April 03, 2005

Laundry, Laundry Everywhere and Not an Empty Sink

I wasn’t going to blog on this, but my sister says it so funny in a horrible way at my expense, I need to. There is a lot of background because believe it or not, I don’t blog all that goes on in my life. I try to keep it upbeat. Bad things happen to good people and I don’t post it typically, or at least I try to refrain.

Background: I’m pretty beat. My kids have been sick for the last 6 weeks. I mean sick. It was about 6 weeks ago I spent 4 hours in the ER as my five year old Bones, had a massive croup attack I could not get under control, he started to retract… and we ended up in the Pedo ER. It turned out to be the beginning of the achy feverish flu. He had it for 4 days.

The next week, my 8 year old got it. Feverish and lethargic, he was a mess. He was out 4 of 5 days from school, a complete mess.

The week after that, my 10 year old got it. Same deal. No eating, sleeping all the time, fever, achy, lethargic, and pathetic.

Following week, VW and her kids caught it (not from us, my kids had been too sick for us to get together… all this crap is just going around), so I spent time with VW and Tot in the Pede unit of our local hospital. I, for the life of me, cannot believe I did not catch anything. Nothing.

The week after that was Spring Break, but in the middle of it, Son#1, who is 10, developed a massive ear infection, only the 2nd one he has ever had. Awakened at 2:30 in the morning, I found him in massive pain that Motrin alleviated. I had him at our Pede’s office by 2PM and when she looked in his ear she said his ear drum was on the verge of rupturing. The infection was that virulent. (Side note to any of you medical types: We engineering types went our route for a reason. Looking at an infected ear or anything else is not ‘fascinating to us’. Seriously. Hand us blueprints and engine parts. That’s why we chose OUR path and you chose YOURS. Thanks for offering the look see, but I’ll pass.)

Luckily my sister came into town the next day and was an enormous help… especially since I then had 14 people for dinner for 3 days.

Thursday of this week, Bones wakes up not feeling well and throws up in his lunchbox on the way to school. Nasty stomach virus, horrible pain etc, it subsides until yesterday when it goes the other way… instead of coming up, it is just nastiness.

And this is where our new story begins:

Last night at 12:30, Son#2 comes into my room telling me his stomach hurts. As I go to get out of bed I say, “We need to go to the bathroom.” Given that Bones was hurling on Thursday, I knew what was coming. But he is my strong willed obstinate pain in my neck, and he has other plans, as he crawls over me to sleep between me and his father, mainly on my side. I get up to get a towel, telling him he better not throw up in my bed… when he does.

Oh yes. And as good fortune would have it, we had pizza for dinner. So he SPRAYED pizza puke over the side of my bed, onto my white carpet, onto my bed steps (I have one of those very high rice carved 4 poster beds and I need steps to climb in), all over an enormous decorative pillow, a blanket, and he proceeded to create a path of pizza vomit throughout my bedroom down my hall, on the walls, to the tiled bathroom, where it then splattered all over the floor, with about ¼ cup miraculously actually making it into the commode.

Pissed. I was livid. He was covered, the room reeked, it was soaking into my carpet, and the finish was already being peeled off my bed steps. It took us no less than two hours to clean and bleach the whole mess, not to mention the changing of the bed linens. If he had only frickin’ listened instead of insisting he had to Velcro himself to me when he didn’t feel well.

We have a new rule in this house that we make the kids repeat.
My husband and I say, “If you feel like you’re going to vomit, what do you NOT do?”
Kids in unison, “Don’t come into your bedroom.”
Husband and I, “Where do you go?”
Kids in unison, “Into our bathroom and yell for you!”

I slept on the couch the rest of the night so I could be near my middle son in the other bathroom. He threw up all night.

5AM rolls around and I can hear some child pattering through the house. I have no clue who it is, but they were making their way to my bed, and since I wasn’t there, I was ignoring it. I hear my husband and Bones and it appears that Bones had some sort of lower gastrointestinal explosion all over his bed… his bedroom smelled like a sewer.

I’m up to help change sheets and mattress covers, keeping Son#2 hydrated with Gatorade, Son#2 is crying his stomach hurts and he’s tired of puking. Bones is crying that his buns hurt, he’s tired of… pooping. Gag.

