Holy Freaking Vomit, Batman!
First off, I would like to apologize for the title. It’s gross, and you can thank my husband for that. Well, except for the Batman part. I added that because I thought it was funny, and when you’ve been up to your elbows in vomit for nearly a week, well, you need something to laugh about. Anywho, so here is how it all started. Since my pregnancy cravings can be pretty crazy, leading me anywhere from Rocky Road ice cream and Claussen pickles, to Spam and rice, my poor family never knows what I am going to want for dinner. (In my defense, I NEVER make them eat my craziness, so I usually end up making 3 meals a night: one for this sweet baby with a sense of humor who makes me crave the most ridiculous and gross things (i.e. Spam), one for Bill and Faith, and something totally different for my incredibly picky Rhett.)
Well, Monday night I wanted steak stir-fry and vegetables over rice. Nothing crazy. Not even oily as we used lean steak strips, and only cooked the vegetables in soy sauce. We even opted for plain white rice instead of fried rice. Faith had a friend over that night, and she gobbled it right up saying how great it was. Bill and I thought it was wonderful. Faith immediately turned up her nose and said she didn’t like it and her tummy hurt. This continued for the duration of dinner time, and we finally bargained with her and convinced her to eat a small portion. She kept saying she didn’t like it and her tummy hurt. Well, award-winning mother of the year that I am, I had the nerve to break out the “boy who cried wolf” story and tell her to quit making things up. I really did think she was just trying to get out of the dinner…after all, she gobbled up her root beer float, no problem. But, after I had tucked her in, I placed her little trash can right beside her bed, within hurling distance, just in case. Bill had the same idea, because he went in and laid down with her for a little bit. About 8:30, he came in to report, in great detail, I might add (and which I will spare you from) that Faith was indeed not feeling very well. This continued in 30 minute intervals until about 4:30 am.
By nature, I am more grossed out by puke than most people for some reason. The thought, sound, sight, smell, anything makes me gag. I will leave a movie theater at the climax if someone gets sick in the theater. I will walk a mile out of the way to avoid it if I know someone has gotten sick on an area of ground I may come in contact with. It’s stupid and unnatural, but there it is. One more cat out of the bag…oh well. I kept her home from school Tuesday, and sent her back on Wednesday. I got a call Wednesday from the school nurse, mere minutes after I had laid Rhett down for his nap, saying Faith wasn’t feeling well again. She hadn’t gotten sick, but looked “droopy,” according to Nurse Melissa. I immediately went and picked her up. Thank goodness, too, because by 2:30 my stomach was hurting so bad the only pain I can think to compare it to is intense labor pains, made a bajillion times worse by pitocin, an hour before giving in and getting the epidural. Yeah, it was bad. Again, I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I got an enormous ab workout and went through 3 double rolls of Charmin in a very short period of time. Bill got home as quickly as he could, and, as I was lying in bed, cramping, chilling, and shaking, through the baby monitor I heard the unmistakable sound of Rhett getting sick. It was horrid and we both ran in to his room to confirm what I already knew.
Poor guy. And poor Bill. Since I was pretty much incapacitated, the task of trying to teach a 3 year old how to aim for a trash can rested on his shoulders. He got sick about every 45 minutes until about 5am, only resting briefly in between. Total germaphobe that I am, I kept texting Bill from our room, telling him all the things that needed to be disinfected, sanitized, thrown in the washing machine, etc. I couldn’t yell for him without getting sick all over again, but he took my manic texts in stride. I had him balancing on chairs spraying our non-lethal cleaners into our air ducts, covering the rug with a thick blanket so it would be easier to clean in case Rhett’s aim was off, wiping Rhett down from head to toe with Wet Ones every time he got sick, and telling him how to sort the laundry so we didn’t end up with strangely colored clothes from the Super Hot water in the sanitize setting. In between texting instructions and begging for ice chips (even water made me super sick), I spent all of the rest of my time praying, begging, pleading with God for the kids and I to feel better and for Him to protect Bill from this heinous virus.
Again, I think it has something to do with the pregnancy, because 3 days later I am still super weak. I could hardly stand on Thursday, and if I had to move from one room to another, I had to crawl. Friday was slightly better, but not much. That was forced to change real quick when Bill came in about 2am Saturday and said he thought he was getting sick too. Poor guy, but he did ask for it. When I told him how hard I had been praying he wouldn’t get this too, and how I had been trying to do everything I could to protect him from our germs, he just said, “I’ll probably get it anyway. Besides, I want to see what all the fuss is about.” Famous last words…. He must be made of much stronger stuff than the kids and I, though, because he only got a small touch of it. By 2:15am I was up out of bed like I had been poked with a cattle prod, wiping surfaces with bleach wipes, Lysoling any and every surface imaginable, washing any blanket he had laid on (or even laid eyes on) since they came out of the dryer clean and sanitized yesterday afternoon, and seriously wondering why, if you can set off a bomb to kill actual bugs, why isn’t there some safe alternative that would kill off this stomach bug. Give me a break, it was 2:30am and I had been near death for almost 3 days. I had just used the last bleach wipe and I couldn’t squeeze one more cloud of toxic chemicals from the Lysol can. I was desperate.
