A Gut Feeling

Kage Baker, as I have noted, was amused by the story of Helicobacter pyloris.

I’m sure this was due to a life-long history of watching Disney nature shows, where everything was given a neotenic expression and narration by Sterling Holloway. Sort of like the DNA in Jurassic Park – that sequence was so absolutely Disney that Kage was in hysterics in the movie theatre.

I am not fond of the damn stuff, however. It not only causes ulcers, it can cause several other digestive ills. It is severely implicated in common gastritis – what mostly people call, utterly inaccurately, “stomach flu”.

Kage called it stomach flu. “I have stomach flu,” she would report balefully, staggering out of the bathroom with black wrath written on her dead-white face.

“No, you don’t,” I would say (sisters will take good care of one another but are not always the most sympathetic people). ” No one EVER has stomach flu. Influenza is a respiratory disease and only affects the lungs and bronchi.”

“Yeah, well, screw you, because I just puked up a lung. So there.” And Kage would retire for a couple of days of living on ginger ale and Pepto Bismal. I would read to her, and fetch Chinese War Won Ton soup when she graduated to food again.

But there really is no such thing as stomach flu, Dear Readers. It’s gastritis, or enteritis, or food poisoning, or an allergy or something.Whatever makes your stomach hurt, makes you throw up, and shake with fever, and ache in all your long bones as your poor muscles try to raise a fever – it’s rarely something fatal. It’s one of those supremely annoying malaise petites that strike out of the dark and make you wish you were dead, without ever guaranteeing you the faintest chance of such a blessed release.

And in case you haven’t guess, I’ve got one. I write now to excuse myself, and to get some satisfaction from dark humour at my own expense.  I had to go invoke a renowned bacterium … now am I served back for my hubris.

Still, I know it’s probably only gastritis. Probably. Usually. I mean, this sort of thing is hardly ever anything serious …

Although, in the heat of summer and self-pity, my money at the moment is on cholera.

See you tomorrow, folks.


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to A Gut Feeling

  1. mizkizzle says:

    At least it isn’t Jumping Frenchman Disorder. Google it when you feel better; it’s a real thing.


  2. Kate says:

    And it seems to have been a neurological disorder – not a cardiovascular one, like Fainting Goats. Of course, the Maine woods are a weird place – at least, if you believe Steven King. And I do, of course.

    The French seem to be prone to this kind of problem. They were especially victimized by ergot poisoning in the Middle Ages, as well as some (possibly hysterical) syndromes that also caused uncontrollable dancing and leaping. Tooo sensitive!


  3. Gastritis is a real pain in the ass. It’s literally ruining my life. I’m struggling to live with it and having to deal with the attacks everytime I eat fast food. It changed my entire lifestyle. But let’s hope for the best I guess?


    • Kate says:

      That’s all one can do, I think. Living in California, I try to keep to a locally sourced vegetarian diet in large part – it’s easy and possible here, and has the fewest bad effects of my digestion. Fast food – pretty much an impossibility these days. Which I know is better for me, but my mouth gets lonely for grease sometimes!


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