I was invited to a New Year's Eve party. It's an annual get-together; I've attended for the past few years. The attendees are interesting although I usually end up in a tension-ridden conversation before the night is over. I don't drink; I'm the only one there who doesn't. By now I'm accustomed to being the oddball in social situations, The One Who Doesn't Drink. But that wasn't the problem.
I felt a bit strange that evening. Something in the atmosphere made me uneasy. The hostess is a good friend of mine. I didn't dare not show up or leave early, because she is easliy offended. But that wasn't the problem.
The hostess and her husband are serious art collectors. I tried to relieve my uneasiness by looking around at their museum pieces.
Then, in the wee hours of January 2nd, it started. I am not the sickly type; I've not even suffered from as much as the sniffles during the past several years. And I don't vomit. It's just not in my repertoire.
But in the wee hours of January 2nd, I was out of bed, pacing the floors, feeling horrible. In an act I'd later regret, I made a glass of warm water laced with the juice of half a lemon to try to settle my stomach.
It didn't help. I glanced in the mirror and saw that I did not look well- I was as pale as could be.
Before I knew it, the unthinkable was occurring. I was vomiting. I was projectile vomiting, over and over, for hours. The acidic lemon juice nearly caused me to aspirate on vomit. I became so weakened that I could barely make it from the bed to the toilet. Between onslaughts, I was in agony, moaning and groaning. I told The Child that I could not take care of him until I was better (secretly, I wondered if I was dying). I told him which drawer the money was in so that he could pay the pizza delivery man. I was so sick that I called out for my mother, who has been deceased for many years.
Remember, I am not the sickly type. Whenever I do have the slightest thing wrong with me, I am able to figure out what caused it. This time I was stumped. What could have caused my life to turn upside down like this?
Well, I found out the answer last night. It turns out that the hostess of the New Year's Eve party had the stomach flu the night of the party. The woman who rents a room in her house, also at the party and preparing food, was just recovering from stomach flu!
I think that I experienced a sense of foreboding on the night of that party. I am very careful about avoiding germs, and maybe I had a 6th sense about the germs present in the house that night.
My social life is nearly nonexistent, and then when I finally do go out, this happens!
My opinion is that it is the responsibility of the host to present a germ-free environment to the greatest extent possible. That party should have been canceled! At the very least, guests should have been informed of the presense of illness beforehand so that they could decide whether they wanted to risk being exposed. I would have chosen to stay home!!!!