Monday, January 13, 2014

Noro Through the Ages

It's funny. The annual Holt family stomach bug outbreak always seems to coincide with the annual trip to the Providence Performing Art Center.

Every year for Christmas, I get tickets for Lyd and I to see a show.

Every year, right before we go, someone gets struck down with the stomach bug.

I stress and worry because I would hate to have Lyd miss out on the show and I know she would be pissed if someone else took her.

We made it to see Wicked last night.  I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the show was over. (The assholes who came out in force to join us at the show may be a post for another day)

Bring it on Noro-virus!

It was especially hairy the year that we had a show to go to, after which, I had to drop Lyd off to her Dad's because she was flying to Hawaii the next day.

And V and G had already had the bug.

I dropped Lyd off and nearly collapsed with relief that time.

Then I went home and got sick. Lyd made it through, happily.

It used to be that I feared the stomach flu.

Anyone with really young children can relate.

The kids get sick first, you change their diapers and clean the vomit that they spew all over indiscriminately.

By the time they are feeling better, you are on the floor feeling like you are going to die, unable to move.

The kids take the opportunity to destroy the house.

I had a friend who drove down to Virginia (or somewhere else that was a really long drive) with her family, to stay with a friend's family.

Within a half hour of arrival, the friend's daughter came down with the stomach flu. My friend said, "We gotta go!" packed up her three young daughters and drove back home.

I would have done the same thing.

If you have a child under the age of 7, the stomach bug is the worst thing. To the point where anyone that has it going through their house is considered a pariah. To be avoided at all cost.

I remember a night, during that crazy snowstorm filled winter a few years back.  I spent the evening chipping away at a huge swath of ice in the driveway of the house I worked at, in preparation for a storm that was coming. I made my way home from work in the storm, an hour late because my relief came late, only to have to shovel more in order to get into my driveway.

I walked into the house, tired and glad it was all over. G was standing at the door. She informed me that she had puked "a little" in the bathroom.

It looked like a vomit bomb went off in the bathroom. B and I spent the next hour alternating between cleaning and holding the big green bowl under G's chin.

I spent the rest of the evening on bowl duty. It was definitely one of those dark nights of the soul. You cat nap on the foot of the sick child's bed. You don't want to actually share the bed because, gross. You lay listening for that first sound of retching, praying to God that you get the bowl under their chin before you have to change the fucking sheets again.

It's gotten much better. I knew things were looking up last Mother's Day. You can read about that vomiting incident here.

So far, V had it last week. The lovely boy waited until morning to start, so I got a full nights rest. He made it into the bowl every time. Because he is old enough to stick the bowl under his chin himself (I spasmed with joy as  wrote that last part. It's the little things, ya know?).

G said she felt sick last night. I suspected a school avoidance, but left the big green bowl up on her bed just in case. G sleeps high up in a loft bed. The thought of the splatter range should she puke off the side of that bed was simply terrifying, so I took that precaution.

I jumped out of bed at 3am to the sounds of her retching. Thankfully, in the toilet. I don't know if you can truly understand my happiness and feeling of triumph at this, but it certainly was a wonderful moment.

So here I am, tired from sleeping on the couch, while Gretel lay on the other end with the big green bowl. I am working on tying up any loose ends because I am assuredly the next person to take my place on the couch, with the big green bowl by my head.

Only I am a big girl, so I generally make it to the bathroom.

 I suppose I should apologize. No blog since Christmas and the one I get around to writing speaks only of my family's vomit.

But this is where I am right now, in a holding pattern, waiting to see where the virus strikes next.

Two down, three to go!

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