Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hump day comes with an unusually large hump

I lay in bed last night wishing I hadn't eaten so much for dinner. Apparently Kelsey wished the same.

I heard her door fly open in the dark. She stepped clumsily into the hall, stopped at our door, and emptied her stomach. The sound, the smell, the extraordinary quantity spilled on the floor and walls, the feeling already in my stomach, the knowledge that I had to interview the governor in seven hours all added up to me having a freakfest with myself.

I have been terrified of puking ever since I was about 10. It was Christmas, and my sister and her tribe arrived with the stomach flu. They gave me the gift of hurl and neurosis that year. I've only barfed once since then. I was visiting my brother in Provo. The airplane food got me. It was 1986. You'd think after almost 22 years I'd get over it.

I sort of have. Or so I thought. Having kids means vomit. Kids barf. It's all there is to it. And Kayleigh was a puker. I cleaned up plenty of spew without too much trouble. But not last night. I completely flipped. Eric had to do everything. The best I could muster was to tell Kelsey to clean off her chin and put a bucket next to her pillow. Then I sat on the toilet, literally scared shitless, holding onto the walls, sweating, panting, wishing I could cry.

Kelsey got back in bed. Eric stayed with her a while. She couldn't lie down; it hurt too much. Then she fell asleep, Eric came back to bed, and he fell asleep.

I did not.

Every sigh, every wiggle, I was convinced she was going to puke again. It would go everywhere, and I'd have to clean it up, and it would make me sick. Eric did all that cleaning and caretaking. He would get sick. Kayleigh would catch it next. I'd try to go to my interview with the governor and barf. I wouldn't be able to find the door, and everyone would see and smell and I'd never live it down.

Finally I gathered my pillow and a bucket and went downstairs to sleep on the futon. The floor was wet and cold. We were flooding. I picked up the wet blankets and a book of Eric's that were on the floor, found a new blanket and curled up to sleep.

I did not sleep. I fretted. Then the water softener came on.

I finally fell into a fitful sleep and probably slept about two hours. Then it was time for the governor.

The interview was fine. My professor arranged for our class to have an hour with him. We each got one question. I asked mine first. I figured it would be good to get it over with in case I had to run from the room. He's thinner than I thought he was. He looked at me as he answered my question. He spent a long time with me. He looked at me as he answered the next person's question. He looked at me a lot. He was probably surprised to see an old bat like me in class. When he left, he turned to me and smiled and said goodbye. Maybe he will give me a job when I graduate.

But, eek, then it was time to go home again. I called Eric. We decided I'd buy bread, pop, milk, and chapstick on my way home.

Kelsey seemed to be in pretty good spirits. I was exhausted. I tried to soak up some water in the basement, and I found a space heater to start drying it out. Eric had already started a fire. He found a fan, and I went to bed after a while.

And then my lucky day continued. I left in plenty of time for my next class, but there was a malfunctioning railroad crossing, and the person in front of the line wouldn't move. So we were stuck in this lane with nowhere to go. I considered driving over the boulevard to get around it, but traffic the other direction was pretty heavy. Some people ahead of me were able to maneuver around the wimp in front and switch into a turn lane for the other direction of traffic. I was hoping the guy/girl/incompetent twit would get the idea and move. No luck. Finally a cop came and blocked traffic behind us so we could escape. Traffic backed up at the traffic light as we all got out. After a while, I could shift lanes and get my freedom.

I wouldn't normally worry so much, but it had been a worrisome day, and we were having a guest speaker in class. I didn't want to be late. That would be rude.

So I got out of the tangle, only to get into another one. Since construction season has begun with so little snow left, the lane I was in was closed, and apparently everyone and their third cousins were driving in downtown Madison today. Traffic was backed up everywhere. I couldn't make it to my parking space and get to class in time, so I headed for a ramp closer to my building. I made the bell by about 20 seconds. I hate that.

We'll see what this evening holds.

Now I have to write a paper based on that interview with the governor. I need to start finding the rest of my sources. Yuck. I'm not in the mood. Not even a little.

6 comments:

laurie said...

yikes. what a crappy day. can you nap? it's hard to get anything done when you haven't had any sleep.

MJ Krech said...

Welcome back to life, huh! What a rude way to get back into things again.

Sweet Irene said...

What a rotten way to start life again after such a lovely vacation. I sure admire you for holding down the fort in so many ways in spite of your fear of puking. Hope you are all well now and that you are not flooded anymore.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Okay, I'm back on the commenting train. I've been reading all along. Your trip to Florida sounded wonderful.

My middle kid has the same puking phobia. And of course my youngest one pukes at the drop of a hat. It's always a toss up (ha) as to which one needs me more - the puker or the puke-o-phobe.

Hope your day got better.

aims said...

I kept thinking this was a bad dream you were having! OMG!!

I've never heard of pukeaphobia...

Sounds truly horrific. I hate puking too....refuse to...can't remember when I did it last..

But I don't get terrified by it. How horrible for you - and how horrible that it started just back from your holiday...

Amy said...

Laurie, I had a short nap between classes. It was welcome.

MJ, no kidding. It wasn't all that surprising, though. I'm glad she didn't get sick in Florida.

Irene, we're all dried up now, so to speak. But Eric's shoes were dirty, and how our carpet has his icky footprints dried into it.

RC, welcome back. I felt so ashamed of myself. What a loser of a mom. At least your kid is a kid. I hope he outgrows his fears.

Aims, I hate being so ruled by a phobia. The stupidest thing is, the last time I barfed I felt so much better afterward. Go figure.