We ended up coming home from the tournament way earlier than intended. In fact, we were back home again the day we left, last Thursday.
Thursday dawned bright and clear; a beautiful day for a car trip to Tyler, Texas. This time, Ava was tagging along with us, so she could watch, and see what a tournament was like, since it is possible that she will be competing next year.
We were taking the family truck/suv type-thingy, so we all had plenty of room. Ava had mentioned to Mom that she didn't want to sit in the back all by herself; 1, because there is about 6-8 inches of legroom, 2, because you can't hear what going on up front as well, and 3, who knows (?).
So, I chivalrously claimed the entire back row (all three seats people!) all for myself. 1, so I could stretch out my legs in a reclining position across them, 2, so I could sleep in a much more comfortable position than I could have in my usual seat, 3, because I didn't want half of my legroom to be taken up by my backpack, which inevitably would have been at my feet if I sat in my usual seat, and 4, because I really wanted to sit by myself (it comes from being in a big family, where there are normally no extra seats in the family car if the whole family is going somewhere).
About halfway to Tyler, Mom started feeling horrible. She described it as feeling drugged. Lydia stepped up and drove us the rest of the way to the church, so we would make it in time to use our lunch tickets, and so Mom wouldn't get us into a car accident.
You'll never guess what was for lunch.
We are on a spend-only-what-is-necessary-in-January thingy. So, that means no eating out (e.g. no Chickfila or Rosas for a while), no renting movies from Amazon, only buy what you need from the grocery store, etc.
Lunch was Chickfila sandwiches.
We bought the lunch tickets before January, so we got to partake. Well, everyone except Mom, who was, at this point, in the church bathroom trying not to move.
As time went on, Mom felt worse and worse. So, we called the hotel we would be staying at, and asked if we could go ahead and check in, so Mom could rest some. Lydia talked with somebody who looked like they were in charge, explained the situation, and asked if Mom could be excused from her judging duties, and if she would be allowed to stay with us, since she was 18, and technically an adult (all competitors must have an adult family member at the tournament at all times, in case something happens).
The hotel let us check in, Mom didn't have to judge, Lydia could be in charge of us, and everything was going to be ok.
Lydia drove us to the hotel, which was thankfully, only a couple minutes down the road. We unloaded everything, Mom made a bee-line to the toilet to be sick,
and since only Christian was competing that day, he changed. Then Lydia drove Christian and I back to the church so we could get checked in a 3, and so we could be there in time for speech postings to go up.
Christian was one of the last to compete in his division, so he went to wait in the hallway. Meanwhile, Lydia and I watched Dramatic Interpretations whilst speculating via text with each other how Mom had so suddenly gotten sick. Between competitors, she found out the Mia had emptied her stomach as well.
After watching a few speeches, we went to see if Christian was about to give his speech. He still had a little while to wait, but we couldn't go back into the DI room again, because it would have been rude if we interrupted somebody mid-speech trying to find a seat, also because the room's person-count dramatically increased while we were leaving the room. So, we settled ourselves in the hallway with books.
Christian finally got to deliver his speech, and after he finished, we left to go get dinner from Subway, and groceries from Walmart (necessary purchases, I assure you), because we didn't have meal tickets for every meal, because some of them didn't meet our standards of cleaner eating.
Subway only had two people working there at the moment, and it had a drive through, and it was the dinner rush, so we had to wait awhile before Lydia could order.
Then we headed over to the 24-hour Walmart we had seen briefly in passing, only to discover that, no matter how many ways we tried to find a way in, they were all blocked, and that in reality, the building itself was still being built, which explained the lack of cars in the parking lot.
I got to try out the directions app on my phone. Cue Lydia making fun of Siri's British accent (I can't stand it when she's American. She sounds so condescending. At least with the British accent, she sounds like she's trying to be helpful).
We rushed(ish) through Walmart, trying to decide and agree upon the food items needed, and where to find them (I used deductive reasoning from the signs above each aisle to figure out where things were).
