Significant Other* and I had booked our first vacation together during the height of this year’s miserable winter, and at the beginning of May it was finally time to head for sunny Florida.
I had been feeling pretty miserable for all of April, between a sinus infection and then a pretty severe reaction to the meds for the sinus infection. I finished the last antiobiotic a day or two before we left, slept pretty much all of Sunday, and woke up Monday feeling like I could pull through.
Launchpad gets ready to fly.
We had a normal flight, checked in to our resort, and looked forward to our first day together at the Magic Kingdom.
Oh hey, castle.
I wasn’t feeling great, but we had a list of must-do rides that we started to Fastpass. Fun fact: When I was 14 or so we went to Disney as a family, and my mother and I got in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, while my siblings and Dad went to do something “less intense.” Half-way through the wait, my mother and I mutually decided to chicken out…but did not tell the rest of the family for years.
I conquer Big Thunder and reclaim my family’s honor.
But despite the glory of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, between every ride I still had to run to the restroom to make sure that my insides were going to stay on the inside, and after a day of intense abdominal pain I called the doctor, who told me to go to the hospital.
Admitted. I will spare you the shot of the IV port.
After a CAT scan and some blood work, I was admitted to the hospital at around 2 a.m., began another round of antibiotics for the serious infection in my gut, and put on a clear liquid diet.
Jello and beef broth. Delicious.
SO and I spent two nights in the hospital, so that I could get IV meds and they could do further testing and watch for complications. SO and I caught up on a couple of the Marvel movies I hadn’t seen using the hospital’s on-demand movie service, and I slept. A lot.
I was released and went home with more meds and a very limited diet. I was told that I could do whatever activity I could handle, but I had to stay out of the sun (otherwise the meds would make me break out in a giant rash. Gross.), avoid alcohol, citrus and vegetables, and stay out of the pool. (So, pretty much avoid anything that anybody would go to Florida for!)
Talk about a tease. Palm trees! Pool! Waterslide!
We tried to make a go of Epcot, thinking that it was the easiest park to handle. But nobody told me that Mission: Space was a FREAKING CENTRIFUGE, and so after spending the entire ride trying to regulate my breathing and not vomit all over the two kids that were sitting next to us, I was pretty much out. We decided to entertain ourselves by taking pictures of ducks, but I couldn’t take much more than an hour or two and had to go back to the hotel.
This duck and I became fast friends.
Launchpad did not have as much luck. This duck was like, “Bish, please.”
Given the day before, there was no way that I’d be able to handle Hollywood Studios on our final full day, so we decided to relax at the resort.
My SO walked to the CVS to get another tube of sunscreen, and we slathered me in it. I put on a 3/4 sleeve shirt and his (oversized for me) baseball cap, and we went out to play. We did 9 out of 18 holes of mini-golf (I think he won by one?) and then I did the batting cages. (I still kind of suck. But I did get a few good hits.) Then we raided the resort’s game room and set ourselves up in the shade to play SORRY!.
With two of three games won, I am victorious once again!
We discovered that they did soft serve ice cream at the pool bar, and I discovered that I can only handle one dairy thing a day. (It was still delicious.)
We did a load of laundry that night (in which SO promptly wrecked two of my white shirts, but I could not be mad because SO had already been doing a lot to keep me resting and as comfortable as possible.) But the next morning we discovered that the dryer was useless, so we woke up at 4am to catch the plane after listening to the dryer rumble all night, and grumpily rearranged all the bags to try and limit the wet clothes from infecting whatever was left.
Believe it or not, the laundry felt like the hardest part of the vacation when it came to grumpiness. I’m not saying that there weren’t some tears when we got back from the hospital and our failed experiment at Epcot. There definitely were. I was (irrationally) mad at my body for not being able to handle it. I was disappointed that my first real vacation in several years had not been going as planned. And I was also just tired from trying to keep a brave face.
At that point, I hadn’t been feeling truly well in about six weeks but still had a big move, a lot of work to get done, and the desire to try to push past how terrible I was feeling so that I could enjoy our trip. So when we got back to the resort and I went to use the bathroom, it all just kind of hit me at once and I found myself in tears.
But all that said, it actually wasn’t a terrible vacation. I mean, the circumstances were not great. But I felt really loved by my friends and family, who were checking in while I was in the hospital. And I felt truly lucky to have someone by my side the whole time, who comforted me when I was upset, and who I was still able to laugh with — even when I was eating nothing but jello and chicken broth.
*Sidenote: SO needs a clever nickname for blog purposes. Ideas?