A Dramatic Tale of Me Getting Sick at a Wedding

Note:
Please forgive my grammatical errors. This was all very stream-of-thought. I didn’t want to post this on Chris and Katie’s blog post because I wanted it to be about them, not me, but I know there are a few family members and guests out there wondering..”what the heck happened to that photographer?!”

A lot of people ask us what happens if one of us gets sick at a wedding. Our answer was always “I don’t know. We haven’t had to deal with that yet.”

Wedding Photography isn’t exactly a job you can call in to. We have photographed while battling stomach bugs, while having bronchitis, while having bells palsey, and I even photographed on the day my Nana passed away. It just means the other person has to work that much harder.

Once, I had a stomach bug where I couldn’t even stand up, but we found a replacement who helped Cristina out. And that wedding, in my opinion, was some of her best work ever.

Anyway, last month when we photographed Katie and Chris’s wedding, something scary/embarrassing/crazy happened. Earlier in the week, I had been having a really high fever of 103.5, dizziness, and I was just SO sleepy. We were supposed to leave for Katie and Chris’s wedding destination early Friday, so on Thursday I went to the Doctor. Since I didn’t have many symptoms, they kind of just tapped their foot and prescribed me cipro. They thought I had a kidney infection (even though there was no pain). So I began the medicine and a tylenol / motrin regimen to get the fever down.

The fever went down, but I was still dizzy..so Cristina drove us up to Twin City on Friday. I was fine the whole day and night of the rehearsal. No fever. I was careful to follow the medicines directions about not eating dairy products, and I was having a great time at the wedding Saturday morning. Katie and Chris did a first sight, so we were outside at the plantation for about an hour and a half (on and off). It was hot, but I wasn’t as hot as they were. Plus, I prefer heat to cold.

As we were walking back to the lodge, Cristina looked at my arm and asked me jokingly “Did you get into chiggers again?” I looked down and had what looked like bug bites all over my arm. This really didn’t surprise me, because I ALWAYS get eaten by bugs. Then, after bridal party photos, I suddenly felt like I was boiling alive. My skin was CRAWLING. It was like when you have a bad sunburn but still have to take a shower. I thought that I was just super sensitive to the sun because of the medicine and getting burned. We stayed in the shade for family photos, and I took shade under a bush-like thing during the ceremony. It was still really hot, but my skin seemed to be the only real problem.

After the ceremony, we headed inside for the reception. Almost immediately when I got inside, I got VERY dizzy and drunk feeling. My hands were sweaty, I had chills.. it was terrible. I looked at Cristina and said, “I have got to sit down.” That was okay because the bride was being bustled and it was going to be a few minutes before the first dance. So I went in the office of the lodge, where the bride and groom were, to sit down for a minute. The bride said “Are you okay? Maybe you should sit down.” It was about that time that I realized I was not okay…at all. I wanted to cry. So I did. I was trying to calm myself down and get back out there and do my job, but I could not stop freaking out. The bride’s sweet brother brought me some grapes to munch on to see if getting some sugar in my system would help. The groom’s super sweet nurse mom came back to check on me several times and reassured me that everything was okay.

Everytime I thought I had my emotions under control, I would start shaking and crying again. I am never like that. I’m usually able to completely control my emotions and the way I deal with things. I’m usually the calm and logical one on wedding days. I was humiliated. I thought I was going to hyperventilate, so I went to the bathroom to wash my face. When I got to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and totally panicked. My face, neck and arms were RED. Completely broken out. I mean, I don’t have the prettiest complexion in the world, but I mean it looked terrible. So I thought I had gotten sun poisoning or something, because my skin hurt so bad. Well, another nurse came in (at this time I am thoroughly embarrassed..still trying to stop crying) and lifted my shirt. I had red welps all over me. Not just in places where the sun had gotten to me. Apparently, I was having a very very bad reaction to the drugs I was on.

Chris’s mom and Katie’s brother walked me back to the cabin and were so kind in making sure I was okay. They were worried my throat was going to swell, so she brought me some benadryl. I slept HARD from 9pm-9am. When I woke up I felt much more stable (emotionally), but my throat hurt and I was still tired. Chris and Katie called before they left for their honeymoon to make sure I was okay. I went back home and called the doctor. You know what they told me? “You probably shouldn’t take that anymore.” Really? That’s what I paid for?

Ok, so my face, chest, and butt were broken out for almost a week. My mouth and throat had blisters in them that didn’t go away for another week and a half. They gave me some nasty lydocaine to rinse with, but that just made me talk funny. Chris’s mom called to make sure I was still alive, and I am SO thankful for her and both of their families for being so helpful and understanding.

So now you know my embarrassing wedding sick story. I’m ok now. I will just add benadryl to my barrage of other medicines I bring to weddings “just in case”.