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The Fainting Couch

December 29, 2013

I have taken to my bed.

That sounds so grandly Victorian, as if I have a lace coverlet and a chambermaid to fluff my pillows as I recover from some genteel lady-disease.

If only. The truth is far more grubby and wrinkled, with half-empty water glasses crowding every surface and the crumbs of dry cereal (one of the few things I have felt like eating) sprinkled over the dog-fur befouled duvet cover. Until, that is, said dog decides to climb up and lick every surface, trying to Hoover up the cereal crumbs, because obviously the $3/pound dog food I’m buying her at Sal’s Doggie Gourmet Palace isn’t making the grade.

So Downton Abbey it isn’t.

The worst part is that this whole business is completely and utterly my own fault. As a germophobe, I wish I could lay the blame at the feet of someone I came into contact with, but no, I’m pretty sure I brought this plague upon my own house.

After listening to the RadioLab show about how important intestinal flora are to our mood and health. The show contains a fascinating piece about how mice who ate yogurt – which is rife with probiotics, or good bacteria, have more emotional resilience than other mice (listen to the show. It explains the whole thing).

Well, hey, I thought, I want to be a mouse that keeps swimming! I want to be emotionally resilient! I was encouraged by my friend Annette, who even emailed me an article about probiotics, an article that mentioned that you should be very careful to start taking probiotics slowly, bit by bit.

Which, of course, I promptly forgot. I dove into the massive case of probiotics at our local health food store and finally, after much reading of bottles and listening with one ear to the worker there talk to another woman, selected one completely at random.

I came home and popped the pill. No big deal.


Two hours later, I felt like the contents of Mount Vesuvius had been emptied into my belly. Or maybe a couple pair of fighting otters. In any case, it wasn’t good.

It turns out that my own intestinal flora, who had been happily occupying my guts for 50+ years, were now under attack by foreign flora, and they weren’t happy. There was literally a fight to the death going on IN MY STOMACH.

Without being too graphic, here’s how the night went: vomiting. Fever. Chills. Muscle aches. Rinse. Repeat. Again. Again. Again.

So don’t try this at home, kids, lest you end up spending two days in bed drinking ginger ale and coconut water, eating dry cereal, and feeling like your intestinal flora have given you a good, hard beating with a baseball bat.

PS What’s up with netflix? So much content, and so little good to stream.

  1. Elvie permalink
    December 29, 2013 17:55

    So sorry you have got the ickies. Wish I could help. Feel better soon. Much love.

  2. December 29, 2013 20:16

    Yeah, I rode that wave just before X-mas. But I didn’t take pills to get mine. I got it from licking the dumb-bells at the gym. More natural. Anyway, the result was pretty much the same.
    Good times.
    Oh, if you’re on Netflix watch The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. That’ll gratitude you.
    Feel better, pea brain,

  3. December 29, 2013 20:19

    Sue, Go online, type in Diarrhea Symptoms/Stoppers. Check data. Do any data relate to your condition? Our alimentary canals (intestines) process foods differently in each of us. I lack medical training – just life’s experiences..Our bodies need potassium salt (bananas), replacement bulk (fiber), good bacteria (yogurt). All blended and eaten (drunk). Use of chemical/OTC medications? My l-a-s-t choice. I offer sympathy/handholding – and love!

  4. December 30, 2013 08:19

    I think you can get enough probiotics just by eating yogurt every day, but I might be making that up. I’ve read that probiotic supplements aren’t ideal because the bacteria need to be live and no one really knows how long they survive in pill form. Again, I do not necessarily know what I’m talking about. In any event, I’m sorry you feel like hell. This too, shall pass, which is currently the problem, I know.

    • December 30, 2013 08:51

      Well, these bacteria survived and were in fighting form. Gah.

  5. December 30, 2013 12:49

    Urgh….I feel your pain. I just got over doing the same thing. I forgot about starting slow. I used to be seriously into the whole Kombucha/yougurt/probiotic thing. But then I took the summer off because life got in the way. Of course, I just thought I could pick up where I left off. Urghhhhh….no.

    Feel better soon!

  6. December 31, 2013 11:05

    Your sense of humor remained despite the raging battle. Yay for you! Hope it’s all a thing of the past by this time.

  7. January 2, 2014 08:04

    The effect of changing intestinal flora is the only thing I remember from my graduate school medical micro class. I think it’s the only thing that’s saved me from killing myself.

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