Oh honey, I have had the stomach flu and similar symptoms with other viruses more times than I wish, and I know your pain all too well. Also, I’m a biologist, so I tend to speak rather candidly about these kind of things, so sorry if it gets a little TMI. Here is how I get through it when I start getting those first twinges of nausea and know it’s about to get real:
1) There’s no getting around it. It’s going to suck. Experience the emotions, let them go, and realize that the worst will pass in about 12 hours.
2) Do NOT take anti-nausea or anti-vomit meds! I cannot stress this enough. If you have a virus, like rotovirus or norovirus, then the best way to get it out of your system is…well…to clear out your system. Anti-mimetics (aka, anti-puke meds) will make it harder to throw up, thereby keeping that nasty virus in your system for longer.
3) Recognize that the worst source of discomfort is the nausea, and throwing up (as gross as it is) provides instant (though sometimes temporary) relief. Don’t try to fight it. If it happens, just let it happen. I have gotten so uncomfortable from nausea at times that I will…sorry, TMI…gag myself to speed up the inevitable.
4) Have the following three items in your kitchen: ginger ale (with REAL GINGER! Canada Dry is the best!), saltine crackers, and gatorade. Have your DH make a grocery run, STAT! Alternate teensy sips of ginger ale and gatorade between sick spells to settle your stomach and replace electrolytes. It may come back up in 10 minutes. This is okay. Just let it happen.
5) After enough time, you will probably have nothing left in your stomach. You will probably also be exhausted. That’s a GOOD SIGN. For me, once there’s nothing in my stomach except bile, that means the worst is over. However, I usually still feel a little nauseous simply because my stomach has been doing somersaults and is super sensitive at the moment. That’s when I know puking more will do no good and I can usually fall asleep. Which brings me to the next point…
6) SLEEP! No matter what time of day it is, if you’re tired and have nothing in your system, now is the time to strike with the sleep. Try maybe a sip of ginger ale if you feel up to it, close the curtains, throw on an eye mask, and get some shuteye. That will buy your body time to settle your stomach.
7) You should feel much better when you wake up! Your stomach hopefully won’t hurt as much, if at all, but you’ll still be tired and dehydrated. Keep alternating the ginger ale and gatorade. If you really start to feel thirsty, try tiny sips of water at room temperature. Once you feel your stomach start to growl (as in hunger growls, not upset growls), that’s the signal that your system is coming back online, so to speak, and you should be safe to try some saltine crackers. It may take 10 minutes to nibble half a cracker, but it’s half a cracker closer to recovery.
8) After that point, it’s just a matter of resting, rehydrating, and eating bland, soft foods until you can ease back into your normal diet. Also take comfort in the fact that your body will have built up a temporary immunity to whatever virus caused your problem, so hopefully it won’t be back anytime soon!
Good luck, OP, and feel better soon! Hope this helps!