This continues… ALL.MORNING.LONG. Around 8AM, I hear my eldest. He looks at me and says, “I’m not coming out of my bedroom all day. I don’t want what they have” and he disappears only to reemerge to get food or drink. He is so afraid of catching this (I don’t blame him) that when I picked him up from school on Thursday, he had pressed himself up against the side of the car, the entire ride for fear his sick brother would breath on him. I literally saw him only 3 times today and that would be called: breakfast.lunch.and.dinner.

Now, you have to know, I’m frickin’ beat at this point and my patience is wearing thin. I work outside the home now, I have deadlines and people depending on me. With my kids sick all this time, I’ve had to work funky hours. I went in today for a few hours and I will work 2nd shift on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday now to make my deadlines as I can’t work the day shift.

I cannot believe I have not caught any of this… yet. None of it. If I don’t catch this stomach virus, then I need to be in some University study for immune systems. Seriously. It’s not a matter of the fact I’m a hand washing maniac, when kids puke on you or you wake up to find some sick kid has laid his body across yours for comfort and you are now breathing dragon vomit breath… you are GOING to get it. It is a given. Yet… I have not yet… including the hospital visits with VW and Tot. I figured I’d get something for sure then.

So time will tell. I’m thinking of running away. But I better hurry and decide... because my husband might beat me to it...

Posted by Boudicca at April 3, 2005 10:35 PM

Oooh, ouch! Good luck, hope you stay well and everyone else gets better and STAYS better! :P

Posted by: songstress7 at April 3, 2005 11:03 PM

Oh gosh!! Morrigan told me the kids were sick and you were spread thin....I had no idea! You definitely have a story to tell in the future! They owe you for life!! And this reminded me of something...

When I was 2, my uncle (who I don't remember ever NOT chewing tobacco) was throwing me up in the air and catching me and we were both laughing. Well, I guess I had enough, when I puked right in his mouth...with his chewing tobacco.

Moms are strong people...cause I couldn't clean that stuff up with out being ill myself!

Posted by: Sissy at April 3, 2005 11:05 PM

[leaves case of Lysol]

Posted by: Harvey at April 4, 2005 12:10 AM

My goodness, how much pizza did son #2 have?? It sounds like he was trying to recreate the scene from The Exorcist. Did his head spin round?

Seriously though, I feel bad for you with all this going on, hope it all ceases soon, and things can get back to normal.

Good wishes going your way,


Posted by: amanda at April 4, 2005 12:13 AM

Amanda... when kids get sick - they usually get projectile, that's not true for adults. Bou - I am so sorry... what a lousy time you're having of it.

Oddly enough, I can suggest something I always used when my kids did this... Outright Pet Odor Remover. LOL - honest! It's an enzyme based solution that is activated when you put some in warm water. It "eats" the stuff that causes the smell. Works on carpets, wall, fabrics... removes the smell after you've cleaned the mess.

Yeah, the reason I initially bought it was because of our dog... but then I tried it when the kids got sick and it worked like a charm! My son was EXCELLENT at not making it to the bathroom when he was sick... so I had plenty of testing - and it's much less corrosive than bleach! You can google it for internet orders or call around to pet shops.

Posted by: Teresa at April 4, 2005 12:41 AM

Oh, poor everyone! Poor everyone! Hope everyone gets better and stays better. (I think you deserve a parent of the year award for not running away! Please accept this virtual bouquet!)

Posted by: Rachel Ann at April 4, 2005 04:13 AM

... dang... a worse tale of woe, I have seldom seen... hang in there, Bou...

Posted by: Eric at April 4, 2005 08:05 AM

**psst....I have an extra room....**

Seriously, if you need some help let me know. Those poor babies. Poor Bou.

Posted by: Tammi at April 4, 2005 08:13 AM

Clorox wipes! They rock for sick kids to kill the germs and stuff. Hope your younger feel better, try to stay healthy.

Posted by: Contagion at April 4, 2005 08:16 AM

*leaving bottle of whiskey*

It will help both you and your kids!

Posted by: Machelle at April 4, 2005 09:08 AM

Seriously, we're fine here. My sister and I were just laughing at all the horrible things that happened that one night. Good Grief.

I'm calling the carpet cleaner today and going to the dry cleaners to see what they can salvage.


And I need to get some of that Pet stuff Teresa was talking about...

