I've had my share of illness in my lifetime.  Though, I don't remember being sick a lot before third grade except for typical stuff; mumps, measles, chicken pox - you know all the childhood have to's of my generation.  In third grade I contracted mononucleosis and was put in the hospital.  That, at 8 years old, was my first stay in a place that I would some day come to hate.  I missed some school, hated my third grade teacher and my haircut that year anyway.  That is the only time in my life that I have ever thrown up - on my red pull-over-your-shoes boots while waiting for my mom to pick me up as I was sent home sick.  It would seem that throwing up on my beautiful red boots ushered in a bout with mono.  If you look at my third grade picture you will see everything; a horrific haircut, a ridiculous black and white dress (oh mom come on - a dress!) and the darkest circles under an 8 year olds eyes you've ever seen.  Not a good school picture year!  If you could have checked the option on the school picture order form for a conversation bubble to be inserted above the child's head, mine would have said, "HATE ALL THINGS THIRD GRADEISH".   When I hit seventh grade I came down with some weird cyclic illness that baffled the doctors for a time.  Eventually they concluded juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and thought with age it would diminish if not leave altogether.  Great, just what a kid wants - periods of high fevers and painful, swollen joints.  It came and went but stayed with me until after I had my daughter in my early 20's.  I loved turning 30.  Really it was a great time - I felt great, I was running lots of miles, I loved my body at 30 and how I looked, the age my daughter was and had really begun to be comfortable with Lynn period.   At age 32 after suddenly getting ill, I was again diagnosed with something I didn't want, Type I diabetes-the insulin dependant give yourself shots to live kind.  During a several year period following that diagnosis I seemed to be ill more than I was functioning as a well person.  One Christmas during those ill years, I spent it in the hospital with both mono once again and pancreatitis.  I don't sit around very patiently or very easily sometimes even when I'm sick.  Absolutely everything that entered my mouth and even when nothing did, it came directly out the other end. I was forced to stay in that hospital room just to be steps away from the bathroom as explosive diarrhea went on the rampage with no warning (I am putting it mildly for you here as I want you to return to my blog tomorrow too).  Now if you are of the faint of heart or a child under say the age of 13 you may want to stop reading:)  Because it was Christmas lots of friends and family came to see me.  Side note:  when you are ill you really don't want half the world in your room, especially when you have explosive-can't give you a warning-diarrhea.  I was weary of people and being there.  Early on a Sunday morning at around 6 a.m. I decided I could not stay in that bed one minute longer and would just get up and walk the halls.  It was still dark in the hallways at 6 a.m. on that Sunday over Christmas.  Other than a nurse that sat at a small nurses station at the one of the hall, all was silent.  At some point of being in the hospital you just loose all modesty or at least a portion of it.  I was at that point when I walked out of my room with ugly hospital issue gripper slippers on, a gown that was big enough to be wrapped around me twice and a pancreas and intestinal tract that was in major crisis mode.  I just wanted to walk, to move, to stretch my legs.  Upon leaving my room I decide to turn right, whereas immediately a thought strikes me, "What if I need the bathroom, where is one out here?"  Really I think I had not gone more than 20 steps from my room or more than a few seconds away from my "where is the nearest bathroom thought", when it hit with no warning, no time to think, panic or chance to squeeze your butt checks together (btw-that defensive tactic would not have worked at all).  Standing there in the dimly lit hall on a Sunday morning Christmas weekend explosive diarrhea hit.  So explosive was it that it blew my underwear down to my ankles as I now stood in a pile much like a heifer's pile in the pasture beyond my parents house.  Panic now ensued.  I couldn't take a step - literally.  What do I do!!!  I catch the nurse's eye at the end of the hall and motion her towards me - wondering who might happen out of their room or off the elevator at any given moment and see me standing in the hall underwear and crap ankle deep.  She waves back.  OH MY WORD...she thinks I'm waving hello!  I get more dramatic in my motioning and she catches on and walks down the hall to me.  Now what do you say to a nursing professional who has been trained in all things gross and yet still, there is no amount of money that would make me want to do her job at that very moment!  I apologize profusely and laugh at the same time at the absurdity of it all.  Her and I stand there now, both of us laughing, trying to figure out what exactly to do to minimize the mess on me and well, the surroundings.  She calmly says, "See that door right across from us?  It's a shower.  I'm going to take your gown off, open that door and you can just walk in it."  Did I tell you I am standing in a hospital hallway and she wants me to strip naked?  Well, having lost the last shred of modesty and dignity I had when I exited my room minutes earlier, I strip completely naked in the hallway and walk to the shower.  If you think the worst is over, oh it was not.  Per hospital protocol because I was ill, she had to come in the shower with me - yes, right in there with me as all the crap was washed off.  She was gracious and even though I was embarrassed, it was indeed very funny.  After having gotten cleaned up and redressed in a fresh gown (this time with no underwear) I was put back in my room:(   Sometime later that nurse came in my room.  She sat on the edge of my bed where I once again told her that I can't believe what had just happened and how sweet she had been and how ridiculously funny it was.  She laughed and said in a b-rated hospital drama TV show sort of way, "Lynn, I'm sorry, but we were unable to save your underwear."  Can it get any worse?  Depends.  It's the Christmas year I lovingly refer to as, "The Christmas Of Crap":)

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