You are really twisted to want to read this post after that title. Glad to know there is such interest in my suffering. No matter, I’d probably be the same way with you. Maybe we have a sick interest in sickness. Here’s my true documentation of how I ended up with a rash all over my body, shaking on the bathroom floor, doubled over in paroxysms of pain on a rocking ship. Sounds fun, right?
This morning I slept through breakfast…unlike me, but not outrageous considering that I was up late last night on deck. I tried to work out but started feeling sick, something I attributed to my empty stomach. After some homework, I had lunch and went to an awkward English class and discussed an even more awkward book. Art class was canceled again because my prof is still mysteriously sick. Do you see where this is heading?
Laura came back from the clinic this morning and explained that she has strep but is lucky—about 30 other students are quarantined to empty cabins for some other sickness that’s going around. Interesting…did I clue in? Of course not. I did homework for most of the afternoon. After dinner, Laura and I dropped by to check on Jeff and Aria (I already have the reputation and nickname of “mom” amongst my set), who are among the room-bound, but on the mend. The were chipper and doing better, but I greeted them from the hallway and kept my distance. After another hour of homework, I opted to go workout before the highly-anticipated trivia night. I had been looking forward to trivia night all week. You don’t even understand how much I love trivia night. It’s like bar night for nerds like me. They play music and it’s the social event of the week.
The ship was rocking, and I almost fell twice, but I had an awesome run. Three miles in 27 minutes, which is quite a feat for me on an ever-moving treadmill. I went out to my favorite side deck that is always empty and stretched to try to cool down. A student I know from one of the trips came out and talked to me for a while and asked me if I was going to trivia night. YES! I went back to my room in a good mood listening to “I’ve Gotta Feeling” and literally dancing down the hall because I felt great. Yes. Oh from the heights…
I went back to my room and was talking to Laura about my great evening when my body started itching. Like all over Really bad. It was comical to me for some reason (I often laugh at odd moments). I hopped in the shower, and the itching only got worse. I looked in the mirror and realized that my body was completely covered in blotchy rashes. I suddenly felt very hot and the rashes seemed to be getting worse, too. I told myself to stop being a hypo and get myself together for trivia night.
That’s when the first cramp hit. Pretty soon my body was doubled over and I could hardly walk. I was afraid to leave the bathroom. Nothing really happened, but my stomach hurt soooo bad. I couldn’t sit up straight. Laura went to get the clinic’s phone number and came back with a sheet that basically said “Stomach Flu alert! Hey kids! Stomach flu going around. Come see us during the 2 hours we are open every day. If it’s not during that time, keep your germs to yourself and treat yourself! Oh, Cepro won’t help. Try some Tylenol or pepto bismol. We don’t know what it is. See yah!”
I hate the clinic.
Laura left again and I hit the bathroom with a pillow. For two hours. Again, nothing really happened…my stomach just hurt so bad. I managed to make it to the phone for long enough to learn that 1. The clinic 24 hour service doesn’t work. 2. Neither does the purser desk number. I was truly alone. Oh, did I mention the ship was rocking horribly?
On the way back from the phone, I grabbed my worthless bag of prescription drugs and began pawing through it. In a moment of brilliance, I grabbed Laura’s pepto and took about 3 minutes to read the directions. It took me another minute to get it from the box to my mouth. In another 30 minutes, I felt well enough to make it to my bed. I must have collapsed in exhaustion, because I woke up to Laura opening the door an hour later. I was in fetal position clutching my stuffed animal, Scamps. He’s seen me through a lot.
I felt so happy to be alive that I was almost giddy. The thing about making it through an experience that is pretty horrible is that you are so thankful for normalcy when it’s over—and shouldn’t we really be thankful for normalcy all the time? So many people don’t have it. Laura went out and got me a ginger ale. I sat up in bed giggling and giddy with the triumph of surviving the African plague and popping pepto, which tasted really good for some reason. One of my least favorite movies in the world, “Eat, Pray, Love” was on, but I watched it with relish and didn’t even care that my body was exhausted and I was horribly cold.
HAH! African plague. I win.