Nightmarish travel…Part 1

Happy New Year!  All I’m wishing for this year is good health for my family and friends.  It really is amazing how much I take having good health for granted.  Especially being healthy while traveling.  AJ, Maggie and I went to Texas for a week, then to Aruba for a week during the Holidays.  We had a great time visiting with family, but Maggie woke up with a stomach virus on New Year’s Day and that is where the craziness begins.

It is heart wrenching watching your one year old vomit non stop and not be able to explain to her what is happening.  AJ and I spent all of the day on January 1st holding Maggie and cleaning up vomit.  At one point during the day, Maggie threw up, then just looked at me and signed “All Done”.  That’s right, she was officially over being sick. She didn’t like it and wanted it to stop.  Besides the fact that I’m glad we have been teaching her baby sign language and in that moment she could actually tell me how she was feeling, my heart broke for her.  After vomiting all day, it was a relief when we were able to get her to fall asleep for the night.  Of course, I was too scared to let her be by herself, so I spent the night next to her crib sleeping with my eyes open (not really sleeping, but reading one of Chelsea Handler’s books).  On January 2nd I got up with Maggie early in the morning, she was doing much better, YAY!  Now if only I had Chelsea Handler’s book editor’s email, I found quite a few spelling errors in her book, which seemed unacceptable…unless lounge is actually spelled longue, in which case, my apologies to Ms. Handler.

Since Maggie is feeling better, I’m feeling relieved that we are traveling back to Los Angeles.  We’ve been gone for 2 weeks and AJ and I both are getting a little anxious to get back.  We finish packing our bags, go to lunch, then pack it up and go to the airport.  Maggie is doing well, she hasn’t thrown up and is extremely playful.  We are ecstatic, because traveling with a toddler can be tough, but traveling with a sick toddler is probably a nightmare.  Of course, I was focused on Maggie all day and wasn’t really paying attention to any other signs around me.  Such as,  after lunch AJ mentions to me that his stomach hurt a little bit.   He seemed fine and was ready to go, so I just ignored it.  We get to the airport, go through two security checks, customs and get to the gate.  Maggie begins to get really fussy, this could be another sign of what is about to happen.  Problem is, she skipped her nap, so I assume she is just really tired.  We board the plane, we get Maggie settled, she is fussy for the entire time we are on the tarmac.  All I can think is, let’s go!  Once the plane gets moving, she will fall asleep, hopefully.  There is one problem (that I know of), since Maggie has been throwing up I can’t give her any milk.  This means I can’t give her a bottle to soothe her during take off, slight problem, but I’ve got water in a bottle and some cheerios, so I figure I’m good to go.  I look at AJ and he looks like crap.  He tells me he is beginning to feel bad, I tell him just take care of yourself, get some rest and I’ll take care of Maggie.

And so it begins…as we taxi from the gate, I am focused on Maggie.  I happen to glance at AJ and he begins to throw up…in his hands ( not his finest moment).  I grab a vomit bag and he vomits into the bag, fills the bag, literally to the top.  I’m conflicted, I can’t help him, Maggie is crying and I need to focus on her.  I tell him to go to the bathroom as soon as he can.  He says he feels better, of course now I want to vomit because it was absolutely disgusting how much he just puked.  We are not kissing for awhile…at least until he brushes his teeth and rinses his mouth out with alcohol.  Maggie is still crying, so I cave in and give her a bottle with formula.  She is relieved, drinks it then falls asleep.

For the next hour, I try to help AJ, but I’m starting to feel like crap. Maggie is asleep and all I can think is, please stay asleep for the next four hours.  Then the unimaginable begins to happen.  AJ goes to the bathroom to puke for maybe the 5th time during the first hour.  I look at Maggie and something doesn’t look right.  OMG, she is about to start puking while she is asleep.  I pull her out of her car seat, she wakes up, looks at me and then I feel it.  Maggie has diarrhea…explosive diarrhea, that has filled her diaper and is now pouring out of the back of her diaper and onto me.  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!  This can’t get any worse!  I wave down a Flight Attendant.  She helps my stuff to the back, so I can change Maggie.  She then says to me, “You have to change her in the bathroom, but there’s not a changing table, and we don’t have any water in the faucets”.  She also says, “I don’t know what your family has, but we need to quarantine you to one bathroom, but you can’t stand in the back galley because I can’t have you contaminate any food.”  So AJ is in one bathroom puking, and the flight attendant wants to not contaminate the other one, but also doesn’t want me in the back galley.  At the same time, I can’t walk back through the plane, because I’M COVERED IN DIARRHEA!  I guess she wanted me to take a step outside, I gladly would have put on a parachute and sailed down to a tropical island with a hospital, but I didn’t know it was an option or I would have packed my parachute.

Since Aj is still puking, I begin to awkwardly change Maggie in the other bathroom.  This has completely upset the flight attendant, but I nicely explain to her, that this isn’t my  ideal situation either, but this is happening.  She then proceeds to tell everyone that comes to the back that both bathrooms have been contaminated and they probably want to use the bathrooms at the front of the plane.  In the long run, this ends up to be a blessing.

After I balance a diarrhea covered Maggie on the bathroom toilet lid and clean her up using all my wipes and a water bottle.  (Just call me Mom MacGyver)  I leave the bathroom give her to AJ and he takes her back to our seats, I try to clean myself up as much as possible, then I head back to our seats as well.  I have hit my limit its been 2.5 hours of constant vomiting from AJ and Maggie’s diarrhea explosion was my final straw.  I sit down next to AJ, inform him he needs to be okay, because I’m not.  Right then, I begin vomiting.  For the next two hours, I am lucky enough to have my own personal bathroom in the back of the plane.  No one will go near the bathroom, myself or AJ.  We look like the walking dead, actually we both look like Patrick Dempsey’s character on the plane in the movie Outbreak.

The plane finally lands in Atlanta, I’ve run out of vomit bags and politely ask the guy next to me for his.  At this point, all six people in the rows in front of us, jump to give us their bags, the three people in the row right next to us, scurry to find there bags and the two rows behind us also begin to find their vomit bags.  Clearly, we have made an impression.



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