The Journey to Mazatlan

Here is my recount of the journey to Mexico, taken out of my journal from August 11, 2010:

As I kneeled over the poop-streaked toilet in the SeaTac Airport heaving and gagging and throwing up the final remains of stomach bile left inside of me, I thought, “You know, this could be a lot worse.” It was about 4:15am, and that was my third throw-up of the day so far. And I’d only been awake an hour and a half.

But seriously–I was thankful for the seat liner that I had managed to tear out and get on the toilet seat before I clung to it with both hands and vomited. I thought, I’m thankful this isn’t a port-a-potty. That would be a lot worse.

This has been a week-and-a-half of “firsts” for me. Last Monday I had my first “missed the trash can vomit.” Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself…4 weeks of throwing up every day and I hadn’t once made a mess. Well that opened the door to Friday–a day I checked off three firsts–my first all-over-the-car throw up, my first all-over-me throw up and my first side-of-the-road-while-strangers-are-staring-at-me throw up. They all came consecutively, and it was positively disgusting. Purple Cream of Wheat that seemed to never end…it just kept coming and coming and coming…

Did I mention that was the morning of Chrisy & John’s wedding? Well, it was. I managed to get my self cleaned up, showered, and to the getting ready location, just in time for the zipper on my dress to break an hour before we were due for pictures. (And I know what you’re thinking, but the answer is, NO–I was not too fat for my dress! There was PLENTY of room…it was a dress malfunction. In fact two other bridesmaids’ dresses did the same thing right before the wedding…bummer.) So, I had to be sewn into my dress. A big time first for me.
Sunday was our first anniversary, and I threw up all day. And Brian so graciously cleaned up my vomit all day. What a first year anniversary to remember.

So that brings us to today. Woke up at 2:45 am, drank my Essentials (liquid vitamins) and threw it up at 3. Got in the car and headed to the airport at 3:15. Threw up in the car–in the trash can this time–around 3:45. I was so proud of myself for making it in the bucket, that I just sat back in revelry, smiling at my small victory.

When, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the shivering butterfly (see “August Madness Part 1” for the story of the shivering butterfly) resurrected from some unknown place, attacked my face (I’d like to think of it as a gesture of love) and practically scared me out of my skin! I screamed, threw my hands in the air and…you see where this is going…kicked the bucket with my nicely contained vomit! Vomit. Spilled. Everywhere.

Once my heart attack settled down, my mother’s heart kicked into full gear and suddenly I was ooing and ahhing over my long lost shivering butterfly. In true Susanne fashion, I began speaking words of comfort to my friend… “Hi!! You’re alive!! Oh, are you okay?! I thought you might have died!” I carefully placed him on my finger (without touching his wings, of course), and after a few parting words I set him free in the SeaTac Airport parking garage…praying all the way to our flight check-in that he would find his way to a good home.

Which is when I found my way to the “this could really be a lot worse” toilet, and then threw up for the third time that day.

While waiting for our flight, I spent most of the time in the bathroom stall heaving and gagging. Which is when I realized, it’s not so much fun throwing up in an automatic flush toilet. Yep, I’d picked “poop-stained” over automatic flush any day. Every time I’d heave, it would flush on me! Suck the seat cover right down and then I’d have to jump up (the thought of public toilet water splashing up onto my face–or God forbid, into my MOUTH–was enough to not only find the energy to jump up so quickly, but also to–you guessed it–heave and gag over and over again. A horrible, horrible Catch 22 of which I hope to never be part of again. But, you see…I was right…I knew it could be a lot worse.
My first throw up on the flight to Phoenix was probably the worst. Since I had absolutely nothing left in my stomach, and since I was sitting upright, my first few dry heaves came out like deep, angry “ribbits” from a very sick, very large frog. Over and over–Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!…–and no vomit. Until finally my ribbits were able to reach down to the depths of my stomach and pull out the remaining few drops of stomach bile.

It was quite a miserable 2 1/2 hours of my life. With every minute that passed, all I could think was, “Ok, Susanne…you can do this. That’s 60 seconds that you never have to re-do again….you can do this…” The funny thing is, when you throw up in a public place like that (especially continuasly) people don’t know what to do. So they just stare at you with the “I’m-so-sorry face.” The flight attendant would just stand in the aisle, staring at me with this hopeless demeanor. I was in such a sick daze, and I remember being so far out of control that I couldn’t even stare back at them with my “Just-stop-staring-at-me face.” They A-L-L were digging through their seat pockets and passing down their barf bags to Brian. I think we collected about 20 barf bags from that flight, which was awesome! They are way better than plastic bags because they’re actually lined and can seal shut. (Things you wish you didn’t have to learn by experience…) Anyhow, I did get smart after my first plane vomiting experience and asked for some Ginger Ale. At least then when it was time to throw up, there would be something in my stomach to come up. Plus it made the flight attendant feel like she was doing something to help. So–my second 2 vomits were lighter on the ribbits and heavier on the Ginger Ale. My first (three) airplane throw-ups.

By the time we got to Phoenix and I just had the chance to sit on solid ground, my stomach definitely began to settle. It also helped that it was in the 9 o’clock hour at this point. I ate an orange–and kept it down!!

By the grace of God, there was an empty seat in our row on the flight to Mazatlan, so Brian sat in the aisle seat and I got to lay across the middle and rest my head on his lap. I fell asleep almost instantly and slept the entire flight. And if was sleeping the entire flight, that means I wasn’t…you got it! Throwing up!! It was a miracle!! By the time we landed in Mazatlan, my stomach felt great! I ate a nectarine, a jello pudding and some trail mix…life was looking good!!

That is, until we boarded the shuttle that was to bring us to our hotel…

First of all, it was hot. Really hot, and really muggy. Apparently there was some sort of “fan” on our shuttle but I never felt even the slightest breeze… I continued to snack away, happily chatting with the couple in front of us (just so thankful that I survived the trip from h-e-double hockey sticks). They said the shuttle ride would be about 45 minutes (even though the resort was only 7 miles from the airport). We understood why as soon as we got stopped in a traffic jam unlike any other. There are no real “lanes” in Mexico. If you think your car can fit inbetween two others, you just squeeze it in. It was completely stopped, with no hope in sight…

We were creeping along in this parking lot when all of a sudden, our shuttle driver makes a hard 90 degree swerve to the right, and tears into an alley way. He picks up speed so that he is FLYING through this alley way, pot holes and all, making sharp, fast turns down a maze of alleys… Brian looked at me with big eyes. “Are you going to be okay?” he asked, quite concerned. “Yeah! Yeah…I’ll be fine…” I said unconvincingly. I was so determined to not throw up again that I was going to do anything I could to keep that food in my stomach. About 20 seconds later I realized I’d better get a barf bag in my hands in my hands fast, and about 30 seconds later, it all came back up. ALL OF IT. Warm chocolate jello pudding tainted with the smell of peanuts pouring out of my mouth. I thought the smell alone might kill me.

But, we eventually made it. I have never been so thankful to be on solid, unmoving ground. We got to our air-conditioned room, I crawled into bed, and I slept for several hours…just so, so, so, so, so, so thankful that the trip to Mexico was over. Only one more trip back home left…

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