(Every event needs a t-shirt.
Especially when it has a unicorn with rainbow coloured puke.)
(Are 'carrot bags' an international phenomenon or are they purely Australian, like Vegemite? I don't think Oprah discussed it on her recent tour, and given she was impressed by fornicating koalas, I'm pretty sure she's the kind of gal who'd be amused by, and would discuss, 'carrot bags'. For those unfamiliar with the term, every person has a bag somewhere deep inside their bodies that is filled with a never ending supply of carrots. Even if you haven't eaten a carrot for two years, when you puke, you will expel a bags worth of little orange carrot pieces, hence the existence of a 'carrot bag'. Come on international readers, I need an answer. These are the questions that consume me in my post puke haze. And before you ask I already know that the meaning of life, the universe and everything, is 42, so I am down to pondering the big issues, such as the epidemiology of carrot bags).
After a very pleasant two months of no nausea or puking post-angioplasty, it's back. I sort of feel like the morning was was all very "Here's Johnny", except instead of an axe wielding Jack Nicholson, it was my breakfast saying an insane hello. All this was accompanied by a rather elegant fall from my shower chair. Naked, pasty, marshmallow body flailing under the falling water, landing legs akimbo, twisted like a pretzel, with a sound akin to a dead squid being slapped on the table at a fish market. All accompanied be a lovely rendition of, "FRAK!* Frak me. Owwwww. Frakking stupid shower chair. FRAK! FRAK! FRAK! Owww. Fraking universe. Frakking useless body. FRAKKKKKKKKKK........" Halcyon days my friends. Halcyon days.
YAY. WOO BLOODY HOO! Let me do the traditional 'Return of the Puke' dance of joy.
Slowly the nausea has been creeping back. A little bit worse each day. So slowly that for a while I could dismiss it as, 'it's just something I ate', 'it's just the stupid humidity and heat', 'it's not really coming back'. You can convince yourself of anything if you say it often enough. Hell, I still believe that Johny Depp is going to turn up n my doorstep offering to give me a back rub any day now. Not delusional in the slightest, right?
I do wonder what this all means for Jeff, especially as my headaches have also been returning bit by bit. I'm still not back to the soul crushing, insanity inducing migraines of old, but it is getting worse. I've had to go out and buy my first lot of poppy derived drugs since my angioplasty, which is rather depressing. I have a feeling that it all means that Jeff has once more turned my jugular into a dodgy rat infested squat.
I knew his return was a risk, especially given his fractious nature and resistance during the procedure. Many others who have the procedure have to have it done again as the veins re-stenose. My bestie who put me onto the whole CCSVI idea has had it done three times now, so I'm not overly shocked that it may have collapsed again.
Not sure how I feel about it all or what I'll do. Is two months nausea and migraine free worth the less than pleasant nature of the procedure or the stupidly long time it took me to recover? I'm still tossing that up. I have enough medical appointments on the cards as is, so I'm not sure if I want to add in another trip to the thumping tube of death, or The Balloonman at this stage. If the 'two months' was instead 'two years' I may be more inclined to go back for round two. If I hit frequent migraines again then maybe. At present it's all very grey.
For those who live with nausea/puking everyday, you'll know how precious those two months of freedom were. I have had nausea 24 hours a day, 7days a week since 2006. Prior to the angioplasty I had not had even a single day's break. The only thing that varied was the degree. Was a I slightly nauseous, very nauseous, swallowing down mouthfuls of vomit, or riding the porcelain bus for hours on end. It was like someone had snuck into my room in the middle of the night and flicked a switch in my body to the 'PUKE ON' position and it stuck. So two months free has been like winning the lottery.
It's hard to explain what it's like to someone who is rarely ill. It doesn't get better and you never get used to it. It's the one symptom I've never learnt to tolerate. The overall malaise, yes. The feeling of dizziness every time I stand, yes. The need to wear a bikini in Winter, yes. A myriad of other symptoms, yes. But not the nausea and puking. It is continually foul and at times rather distressing. Not to mention the cramp it puts on my social life and potential outings.
To give you an idea. I went to the supermarket the other day with Mr Grumpy and half way through I thought I was going to throw up next to the bin bags and birthday candles. It was an overwhelming feeling. The whole body stuff is horrible in itself, but the idea of throwing up in public, the hassle, the people watching, the poor staff having to clean it up, the fact you know you have no control over your body, that all goes through your mind and leaves you rather stressed and anxious. I managed to get to the disgusting public loos to dry retch and had the joy of swallowing down mouthfuls of vomit on the car ride home. You don't get used to that. It never gets better, or easier to deal with, and there is not much in the way of respite.
I can prepare as best as possible, ie I always carry puke bags (see pics below). I can tell myself it's out of my control. It's part of Bob. I can give myself pep talks and shout out positive affirmations till the cows come home, but in reality it sucks. And each time it's simply 'Craptastic' (thanks Miranda for my new favourite descriptor).
(The cartoon of someone puking makes it all cute and fun right?
Personally I think the addition of my pink sparkly feather boa really makes it special)
(Who thought it was a good idea to put cartoons on the bag?
Who has the time, or inclination, to look at witty cartoons whilst they are blowing chinks?)
(Okay, I do like this one.
There's nothing like a little cartoon puker to sum up the joys of a technicolour yawn).
So yes folks, Kermit was right, it really isn't easy being green.
Pukefest 2011 is truly the most craptastic event of the year.
The bleech Michelle
* Yes I am a sad geek. The origins of 'frak'.
At least Pukefest 2011 does have a funky little theme song. Beck, Nausea.