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Avoid like the plague

Posted Jan 11 2009 5:46pm

You might want to cover your mouth with a facemask or put on some latex gloves as you read this. Hell, even a full-body biohazard suit might be best. I might still be contagious. Seeing as how I'm the only person who crossed the threshhold of my house last week that didn't come down with an intestine-crippling stomach flu, I'm probably the carrier that infected everyone.

It all started last Wednesday with Mia and Urs. Mia definitely got the worst of it. The day after our clinic consult, Mia and Urs stayed huddled up in the confines of their hotel room, both of them ailing with different degrees of the same stomach bug. Urs' case was little more than an upset stomach with a few more trips to the bathroom than normally required in a day, but Mia was down for the count with a high fever and the contents of her digestive tract hurtling towards the nearest exit every five minutes.

That same day, Frank had to contend with an irritable Kaelyn, who had no appetite, frequent diarrhea, and had puked three times. TJ got off the bus and promptly went to the bathroom to yack up the hot dog and french fries he ate for lunch. Kyra had a cough that sounded like at any moment, she was going to hack up a lung. Jordan started whining that his tummy hurt. The only one seemingly untouched was Jaiden - at least until 3 a.m. Frank and I were jarred awake at that ungodly hour by Kyra banging on our door yelling, "JAIDEN JUST PUKED ALL OVER THE TOILET!" Notice she didn't say "in the toilet." Before I even got out of the bed, I threw my hands up in defeat and proclaimed that our house was under quarantine - no one was going to school the next day (not even me) and back up sitters would need to be found for the two babies that Frank babysits (did I tell you that he is the childcare provider -my, that sounds lofty - for two of my co-workers? Well he is, and he rocks at it). So, our living room was converted into a pediatric infirmary and we spent Thursday delivering bowls of chicken noodle soup and cups of Gatorade to the sickly children. It seemed that the children were all feeling better by the evening, so the bug seemed to leave the system as quickly as it incubated. Mia and Urs came over for dinner, both of them feeling better but still a little loose in the guts. It seemed that everyone was getting better until...

...until Frank - He Who Never Gets Sick - woke up puking at 4 a.m. Friday morning. He reassured me that he felt much better later that morning and that I did not need to take off another day, even though we decided to keep Kyra, Jaiden, and Jordan home for an additional day since they were still running low-grade fevers. Anxious to feel the atmosphere of American classrooms, Mia and Urs came to visit me in my classroom that morning. While they were there, Frank called me to say that he had actually started feeling worse and that he had to call my sister, Danielle, for child-care reinforcement so he would be free to puke and rest at will. That afternoon, the fully-recovered kids were bouncing off the walls, so I allowed them to get dressed and go outside to play. Mia and Urs came over, and Urs cooked a delicious traditional recipe for dinner. Frank was comatose and understandably didn't come out to visit.

By Saturday morning, Frank was back to feeling normal, thank God. Late that afternoon we met up with Mia, Urs, my mom, and my sisters at the bowling alley. On the way there, Jordan's stomach decided that it really didn't like those chicken nuggets, after all. Jordan leaned over and all over the van floor went Banquet's best, along with the carrots and the grapes. Jordan instantly said he felt much better and still wanted to bowl. So as sensible parents, we did the sensible thing. We pulled over at a Hardees so I could go clean Jordan up, I brought out a stack of paper towels so Frank could clean up the chickennuggetscarrotsgrapes, we loaded Jordan back into the van, then promptly headed straight to the bowling alley to fill Jordan back up with pizza and soda pop. What good parents we are!

Thankfully, Jordan's eruption seemed to be the virus' last hurrah, and we all had a great time at the bowling alley. We all came back to my house and stayed up late talking, laughing, and acting like complete jack asses in celebration of my birthday. The Big 3-0. It's funny - some people spazz out about entering the third decade of their lives but for some reason I feel more at rest. I think it's because I never really felt like I was of the stereotyped "twenties" mentality. Whatev. As of the 11th, I'm 30 and I'm still trying to figure out how to grow up, so I surely don't feel "old" just because I'm out of the 20's.

Now that you know most of what's kept me so busy that I haven't had the time to post, go wash your hands with a good antibacterial soap, spray your computer down with Lysol, and take some Airborne or Zicam or Vitamin C or echinacea, if that's your thing. And don't blame me if you get the cooties.

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