If I were less of a chicken, or if I actually had a concealed carry permit that would allow me to tote my pistol through Wal-Mart parking lot at this crazy hour, I totally would have gone to the store right then. But, I am, and I don’t, so I waited until the kids woke up, and we went during daylight hours. I had to mentally psyche myself up for the trip. We were out of the very things I desperately needed to feel like I could actually control this situation (silly me, I can’t control this anymore than I can control the tide, but I have never claimed to be a rational germaphobe), but the only way to get them was to go through a cesspool of germs to acquire these items. Had I not feared embarrassing both myself and the kids beyond all help, I totally would have donned Bill’s gas mask to make the trip. Again, no claims at being rational after this kind of week. Anyway, so we made our way into the lion’s den, and I kid you not, before I even got parked, a kid barfed right in front of my car. Poor kid, her parents didn’t even break their stride; they just kind of herded her along like they had better things to do than take care of a sick kid. Needless to say, I didn’t park in that parking spot. Remember my aforementioned phobia. Yeah, it knows no bounds. So we parked a bit further out.
I ran through the place like I was on some kind of shopping spree where if I finished in time, everything in my cart would be free, which really would have been cool when you consider that, by the time I got all the cleaning supplies (never mind the fact I bought, like, hospital quantities of each), 4 new air filters (I can try, right?), a few new toothbrushes for all 4 of us, and a crap-load of Gatorade for Bill, I spent just over $100. I finished in record time, and then I heard the skies open up outside to an enormous, torrential downpour. I waited in the shortest available line for what seemed like an eternity, the sounds of people of all ages coughing, hacking, gagging, etc. growing louder as each minute crept slowly by. I was a near basketcase by the time I got to the register. Seriously, had Wal-Mart existed during the Black Plague, I imagine this is what it would have felt like. I waited for her to s-l-o-w-l-y ring everything up, gasped quietly at the total amount, and made a mad dash for the door, where I was stopped and asked for my receipt. The guy’s topic of conversation? How sick everyone in the store was and how he had never been sick in his life until he started working at Wal-Mart. Didn’t he see I was buying $100 worth of germ-killing paraphernalia?!?!
The rain was still hammering down, so I zipped up the kids coats, pulled up their hoods, threw Faith on the front of the cart, and ran like hell through the rain, splashing in puddles of God knows what the entire way. For the record, I do not run unless being chased by a rabid dog, and even then it’s really more of a slow trot, but I’m pretty sure I made it in record time (for me.) And yes, I am fully aware that I probably looked like a baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time, but I HAD to get out of that place. I got the kids in the car, and Faith helped get Rhett buckled while I unloaded the cart. A sweet young Marine was taking his cart back to the cart corral, and, when he saw me headed in that direction, he offered to take mine as well. Who says chivalry is dead? Maybe he just felt sorry for the crazy lady who ran like a baby giraffe, who knows. Either way, I’ll take it, and I thanked him profusely.
I got us home safely through the continued downpour, and walked in to find that Bill was feeling much better, thank goodness. He was still in bed, but he was feeling better, so that’s a bonus. If you have known me very long, or if you know me very well, you know that I use sarcasm as a tool to deal with nearly every situation, and I try to laugh at and find the good in whatever life throws at me. So, as I played back the week of bloopers, I tried to find some highlights. They don’t outnumber the trials in terms of quantity, but they certainly do in quality. So, here goes: 1) After waiting 17 weeks to feel the little peanut move, he or she made her presence known yesterday. We skipped the “fluttery” stage and went straight to the karate chops and barrel rolls, which was super cool. Maybe those 6 lbs I lost in 24 hours hacked him or her off, or maybe it just made my stomach so sensitive I could feel the movements more strongly than I had anticipated at this stage. 2) After battling the potty training roller coaster with Rhett for almost a year now (he regressed when Bill deployed, then he had a scary encounter with an automatic flusher at a public toilet, and he was TERRIFIED), Rhett has stayed dry, both day and night for 3 days now. The only accident was tummy bug related, and there is no way he could have controlled that, so it was actually good we still had him in pull-ups this week. But, today, he even made it to the potty in time for that gruesome display, so rock on! 3) As awful as this was, we all got it in stages and were able to help each other, so it really could have been much worse…especially since one of the toilets got clogged up this morning. Don’t worry, I’m a whiz with a plunger now, and fixed her right up. And 4) It was great knowing I have a husband I can fully rely on to back me up when things like this happen. He took care of the kids and me, and I took care of him. Good teamwork!
So, it was a long, nasty 5 days that I hope we never relive again as long as we are present on this earth, but we survived, and that’s all that matters. And if I ever decide to open a janitorial supply store, well, I’m well stocked now!