I am so f*cking sick of being sick.
I was finally starting to feel a bit better last week…the coughing and effects of the pneumonia had subsided, although they were lingering. I no longer had to take liquid codeine to stop coughing so I could sleep at night.
This was progress.
Christmas Eve I did not have my son. I wouldn’t have him until noon on Christmas Day which was the first time EVER he wasn’t with me. It was painful but I managed, with the help of friends and family.
When my parents split, a friend and colleague of my Mother’s invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them. We also spent Christmas with them, and it became a long-standing tradition. The family had two children; a boy a few years older (actually he’s #16 on my list of men I’ve slept with) and a girl my age (Scarlett). We became very close friends.
I stopped seeing them at Christmas after I married Will. He wasn’t a big fan of the family, and it was also getting too much to try to be in so many places over those two days. My Dad lived a 90 minute drive from me, we now had Will’s family to add to the mix, and then after we got married, Will’s parents split, which made things even more complicated.
This year, I got to revert back to some old traditions. Christmas Eve I first joined my Mom her friends house. My step-dad didn’t join us because he was sick with a bad cold.
Then I drove to Scarlett’s house. I’ve also known her husband since we were all teenagers, and over the years have met many of their friends as well. They are similar to me in that they welcome lots of different people into their house. Will wasn’t like that at all, and it was a sticking point for me in our relationship.
Earlier that day I discovered that the comedian was going to be alone on Christmas Eve. Like me, he wasn’t getting his children until Christmas Day. I didn’t think that was right and tried to convince him to join me at their place. He really wanted to see me but wasn’t comfortable doing that. I was sleeping over there so it wasn’t going to happen.
Hanging out at Scarlett’s house was great fun and helped me forget I wasn’t with my son. We reminisced about Christmases past, especially the time we both got Prince’s “Purple Rain” on tape. I played mine so much it wore out.
The next morning we had brunch there – my Mom and Scarlett’s family also joined. My Mom was now sick, and trying to make it through the morning. I went back to my place to meet up with my Son. Halfway through the drive I got the aura in my left eye that indicates a migraine is coming on. I have not had a migraine in maybe four months.
While hormones definitely played a role in my migraines, I was never sure if there were other triggers. Perhaps the stress of my blog incident was enough to trigger it, two days later. I couldn’t believe the terrible timing – I was hosting Christmas Dinner for 8!!
Thankfully I carry a pill all the time for migraines. It gets rid of most of the excruciating pain, leaving me with just a bad headache. But it doesn’t get rid of all the associated migraine symptoms – nausea, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity. So I took the pill, tried to breathe deeply, and made my way home.
Will dropped my son off shortly after I got home, and that’s when I managed my stealth attack on his phone.
My step-dad came to Christmas dinner but he looked like death. My Mom didn’t come because now she was feverish and sick. My Dad, step-mom, half-brother, and a close girlfriend rounded out my dinner guests. Without Will there (as he was last year) it was way less stressful. I let my family and friend help with dinner, which is usually not something I’m comfortable with.
It’s not because I have a sense of needing to be Martha Stewart perfect…I guess I just like being the host. But this time, I let my girlfriend finish the green beans, my step-mom set the table, and my Dad carve the turkey.
The next day I woke up with a cold. I guess it wasn’t surprising, given my immune system is already somewhat compromised from having pneumonia. It seemed like just a cold, however, so I powered on. December 27th my son and I went to visit another friend’s country property for two nights. One of their two daughters is close in age to my son.
I got up there and my friend told me how they were all sick just before Christmas, with vomiting and diarrhea. I didn’t think much of it at the time. We have a lovely two days with them, although I didn’t sleep very well, and got home on the 29th.
The morning of the 30th I opened my front door into my forehead. Yes, you read that right. I have no idea how I did it, but I ended up with a goose egg and a bruise. It still hurts, days after. The night of the 30th I was supposed to bring my son to Will’s house (which in itself could be an entire blog post, as we got into a huge fight over circumstances). I was having a crappy day and feeling really tired and sorry for myself (post forthcoming). I decided to have a nap – and was woken by my son coming into my bed telling me his tummy didn’t feel well.
Moments later he threw up all over my bed and the luggage for my New York City trip. It was only the second time he’d ever thrown up. He was scared but we dealt with it. I had to leave the next morning at 7:30 so Will suggested I bring him over that night.
Filling my Mom in on the adventures, she suggested perhaps I consider not going to NYC. But I just had a cold and while, sure, was still getting over pneumonia, my mental health was just as important.
Off I went the morning of the 31st with my girlfriend Katharine.
You kinda know where this story is going, right?
New Years Eve was loads of fun. We went to a private club of which Katharine was a member, which had a themed party. I wore a black tunic which was above-the-knee in back and crotch length in front. Yes, it was a bold move. Paired with opaque black tights and knee-high high heeled boots it didn’t really seem like I was pantless.
Katharine and I stationed ourselves with a bottle of proscecco at a good place along the bar. It also happened to be where the kitchen entrance was… which was handy for getting first choice of the passed hors d’oeuvres. I noticed a very good looking chef in the kitchen. Over the course of the night he also seemed to notice me at times. But it was dark and I couldn’t be sure.
After midnight passed and I had nobody to kiss, and just before we decided to make our way back to the hotel, I decided to continue with my “no regrets” kissing policy and go find that cook. So I found a waiter and pointed out the guy I wanted to talk to and he came out immediately. He told me he had been watching me all night. His name was Winston. I told him I just wanted to say hi and it was too bad I couldn’t kiss him at midnight.
He looked down at me and said “well it’s not too late for that, is it?” and then kissed me. It was not a great kiss… his tongue darted in and out of my mouth three times in fairly rapid succession. I pulled away, smiled, and said thank you. He told me to come find him before I left, which I didn’t do.
The evening of the 1st, while getting ready for our second night out, I started to feel ill.
I know my body pretty well. I knew exactly what was going to happen. Katharine tried valiantly to get me to rally – she got me some toast and ginger ale but when the chills started, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere that night.
Here’s the kicker. I were supposed to meet a fellow blogger that night – my dear Madeline, the Woman Invisible – who had rearranged a date, driven an hour, and booked a room at my hotel just to meet me. The three of us were going to have a great night on the town. I already felt terrible, but then felt even worse that I would let her down.
I sent Katharine out for dinner, knowing she was perfectly fine eating alone and she shouldn’t be stuck in the hotel room. Madeline insisted on still coming to say hello to me. Now, I was in makeup and my hair looked great, but I was in bed in a sweater and the pink fuzzy socks I had worn skating that day in Rockefeller Center. I was not at my best.
It was a fun 10 minutes of conversation (she still insisted on hugging me, the brave soul). Then I sent her to meet Katharine (they had a great night together, which definitely made me feel better mentally). Within a minute my body was fully experiencing the Norovirus. Look it up if you want to know, but I’d rather not talk about it here. Let’s just say it leaves you – empty.
While laying in the dark hotel room feeling sorry for myself, I made the connection to the illness my country place friends had told me about. It’s highly contagious, especially because the virus can live for a very long time on hard surfaces and bedding.
The average person passes it on to 2.1 people, apparently. I am an overachiever. Me and my son gave it to my ex. I’ve given it to poor Winston, no doubt. Unless Katharine is made of steel, she’s definitely got it, and she will give it to her kids. I really hope I didn’t give it to the other blogger. I have travelled on two airplanes, so who knows where my virus will travel.
I’m just the gift that keeps on giving, it seems.
(Image source: barfblog.com)