A Hard Weekend

Friday afternoon as Jay and I were preparing for our first date night out together since September Jonathan started throwing up in his crib and all over his bedroom rug. We cleaned him up and brought him downstairs with us. He continued to get sick that evening and all night (meaning Jay and I slept in about 15-20 minute increments for a total of not very much), seemed to get better during the day (Saturday), but after a few Tablespoons of Pedialite got sick again. Several more hours of nothing, then more throwing up. Every time we offered him anything but water his tummy would reject it. All the while he was whimpering “more water please”, “thirsty, please!”. He’s very good about using his polite words sometimes even when he is not happy with life. Sweet boy. After a chat with the on call pediatrician Saturday night, when JonJon had been throwing up for more than 24 hours, we received kind of an ultimatum: either Jonathan’s body would handle a 1 tablespoon of Pedialite every 10 minutes regiment over the next two hours, accepting the fluids, or we’d have to head to the Children’s ER for IV fluids to prevent dehydration. It was about that point that we realized we wouldn’t be participating in the Christmas program Sunday night at church (I was to sing in the choir, Jay was a reader).

Thankfully, we didn’t have to make the trip to the ER, as Jonathan finally held down the Pedialite. We were tired but exceedingly thankful. We settled him in bed around 9:30 p.m. and spent a couple hours just catching up on stuff, then Jay went up to check on both the older kids before we headed for bed. As he tucked Abigail in, she sat up and vomited in her bed. Jay, thinking quickly, used her two favorite blankets to catch most of the yuck (sparing most of her bed), then carried her into the bathroom and called for me. Unfortunately in the confusion he thought I’d gotten to her while he went back to the bed to perform triage. I did reach Abigail but as I tried to help turn her toward the toilet in case she were sick again she pushed away from my hands, yelled “NO!” and threw up on me, the bathroom floor, walls, shower curtain, you name it – she hit it. What a mess.

The next two hours were rather blurry as we cleaned the bathroom, tried to bathe Abigail (who must have not woken up completely because she fought us at every turn, crying, yelling, whining, etc), dealt with a second throw-up incident which also did not land in the toilet, but all over the bathroom I’d just finished cleaning, and bathed Abigail and cleaned the bathroom again. Suffice to say that although we were trying hard to be good parents to this very sick little girl of ours, we were getting a little frustrated with her behavior, plus I know we were exhausted by this point.

Around 2:30 a.m. we had Abigail cleaned up and settled down on an air mattress in our room, and mentally prepared ourselves for another night of no sleep. I shed a few tears as I fretted over Nicolas potentially catching this bug and I think Jay quoted me that Bible verse about worrying about tomorrow, etc.

Well, we had a night very much like the previous. Abigail got sick off and on until about 7 a.m., when we finally dropped off to sleep for a couple hours until 9 a.m., giving us a couple hours of uninterrupted rest. As I moved Abigail’s air mattress out to the living room to have her spend the day there, Jay came down with symptoms, only his version of the bug began with stomach upset of the other kind, though the vomiting was close behind. (Jay claims he was uncomfortable throwing up in the toilet, though he did so anyway, as it seemed particularly disconcerting to bow before a porcelain throne during the time we would normally be at church.)

Around 10 a.m. I called my sister and begged her for some help. Sandy did a good amount of shopping for us, and as she dropped groceries off, helped me pack Nicolas up to take to her place for the day. That was tremendously helpful, as even though Nicolas is a very low maintenance baby, it was nice to have one less person who needed me, given I still had three sick people to take care of.

Sunday was hard for me; I was so tired from losing two nights of sleep and now my helper Jay had become one of the sick and he felt quite miserable, having lost that same sleep and now the contents of his stomach. Given the rest of the family had caught the bug, I was also fairly certain at some point that I would succumb too, and then who was going to take care of the kids? My little prayer all day was that I could be gentle and gracious with all the “sickies” despite my extreme exhaustion. And thankfully, I was (Jay vouches for me on this). I even managed to do most of the yucky laundry – washed, not folded!! (quite a huge pile had accumulated over the course of the illness.) Any free time I had I spent scouring things with Clorox wipes and frantically washing my hands to help avoid germs spreading further.

Sunday night everyone slept for the most part so that helped a ton. We spent Monday laying around the house eating bland foods and resting and doing more laundry. Jay went back to work on Tuesday but I kept Abigail home from school (she attends preschool 2 mornings a week) to give her body another day to strengthen.

I am so thankful this is over with. I have always dreaded the part of being a parent that includes having kids with stomach ailments. We’ve had bugs before but none like this… for which I am grateful!! Anyway, I think all the Hornes have a better appreciation now for good health, restful nights, and tasty food!

2 Comments

  1. Valerie
    Dec 11, 2002

    Tricia, you are heroic!

  2. barb
    Dec 11, 2002

    Gag! My sympathies!