A Brief History of Vomiting

So I have an excellent excuse for not blogging yesterday: I was too busy barfing.

I hate vomiting. I mean, I know that no one *likes* vomiting, but I really, really, really hate vomiting. I also have a tendency to experience petechia when I barf – the blood vessels in the skin around my eyes burst from the pressure of the barfing, so I have purple dots all around my eyes. As far as barfing goes, yesterday’s wasn’t even that bad – didn’t have any petechia at all!  I’d been out for a run with Alicia and near the end of the run, I said that my stomach was feeling a bit off, but I chalked it up to being hungry, having not eaten since lunchtime and being at the end of a 17 km run at 7:30 p.m.  By the end of dinner, I was pretty chilly, but I chalked that up to having gotten sweaty from running in the sun and it now being after sundown and I’d cooled off. During the drive home I had put a sweater on and had the heat turned up, but I was still chilled. When I got home, I immediately jumped into the shower, but despite the very hot water, I still couldn’t get warm. And my finger tips were numb, which I thought was weird. And then I was hit by nausea and thought, “oh my god, I’m going to barf.”  You know what is a very unfun thing to do? Being super chilly, dripping wet from your shower, but you can’t towel off because you are too busy barfing. Very unfun. I was slightly feverish and headachy for the rest of the night and I still felt off this morning, so I called in sick and spent most of the day sleeping. Fortunately, I’m feeling better, though I’m still a little scared to eat anything but bland foods.

But, like I said, this was nowhere near the worse vomiting I’ve ever experienced. There are a few instances of barfing in my barfing history that really stand out in my mind. If you are squeamish, turn back now. You’ve been warned.

My first memory of a really horrible vomit was when I was a little kid kid. I’d just eaten Chef Boyardee canned ravioli, so when I barfed my barf was the same bright red as the tomato sauce. And, really, it kind of looked like canned ravioli, which, incidentally, I couldn’t eat for many years after that.

There was this one time in high school when I was vomiting and I couldn’t stand the sight of the vomit (probably thanks to that early my-vomit-looks-like-what-I-just-ate experience) which only served to make me vomit more, so I kept flushing the toilet the entire time I was vomiting. Which caused Sarah to decide my new nickname was “Flush.”

I also remember having some horrible projectile vomiting when I lived in Hamilton. My then-husband was positive that I must be pregnant, because there’s no other possible reason a female could barf, right? The next day he became extremely ill, as did his friend and his friend’s entire family (who we’d been visiting) so my vote is on food poisoning for that one.

The next really horrible instance of vomiting that really stands was on a trip to Seattle. This instance involved gnocci, a night club, and, most unfortunately, 151. It was the first and only time I’ve ever puked until everything in my system had been purged, to the point that I was puking bile. It also earned me the name “Puke-ahontas.”

Then, of course, there was the instance of coffee ground vomitus. Because nothing says awesomeness like when your throw up is black.  I was actually a little afraid when I felt so nauseous after my long run yesterday that it was going to be coffe ground vomitus again, as that happened after a run of similar length and the doctors were never able to figure out why that happened, so it was actually made me feel a bit better to see that my puke wasn’t black and gritty.

Anyhoo, I’m pretty tired, despite the fact that all I did today was sleep and drink tea, so I’m guessing my body just needs more rest to finish getting over whatever it was that made me puke yesterday. And so it’s back to bed for me!

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  • Good ole Flush — I am glad that you’re feeling better. Or else Jen would have to proclaim “My. Don’t YOU look lovely!”

    There is NOTHING I hate more than puking. I would take childbirth over puking. This is why the first trimester of pregnancy is such a downer for me. I feel your pain.


  • Chemo has given me too many vomit stories, but my main memory is from childhood. I drank a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s, then puked it up over the rail of a friend’s back deck. Neon, fluorescent green. I haven’t had a Shamrock Shake since, and it’s been at least 30 years.


  • Until a couple of years ago, my sister and I had both managed to go for about 17 years without throwing up (we got food poisoning in Austria when we were kids and were both so traumatised by the resulting no-warning-signs projectile vomiting that we’re now effectively phobic and will do *anything* to avoid throwing up). Then we both went home for Christmas 2008, with her arriving a couple of days after she’d unexpectedly thrown up and then cried on the London Underground (lovely). The norovirus she’d brought with her proceeded to sweep through the entire family, hitting me at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve so I missed all the turkey and other fun things. I caught another one during the Olympics, but luckily I didn’t throw up that time, although it was close.

    Your bug sounds like something similar to the one I had that Christmas – I was shivering (and puking) for ~24 hours. I hope you’re feeling better now!


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Category: health | rampant narcissism
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