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My First Visit to the ER

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In my 36 years of life, not once have I had to visit an ER.  That is, until a few weeks ago when I came down with a nasty stomach virus.  I was so sick I made the decision to break down and get an IV and some anti-nausea meds.  

I am still not sure what the culprit of this nasty bug was.  It was a typical Monday night and I had made one of those frozen bagged meals of stuffed shells with shrimp and brussel sprouts.  My family all ate dinner and had a perfectly normal evening.  Then at 2 AM my three-year old son Basil woke up crying and minutes later vomited all over his bed.  As my husband and I tried to comfort him, both of us reported not feeling quite right either. 

I will spare you the disgusting details, but suffice it to say that we had picked up something nasty.  Luckily my one-year old didn’t get sick but the rest of us were hurting the whole next day.  By 8 PM the next day, after vomiting every 30-45 minutes for the past eight to 10 hours, I finally decided to go to the ER for help.  I was so weak and dehydrated and I was afraid that it would keep getting worse.

Five hours, an IV, and medication to stop the vomiting later, I felt good.  I got home at 1 AM and crashed.  The worst was over but we all took days to recover our full energy.

I often get asked about “stomach” bugs.  I was absolutely convinced that this was some sort of food poisoning because it was the classic scenario.  None of us had any sign of illness or fever until all of a sudden the vomiting and diarrhea started between six to 12 hours after our meal.  However, my nanny’s kids all got sick a few days later so it might have been a bug we picked up and she brought home to them (even though she didn’t get sick).

I will never know if it was in the food or just a bug that got us.   But if you do get sick, follow these guidelines:

  • Rest/sleep as much as you can
  • Let it run it’s course
  • Sip water or sports beverages (or Pedialyte)
  • Try to take small bites of bland crackers
  • If you are unable to hold down water/fluids and are very dehydrated, seek medical attention.

I hope you can avoid all stomach and flu viruses this winter!  Remember to wash your hands well and cook all food to proper temperatures.

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Tags: Hydration

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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