The ultimate in humiliation happened to me Wednesday. I suffer from what I call "sick headaches" (named after the headaches Mrs. Howell used to get on Gilligan's Island). They're a hereditary condition passed down from Grandma to Mom to me, and they include not only a migraine strength headache, but are accompanied 90% of the time by nausea and throwing up, followed by a 2-3 hour nap. Then all is well!
I never know when my sick headaches will strike. I've had to leave social events, take off from work, and miss all sorts of wonderful activities through the years. Anyway, enough of the history . . . on to the present. Wednesday I was running errands with my mother-in-law in Ruston, Louisiana. We were taking Mamaw and Papaw to doctors' visits when I realized that a sick headache was coming on. While everyone else was in with the doctor, I found a pharmacy in the clinic we were visiting and mooched a couple of aspirin. I think they could tell I was in a miserable state. They weren't doing the trick, so I slowly made my way to a receptionist who agreed to find me a real Coke. Again, I think I must have looked pretty pitiful . . . everyone seemed to sense my distress!
I had taken about 2 sips of my Coke when Mamaw, Papaw, and Barbara walked out of the doctor's office ready to go. I didn't want to mention my sick headache because I knew we needed to get things taken care of for Mamaw and Papaw, and I just knew that the two aspirin and the 2 sips of Coke would magically cure me. I began to doubt that prognosis as we traveled the winding road in the July Louisiana heat to Mamaw and Papaw's assisted living center.
After we dropped Mamaw and Papaw off, I anxiously got back into the car, still hoping my sick headache was more headache than sick, especially since we still had 5 more errands to run! I called Rick to leave him a message that I had a sick headache. He instant-messasged me to "come home immediately. Tell Mom to bring you home." I IM'd back that I was going to try to stick it out. Again, Rick IM'd me "Come home NOW. Tell Mom." (After 16 years of marriage he knows me better than I know myself). As Barbara put on her blinker to turn left, I casually asked, "So how do you get to the Peach Orchard?" (one of our next stops). As she described the long, curvy, winding, hilly road to the Peach Orchard, I finally decided that going home sounded pretty good. I calmly muttered, "Um, can we go home instead? I have a bit of a headache."
I didn't want to tell my mother-in-law that not only did I have a sick headache (with a 90% throw-up rate), but I also get car sick, so combining those two things is not the smartest pairing. But, I had no other way to get home. As Barbara chatted on about the day's events and swerved around cars like a maniac race-car driver (or so it seemed in my current state), I prayed "God, just let me get home before I throw up. I can't throw up in the car." I closed my eyes and repeated that prayer over and over.
The sight of my in-laws' drive-way was a wonder to behold. Just a few more feet, I thought! Before the car even pulled all the way into the carport, I flung the door open and yelled, "I've got to go!" I ran to the door. It was locked. I knocked and knocked with ever-increasing intensity. I yelled back at Barbara (who was still parking the car) "It's locked! It's locked!" Just as she made her way towards me with the key, I turned slightly and proceeded to throw up all over the carport. I could see the terrified look in my mother-in-law's eyes as she eyed her doggie statue and pretty summer flowers. I ran to the back yard because I knew it wasn't over, yet. I was so embarrassed!! As I heaved in the backyard, hoping that neighbors would not drive by, I heard the locked door open. My husband stuck his head out. I turned to look at him and burst into tears. "I'm so sorry!" I said. There I was, sick as a dog, out in the yard for all the world to see while my husband stood by saying "It's okay," and my mother-in-law analyzed the contents ("No wonder you're sick; you didn't even chew anything!"). By the time my father-in-law came on the scene, I was mortified beyond words.
At least I didn't throw up in the car. Rick and I couldn't afford to buy his Mom a new car. Next time, I'll be more specific in my prayer: "God, please let me get to a bathroom!"