Editor’s note: there are no pictures in this post. You’re welcome.
Yes, I should be working right now. It’s monday at 10am – my usual start time for the week – but after 3 days off of work with the world’s nastiest stomach flu/virus, I’m not particularly feeling excited about wading into the pile of email I’ve missed. Instead, I will regale you with tales from this first episode of the entire family being really sick (with something really gross) all at the same time.
It all started on Monday night. Eli really struggled to go to bed like he should. The previous night, we had just discussed how we needed to hold our line on putting him in bed and letting him fall asleep, so as the ‘mean dad’ I got to be the one on Monday to go in every 2/3/5/10 minutes to calm him, wrap him up again, and lay him back down. It’d been a strange evening anyway. Eli fell asleep quickly after hitting his head earlier that night, so his sleep schedule was all off anyway.
He finally went back to sleep at midnight, and I went to bed. Two hours later he started howling again, so I tapped Audrey – “your turn.” She went in there and the next thing I know, she’s waking me up saying she thinks Eli has a concussion because he’s got a nosebleed, has soaked his entire bed with vomit, and won’t stop vomiting.
Having had a few concussions of her own, I trusted that Audrey knows what she’s talking about – and well, if a kid won’t stop vomiting, there must be something wrong, right? So we jump in the car and head to the ER at 2am. Thankfully, it was dead and we got right in.
Here’s where we probably went wrong – we fell right into a doctor’s biggest pet peeve: spending more time describing what we thought was wrong with our kid rather than just focusing on the symptoms and letting them make the diagnosis. They ended up doing a CT scan to make sure his head was OK, even though they had pretty much ruled out a concussion in their minds (because he never passed out, he had no visible bruising or swelling, and his nosebleed ended up being a cut in his nose – not from the sinuses). CT came back clear. They gave him a little pill to help him with nausea and sent us all home at 5am.
We stayed home to recuperate on Tuesday from being up all night worrying, and to help Eli stabilize – still a bit nervous that we didn’t know quite what we were dealing with.
Wednesday we went back to work, but as soon as I got home, I was feeling nauseous. A few hours later, I emptied what felt like the contents of my entire body into the toilet. Audrey followed about 6 hours later. Yuk. Unless the concussion was contagious, it was clearly something else and something communicable. Lovely.
We spent Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sun convalescing, having no appetite and ingesting nothing but saltines and powerade. A little toast with apple butter helped break the monotony, but we tried not to be too adventurous. We were able to hold things down, but Eli threw up 3 more times during the week, usually at night right before bed. Saturday, he decided to throw up all over me 20 minutes before I was supposed to be at the church activity playing with the band for the Valentines Dance. Yuk!
It’s strange being a parent and dealing with your own kid’s throw up, though. You know its true love when you are actually relieved when your kid throws up on you rather than on the couch or carpet. It’s a lot easier to put yourself in the shower. I just need to find a better way of saying it than saying “KEEP THE THROW UP ON MOMMY, BIG BOY!”
It’s been a long time since I’ve been sick like this. Usually, I’m more prone to colds and coughs rather than stomach problems, and it’s been a long time since I’ve not felt like I could eat for so many days in a row. You sure do miss those small pleasures – eating whatever you want whenever you want it, and not fearing that it might just come right back out again.
On the upside, I did lose 7 lbs in 5 days, and I’m back on track for the weight loss goal that Audrey set for us back in November. Woo hoo! Now, I’m just one more stomach flu away from my ideal weight!