It’s four o’clock in the morning, maybe five, and there I am, pressing my face against the tile. On any other day, this activity would seem repellant, but now, as I hug myself against the pain, body shivering in a cold sweat, I find the bathroom floor somehow comforting. I stare at the fuzzy, pink robe hanging next to my towel, a gift I never really liked from a boyfriend who never really liked me, and I think:
“So this is how it’s going to end. You know, I might just be okay with it.”
And this was just the beginning of the Epic Virus of 2013.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to being my old self,” Mike said after a lull in the retching several hours later, and I agreed, fearing the same.
I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, EV 2013 hit Mike, Jude, and I pretty hard. The last time I was as sick, it was 2001, and I was flying with my brother to Palm Springs, California to visit his home at the time after spending Christmas with our parents. The flight was delayed in Newark Airport, forcing us to miss our connecting flight in Arizona. The airline put us up in hotels overnight, but somewhere in transit, I acquired a hellish throw-up disease that all but destroyed me. Let’s just say the rest of the day–and the one that followed–was unbearable.
I’ve had countless colds, flus, and other illnesses in my life, and though some stand out, mostly, they all kind of blend together in a vague haze. On the contrary, I have vivid memories of each and every stomach virus: the misery, the desperation, the inhumanity of it all. EV 2013 had all of these qualities, and what’s worse, I had to experience it two-fold as I watched Jude suffer.
Just the other day, I said to my Mom:
“My immune system is great! I just never get sick anymore.”
EV 2013 was my punishment for such braggery. And as it occurred to me days later whilst laying there in agony, attempting not to fixate on all the sheets I needed to watch/surfaces I needed to disinfect, I will be adding a whole list of throw-up disease memories to my repertoire as Jude moves through his childhood and teen years.
What a nice little bonus for us all.