What is the most inopportune time you've been/gotten sick?

As some of you know, I’m in a long-distance relationship. I’ve gotten to see my wonderful girlfriend, on average, a bit less than once a month. The next I’ll see her is tomorrow. Which is why I was horrified to realize when I woke up yesterday that I was coming down with a head cold. Granted, I’m doing what I can to stave it off, and I’m not in bad shape right now. But it got me to thinking that there have to be some fun (or “fun”) stories out there from people who have had some truly bad timing when it came to getting sick. Hopefully enough to make for a good thread.

The only other that I can think of in my case is when I was about 20. I had a friend from Washington State who was coming down to the LA area to visit with family, and she set aside one day to spend with me. Our plan was to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Of course, I got sick the day beforehand, but I couldn’t fathom bailing on her. So I spent all of the next day running around, riding rollercoasters and such while sneezing my head off at every turn. I’m pretty sure we were both miserable.

Anyway, my stories are tame. What’ve you got?

New Year’s Eve of 1999 was a very inconvenient time for me to come down with a stomach virus/food poisoning-type thing, and for days. I really feel like I missed out on something good!

I was chosen as part of a group from my school to go meet the president (I don’t actually remember which president, might have been Clinton, might have been Bush) and hear him talk about renewable energy initiatives. On the big day, I was too sick to get out of bed.

For two years in a row, my aunt has invited us to a large family dinner. Both times I had to cancel because I had the flu. I hope she believes me!

In 2000-ish, my company (which consisted of me and my business partner) was set to launch our first big Web site ever.

For some reason, my partner - who is older and wiser and pretty much our leader - was slated to be out of town the day of the launch. I can’t remember the circumstances of why he couldn’t be there for the launch, but I was just a kid at the time and I was pretty scared to be left on my own doing this launch.

The day of the launch I woke up with a horrible stomach bug which consisted of nearly unbearable cramps and the worst diarrhea I’ve ever experienced. I could hardly get off the toilet, it was so bad.

But, the launch had to happen. And of course there were problems. To top it off, the internet connection at my house (we both work from home) went down. So I had to hop in the car and race 20 minutes down the highway to my boyfriend’s apartment so I could work, hoping not to shit myself on the way.

I spent the day fielding calls from the toilet, making changes to the site, and curled up on the couch in my boyfriend’s dank little shithole apartment.

I’ve never let my partner live that one down.

Oddly enough, we just re-launched that same company’s new site a couple months ago (10 years later). Due to some scheduling nonsense on the client’s end, the day we ended up launching was a day my partner had to travel out of town for something. I freaked out a bit and he ended up working all night with me to get the site launched and working properly BEFORE he left. And this time, I didn’t get sick.

Hallowe’en, when I was about 8. I still remember how bummed out I was to miss out on Trick or Treat. :frowning:

Imagine being on a very tight schedule installing a control system in an out-of-town location.
You arrive Sunday night in order to be on-site the following morning bright and early.
You wake feeling a little under the weather, but assume it is just travel fatigue and arrive on time, ready to get the job done.
12 hours later, you return to the hotel room feeling a bit flushed and not very hungry, so you eat a bowl of soup and a salad at the hotel restaurant and go to sleep at a reasonable time.

Long about 3:00 AM, you wake feeling like you have a bowling ball in your stomach and you go to the bathroom and are violently ill with nausea and diarrhea.

You eventually drag yourself back to bed at about 5:00 AM, knowing that you have to be at the client site in 3 hours because if you aren’t then the entire schedule will be disrupted and your company will probably not get a second chance to install the system, leaving the project for your competition to swoop down upon.

That, my friends, is a VERY inopportune time to become ill.

I got the pukes and shits the Thanksgiving I hosted my mom, my husband’s parents and brother and his family and my shy and quiet work study student. I had been planning and shopping and preparing for weeks and then I couldn’t leave my bed except to go the bathroom. My husband, his sister-in-law and my student pulled it all together though. Later my mother bragged that she and my mother in law were “queens of the May” because they just sat around. Thanks for the help, mom.

Me too, except I didn’t have a stomach thing going on. At 11:30 I was psyched. At 12:00 I was mummified. I rang in the new millenium (Yeah yeah, I know) by going to the emergency room.

