It was a restless night of non-sleep, the kind that you get when you’re first coming down with an illness. My body erupted in various immune responses to combination of severe sun poisoning, whatever contaminants were contained in the piece of metal I almost ate in my roll at dinner, and the head cold like symptoms I was now experiencing.

My head was a broiler of fever, my sinuses congested with a near total blockage, my joints ached, particularly in my hips, elbows and back. My stomach now empty still continued to rage until every last bit of bile was emptied into the toilet and my right ear was totally deaf from the congestion and feverish swelling. I was in total agony.

My husband, who did not get much sleep due to my tossing and turning, and occasional snoring when sleep was available, went off to breakfast without me. I laid in the bed, dozing in and out of consciousness, until he returned. I told him that I needed the day to rest, and that he shouldn’t waste the last day of his trip waiting on me to feel better. He reluctantly agreed to go on without me.

The day was mostly the same, occasionally being comfortable enough to sit up and sip on some cola to settle my stomach. I felt brave around lunch time, when my husband returned to check on me. We ordered room service, a plate of simply grilled chicken and vegetables. It stayed down for about an hour after he left to go back to the beach.

A few hours later, he returned when a storm front had moved in, making beach time impossible with thunder rumbling in the dark clouds. We watched a movie, although, looking back, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was probably not the best choice. The grisly and violent film needed to be advanced a few times when the scenes became too much for me to bear.

The weather improved, and my husband went off to meet the group for the final meal together before we went home. I wanted no food, nor did I make particularly good company, so I decided to stay in the room. I mustered all my strength to begin packing what I could, anticipating that hell of our return trip to the states the following morning. I was relatively successful, but the effort of doing so wiped what little energy I had, and I began throwing up again.

My husband returned from dinner, and relayed the inevitable commentary of concern from the group, saying how I had missed the “group photo.” I thought about how the trip will be remembered, how I’m certain in everyone’s mind that I had ruined a perfectly good vacation by getting sick. Perhaps this would mean that we wouldn’t be invited along for another, which would be a huge relief.