Posted by: Boudicca at April 4, 2005 09:20 AM

I don't know who to feel worse for, you or the kids... Note your hubby doesn't seem to enter into the equation. ;)

Now fess up; you've been taking echinacae on the sly, haven't you? :D

Posted by: pam at April 4, 2005 09:29 AM

Oh my husband has been a big help! Well, with this one. The other 5 weeks, he's been at work. It's my job... I'm a kinda sort stay at home Mom that stupidly took a paying job on the side. Anyway, he's been doing laundry with me and did more than his share in clean up. Seriously.

I swear, I haven't taken any echinacea. Hopefully we will find that I didn't need it... Ack!

Posted by: Boudicca at April 4, 2005 09:39 AM

Crap. I WAS going to eat lunch today.

Posted by: Ogre at April 4, 2005 12:14 PM

Gosh, my deepest sympathies. That sounds so difficult, you are so totally mom of the year.

And I want to send your eldest son a Bubble :)

Posted by: Helen at April 4, 2005 12:17 PM

Could be the stress, Bou. When your body is under nervous or anxious stress it is actually releasing hormones that bolster your immune system. A few days after everybody else in the house is feeling better you'll be relaxed and then WHAMMO you'll get the trotting virus.

Posted by: Jim at April 4, 2005 01:30 PM

Oh my! I will be hoping for a speedy recovery for your younguns, and praying that you don't get sick too!

Posted by: oddybobo at April 4, 2005 02:14 PM

Oh, how awful! Having your child bleed all over your bed is not nearly as bad as that. And poor Son #1! Although I had to laugh at the thought of him sidling away from his brother...

Pizza chunks are the worst. Last time I was sick, I think we just threw the sheets away, rather than deal with them. (We go through a lot of bedding in this house)

Posted by: Sally at April 4, 2005 02:32 PM

Oh...My...GOd... Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I have a cold and can barely stand being around myself right now. Virally infected individuals are sort of anathema to my existence. Toss in pizza spewing, geyser bottomed children and it would definitely lead me to spontaneously developing amnesia and going to visit faraway lands for a looooong, looooong time.

Errrr, good luck! BTW, if you DO happen to get sick, go puke on your son's bed. That'll learn 'im.

Posted by: Anathematized1 at April 4, 2005 04:33 PM

Man, I am so glad mine are grown up past that stage.

Hang in there kiddo, you guys are handling things.

Posted by: Ted at April 4, 2005 05:00 PM

Poor you. I'm so sorry, I've been in your shoes before, however, I've been lucky that none of my boys ever barfed in my bed. They are six and a half and we still use the baby monitor because their room is so far from ours. We know right away if someone is in trouble. I always put the sick one on the couch which is right outside our bedroom. I'm hoping to get my husband to agree to buy new living room furniture, so, I say barf away, guys. Heh.

Funny about the "looking in the ear" thing. My husband is an Engineer (and what I'd call typical) and he is FASCINATED by ears. He's always been like a monkey keeping our boys ears clean. A regular gift I've bought every few years since they've been born is an Otoscope. We ALWAYS know when someone has an ear infection before we go to the doctor. I actually splurged this year and got him the nice chrome professional model this year.

I hope everyone gets well and that when they are that they take good care of you when you finally collapse. It always happens.

Posted by: Momotrips at April 4, 2005 05:56 PM

OMG!! And I thought stuff like that only happened to me! I am so sorry for all of the *sick* that happened in your house but I belly laughed (in a "holy crap--that has *so* been me" way) and I really needed a good laugh. Thanks. :-) And I hope that everybody is better soon.

Posted by: Richmond at April 4, 2005 06:52 PM

Uhhh SAlly.. You're wrong. I'd rather have vomit than blood. Blech. Blech on so many levels. Scary levels!

I seriously considered burning some of their sheets as they were piling up in the laundry room. My gag reflex was starting to take hold as the air in that room started to turn green... or brown. Yuck.

Momotrips, we took the baby monitor out when my eldest was 8. It just seemed right! So now we've got what we've got. Oh, and I did look in his ear, but it was only after I rejected the offer and our Pedo said, "NO? Are you kidding? This is fascinating!" Luckily it hadn't ruptured yet or I probably would have barfed.

Richmond... I think mothers everywhere identify with this. Oh how many times have we all been there?! And if someone isn't a parent and is reading this... it is probably convincing them that the magic number is ONE... as in ONE CHILD!!!

And I'm glad you laughed... that was the intent. :)

Posted by: Boudicca at April 4, 2005 07:00 PM