, , , , ,

After school I started feeling sick to my stomach. I drove to my mentor’s house for her house sitting instructions. As soon as I walked in the door I asked where the nearest bathroom was. Volcanoes erupted. 

With the glow of sweat on my brow and mascara smeared under my eyes, I walked out for instructions. I think I lasted a couple minutes before Mt. Vesuvius threatened to blow again. Back into the bathroom for me. Several more times. At some point, around the hope that there was nothing left inside me, I was able to drive home. Miraculously I managed to make it through the long 20 minute drive where I spent the next hour or so in my own bathroom.

When life turns upside down and everything is going wrong, there is nothing worse than realizing it’s your own fault.

In my panic over what to do about my volatile stomach, my thoughts fixated on lunch. For my first day of a two week long substitute teaching job I brought restaurant leftovers for lunch. I’m sure I had an ice pack with it which gave me some deranged idea to not put the lunch in the faculty refrigerator. What in the world was I thinking? I heated up the germs and finished eating my burrito while the sixth graders enjoyed their own break. It was only a matter of time before I paid for my stupidity.

At the end of the day, it was only a few hours of the fastest weight loss diet out there. My body began to heal from the war it had just been through. Hope returned. I was grateful I wouldn’t have to call the school begging for a substitute to replace me, the original substitute. The class had no idea. Teaching resumed as expected. A month or so later I was hired to replace that teacher when he accepted a teaching job closer to his home. Life was back to normal and it was beautiful.

As far as I can remember I have never before or since experienced food poisoning. Trust me, the one time was enough. My family had food poisoning once when I was at diabetic camp. They went to a dinner party with some friends. Later they also went to Snelgrove’s Ice Cream Parlor for huge shakes. My sister counted her stomach flops that night and to this day will not go anywhere near peanut butter. She had a bad experience!

Yesterday Gwen announced she wanted to buy school lunch. A friend of hers also was planning on buying that Monday. Gwen doesn’t like buying school lunch because she claims the line is too long and she doesn’t have much time to eat. So money just sits in her account. Finally she was ready to spend some of it.

I went in to tutor that afternoon and could have never predicted the draining evening in store. Gwen was completely normal until a few minutes after we got home. She was in the bathroom sobbing. Parker and I looked at each other and he said, “Well today just took a weird turn!”

Apparently Gwen had had a “major accident.” Since I didn’t see it I was a little shocked. She cleaned everything up and decided on her own to get in the shower. Afterwards we talked and I realized she had diarrhea. I assured her she did everything in her power to take care of herself but just didn’t make it. She was afraid I thought she was a little girl. I eased her conscience as best I could. She said her stomach still hurt and she laid down on her bed where she immediately fell asleep.

The volcano erupted undetected in her sleep. More cleanup. She didn’t eat any dinner. Heath and I asked her about her lunch. She said she had a hot dog that she didn’t like because it had “too much honey in it.” Parker only buys school lunch on Pizza Tuesday. Gwen was the only one sick and with that strange description of her lunch we started to blame food poisoning.

I called the school and left a message that there may have been something wrong with the hot dogs served at lunch. I haven’t heard from anyone. All I can hope is no other student was sick. I tried to be diplomatic and say that I didn’t know if there was anything wrong with the lunch but I wanted to report the issue in case other students had the same fate. I’m curious to know how Allie felt last night. At the same time I tried to downplay the connection between Gwen’s body betrayal and her lunch. No need to create food aversions.

The A’s game shirts were sent home yesterday. I rinsed the dye and set the colors in the dryer per the instructions, hoping against hope Gwen would be well enough by Thursday to wear it. Gavin heard us talking about how we hoped it was food poisoning so she could get better as soon as the germs had left her system. When he prayed over dinner he asked that Heavenly Father make Gwen better “within the hour.” I thought that was a pretty bold request.

Interestingly enough she started perking up within the hour. I’m not saying Gavin’s faith was rewarded. I just think it really was food poisoning. What a blessing! Symptoms left almost as quickly as they came. That’s not consistent with a 24 hour stomach flu. Especially since it didn’t last 24 hours.

She slept through the night with no issues. She felt great this morning so I sent her to school. She requested a ponytail for PE today. As she walked through the gates her ponytail was swinging dramatically from side to side. I could tell she was watching it in her peripheral vision. To see her you would never know anything out of the ordinary had happened yesterday.