A few years later, I was supposed to wake up early and get myself to the airport so I could spend the holidays with my family in Florida. I woke up just long enough to call my father and tell him there was no way I was going to make it. On Christmas Day I got the gift of laryngitis. I ended being sick for about a month.

The first time I ever went to New York, I was with my husband (at that time, my fiancée), and he had made reservations for us at a very swell restaurant. During the day, as we were seeing the city, I began to feel headachey and nauseated. I tried to hang in there…we had lunch, I took some ibuprofen…then we went for a drive. I would have been terrified seeing him drive in that traffic in any case, but as it was, the constant stomach-clenching did me in. I yarked in Central Park.
I thought maybe I could still pull it together after that. We went for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage…the best part of the whole day, though I was barely conscious. At least I could sit down and get some fresh air. However, when we went in the restaurant to change clothes, I barfed again and we had to give it up.

That was probably the saddest one, but it became a pattern with me that every time we traveled, we’d lose at least one day because I’d be sick as hell. I finally figured out that I was bringing it on myself. :o I would stop drinking for hours before a plane flight because I didn’t want to use the bathroom on the plane, and dehydration plus pressure change apparently = puke.

A few years ago, shortly before Thanksgiving, I had bragged about having plenty of sick time left to burn due to a good health year for the family. The Monday following Thanksgiving I woke up barely able to stand with a case of the flu, running a 105 degree fever, etc., and missed 4 days of work following the long weekend. Needless to say, my co-workers were reasonably suspicious.

Just last summer, my wife worked extremely hard to find a sitter for the kids so I could attend her cousin’s wedding. Wake up about 3 a.m. the morning of the wedding, and again with the flu… both times I had received the flu shot.

My First Communion was when I discovered that my stomach rejects alcohol.


Even nicer, this wasn’t officiated by a mere priest but by the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I’m pretty sure he needed to buy a new Bishop Outfit. :o

Band name!

(Oooh, my first BN call out.)

In Cameroon, most high schools have an organization that basically boils down to “Teacher Drinking Club.” You meet once a month at a different teacher’s house for a meeting, a feast, and two beers. They organize various events, such as all-night dance parties for Teachers’ Day and Womens’ Day. It’s a good way to socialize and enjoy life with your fellow teachers, and honestly these nights are some of my best memories of Cameroon.

The highlight of Teacher Drinking Club is the yearly trip to visit another school. You and all the teachers pile into a van, drive long distances on sketchy roads, and then party for a long weekend as guests of your host school’s Teacher Drinking Club. It’s a rollicking good time.

My first year, we took a trip up to Kousseri, a medium sized town right across the river from the capital of Chad. We went in April, a hellishly hot time with temperatures well above 110 degrees. But Cameroonian teachers are pretty unshakable. Our bus left at six in the morning. By nine we were riding down the highway through a nature reserve, spotting giraffes out the window as we stood arm in arm singing Cameroonian pop songs and throwing back shots of whiskey. When we arrived in town, we were wined and dined by everyone in town, and got a nice tour of the town’s attractions (an old house, an old statue, a look at Chad’s rather lackluster capital). We then toured our host school and were assigned with a host family to stay with.

Of course, it’s always funny to see people’s reactions when they figure out who is going to host the foreigner. By this time, I was pretty familiar to the people at my school, but for sure I was an oddity to everyone else! I was assigned to the home-ec teacher’s house. We went home for a rest so we could sober up before drinking all night at the traditional all-night dance party.

The weekend passed well. The problem did not come until it was time to go home, just before I had to head off to get on the van to go home.

I got diarrhea.


Cramping do-not-leave-the-toilet terrible diarrhea.

That’s not the worst part. My gracious host lived in a compound with about five families. They all shared one dark (but really well maintained) pit latrine. Furthermore, my host was actually gone, and I’d been placed in the care of a sister, who could only speak local languages. I was blocking the only toilet that five families had to use, and I couldn’t communicate why. Furthermore, I had only a few minutes to decide if there was any way I could get on that van for the 12+ dirt road trip back home. If I missed the van- well, I didn’t even know if I had money to catch a paid bus back home and it’d probably take two days to do it by public transport, meaning I’d miss a lot of class. It’d be a long, expensive mess.

