Virus: a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism.
Bacteria: a member of a large group of unicellular microorganisms lacking organelles and an organized nucleus, including some that can cause disease.
Toxin: a poisonous substance, especially a protein, that is produced by living cells or organisms and is capable of causing disease when introduced into the body tissues.
With the worst sandwich ever, my loooong-awaited airport Dasani, and my 7 Hail Marys to stay out of the bathroom, the plane takes off. And, my back is killing me. Still dehydrated? Well, I’m downing water on the plane like it is my job and I won’t mention to D that it tastes funny because he made no bones about snapping at me that “it tastes fine and he’s not going to seek out another brand.” Sheesh.
I need more leg room. I walk around and end up worming my way into the exit row next to a sleeping NFL-sized fellow that is peacefully draped over the most of the row. Sorry dude, my back is in spasm and I need space and I gotta get over this before I Kristen Wiig-out up in here. I take some ibuprofen and do some stretching and breathe through it. Luckily, I see no women in colonial garb on the wing. We land.
It is cold. Super cold. I need a freakin’ parka, cold. Did the plane miss South Carolina and land in Alaska?! I am concerned that I am getting that old person thin skin that makes you wear sweaters in the summertime and boil-over freshly brewed coffee in the microwave. This airport is ridiculous. The water coming out of the restroom faucet is sub-zero. How do they expect people to do the appropriate wash if their hands are freezing off?! No wonder I am sick.
I can’t believe we are coming back to this Mid-Atlantic deep freeze situation in early November. They say it will snow buckets this year. I can’t wait to see the girls swishing around in snow angels. Every time snow is mentioned they ask if we can make a snowman with a “cob-blob pie and the butt on nose.” It’s going to be a fun winter.
2am. That last leg of the flight and the ride home spent me. Mom waited up and everyone else is asleep. She twisted herself in knots because she used up all the stored milk for the baby and we were unsure if I’d be able to get what I had through customs. But, I did.
We peek at the kids and I tell D to turn up the heat. It’s a stone-cold fact that my mom keeps the heat at the temperature of an ice fisherman’s fanny. But she’s out of here soon and I want the kids defrosted by morning.
5 am. Up to feed the baby. I go to wash my hands and the water is so cold. I can’t stand to touch it. I turn it warmer.
Stick my finger in: Ouch!
Stick my finger in: Ouch!
It feels like I’m getting electric shocks when I touch it. It is well water and the ground is cold. But this is obscenely cold. Of course, there is probably something wrong with the water heater. What’s the old saying in this family? Splurge on some fun and a major appliance dies. Add it to the honey-do list.
I feed the baby from bed to stay warm. D’s snoring, shirtless and blanket-free. I cover him up. It’s freezing! He’s so bizarre.
The sun slides up over the edge of the world and into our room as Megababy drifts off to sleep. I down my glass of water and feel like I need to brush my teeth, really, my tongue. I’m thinking it must be…dirty…from travelling? I don’t freaking know. I brush and decide; I’m over the water. I get some juice.
I can’t taste it.
I can’t taste the juice.
I drink again.
I can’t taste the juice.
Wait! Am I awake?!
Yes, yes I am. The reason I know that I am awake because my legs are itching me like the Brady Girls at a slumber party. We’d never been to the island this time of year and I was not expecting the sand flea event that occurred on the first day leaving me with the colony of flea bites on my ankles. I rub cream on them. Can I can take Benadryl, orally, and feed the baby? I forget. I know that you can when you are pregnant…I don’t want to risk it. I hold off.
And now, back to my tongue. Doesn’t something happen to the tongue when you have an allergic reaction? I get D and, making sure not to mention the word “water” I stick out my tongue and asks if it looks funny.
I tell him it’s numb.
Can you feel this? He pokes it.
“Then, it’s not numb,” he says.
But it feels like a tongue that has been burnt on hot coffee the day before and it’s not right and… I decide, hold your tongue. And DO NOT mention the juice.
It’s easy not to mention anything to him because the baby is so fussy he’s become a full-time situation. Megacranky. I guess that he’s adjusting back from the bottle to me. I’m up and down with him and I feel my hands start to burn. Like they are swimming in jalapeño peppers. I keep washing them which is a generating more intense kind of pain. Oh, and, did I mention…the water heater is fine. Did I touch something that I cannot get off my hands? Out damned spot!
Maybe an allergy to the (you guessed it) “NO NAME” hydrocortisone that used on my bites on the island. But then, lower GI hits again. I remember when I was little I got a sore throat and then my hands peeled. Maybe it’s some kind tongue/hand reaction to the cream. Tongue/Hand Disease. Is that a thing?!
It is late morning and my arms now burn up to my elbows. I am somewhere between pacing and aimlessly wandering around the place in my own little world, deciding…
The girls are busy playing with the treasures that we brought them and D…He is watching me. Looking at me funny and holding the baby. Because, I will not hold him.
I can’t. I have something serious on my hands.
What if I am having a stroke? “If you are having a stroke stick your arms out,” runs through my head. I put both my arms out in front of me like Frankenstein. I feel ridiculous and think of Spicy Grandma with her “hug me” pose. I long for a sun burn. For something that I can see. There is nothing on my skin or my tongue. Nothing that I can see.