For a while after my husband told me about this trip to Puerto Rico and I was feeling uncertain about leaving the baby behind so soon, I wondered what it would be like for me to be left behind with the kids while he just went without me.
Well, now I know.
This week didn't exactly go as planned, to say the least. Saturday night, my throat started burning badly. I assumed it was allergies (as this has been my worst allergy season yet) and got very little sleep that night. I woke up Easter morning without a voice and feeling awful. I powered through the day but by the time my dear friend who was supposed to watch the girls came over to spend some time with us, I knew that I wasn't exactly improving. We were scheduled to leave Tuesday morning and I spent Monday trying to tidy up the house, stock the pantry with groceries, finish the girls' laundry and tie up loose work ends. I had a mani/pedi scheduled at 4:30 and I was still unable to speak and felt incredibly hot and exhausted the entire time I sat in the chair. By the time I got home, I knew I needed to direct myself to an urgent care clinic to make sure this was just allergies and nothing more. I wasn't interested in testing the Puerto Rican healthcare system and after 3 terrible sinus infections in the past few months, I couldn't imagine myself stranded out of the country without access to a doctor I trusted and blessed antibiotics.
So there I was, at 8:30 PM after putting the girls in baths and bed, doing web check-in for the nearest clinic, and telling myself "If it is only just allergies, there is no reason to question going on this trip. Just go and drink cocktails and recover from the miserableness on the beach." And I kept telling myself that over and over. It was only just allergies and I was about to waste $200 on a stupid visit to a stupid urgent care clinic late in the evening when I should be packing.
Only when the doctor stepped back in the room after performing a strep culture ("stupid strep culture will likely cost me $30 only to come back negative") to casually inform me that it was positive, I felt like I literally heard tires screeching on pavement. I was supposed to be on a plane in less than 7 hours and I was just informed I had flipping strep throat. WHAT 32 YEAR OLD GROWN UP GETS STREP THROAT IN APRIL?!?!?!?!?!
Then it really hit me that there was a good chance the girls would have it. And I thought about my sweet friend who was coming to watch them for the latter half of the trip and how I would feel if I was her, showing up to some one's house and managing their 2 sick children, one only 8 months old. Managing a sick baby is AWFUL, I can only imagine how awful managing a sick baby that isn't yours must be. At that, I knew I couldn't do it. It wasn't fair to anyone.
I listened to him pack while I tossed and coughed and sweat from my fever uncomfortably, and then next thing I knew he was kissing me goodbye at 3:30 AM and that was that. He was gone off to a tropical island and I was left home alone with 2 kids and no voice and a big bottle of amoxycillin to keep me company.
I feel awful for him, too. He spent the entire week alone on the beach in a 5 star resort with a bunch of married couples and received his award, alone. I kind of want to cry when I think about it, actually. Knowing that he wanted nothing more than for me to be there with him. I would have been awful company. I felt so sick for the first 2 days he was gone and then yesterday I suffered one of the worst migraine headaches I think I've had in years. I didn't open the blinds or acknowledge the outside world existed until around 5:00 when I knew I absolutely had no choice but to go get a can of formula for the baby and dinner for myself and the big one.
The only bright spot in my week was the fact I had nothing but time to read. My best friend e-loaned me the entire HungerGames trilogy and I devoured all 3 books in less than 3 days. I never get time to read anymore and I'm obsessive with a good book so it kept me plenty occupied and distracted from being too sad about the state of things.
I could whine and moan and complain about how much the whole week sucks but deep down inside I suspect there was a valuable reason I didn't make it on this trip. I'm not sure if something would have happened it I had gone but I'm just accepting the fact I'll never know and dreaming of the next time we have the opportunity to sneak off on vacation alone together.
I sure can't wait to see his face.