Then we tried to figure out where we were so we could go back to the hotel. Cue me giving Lydia directions while she declares that she is unable to see the turns, or where she is going in general (she was rather very frazzled unto hilarity at that point).
We arrived back at the hotel in one piece, and settled down as well as mentally and emotionally hyped up people can, to eat dinner.
Then the real discussion began:
Was the tournament really important enough to risk getting every other competitor sick, and to risk all the drivers getting sick and us being stuck in a hotel room for longer than we anticipated. Answer: Not really.
We figured that the incubation period for the stomach virus was roughly 30-48 hours, since the last time we (as a family) had spent time with people was Tuesday evening. So, IF we stayed, since we had all been exposed to it, almost inevitably most of the competitors would be sick and miserable on Saturday, thus ruining the tournament.
Christian was rather disappointed, since he had worked so hard on his speech, and since we wouldn't be able to debate, but he had not been feeling the best either.
Mom went down to the front desk to see if she could not have to pay for Friday and Saturday, while the rest of us packed up dinner, condensed the grocery items so we'd have extra plastic bags should anybody take a turn for the worse, and cycled through the bathroom to change into comfy clothes for the ride back.
We arrived home around 11:15(ish) that night, and everyone crashed into bed.
So, we had a weekend of quarantine. No school, since we had all arranged our schedules around the tournament.
By Sunday, everyone was feeling chipper, and completely healthy, Mom and Mia being the only ones who truly got sick to their stomachs. Both Christian and I had felt a little queasy on Thursday, I called it nerves and being partially carsick, I don't know what Christian called it.
Of course, I had to get sick on Monday. The day before I was going to go back to work. The day after I was certain everyone was completely healthy again. The day I had to get back to school. The day I really did not want to get sick on.
I am what Lydia would call, a good sick person. Meaning, I don't whine much when I've got a sore throat or headache, and the only way I get out of doing school if I'm sick, is if I'm on bedrest, or if I'm throwing up. To sum up, I'm not a drama queen about it, especially compared to Christian (though he is getting a bit better with it).
I woke up feeling fine. Got down to make my breakfast and 8 o'clock. Decided I wasn't very hungry. Made myself and egg over leftover skillet veggies from the day before. Ate a couple bites. Decided that I should probably go sit by the toilet for a while.
It only took three hours.
|and I mean that in the most serious sense|
Once that ordeal was over, I felt a bit better. Brushed my teeth, drank a couple gulps of water, realized that gulping down water was probably not a good idea, and made it back to the toilet about 10 minutes later.
Mom was able to contact my employer and explain that I was in no shape or form to work the next day.
I settled down on the couch in my room with a towel and a plastic trashcan and tried my best to sleep and not move around too much.
One hour later...
I can't even keep down my own spit.
Another hour later...
I feel like such a baby. Surely there wasn't much else in there.
Have you ever dry-heaved? It feels like somebody is using The Force to turn your stomach inside-out, and pull all the air out of your lungs, all the while hitting you in the belly and making your head bounce up and down.
Ok, wait for it... Wait for it... Why hasn't it happened yet?
Ok, here it comes... Nope. Hmm, I wonder if that was the last one back there?
I'm starving, but I'm never gonna eat again. I think I can make it downstairs though, so I'll watch tv with everyone else now.
Tuesday morning, I had a small serving of apple sauce, courtesy of Thursday night's Walmart escapade.
It's Thursday again, and I'm completely back to normal, and for that, I am very grateful. Normally, Lydia, Christian, and I would be at speech and debate, but Lydia left around 2 this afternoon (after dancing the Virginia reel with some of us, and playing her compositions on the piano), for a conference type-thingy with Aunt Lauren, and Christian was going to go to a church thing with Dad, but it wasn't until after that decision was made, that the thing was cancelled. It wouldn't have made much sense if I was the only one going to club tonight, since I do Team Policy debate, and the only speech I do is with Lydia.