Monday, December 2, 2019

Thankfuls From The Trenches

There's a thankful or two in here somewhere, but I'm not sure where, exactly. You decide.

I didn't write a Ten Things of Thankful last weekend, because I was fairly sure I was on my deathbed. Turns out, I wasn't, but who knew at the time?

See, I have prided myself in the fact that I have only thrown up three times IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The first time was when I was in kindergarten. The second was when I was seven and had gotten my tonsils out (you can read THAT story right here, and you should). The third and what I believed to be final time was on December 23, 1971. I was 11, in the 6th grade, and it was so horrible that I vowed never again.

I survived pregnancies, surgeries, and a couple of bouts with the stomach flu without ever throwing up. I cleaned up after my kids when THEY had the stomach flu and threw up, but I never did it myself. I was invincible, or so I thought until the early morning hours of November 23, 2019, when my streak ended. 

I believe I had food poisoning that night/morning, mostly because neither my dad nor my husband caught it, and my dad gets the stomach flu if you just say the words in front of him. Also, I had eaten pasta carbonara at a restaurant (something that will never pass my lips again), and it is rife with ingredients that could cause food poisoning. I felt like hammered horseshit for two days and nowhere near 100% ever since (including now).

Fast forward a couple of days to this past Wednesday. My husband, daughter and I picked up my dad and drove up to Kansas City to spend Thanksgiving (incidentally, my very favorite holiday, because you don't have to buy gifts for anyone and there's food) with my brother and his family. My brother wanted to take us to a favorite pizza place near them that evening. There was a 30 minute wait when we arrived, so we decided to go next door to a super cool toy store to kill time. My dad wasn't acting quite like himself, but I thought maybe he was just tired from meandering in the toy store (my dad will be 85 in two weeks, so he's entitled), but a few minutes later, I saw my husband and my dad go out onto the sidewalk, then saw my husband looking panicky and waving his arms around while my dad stood there, and I knew something was up.

When I went out the door, my dad was saying he was about to lose it. My first thought was that he either was having some kind of panic attack or there was something wrong with his heart. Neither. He thought he was going to throw up.

He didn't. Yet.

We canceled our plan to eat and went back to my brother's house. As soon as I had my dad settled in a chair with an empty wastebasket "just in case", my brother and I went to Target and picked up some clothes he would be more comfortable in if he were ill (he only had khaki pants and button down shirts with him, and who wants to dress like that when you feel like death?). We also got a couple of large bottles of ginger ale. Shortly after we got back to the house, he made use of the wastebasket, and it all went downhill after that (and by "downhill", just use your imagination). I took care of my dad all evening, until he finally felt he was ready to go to bed.

By morning (THANKSGIVING morning, mind you), my dad was downhiller than ever, and I had to make a Walmart run for more sweatpants and other things that I won't mention but you can figure out for yourself. In the meantime, my brother, with the help of his mighty  spreadsheet, were making our Thanksgiving feast. My dad didn't join us for our meal, but he was feeling better, and by evening, he was able to eat something bland and the Kaopectate that he took (enough to stop up an elephant, according to my dad) was finally doing its job, and by the time he went to bed, he was doing fairly well.

I went down to the basement guest room and tucked myself into bed. That lingering feeling of yuck from my own barf fest had not improved a bit and I was exhausted. My husband and daughter watched movies on their computers and I slept, or I did until about 10:00 pm when I heard the unmistakable sound of my husband throwing up.

And again.

And then he came to bed and turned on his side, facing me, breathing what was obviously stomach flu germs in my face, so I went back upstairs to sleep on the couch.

A few hours later, I heard my daughter throwing up.

Then husband.

Then daughter.

Then I tried not to hear anything that was going on downstairs, but know that things went rapidly "downhill" for them as well, and I had to make another trip to Walmart for more ginger ale. I spent the rest of Friday washing clothes, sheets and towels and cleaning two bathrooms (I am a good guest), and my husband and daughter determined they were able to travel the two hours home around 3:00 that afternoon. My dad, on the other hand, woke up that morning feeling great.

Halfway home, I got a text from my brother saying my niece was throwing up.

Two hours after that, I got another text from my brother, this time telling me HE was throwing up and that we were uninvited for next year.

The next morning, another text that my sister in law was now throwing up and he blamed me for all of it.

Here's the real question: did I have food poisoning when I got sick, or was I, indeed, Patient Zero as the family has taken to calling me? And how could I be Patient Zero if I was sick in the early morning hours of Saturday and no one else who had been close to me caught it until Wednesday evening? I believe I am being blamed needlessly and it was all a big coincidence, and I'm maybe a little nervous that instead of being Patient Zero I am actually Patient Seven.... 

What say you?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. two words: Damn!
    A couple of things went through my mind: non-specific themes and plots from any number of 'end-of-the-world' movies, where something gets loose and wipes out the population the other, Monty Python.
    I won't stick the clip here. But if you search: 'Just one thin mint' + Monty Python you will be 'rewarded' with either the most hilarious or disgusting video clip in the 'net.
    Good to hear you're feeling better., perhaps a mint.

  2. I hope you are not Patient Seven, and that everyone is feeling better now. What a memorable Thanksgiving!

  3. Oh, my! That sounds like a terrible way to spend Thanksgiving. I hope every one is on the mend and you are not Patient Seven like Kristi said.
    The entire school district in a down south of here shut down the week of Thanksgiving due to a rampant stomach virus and the district was trying to pretty much disinfect everything in the school.