|Samantha, feverish, sleeping on the couch|
"I'm *never* sick!" "Samantha's *never* sick!"
Those are the words that so often slip so easily across my tongue, those words, smug and dangerous, tinged with pride and just a little bit of bravado. And, in these days when I have finally decided to shrug off the wood-touching rituals of superstition as nothing more than a bad habit leading to an annoying and persistent obsessive-compulsive disorder, I take a deep and hopeful breath after uttering them.
And, two weeks ago, I ate my words, deflated some of that puffed-up pride and bravado, and vomited my guts out after presumably eating something bad in my take-out order from the local pizza and sub shop. It was classic food poisoning - no fever, striking in the wee hours of the morning and keeping me firmly on my back in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, unable to even bear the annoyance of the television to entertain me, for an entire day. I have no idea how I managed to get Samantha to school that morning, but she was extra helpful and uncharacteristically cooperative in an effort to ease my burden. Thankfully, in classic food poisoning style, 24 hours was the turn-around time, and I began to eat again, regaining my strength.
And 24 hours after I was struck ill, Samantha began to vomit, ran a continuous low-grade fever, and was, herself, flat on her back for a full day before beginning the ascent to health at the 24 hour mark. Coincidence? It had to be. I had no fever. I ate something neither Steve nor Samantha had eaten. I was sick about 5 hours after I'd eaten it. She must have the stomach bug I've been hearing has been running rampant through school systems across the country.
We all breathed a collective sigh of relief, knowing that our out-of-the-country Christmas vacation with non-refundable airline tickets and hotel rooms was a mere week away.
And then, just 2 days before our scheduled flight to England, disaster.
Steve was struck down with what I was certain was the flu. Ready to vilify him for his stubbornness at refusing the flu shot each year, I hoped against hope that it was something else. But, while he had no vomiting, his fever ran high, and he spent an entire day unable to move from bed, exhibiting the classic signs of flu, an illness I understand can leave someone incapacitated for up to a week.
With him in bed with a rather high fever, uncommunicative and certainly unable to make rational decisions, I contemplated canceling our trip.
But, 24 hours after that, a mere 24 hours before our flight, the fever broke, he regained some strength, and he was able to drive himself to the local CVS Minute Clinic where he was presented with a diagnosis of a very bad case of strep.
So how many of you have actually jumped up and down and shouted with joy at a diagnosis of strep?
Weird, I know.
After a solemn motherly promise that they wouldn't swab her and would only look into her throat with a light, Sammi agreed to accompany me to Urgent Care that same day, where I allowed them to swab me (negative, of course) and that look down her throat revealed the likelihood that she, too, shared Steve's diagnosis.
What are the odds of the exact same thing happening 3 1/2 years ago before our last trip to England? Any guesses? Well, go figure, that's exactly what happened then, too. See my post from May of 2010 here: Out of Touch. I'm not kidding...it's creepy.
We all picked up our antibiotics (mine in-hand, only in the case of illness during our trip), and knew that we'd be making that journey after all.
And, 24 hours later, we did.