2018 was NOT supposed to be a year of me leaving school in a flurry of activity, accompanied by the school nurse, curled up in a wheelchair, getting driven home by friends and coworkers, some question as to whether or not I should go to Urgent Care or the ER. That was supposed to end with the demise of 2017. But, I guess you don't always get what you want.
I was having a completely normal, perfectly fine day on Friday up until about 8th period (Bryce always complains when I talk in terms of class periods, that's from 12:56-1:36 if you want to know). I ate leftovers from a couple days ago (gluten free shells baked with gruyere sauce and broccoli) 5th period (around 11), and then the rest of my lunch 7th (an Icelandic strawberry yogurt followed by a Sumo orange around 12:30). It was a normal day.
Except after eating my second part of my lunch, I felt...unsettled.
I walked down to the English class I push into, and as I walked my stomach got gurglier and gurglier.
I settled in for the beginning of class, but then got pulled out into the hall because a meeting 9th period was cancelled, and so I took that opportunity to run to the bathroom.
I felt terrible. I was all crampy and gurgly, but I did what I came to do and headed back to class.
Unfortunately the pain started to get worse, and I left again for a different bathroom since I suspected I might be in there a while. My lower back hurt. My gurgling was running up and down my entire torso like a freaking xylophone being played. And I felt a bit bleary.
I started freaking out that I'd somehow gotten into gluten, because I was having the sharp pains in my upper abdomen that I associate with that, and I was real bloated and feeling like I was going to have some quality time in a very public restroom (for some reason it was a hot place to be during this time, and while I believe you should go when you need to go and that's what toilets are for, I still don't enjoy sick-crapping at work and try to "courtesy flush" often). I realized I was definitely sick.
I managed to get my stuff from the English room, offer a quick apology for my absence, and find my TA to let her know to run homeroom since I was going to need to go BACK to the bathroom, for sure. I looked a mess. My hair was getting big and fluffy, and my eyes were all glassy, and I had that "I think I could cry at any moment" tone in my voice. So she covered homeroom and I went BACK to the bathroom. At this point I'd been vacillating between the student bathroom and the faculty bathroom for a half hour, thinking I could return to class and then realizing partway down the hall that nope, that wasn't going to happen. I started feeling like I couldn't stand upright without excruciating pain. I cried this time, and sweat through my shirt.
Eventually I went to my room as someone saw me and said, "um, I think you should go home." I still wasn't sure (and frankly even now I'm not sure) if it was a celiac thing or a stomach bug. I made my way to my classroom, which seemed like it was about 5 miles away, and before I got to my door two of my coworker friends saw me and were like, "um, she looks fucked up" and ran over, and I just lost it. You know when you feel so sick and in pain that all you can do is cry? I hit that point.
This is where I scared the bejeezus out of all my students, as I came in and sat down and they made them all relocate to the Social Studies teacher's room for 9th period, and I was basically crying and clutching my stomach and hunched completely over feeling like aliens with talons were ripping apart my insides. Someone went to get the nurse. Someone said maybe we should get an ambulance. Someone else looked up the creamer which was the only unusual thing I ate that day to see if it was secretly glutenous, but it wasn't.
And here is where it turned completely and utterly into a shitshow of epically embarrassing proportions. I don't know why these things happen to me, but they do, and all I can do is laugh about it. Inappropriately.
My stomach started seizing again and the pain was incredible and I knew I definitely had to go to the bathroom, yet AGAIN. The nurse insisted on wheeling me there so I didn't pass out or something (a very real possibility at the time) but what I didn't realize was that I BECAME THE PIED PIPER OF POOP. People followed like an entourage, and we picked up concerned coworker friends as we turned the corner to the student bathroom, and they had teachers shut their doors (so I guess I was the reason for a very localized hold-in-place), and I basically blew ass with the school nurse in the stall next to me and a crowd of concerned people RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOORWAY. Did you notice I said "doorway" and not "door?" Because that's right, STUDENT BATHROOMS HAVE NO DOORS. Just stalls with doors, which offer ZERO acoustic dampening at all.
I guess it was encouraging that I just had diarrhea instead of vomiting, which could mean something ruptured, but then the word "diarrhea" was repeated about a zillion times while I was leaning against the wall, sweating and wishing I could just maybe die or be transported into another dimension at this point.
"Could we maybe say 'diarrhea' less right now?" I feebly joked.
They grabbed all my stuff and wonderful people drove me home but not before a procession through the halls (thankfully not during passing time, unlike my fall in the spring where I did the wheelchair tour the first time), and they stayed until Bryce could get there, and I could have the blissful amenities of my own bathroom with a sound-dampening fan and a candle.
Not less than 25 people, including both my administrators, witnessed this at one point or another.
The activities of my ass were well documented and discussed.
I don't know how I'm going to do Monday, but so far I have responded to texts of concern (and also concerning but inaccurate accounts that I collapsed) with appreciation and a fair number of smiling poop emojis. I also emailed all my parents later in the evening, since I was fairly sure they might mention their teacher getting carted out of school and all the talk of ambulances and whatnot. (No poop emojis there, I do have SOME sense of propriety.)
Why, oh why, must my body just constantly seek to betray and humiliate me? Can it save this shit for the WEEKEND sometime?
I'm thinking it's a bug, because I am still struggling although not in constant pain anymore, and I am very tired. It's possible I was dehydrated. It's possible my intestinal tract is inflamed for reasons other than celiac. What's concerning me is that this is the second time in a month that I have felt like I was glutened but I did not actually eat anything with gluten in it. A few weeks ago I got sick like this at home, after eating White Chicken Chili that I made MYSELF, and I blamed a rotisserie chicken (that I asked about later and was assured it didn't have flour in the bag. Same thing that time -- low back pain followed by stabby/shooty upper abdominal pain and a hot-knife feeling in my low belly, diarrhea, and cramping/pains so bad I was writhing on the floor, unable to be upright or straightened out. In both instances pressing on my belly helped with the pain.
I sincerely hope I'm not dealing with some new GI issue here, and I'll be going to the doctor this next week. I hope it's just a real nasty bug, because unlike Chicken Chili night I am WIPED today too, so it's lasting more than a few hours. I didn't wake up in the morning and feel awesome. I slept the majority of the day.
I could go my whole life though without having such a public display of bodily functions, and detailed discussion of just how I was so terribly sick. Jeezum. Wish me luck on Monday...