Advice, Lifestyle

The dry reality of dehydration

I, an innocent and frail eighth-grade student, found myself hunched over, gagging and trying to throw up food that didn’t exist inside my empty stomach.

Middle school is supposed to be a jolly, fun time. The future of Advanced Placement exams, college applications and adulthood loom far in the distance.

However, being in a magnet school that provides AP classes to freshmen and has a Model United Nations team for middle schoolers meant I was a little more stressed than most middle schoolers. I was already skipping meals and lacking sleep in middle school. My body was too young to withstand this mistreatment, but I still have kept some of the bad stress-induced habits.

I am notoriously guilty of not drinking enough water. As I’m writing this article, I have drunk maybe two sips of water today. 

I thought I was able to handle the lack of self-care at 13 years old.  I thought I was ‘built different.’ However, every human needs water, no matter their age or stature.

Let me paint the picture for you. 

It was a normal school day. I was in my second period orchestra class.

And then I felt it.

In my experience, dehydration is almost like a runny nose — it hits you out of nowhere. 

With a runny nose, you can go through the whole day feeling fine, but right when you lie down, you’ll know by the one blocked nostril and the inability to breathe through your nose that you are sick. 

With dehydration, the feeling of nausea drowned me. I was unable to see straight or sit up without feeling the need to vomit tickle the back of my throat. I sat my viola down on my chair and asked the teacher if I could excuse myself, frantically scampering to the door.

Hurriedly, I entered the dark restroom and launched myself before the first empty stall I saw. I tried emptying my stomach of its contents, but to no avail. I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything. What was there to throw up?

But my body was still begging me to gag and retch. I forced that feeling down to the pit of my gut and tried to soldier on.

Unsurprisingly, I was not able to soldier on.I finally was able to eject something up my esophagus during third period English class. And if that wasn’t enough, I was completely wiped out by fourth period history class.

I am very persistent to a fault. Normal kids would have jumped at the opportunity to go home early. But eighth-grade-me was scared of missing my honors science class.

However, the general feeling of disgust overwhelmed me, and I called my dad to pick me up from school.

The car ride felt like tubing through a jagged river down Mount Everest. I clenched my teeth, forcing any nausea back down my throat. Time felt incredibly slow — the first right turn the car took felt like forever.

Immediately upon entering my warm house, my dad forced me to drink some water — the holy grail, for real — and to rest on my back for a while. I was uneasy about this recovery plan but followed it anyway.

And just like that, I woke up feeling a bit more rested and a whole lot better.

My dad gave me a bowl of rice and steamed fish. I think that may have been the single most appetizing, filling meal of my entire life to date. My stomach was flipping in excitement that it was finally receiving sustenance.

The rest of the afternoon was spent feeding my poor stomach and nursing my head back to health. I watched MARINA music videos on YouTube as my friends were posting the pep rally on their Snapchat stories.

If this were an allegory, the moral of the story would be to always stay hydrated. In general, take care of your health, especially your physical health, to ensure you can complete your daily tasks.

I may not be the most credible source, but remember to drink your water kids, or you’ll end up like 13-year-old me.

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