The Hawaii Vacation that Started with E. Coli

The night before I left on a family vacation with my mom, step-dad, brother and baby (poor Andy got left behind because he had school), Andy and I ate burritos from our favorite spot in Mountain View. Andy orders his burritos without onions; I get mine with everything. This is an important fact.

Because the next morning, I got on a plane to Kaua’i and started to feel desperately ill. I vomited on the plane. Twice.

Everyone is just having a grand ol’ time on the plane. Meanwhile, I was watching for the bathroom light to turn green so I could make my next move.

When we landed, I ate a couple pretzels and nausea like nothing I’ve ever experienced grasped my body. My step-dad had to find a wheelchair to push me through Costco to find their restroom because I was too weak to walk. He said I turned white and was on the verge of becoming green. He’s a highly respected gastroenterologist, so I think those are medical terms.

When we got to the bathroom, I hugged the toilet, but nothing came out. Then I just sat on it hoping the room would straighten out, but no luck. I marveled at the throbbing, spinning, nauseous sickness that was attacking me and tried not to faint. As soon as I hobbled out of the bathroom and sat in the wheelchair, my body hurled the contents of my entire digestive tract out of its system. Over and over again. Thank goodness for the garbage bag a well-meaning employee handed me when I first walked into the the store.

So happy to be off the dang plane! I thought the worst was over. Zero idea what was about to come…

Turns out, I should not have doubted. There was an outbreak that started in California and was traced back to onions and celery. Remember the onions? Here is where they become important.

On Sunday morning when I left, Andy felt fine. However, that afternoon, not knowing I was puking on the plane, he ate a few bites of my leftover onion-laced burrito, and sure enough he was feverish and barfing away a few hours later too. My powers of deduction say that it was the E. Coli in the onion that did it to both of us.

When we finally got to the hotel our room was not ready, so my mom wrapped me in about fifty towels and I passed out in a feverish daze on the pool deck. A few hours later, I shuffled queasily over to the room and proceeded to pass out until the next morning.

I’d say this Hawaii vacation is off to a good start!

A pool that I didn’t even know existed because I was too busy being feverish and passed out on my first day in Kaua’i.

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