American Illness: A Tragic True Story

There are two harsh truths about America. One, it loves to be the leading lady when a drama about viruses or illnesses crop up. Two, it’s impossible to find good help in America.

I like to think I’m the type that works hard and I like to think of mankind as just that: mankind. We are not all separate races, we are the human race. I don’t discriminate between anyone. Unless you are absolutely lazy or smell really bad because you haven’t showered in three weeks, I won’t have any reason to dislike you. But Americans like to be disliked. Remember, drama queen.¬†Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.10.11 PM

It was a normal day at work: all the old people were not waking up and I was taking them to the bathroom half asleep and wheeling them to their first meal with their eyelids droopy and lips limp. I went to check on one resident who I don’t normally handle and she wasn’t feeling well. I asked her to go ahead and try to sit up. That was all it took. Next thing I know, I’m diving for the garbage to catch her projectile vomit so I don’t have to steam clean the floor. Woohoo for Spider-Man-like reflexes. Another day saved and all was well.

The next day rolls around and I wake up with a very communicative stomach. I can’t even move in my bed without a squelch, a rumble, and a burst of bubbly anger. I pull myself up and march into work any way, sure that the day would be nice and simple since it was just some training on Alzheimer’s. No such luck. An hour in, I’m discreetly charging to the bathroom to allow the last night’s dinner a safe home in the porcelain throne. I sit back down. not an hour goes by and I’m not quite so discreetly visiting my queenly realm once again. Naturally, I left the meeting as soon as I could and spent a day sleeping. I have never slept an entire day. I’ve never even slept past 10am. I knew it must have been serious so I took the whole next day to rest up, knowing I have 4 days to work right in a row, all starting at 5am.

Today, I got to work with a still upset stomach, though much better than the first day. “You had a whole day to rest!” you shout. “You should be fine!” I dare you to go to work with this particular flu. I was not hungry, but my boss had bought us all pizzas to help ease the pain of all of our residents being in quarantine thanks to the virus that was going around. Big mistake. The oils, the processed meat, the gross cheese–it could have been anything. By the end of my shift, I was almost doubled up with puke-alert again. My own fault. I still hauled hundreds of pounds of old people around, wiped poopy bums–the lot. I finished out my 8-hour shift, stayed for the meeting after, and went to Wal-Mart for my mother after.

Here’s where it gets good. Tired, ill, and ready to vomit in the parking lot, I stepped across those very convenient little lines behind the stop sign that are for pedestrians going from the lot to the store. You know the ones. I was trudging¬†across that when some kind of car slammed on its breaks just close enough for me to feel the heat from the grill against my knees. I nearly jumped out of my skin and dropped my purse to face the offending windshield. The lady inside rolled down her window and screamed through a snuggle tooth, “Black people go first, bitch! Out the way!”

In my own defense, I guarantee that women will not being going to her job at 5am with vomit waiting to erupt out her nose and mouth. Granted, I hadn’t puked in about 24 hours, but that pizza was not settling well. And now, I felt even more sick.

America is ill and not feeling well. No, I’m sorry, she can’t come out and play.