Yesterday morning I awoke to the distinct feeling that someone was stirring around in my stomach with a hot poker. That was followed very shortly with a run to the bathroom, followed by about six subsequent runs to the bathroom in the next hour, all while I was trying to get ready to go to Michigan for Jim's family Christmas. I said to him at one point, while I sat at the table nibbling wanly on crackers, "Maybe I should stay home." Um, famous last words. I should have realized that if I was even voicing aloud the idea of missing out on opening presents, I must have been pretty darn sick, but foolishly I decided to tough it out and we all set off on our road trip.
About an hour into the trip, my thermos of tea just wasn't helping anymore. I was squirming around, looking desperately for any gas station or fast food place that looked remotely clean. Finally I gave up on that and told Jim to just pull over anywhere, which ended up being a fairly clean looking Amoco station. The bathroom turned out to be a different story, but I didn't really care anymore. As I was washing my hands, I saw that someone had scrawled across the condom dispenser, "Don't buy this gum, it tastes like rubber." Oh, the wit!
A half hour later, my misery had returned, and this time we pulled over at a rest stop, which was actually much cleaner than the gas station. (I should have titled this post, "The Comparable Conditions of Ohio Interstate Toilets.") As we pulled back onto the highway, I vaguely recall mumbling from my fetal position, "Kill me."
At last we got to Aunt Nancy's. As Jim was parking, I informed him that as soon as the car stopped I was leaping out and heading directly for a bathroom, and then a bed, and he was on his own with the presents and the food and the baby. I spend the next five hours curled up in the bedroom loft of Nancy's condo, alternately trying to block out the light and noise by making a pillow fort around my head, and rushing to the bathroom, dry heaving into a trashcan (there was apparently by this point nothing left in my stomach.)
The whole day was a complete blur, probably because I was a little lightheaded due to eating nothing save a couple of crackers all day. Jim came up periodically to check on me and offer sips of water (also to try and convince Adelay to take a nap, which alas did not happen until we were all preparing to leave. She then promptly fell asleep in the bed with me, rendering the arm underneath her head- mine- a useless stump of tingling nerve damage.) He also was kind enough to open my gifts- I could hear him downstairs offering high-pitched exclamations of "Isn't this so cute!?" on my behalf. Also, apparently during my quarantine upstairs, my sister in law was likewise hidden away in the downstairs bedroom, sleeping off her own ailments. I don't think either of us even saw any of the relatives we had driven two hours to visit.
By the time we left for home, Jim was complaining of a stomachache of his own. The car ride did nothing to improve matters, either- Adelay had slept a grand total of a half an hour the entire day, and was a bundle of hysteria and misery. She took her bottle at first and we naively anticipated that she would sleep on the way home. Will we never learn? About ten miles down the road, she decided that her car seat was a cruelly designed torture device, and began howling with rage and flinging her head against the seat.
She screamed so hard and so long (with our offerings of crackers and toys and lullaby Cd's disdainfully ignored) that she began to gag, so we finally pulled over, hoping a diaper change would fix things. We hoped in vain. After the diaper change (on the floor of a disgusting and changing-table-lacking gas station) she became immediately hysterical again upon sight of the dreaded car seat. Both Jim and I were at this point insanely tired and feeling sicker by the minute, so we gave up and I crawled into the backseat to hold Addy the rest of the way home. Shh, don't tell on us.
As soon as we got home, we put the deranged child to bed and then followed suit, at the late hour of eight pm, and promptly fell asleep. The rest of the night was another blur of various and sundry wakings to stumble to the bathroom and the medicine cabinet. In the end, none of us (even Addy) got out of bed until eleven o' clock this morning.
So what was this evil affliction? Stomach flu? Food poisoning? I have no clue, but I am tempted to go with flu, based on the fact that the horrible stomach cramps have also been accompanied by feverish chills and body aches. I just hope Addy doesn't get it. So far she seems okay.
So, suffice it to say, for me the holidays went out on kind of a sour note, and I am ready to bid them farewell. And just the idea of getting into the car makes me feel nauseous all over again, so I am planning on no more road trips for a long, long time.
Hope everyone had a merry Christmas!