Knowing when to throw in the towel.

It’s 5:47am and I’m awake. I’ve been sick since this past Thursday and it sucks! My stomach had been hurting the night before but I have acid reflux and I ran out of my meds so I figured it was just that. I woke up at 3am on Thursday to get ready for work and my stomach was worse. I got to work and everything seemed fine but I had something coming that would take over and hit me like a truck. Between the hours of 7 and 10am I ran to the bathroom. My stomach was pissed off at me and I wanted to cry. The worst part was that the corrections officers were having a training session in our building so one of the times that I ran off to the bathroom they just happened to have a break. Several of them walked in and the bathroom I speak of has a urinal and one stall. I could hear all of them talking and laughing about their class. How was I supposed to use the restroom with an audience? Well…talk about stage fright. I got out of there, washed my hands and tried not to make eye contact until one of them said hello.

“Hey Ricardo!”

“What’s up man?”

“Not much, what are you doing?”

“Uh…just trying to use the bathroom”

“Ha! I hear that!”

Yeah…it was that kind of awkward conversation. When I walked back into dispatch, my team asked if I was ok. I told them I’d be fine but I was wrong. My body immediately began to ache, I was sweaty, and my mouth began to water. Now, I don’t know about you but when those symptoms come up I know my body wants to bring something up and it’s not going to be pretty. I, like many others, hate to vomit. I held back and continued to work. Everyone told me that I should leave and get some rest but I refused. I know I was just torturing myself but I’m not the kind to simply throw in the towel and not work. I have a job and unless I’m dying I can work. I mean, at least that’s how I was brought up. So I kept going and they kept telling me I should go. My assistant director came into dispatch around 11:30am and by 11:38 or so of feeling like hell and having six people tell me I should leave, I finally threw in the towel.

I packed up and left. The ride home was odd. I was burning up and when I got home I took some Tylenol and went straight to bed. I spent the whole day and night there. I only moved to use the restroom, to call in for the next day, and to hand in an assignment. The next morning I still felt like crap but now my wife and son were feeling the same thing. It’s crazy how fast it spreads. So here I am. It’s now 6:07am and I’ve told you a story of sickness. I definitely feel better today but if my stubborn ass had listened to my co-workers in the first place, I might have felt better faster.

Knowing when to throw in the towel is always a good thing. I’ve experienced this many times, as I’m sure we all have and when our stubborn self shines, it almost always turns out bad. For example, a friend of mine and I went out to a bar for my birthday. This was years ago and the bar doesn’t exist anymore but we got there early and were drinking pitchers of Amberbock. I stopped pretty early because I was the driver and when I mean early, I mean several hours before we left at closing time. My friend continued drinking and I told him he was going to be hung over and I joked that he would be paying the porcelain god a visit but he laughed it off. As he continued to win at Keno a few more glasses of beer went down the hatch as well as some excellent chicken wings. The waitress said that she was going to help the others clean up the poolhall since it was closing time but that we could stay and chill as long as we wanted. My friend began to turn green and had an all around odd look to him.

“You ok bro?”

“I think I’m going to puke.”

“No way dude! If you’re going to puke you need to run to the bathroom”

“Haha, nah I’ll be alright.”

“Ok, just making sure.”

His head dropped a little and he said he felt sick.

“Man, if you’re going to go you need to run.”

“I’m not going to make it.”

I quickly looked around for something but all we had was an empty pitcher. I put it in front of him and…

“AHHHHHHHHH”

“WHOA-AAHHHHHH”

“Holy crap dude! I didn’t think you were going to do it.”

“Ugh…I feel better…hurry up lets go!”

“Hahaha, you’re not even going to leave her a tip?”

He threw down $3 and we split. We laughed the whole way home. It was priceless and it’s another example of knowing when to throw in the towel. Have you ever dealt with a situation like this? It doesn’t have to do with puking of course, it could be any situation really. It happens all the time but we’re blind until it’s too late. If anything we must remember the words of Kenny Rogers,

“You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Yeah…Kenny knows what’s up but if he had remembered his own words he would’ve known when to run away from the plastic surgery. Either way, they are good words to live by. If you have any stories, make sure to comment. Cheers!