Andersen Family – April 2015 photo courtesy of Still Memories photography
Vomiting at a finish line isn’t exactly unheard of. In fact, spectacular displays of bodily fluids are half the fun of watching sports! (Is it just me or is Paula Radcliffe’s popping a squat to drop a load still one of the best sports photography moments ever? Or maybe I’m just gross. Whatever.) Usually it means you’ve pushed yourself to your very limit, pumping out every last bit of effort (and breakfast). But when I “left it all on the field” – technically a parking lot outside my gym – a few months ago, I felt neither proud nor accomplished. I didn’t even have the energy to laugh at myself, which is usually the last respite for people puking on their own running shoes. All I felt was awful. That, and crushing chest pain.
I drove myself home, collapsed on the couch, and when I finally had enough energy to pick up my phone, called my doctor. He told me to come in right away.
Unicorns obviously have very healthy gut bacteria.
Hospitals with their life, death, and strange-smell zeitgeist have been the setting for several major revelations in my life (not the least of which is that nutritionists consider Malt-o-Meal a “solid food” but Jell-O is a “liquid”) and this time it was no different. My 3rd son, just nine months old at the time, hung limply in my arms as nurses and doctors buzzed around us. There was no waiting for us in the the waiting room when I brought my baby in, nearly unconscious with a fever of 107. The triage nurse took one look at my son and half the night staff descended on us. Weirdly all I could think about was the beginning of that Nicholas Cage/Meg Ryan flick City of Angels where the least sexy angel ever, Seth (Cage), escorts a little girl in yellow footie pajamas to heaven after she dies of a fever. The opening sequence ends with the anguished wail of her mother. To this day I hate that movie. (Although Meg Ryan was adorable. I miss that Meg Ryan.)