Inside the nurses office was air conditioned so I felt relieved. There was so much heat outside, it felt like lava. The nurse grabbed a thermometer, took my temperature, and told me I had the stomach bug going around.
“You’ll have to stay at the nurse’s office overnight.” The nurse told me. She made me drink some Gatorade but when I swallowed it, I puked it right back out again.
“Hmmmm…Well, you won’t be able to eat lunch or dinner so I guess I should take you to the room you’ll be staying in for however long it takes you to mend.” The nurse told me.
I was put in room two. That room was designated to people with stomach bugs. There were two bunk beds, and four trash cans. I went to the left lower bunk. In the opposite bed there was another camper. He was from the oldest group. I was in the youngest group. The other camper was passed out. I was drowsier than a guy with no sleep of 52 hours. I fell asleep.
I awoke to find my councilor Ari bringing me my pillow and book. I was grateful. The mattresses were harder than a rhinoceros horn. As soon as he left I leaned over and threw up into the trash can. Then it happened again… and again… and again. When throw up finally stopped coming, I fell asleep.
“PAM” screamed my ‘roommate’. I almost fell off my bed. The nurse came in.
“Oh dear,” said the nurse when she came in. “Di-ow did a little boy like you throw up all of this?”
“ I don’t kno- GLORPPFF. I had puked again.
When she came back with new trash bags, I was just dozing off.
“Wake up,” she snapped. “We have to feed you.” When I snapped back to reality, I saw it was a different nurse. No wonder she was impatient. I was given some water and a bagel. I tried to drink some of the water. It went down, but it hurt to swallow. Then I tried to eat the bagel. When I tried to swallow, the water and the bagel came up and I regurgitated them into the trash bag. She put her thumb and fore finger to her chin.
“Well, we can’t feed you, so you should get some sleep.
As I awoke from a fitful slumber, the main nurse was on the phone saying, “…can’t swallow anything. If he can’t eat anything in the morning we’ll have to move him to the hospital. No, don’t worry, Stefan only has a stomach bug not an infection. Yes. Thank you, goodnight.” I leaned over the side of my bunk and barfed.
I threw up five more times that night. It hurt. A lot. To top it all off, I had nothing to eat or drink! It was probably for the better. If I tried to swallow, I would have thrown it back out again. By around six (I couldn’t tell because there was no clock), the throw up bucket was filled to the brim. I felt like I had a migraine. My head hurt so much and my stomach felt as though it weighed a ton. The camper next to me was on his iPod touch. We weren’t supposed to bring those to camp but because he was older he probably got more privileges. He turned it off and fell asleep.
At some point I must have dozed off too because I woke to hear people splashing in the pool outside. The nurse was in the room cleaning the barf buckets.
“You need to take a shower.” She told me. “You’re leaving soon.” All I managed was a weak, “Yay.”
After my shower, I started walking in the wrong direction instead of to my room. Then I crashed into the doorway. The nurse finally found me and took me outside to my bunk. They were just leaving for lunch.
“We’re glad to have you back Stefan.” said my counselor.
“I’m glad to be back,” I replied