Sunday, February 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Who(m)?

I had tried to think of everything for his birthday – down to the numeral candles instead of setting the cake ablaze – but never did I consider that the guest of honor might have to leave his own party.

He woke up yesterday feeling a little dizzy, but managed to get through the day with no real incidents. However, when he was still napping at 5:30 and the guests were arriving at 6:30, I began to wonder. When I checked in, he said he felt a little achy and had a headache.

I immediately called my doctor friend Deborah (one of the guests) to see if she thought we should cancel the party. It would have been late notice for people coming from a distance. She advised that we go on with no birthday hugs.

We managed to get through the main course of osso buco and oyster mushroom risotto, but then my husband excused himself to go lie down. He ended up collapsing on the dining room floor and only after 10 minutes or so did a couple of the guests help get him upstairs.

We tried to sing happy birthday loudly enough for him to hear as he dozed upstairs under the covers. Deborah blew out his (two) candles. And then we enjoyed the chocolate royale cake, his favorite ordered from Bistro Bistro in Shirlington.

It was halfway through my piece of cake that my stomach started to hurt. It was just a very full feeling. Then I realized that I hadn’t really been hungry for food all day long.

After the guests had gone home and I was finishing up the dishes, the first wave of diarrhea hit me. After 6 more trips to the bathroom I made my way up to bed. Shortly thereafter I was overwhelmed with nausea and just barely made it to the bathroom. All night long I alternated between these two manifestations of my virus, which was not at all like his, but we both happened to get sick on the same day.

It was just last week that I had commented to Deborah that I couldn’t even recall the last time I was sick, rarely needing a doctor for a viral illness. She made me knock on wood, having just come from a day in the trenches treating case after case of the flu.

Today I feel marginally human. I’ve tempted my stomach with toast and tea and it hasn’t complained yet. But I feel like a wet washrag. There will obviously be no lecture at Temple Micah this morning and no tap-dancing this afternoon. I’m still hoping to get to the 5:00 Capitol Woodwinds concert. And there is a RAK meeting tonight, where my husband is supposed to let people know how he spent his allotment of the February money.

It just takes a virus to remind us that we are human and not necessarily in control of anything. But did this point really need to make the guest of honor miss his own birthday party?

10 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are both under the weather. I know you probably won't, but call if you need anything.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Colette Amelia said...

Holy cow, it is indeed amazing that we are so vulnerable to viruses and it is also amazing how those little buggers can live and travel. Way up here that virus has also been doing its nasty work!

Here's to wellness soon!

1:44 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin, Collette -- Thanks for the good wishes. The body is equally impressive in that it heals! This is a chance for me to practice patience as I wait to be completely better.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Happy belated birthday to your husband, feel better (both of you) and if there's any of that chocolate cake left...

7:03 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- There's plenty of chocolate cake left, but neither of us is quite up to that yet. Wish I could send you a piece!

9:34 PM  
Blogger kimy said...

hope the uninvited viral guest left quickly and by the afternoon you were feeling good enough to attend your concert. happy 61st birthday to david - so last year was his year (chinese astrology!!) hope it was an auspicious one for him.

wonderful meeting you saturday - I look forward to our paths crossing both in cyberspace and on terra firma

12:17 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Hope you're back to your standards of excellence!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kimy, Reya -- All's well once again! Happy for good health...

9:16 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Oh, I am sorry.

No fun at all.

Just be grateful that you have a reasonably good immune system, people with compormised immune systems suffer much worse. I remember we waited a week after such a virus hit our family before visitng my mom (who was on chemo). No luck, she caught it and was sick for 5 days instead of the one day we had been.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Happy Birthday, David! Too bad you couldn't really enjoy the food as you often do. Well, there might be some cake to enjoy still.

4:45 PM  

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