bug. I was feeling so chipper after holding in vomit for 3ish hours that I think I was giggling and smiling and maybe even dancing to a song stuck in my head. My migraines make me feel a wide spectrum of emotions.

Anyways, the rest of the night was uneventful, but from that point on, I never had the desire to eat Bob Evans quesadillas. Ever. Gross.

Long story short (too late), the migraines have come back, but I know now to catch them early, or else I'll spew. I haven't vomited from a migraine since those two instances thanks to the fact I can read the signs early and catch it before it gets out of hand. In fact, I think I feel one coming on...better go take something before I throw up on my keyboard a la Strong Bad. <-----WATCH THIS. It's amazing.

1 comment:

Sarah Lambson said...

Man, I was so obnoxious! I just didn't want vomit in my car...I'm sure you could agree that would not be pleasant for either of us. The smell alone would have probably made ME vomit and then you vomit and then we would BOTH be vomiting uncontrollably.

Those Quesadillas weren't THAT great. So you really aren't missing out.

Anyway, I really wish you were still going to be home in mid-August now that I am coming home officially. Oh well.

Hang in there tumor head.