Warning: This post is long, and full of whining. I’m sick, and this is what I’m like when I don’t feel good.
I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Dave and I were both sick while we were in England. It’s been pretty awful. For most of our time in the UK, we were both downing cold medications every four hours like clockwork, just to try to manage our symptoms.
We left Dave’s mom’s house on Sunday and drove down to London. We stayed in a hotel near Heathrow so we could be there bright and early for our 7:40 a.m. flight on Monday. I noticed that I was getting worse. My cough was so bad that it was making me dry heave. Because of my gastric bypass surgery, it’s impossible for me to vomit, but I could feel the lower part of my stomach – you know, the part that’s been surgically separated so it’s no longer attached to my esophagus – seizing up, and I knew that if it had a choice, I would be puking my guts out. That was unsettling.
Monday at the airport was a nightmare. We left our hotel at 5 a.m., trying to allow extra time because we knew there would be heightened security after that whole terrorist incident. We ended up standing in line for over an hour to get through the second security screening. And we were lucky, an airline employee came and pulled us over to the “exclusive” line reserved for first-class passengers because we had a stroller, and they needed to get all of the strollers on the plane.
Btw, while we were standing in line, every time I coughed, the old lady standing in front of me would look over her shoulder and glare at me. I started talking to Dave really loudly about WOW THIS COUGH SURE IS ANNOYING BUT IT’S A GOOD THING I’M NOT CONTAGIOUS, HUH? Translation: chill out, hag, I don’t have H1N1.
Our flight left over an hour late. The flight was pretty miserable for me. At one point, the lady sitting across the aisle from Dave passed a roll of cough drops over for me. I thanked her, took one, and passed it back. She said, “Oh no, you keep it.” Wow. I guess I was coughing a lot more than I thought I was.
The plane had a pretty bumpy descent and landing. Catie started to cry in her seat, and I leaned over to hug her and try to calm her down. Then, she puked all over both of us. And a little bit on Dave too, for good measure. Fabulous. This is why I always keep a change of clothes in our carry-on. We had to make a quick stop in the restroom for a wardrobe change before going through customs and immigration, I found a plastic bag to shove the stinky/pukey clothes in, and we were on our way.
[Side note to the person who had to clean row 29 of United flight 923: I’m so, so sorry. Really.]
Since our flight had been delayed, we missed our connection in D.C. Of course. I stood in line at United customer service for about an hour and a half, only to be told that sorry, the remaining flights from Dulles to Raleigh were all booked, but they could get us out the next day. Um, no. It’s less than 300 miles from D.C. to Raleigh, so we said screw it, we’ll rent a car and drive home. All three of us just desperately wanted to goooo hoooome. I had been fantasizing all day about sleeping in my own bed again. We found a rental car that had a compact car with a toddler car seat available, and off we went.
Three hours later, we were still stuck in D.C.-area traffic. Holy cow. It was sometime during that – when I was driving (or more accurately, sitting there with my foot on the brakes) while Dave and Catie were both sleeping in the backseat – that I realized that I had been awake since 3:45 that morning England time, which meant essentially 10:45 p.m. the night before on the east coast. And did I mention that I can’t sleep on airplanes? I kind of dozed for about 20 minutes, but that was it for the entire 8-hour flight. That’s a long time to stay awake, y’all.
We finally got home around 10 p.m. Catie was all refreshed from her car nap and SO! EXCITED! to see all of her toys that she hadn’t seen for the past 2 1/2 weeks, it took quite a while to settle her down. I finally got her to bed just before midnight and then crashed myself about 5 minutes later. I set a new record for myself – awake for 25 hours & 15 minutes straight. I don’t recommend it. And I have no desire to set that kind of record ever again.
Since we’ve been home, I’ve been really, really sick. I went to the doctor on Tuesday, he heard crackling in my right lung and sent me for a chest x-ray because he suspected that I had pneumonia. The office called me back yesterday afternoon to inform me that I don’t have pneumonia, just really severe bronchitis. Oh, and I have pink eye too. Because you know, I didn’t feel horrible enough already.
I woke up yesterday with a migraine so intense that I was involuntarily crying from the pain, and Dave almost called 911. That sucked too.
And you know, it’s not like we had big plans to party it up on New Year’s Eve or anything, but this is not exactly how I envisioned the big evening, either. Both of us in our jammies and coughing and miserable.
The good news is that Catie is continuing to do really well during all of this. She hasn’t shown any signs of being sick yet (although I’m scared to say that for fear of jinxing it), and her sleep schedule is all screwy from the jet lag, but we’re dealing with that. For the most part, she’s being totally sweet and lovely and well-behaved, and she doesn’t seem to mind at all that Mommy is phoning it in and just letting her watch cartoons all day long so I can lie around feeling pitiful.
She’s also taking this opportunity to explore her own sense of personal style, with hilarious results.
I hope all of y’all have a wonderful and happy New Year. And I hope to be less whiny (and healthier) by my next post. See you in 2010!