For most couples, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to dress fancy and have a romantic dinner together. I’ve never been one to get too excited for the holiday, but this year was different because it was the first Valentine’s Day Jay and I would celebrate since the long distance. Luckily for us, Jay actually was coming to visit me in January and February so we could be together in person. This got both of us a little more excited than normal for Valentine’s Day.
A little while before Jay visited we discussed our romantic plans. Instead of going out to a restaurant we decided to make a dinner at home. I created a menu the week before of the fancy meal we would cook together complete with appetizer, main course, and dessert options (and washed down with champagne). I emailed it to him in an effort to be romantic since we rarely do traditionally romantic things. This was a pretty big deal for us and we were both really excited for Valentine’s Day.
On February 12th, Jay picked me up from work and took me out to a local pizza joint. He gobbled up his whole pie and I took half of mine home. The next day I brought my leftover pizza to work. Jay picked me up for lunch to head for the mall (we were buying a mutual Valentine’s Day present from Godiva) and I ate my slices in the car. When we got inside I felt a little bit funny and I can even recall Jay saying “Why do you look so sad in a chocolate store? Nobody should look sad here!” to me. We bought an awesome collector’s tin of Godiva biscuits and I headed back to work.
The rest of the day went by pretty quickly, but then I started to notice my body heating up and my vision getting a little fuzzy. I got sick in the bathroom right before leaving work, but then I felt a lot better. I met Jay in the parking lot and told him I wasn’t feeling well. We were supposed to go to a friend’s house for dinner, but he took me home instead. I wanted him to spend time with his friends (he used to live in the area) so I told him to still go to dinner. He bought me some soup, gatorade, ginger ale, and medicine before quadruple-checking I was okay to leave alone. At that point I thought I only had a stomach virus so I told him to have fun.
During the next couple of hours my condition worsened dramatically and my body became incredibly weak (for purposes of this post I will not share the details of my actual symptoms). I couldn’t even look at my phone screen to call Jay so I waited for him. He came home pretty quickly because he knew I wasn’t well and immediately noticed I was in trouble. Fast forward 15 minutes and I’m in an ambulance heading to the hospital. Jay said he would follow behind and meet me there.
Once in the ER I waited for a long time for Jay to show up (turns out my car battery died before he left and some friends drove him to the hospital), but my mind was focusing on the pain in my stomach and my severe dehydration. I was very relieved once he was by my side because he didn’t show any signs of panic. He contacted my parents, kept me calm, and even made me laugh…he can somehow always make me laugh!
I spent hours in my makeshift room, occasionally getting wheeled out for tests. Eventually my diagnosis came back: I had a bout of Colitis, basically a very inflamed portion of my intestine. The doctors told me it was most likely caused by a raw or undercooked food….did I mention there was sausage on my pizza? Needless to say, I wouldn’t be eating from that restaurant again!
As we got ready to leave the hospital the doctor (who was basically a replica of Whoopi Goldberg) turned to us and said, “Oh by the way…Happy Valentine’s Day.” We couldn’t help but laugh in our semi-delirious and sleep-deprived state. Leaving the ER at 5am? What a wonderful way to start Valentine’s Day!….
My parents spent the morning filling my prescriptions and buying a new battery for my car. Jay and I spent the morning (and most of the day) catching up on sleep. He fell asleep almost immediately after arriving in my apartment which made it feel even more special that he stayed by my side the whole night.
I was on a very strict diet plan and medications so I couldn’t eat our romantic dinner that night. Jay cooked the entree portion for himself and just the smell of it made me feel sick so I had to leave the room. We finished off the night watching some tv before drifting off into more much-needed sleep.
Luckily I am completely healed from my Colitis and I do actually have some fond memories from my trip to the ER. I can’t say that the ER was on the top of my list for a Valentine’s Day celebration, but it’s something neither of us are soon to forget. Jay really made me feel special even despite my buttless hospital gown and IV’s stuck in both arms. He cared for me the entire night and up until he flew back home. We may not have had that romantic Valentine’s dinner we were looking forward to, but we could definitely feel the love.
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Date Night