When I was little, I was pretty good at getting sick at bad times–specifically, my birthday (including some years my birthday fell on Father’s Day), Christmas, and the one time I had the flu when I was supposed to go see The Wizard of Oz on ice, which is a pretty entertaining story because I was slowly getting better and my mom told me I could still go if I was able to eat without throwing up, and I totally was…until I was sitting in my seat watching the show and threw up all over my winter coat and my mom.

I only got sick on vacation once, right as we were leaving a trip to Cape May with Uncle Clark, but I blame his smoking on that judging by how congested and miserable I was.

So the last night of this vacation, we were finally looking forward to sleeping in and having nowhere to go in the morning–just taking our time going home. Paul’s parents went out for a little bit, the two couples on the trip tried to sneak in some, uh, alone time, and everything was pretty much okay…until Julie had a panic attack.

She called her best friend, who calmed her down, but she didn’t know why she had a panic attack and ask me not mention it to her mom, who doesn’t know Julie gets them, so as not to worry her (or, in my opinion, cause a meltdown). I totally understood. I didn’t see much of Julie for the rest of the night, but everyone else ate dinner when Paul’s parents came back. Paul’s mom mentioned Julie wasn’t feeling well, and I assumed Julie fed her some lie about the panic attack.

A little later, their other sister, Emily, threw up. I started to feel a little queasy while I ate dinner, but I figured I was just exhausted and went up to bed.

I woke up a couple hours later, threw up, felt fine, got some water, and went back to bed.

At some point, Paul did the same thing. I could hear him in the bathroom downstairs from the bedroom upstairs.

Apparently, I wasn’t nearly as fine as I thought because I got up again maybe only an hour or so later to throw up again, wit the added bonus of diarrhea. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go into TMI territory–not that there’s much farther to go because it’s pretty self-explanatory–but it was the most miserable thing I have ever experienced. I’ve had the flu plenty of times, but I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick. I barely slept, and even when I did doze off, I was waking up just about every hour from midnight to 3 or 4 a.m. to use the potty or throw up.

As this round was getting close to ending, I heard Jacob get up from the other bedroom and steal my bathroom, which I’d had to myself the whole night–Julie and Emily were downstairs, too, and Katie managed to sneak in Jacob’s room.

I finally did sleep for a few hours and did stop throwing up, but I felt horrible. And we had a 10-12 hour drive to make. We would’ve stayed an extra day, but Paul’s dad was driving and his mom was afraid he’d get it, too. If you’re keeping score, 10 of us were on this trip and 5 of us were sick. Fortunately, it stayed to just us 5.

Somehow, I was able to muster the strength to pack my stuff to go. Oh yeah, this was all happening over Mother’s Day.

We figure we all got a stomach virus, since one had been going around–Terra had the exact same thing–and nothing could be traced to our food, since there really wasn’t a common denominator.

I started to get hungry, which I took as a good sign, but I didn’t trust my stomach enough to eat real food. I had saltines, water, Jell-O, and Gatorade, along with all the other sickies. I managed to sleep most of the drive home. We stopped to eat. Paul and I just got side dishes of rice and mashed potatoes and couldn’t finish either one. Jacob, likely glad to be eating food that didn’t come from the Marines, ate ice cream and a bacon cheeseburger.

I had us pull over at one point because I was pretty sure I was gonna throw up after that rice and potatoes, but I didn’t. I blame the bumpy roads for that one, and Paul says that while he was awake, he would try to kind of hold me down when we hit big bumps. I was so miserable, though, that I cried a little. I can’t help it. When I feel super shitty, can do nothing about it, and ain’t getting better, I get weepy. Also, this usually only happens when I’m drunk and throwing up and can’t stop throwing up, which is basically any time I throw up drunk. The last time I did that was on my 21st birthday.

My original plan was to have Brandon pick me up at Paul’s since no way in hell did I feel like driving, but I abandoned that pretty quick and trudged up to Paul’s bed. No, his parents do not let the girlfriends share rooms with them–Jacob and Paul got kicked out and Katie and I got their respective beds.

I was afraid I’d have trouble sleeping since I’d slept nearly all day, but Paul found that highly unlikely. He won–I passed right out and slept for a solid 10-11 hours with saltines and Gatorade next to me.

I think I must’ve had a bit of a harder time getting over it than everyone else, because even though the vomiting and diarrhea stopped, my stomach still felt like shit and my appetite was there but little. I lost weight. I don’t own a scale, but I certainly looked smaller. Oh, and by the time we got home, I basically hadn’t eaten anything more than crackers and a cup of Jell-O in 24 hours, and I threw up anything I’d eaten before that. Great job, tummy. I was even afraid to go back to my full-on careless eating habits and took the lightest foods I had in my apartment in my lunch at work for the rest of the week: peanut-butter sandwiches, plain Teddy Grahams, and I managed some yogurt.

You’ll be happy to know I got back to normal by the end of the week and went back to my diet of junk food and pasta.

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