Every year, a groups of young people would go in the six weeks holiday for a one week stay in a boarding school far away. There, they would meet friends they had met the year before or old friends from other times, from the past. It was always fantastic there, there were games, rows of tables where we sat on long benches and had our meals, fields to play on, sights to see in the village, days out, music in the evenings, doing something different in the school holidays. The first time I went I was nineteen years old, the ages range from young up to about 29, then if you wanted you helped out with the meals, being a leader for the younger ones, keeping them in 'order' after lights out, so they didn't sneak out their dormitories, it was all good clean fun. We always returned home, fired up and wanted to be a better young person.
This amazing event only lasted in total for three weeks, then the dormitories, dinning room, with its longs tables in rows and long benches as chairs, and the fields always in the Summer sun, would fall silent again, till the children of the school returned after their holiday.
Then one day, we as a group had decided to go for the last of the three weeks, the holiday always started on a Friday, and ended on a Friday and 90% of the young people would return home, and later on another 90% of new teens and young people would arrive, but the organizers, had informed our Leaders, that the first week was fantastic, but, that on the last evening a sickness and vomiting bug had suddenly started after the evening meal and after all the adults and kids had, had a great time, bags were packed, address swapped and even though it was lights out as usual, everyone knew there was midnight feasts in every dorm! It was a tradition!
So those who has stayed for the whole three weeks, told our Leaders that on the Friday of the first week an awful violent sickness and diarrhoea had broken out! Then the second week all was well until the same time exactly the same thing had happened!! So people hoped it didn't happen while we were there! Most of the children, Teens, and Young People were not aware of any of this only the Organisers of the event who had been there from the first week and would be there for all of the three weeks, it was just them who knew.
Big Stan, was in charge of his young group of ten year old lads. He was a lovely, sweet man, the kids loved and respected him. So now it was lights out in two minutes, when Anthony walked towards the door where Big Stan was standing, and as he approached, Big Stan asked him where he was going, there was no reply from Anthony as he vomit all over the hall!!! just missing Big Stan! Then one by one, from each dorm, the kids began to vomit and have the runs. This time, It even affected the adults too.
I don't DO vomit! That's why I could never be a Nurse, for if I hear, smell or see vomit I am sick! Janet, a Nurse from our group, tried to help the kids, but wanted to make sure her Daughter was safe and asked me if I'd been sick, I told her “No,” so she gave me her year old Daughter to hold! The Doctor from the Village was quickly called and he'd been here last Friday and the Friday before that, and now he was here again! Very quickly the majority of the hundred kids were very ill and most of the adults too. Something amazing happened, and it cannot be explained, and when I tell people they just don't believe me! But I, yes I became the Doctors Aid! Me!!! He gave me his 'orders' and it was this, “Anyone who has been sick, I am to give them a full glass of salted water, I am to make sure they drink all” I am to carry those who can still walk, putting their arm over my shoulder, my arm around their waist, helping them onto the loo, some were too weak, and were unable to walk. You can imagine how strong the diarrhoea smelt it was, distrusting!! The Doctor told me to look at the vomit to make sure, it was clear! For if it wasn't, more salt water had to be given to get it all out! So here I am in the midst of awful smelling poo and lumps of lots of vomit and none of it fazed me, it has to be one of the most surreal experiences of my life! I looked at vomit, and It meant nothing to me! I did take charge and they did take their medicine, from Nurse Grace!! Their vomit was on ME! None of what I saw or heard, their retching or the utter foul smelling poo affected me in any way at all.... at end of a long and very busy night, when the tired souls and exhausted themselves into bed, the Doctor thank us for he could not have done it on is own, the few of us who were not sick at all, finally said our “Good nights” and I joined my group, they were all fast asleep, for it was very, very late.
The only time I have ever cleaned up my own vomit was when I lived on my own! I had been to a friend's house and I had watched her cook our meal, it was a stir fry made with something I had never eaten before been-sprouts! That same evening many hours later on my own in my flat, I was violently sick in the bathroom sink! It blocked the sick up and I had to use my fingers to unblock it, which made me sick again and again and again!!!!!!!! This has to be one of the worst nights of my entire life! The the runs started! The following morning I rang my friend to ask her if she was OK, she said, “Yes, why?” I told her how ill I'd been she said, “It sounds like I have food poisoning!” For eleven days I couldn't face or even thing of the word, “Big Mac!”
I remember once I was at work and my Manager was in an important meeting, someone downstairs was been sick, it was 'all over the floor' I heaved and heaved and as best as I could, I opened the door to her office and said, in between retching “Ssss Sue (lots of heave) is …...... sick....... come QUICK! I think I might have been lunch time, for my tummy must have been empty, for this time nothing came up! My Manager came down and cleaned it up! IF she had asked me to do it, I would have quit! For that is not worth £6.70 an hour! She has long hair and she told me later, that is the only thing that can make her sick, is to find hair in her food, or pulling someone’s hair out of her mouth, in a restaurant!
Another time, I was with a lady she was sitting down and she started to be sick, I quickly got a waist paper bin and held it firm to her face!! So at least the sick could be contained, her head would go back and when she came forward my bin was ready, I DID try to be brave but when she was finished I tapped her on the shoulder ( for I couldn't speak) and said to her, “There is my sick!” I had turned away from her, the sick bin still in my hand and had been sick behind her! She couldn't stop laughing, but I got the last 'laugh' in my now weak state, for she had a red mark on her forehead where the bin had been fixed, firmly to her face!!
Another time, again at someone said they had been sick, I asked if they had cleaned it up. They said “Yes” I went to check, there was only one lump on the floor! But that was enough, I tried to thing of blue skies and birds but the amount of sick I did was horrendous!! All for looking at one lump of vomit!
WHY? Why am I so ticked stomach! Why can't I be like my Mum and other strong people, and look into the 'face of vomit' and not be affected!? Even on the street, its disgusting!! I heave and heave and can't eat, for ages after.
One of the worst, things for me was when I was pregnant, morning sickness is the worst thing EVER! For nothing helps, you are just stuck with this vomit and wanting to vomit and lots of things make you want to vomit, smells you loved before, now utterly disgusts you now! I remember one day, I had a bowl in my hands for I knew I was going to be sick I was sitting on the edge of the sofa, then our large female dog came near me, she came close, and I knew what she was thinking, she wanted to make sure, she got a piece of the action, she wanted to have my vomit as soon as it left my mouth and entered the bowl! I did try to talk, and tell Paul who was in the kitchen, to move the dog away ..... for the thought of her licking up my vomit with relish was too much for me to cope with......
I remember when my young Son Daniel told me just after I'd made myself a full English and was about to tuck in, that he had gone off swimming, I asked him why, he said, as he was swimming, he saw a bogie floating in the water, with blood on and he swallowed it!! So my full English went to the dogs! I did manage to share that, in a text to a few of my friend and families for why should I suffer on my own!
I have too many sick stories, I am butt of all my family and friends jokes, they all have their favourite 'Grace was sick story' and they all have a laugh at my expense. so...... do you remember the story at the start of this vomit adventure?
It was nothing short of miracle, for if I had been sick that night, they all would have thought it was because of the bug, when you and I knew it wasn't! For I was in the middle of it all and it didn't affect me. For me, that was an amazing evening, when I could help those who were in dire need. I felt helpful and useful, for the 'real' me is not like that when it comes to sick.
Go back and read the first bit again now, to see just how amazing, that evening was for me.