My last night in NYC, I went out with some wonderful friends. I ate an amazing home cooked dinner, we enjoyed a good Malbec, and talked everything from life after college, marriage, and great literature! We were definitely celebrating life.
Unfortunately, when it came time to opening the Sparkling Shiraz (which, by the name, I should've steered clear!), that was a different story. At first taste, my senses picked up, but I thought nothing of it. I just thought it was a little sharp. Sharper than a normal shiraz, but still. I finished it up and then came time to go home. My belly was feeling all sorts of wonky, but I thought nothing of it. I hopped in a cab and headed back to my room.
I made it safely there, took a long shower and then it started happening. I proceeded to get violently ill for the next couple of hours. I managed to fall asleep, only to awake and once again be under attack. (I'll only mention that not ALL of those times did I make it to the bathroom. It was only after the fact that I chose to spend my last night on a cold marble floor clutching the wastebasket.) I had a couple of pretty important meetings, but I was just hoping to have enough in me to make it to the airport and fly home. After a few more hours of this and poor attempts at packing, I composed myself just enough to go into the office. This was just as bad as that awful stomach virus we had at the first of the year.
I was there for about half an hour when the fits started again. Ugh! (Seriously, I'm turning green just thinking about it!) I made it to one meeting and apologized over and over again for missing the other one. We made plans to discuss on the phone any necessary follow-ups, but let me tell you I felt horrible about it and felt horrible for feeling horrible. I pulled myself together and elected to head to the airport early to fly standby.
I got sick only one more time before going down for a surprisingly pleasant cab ride. It took all my efforts to not make him stop on the way, but the cool wind on my face seemed to help. I walked at a snails pace inside and they helped me through. I forced restraint when waiting in the security line. I must've counted every single pair of shoes and tiles I could see. When I finally made it through, I managed to miss the flight that was heading out that second. I did, however get on the next flight out. That would've put me back home two hours earlier than planned.
I walked onto the plane and of course, was welcomed by a middle seat in the very rear. *great* The man on the aisle was really friendly and wanted to talk to me. I hated to be rude, but I just sat there frozen, clutching my water bottle, and the tiny white courtesy bag the airline provides in the seat pocket. I think he got the hint. An hour into the flight and my belly started to grumble again. I requested some ginger ale and crackers. The lady gave me the fruit and cheese the crackers and didn't charge me the $3 for it. So nice! I slowly nibbled at my crackers and sipped the ginger ale.
Half an hour later, we were told that we had to detour to Nashville because of the strong winds in Dallas. My heart sank. We were flying circles over Nashville for something that seemed like forever, when we finally landed. I felt a little better once we were on the ground, but my belly was still feeling all sorts of out of sorts. Oddly enough, the live music playing in the airport soothed my soul. I called up Momma and gave her an update. I'd be seeing her the next day, but something about hearing your mother's voice when you don't feel well always brightens the spirit.
I walked around the airport. I felt well enough to eat, so I ordered a plain baked potato. I didn't realize how hungry I was, until I sat down to eat it when they started to re-board us. Now don't get me wrong, I was happy to get home, but I was really hungry. Feeling more like myself, I started chatting with my fellow row-mates. The gal was fresh out of colleged working for Teach America and on her spring break to visit her friend in Guatemala (who happens to volunteer for the Peace Corps). The guy next to me works as a foreman for new Chuck E. Cheese's. (At the end of the flight, he offered me a free pass to take Mari since she's NEVER been. We will take her soon since he was so kind to offer it to us.)
Upon take off, I once again clutched the tiny bag, breathing in and out slowing, channeling Mari's birth. I went to my happy place and once the fasten seat belt sign was off and we were cruising at a normal pace, I (my tummy) felt much better.
By the time I got home that night, I looked like a dried out street rat about to croak. My darling daughter and husband took pity on me and let me relax and enjoy the night without guilt, despite the fact that we had quite a bit of family heading to down in a matter of hours.
I was grateful to be home.