And I’d certainly have to stay the night somewhere…where? My host family would certainly insist I stay there, but I really didn’t want these five families to have some strange foreigner stuck on their pit latrine for hours at a time. I didn’t know if there were any hotels or where they would be. Nor did I feel well enough to look for one. Looking back, I’m sure my school would have set me up. But I was still fairly new in Cameroon and learning how things worked. When you are sick out there, it’s like all you know is that you are sick in a strange hot place and you don’t know what to do.

If I went with the van, what would happen if I got sick en route? There are no rest stops. And it’s outright desert out there. I couldn’t just get off somewhere and find my own way home. There would be no villages with a hotel for at least six hours. So if I did get sick, I’d be keeping this bus full of exhausted hung-over teachers waiting for me to shit by the side of the road. And if it was really bad, how many times could I ask them to stop, and how much misery would I be in in between?

Also, remember during all of this, it’s like 115 degrees out.

Eventually I took the risk and got on the bus. Luck was with me that day- the problem subsided and I survived the trip with no problems at all.

I’ve got a million of these stories. I vomited at the foot of the Amritsar Golden Temple on the floors they wash with milk and sweep with peacock feathers. I’ve passed out in a malarial haze during the ritual slaughter on Tabaski. I’ve thrown my luggage off the back of a Guatemalan bus, so sick that I didn’t know or care where I was or if another bus would come in the next week. I’ve developed a UTI during a 16 hour overnight Chinese train ride in a hard seat. Nothing like travel to give you stories to tell!

even sven, I got a bit queasy just reading that story – wow. :slight_smile:

I got food poisoning the day before Passover, while I was at my in-laws’. I missed the first seder. Better yet, I got a visit from Mr. Neville’s uncle who is a retired doctor. He came into the room where I was and told me, “You know, 9000 Americans a year die from this.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

Extreme constipation two days before my wedding! :eek:

A guy I was dating had invited me to a rock concert on Thanksgiving Day 2005.

The day of the concert, I was sick as a dog - sore throat, coughing, headache, nausea. But I knew I couldn’t cancel on this guy - he was quite shy and wouldn’t go by himself. So I drugged myself up to the gills, pulled on my rocker girl outfit, and stumbled out the door.

The drugs were still working during most of the opening act. Once the main band came on, I could feel them start to subside but I held out as long as I could. Finally, I had to tell my date I was going to the lounge for a little while - and then sat in one of the club chairs with my eyes closed and just listened to the music on the loud speakers. One of the bartenders came over a few times to check on me - I could hardly talk without pain so I couldn’t really convince them I wasn’t drunk or stoned. So I finally just stumbled back to my date.

I smiled weakly and danced as best I could to the final songs and encore. I stuffed some of the confetti that fell on us in the pocket of my leather coat and let my date lead me back to the car and drive me straight home.

By the time I dragged myself back in to the airport, my throat was so swollen I couldn’t even speak. My roommate and our neighbor were sitting on the couch and she looked up and said, “You’re insane. Tell me why you had to go to this concert again?”

As I stumbled past her, I pulled the ticket stub and confetti out of my pocket and tossed it in her lap. I crawled in to bed and stayed there for 3 days until my fever finally broke.

She gasped as she read, “ROLLING STONES - VIP SEATING - $500.00 EA.”

What kind of girl would I be to let $1,000 worth of tickets go to waste?

I got sick on the day of my son’s baptism, when both sides of the family had come from out of town to celebrate the occasion. I felt OK in the morning, but I started getting queasy at the church, during the ceremony. I barely made it through all the pictures with parents and grandparents and godparent, only to rush to the bathroom when we got home. I spent the rest of the day being a good hostess, interspersed with rushes to the bathroom to hurl.

For lack of remembering something worse I have to say last Friday. A bunch from my office were supposed to go to Brussels to visit, among other things, the EU headquarters. As I have friends there I decided to go already on Friday afternoon to see them and explore the town during the weekend. On Thursday night I could hardly walk from lumbago and as my back didn’t feel good enough on Friday I cancelled the trip.

On Monday morning, when the others left, I would have had no problems, but I also had no ticket.