Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year??

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.


I left before midnight, claiming that I'd turn into a pumpkin otherwise.

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!!!!


Lynilu said...

I agree with you completely! That was very thoughtless and careless on the part of the hostess AND the other woman! Unbelievably so.

What you described is what I experienced about a year ago. I seriously thought I might die in the 24 hour period that I was vomiting, having diarrhea, and was light-headed enough to make me afraid to make the necessary trips to the bathroom. It is one of the few times I've been really afraid since I've been living alone.

I'm very glad you are now OK. Very scary.

B.S. said...

Dear Lynilu,

Although I downplayed it in the post, I really did think i was dying. I was dizzy and could barely walk. I think it was exactly what you had a year ago. I had the watery diarrhea too.

Thank heavens we both survived!

I am so traumatized by this that the next time I'm invited to a party, I'm going to call the day of to make sure nobody in the house is sick.


Loving Annie said...

Some people are just flat out rude/self-centered/inconsiderate that way.

Too bad she was so deliberately thoughtless/emotionally unconscious with her physical eyes wide open.

Glad you are okay now, as Lynilu said !

Don't choose to let this stop you from socializing - just give yourself permission to call beforehand and ask if anyone is sick ! There is nothing wrong with saying you have to protect your health - you DO have a young son to think of.

And I rarely go places where I'm the only non-drinker. I don't like the consciousness level of people who think that they have to consume alcohol in order to have fun.

Priyamvada_K said...

Dear Betty,
That was really thoughtless of the hostess. She should have cautioned you especially since you are alone and sole carer of your child. Nobody else in the household can drive you to a doctor - and you're too sick to drive.

I remember a similar time when a friend drove me to a doc. I am still grateful to her....and remember how terrified I was.

Hope you are feeling better now.


B.S. said...

Dear Annie,

I think you're right. From now on I'll have to call ahead even though i never would have thought of doing that before this happened.

And if I didn't go places where I'd be the only nondrinker, I'd never go out! It seems that my friends are prolific drinkers......


B.S. said...

Dear Priya,

After reading your comment, I see that my anger at the hostess is very justified. She really should have thought of the fact that I'm alone and the sole caregiver for a child. That was the worst aspect of being sick! And you're right- I really was too sick to drive myself to the doctor. I learned my lesson. Next time I'm calling ahead to inquire as to the health of the residents of the house I'm visiting.


Anonymous said...

I'm with Lynilu...I total think
you should have been warned about
any sort of illness...

I'm also so sorry that happened to
you...I wish I was there to help



B.S. said...

Dear Laurie,

Well, it was a memorable way to start the new year! I'll never forget it as long as I live....

I wish you were here to help too- I know you would if you could!


Anonymous said...


Mark said...

Sorry to hear that you took ill. It is interesting how "we know" as in you knew something was not right that you were not supposed to be there. Had you listened to your gut feelings you would not have had the horrible gut feelings later that night.