Strep, Love and Vomit

I am experiencing the phase in life that many parents of young children know all too well.  My children are ALWAYS sick.   Two weeks ago the entire family enjoyed a good old fashioned case of strep throat courtesy my four year old.  This week it was pink eye.  In between was perhaps the worst of all.

I went downstairs to check on my babies and could smell the foul aroma wafting out of their room, through the hallway and into the playroom (it seriously filled like 2000 square feet of space).  Any physician worth their salt can instantly identify that smell.  It was rotavirus.

I carefully investigated to determine who the culprit might be.  It was Baby Bird, the two-year old.  After lifting her unconscious body, it became immediately apparent that she had soiled her entire backside and the bed.  I plucked her out of bed and placed her on a towel in the bathroom.  In an emergency, the best thing to do is to call for help, so I leaned out into the hallway to yell for my husband.

Big Mistake.  Huge.

By the time I lean back in, Baby Bird has woken up and is spewing forth like a tiny Linda Blair.  It just keeps coming. Did you know that a twenty-four pound baby can hold up to a gallon of vomit?   Me neither.   It was on the floor, walls, my clothes, her clothes, in our hair, everywhere.   We put her in the bath and I set about cleaning up the puke when suddenly my husband, who is a sympathetic puker by the way, starts yelling for me as she starts puking in the tub and there is just so much puke.  Did I mention puke?

After a bazillion towels, a gallon of bleach, some plastic bags, and several days of reflection, I have come to one very important conclusion: Thank the Good Lord for Puke.

I have so many reasons to thank God in this situation.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who was willing to help me with my sick child.  Many women are in this parenting thing all alone.
  2. I had an almost endless supply of towels to clean up after my child and a totally endless supply of clean, fresh water.   I just think about some poor woman living with her toddler in a grass hut somewhere.  I am sure they have rotavirus in grasshutistan.  This poor lady doesn’t have an endless supply of clean fresh linens and clean fresh water to take care of their child.  Heck, they do not have enough clean fresh water for their child to drink probably.  Look at me with all my clean fresh water and towels.
  3. Being a doctor,  I had a readily available supply of nausea medication to medicate my child with.   I didn’t have to make the choice to blow this month’s budget in order to take care of my sick child.
  4. I have wonderful people willing to help me with my sick child while I work that I can implicitly trust with her care.  Did you see where I said people?  As in several.  As in several people that I can trust with my sick child.   Some people have NO support like this in their life.

So, yeah, I think I am pretty lucky with this stomach virus thing.  It could be a lot worse and is for many.  Thank you Lord again for your goodness in showing me how great I have it. wp-1486785740138.jpg

 

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My Life as an Exhibitionist

Confession time…. I don’t get to shower regularly. Okay, so I do get to take a whore’s bath every day (cleaning the vital areas for business), but only about twice a week do I get to luxuriate in a shower (for the ten minutes required to wash my hair and shave my legs). Otherwise it is just jumping in quickly to do the necessary.

So, let me set the scene. We have all had the flu this week and earlier in the day Baby Bird threw up on me more than once. It may be in my hair. I am super gross.   I am really looking forward to this shower.   My husband announces that he also needs a shower which he takes for about twenty –five blissful uninterrupted minutes.

When he finishes, I inform him that it is my turn.   Z is entertained by Granny.   Baby Bird is asleep.   THIS IS MY MOMENT.   I head off to the shower and hear my husband using his neti-pot it what can only be described as an ode to the memory of a dying whale.   This was one minute into the shower.

At about a minute and a half, Baby Bird wakes up due to the tortured hunchback snorting in our bathroom.   Seconds later, I feel cold air hit my backside and as I rinse the shampoo from my eyes quickly (it burns, it burns), I look down to see my husband holding the baby and sitting on the floor next to the open shower so we can “talk”.

I demand that the shower be closed. My request is met with reluctance and hostility. I look down and can see a pair of tiny hands on the glass like a scene from a horror movie trying to gain entry.   Then she is licking the door.

At about three minutes in, Z comes running in screaming, “I peed in the POTTTTEEEEE.”

Folks, this isn’t news. She has been doing this for like six months intermittently, mostly for chocolate.   She still expects us to receive it with the same excitement. It is getting old.

And on cue, at about four minutes, Granny comes in to hang out with the kids, so for the record, during my relaxing shower, both of my children, my husband, and now my Mother-in-Law are all chilling in the bathroom.

It was the best shower I have had all week.

Hey Jerk, Don’t Bring Your Sick Kid to Church

The last two weeks my family has been afflicted with the stomach virus and we missed church two weeks in a row.  I want to share with you the strange thing that happened.   We did not get struck down by lightening.   I know, it is really strange, in my experience, most people believe that Jesus wants them to go to church no matter their state of health.

I could understand if our church was into faith healing. I don’t think a lot of that showboating actually goes on at our contemporary, coffee-bar style church. Besides, dropping your pestilence-ridden toddlers off at the nursery is NOT an attempt at faith healing. It is just a Jerk move.

I would propose that in addition to the contexts of your child actively spewing forth from both ends, coughing up hunks of green nastiness, or bleeding out their eyeballs that there are several other circumstances that merit staying at home.

  1. If your child has had a fever in the last forty-eight hours perhaps you should skip church or at least the nursery. (One day we were dropping off Z in the nursery and we overheard another couple talking about how their angel had been up sick all night and they were really looking forward to dropping him off for a break. Really? We just turned around and came home.) Also, if you are continually medicating your child to keep their fever down it doesn’t count as “not having a fever”.
  2. If your child has an actively snotty nose, or obvious respiratory infection. Don’t play. You know your baby is sick. Stop lying and saying things like, “oh her nose is really runny when she is teething.” That baby’s snot is green with blood in it. That is NOT teething.
  3. If your child has had stomach virus in the last week or so, you should pass up church. Rotovirus is highly contagious with just a few viral particles and can be transmitted for several days after the acute illness passes.   Plus, it is just gross and miserable and you are not a good person for doing this to others.   (On a related note, saw many people a couple of weeks ago on Facebook comment about how bad the stomach virus was at their house only to see them at church a couple of days I am sure all the volunteers are really going to be sending you a thank you card when they are missing valuable work time because for some reason you felt compelled to bring your sick child to church.)
  4. If your child has a positive flu and/or strep test, YOU. SHOULD. SKIP. CHURCH. (I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but sadly, I do.)

Just consider the above a public service announcement from both a physician and mommy.   Remember that there are other children, elderly and pregnant women at church who may have depressed immune systems. There are also numerous people that cannot be vaccinated for myriad reasons (transplants, allergies, etc.) They rely on us not to expose them to diseases.

I think the problem is that people feel “safe” at church and expect people there to act ethically and in the best interest of the whole community and they do not use the vigilance they would in other public settings to protect themselves against germs. Please realize that God is not going to strike you down for enjoying the sermon remotely while in your PJ’s if your family is sick. We will ALL thank you for this.   Also, remember to wash your hands and vaccinate those kiddos! We are all in this together!

Jesus, Thank you for our Christmas Stomach Flu

Dear Lord, thank you for the Christmas stomach flu,

Thank you that it hit my girls a little before Christmas so they still got to enjoy the magic of your birth.

Thank you that Z doesn’t bother to wake us up when she throws up.  She just vomits in one corner of the bed, piles some toys on the top of it and sleeps in another corner.   It isn’t fun to clean up the next day, but it makes for a better night of sleep.

On a related note, thank you that when I found my toddler covered in dried puke with every toy and blanket she owns likewise coated that I had hot, plentiful running water to clean both her and her toys.  Thank you that I didn’t have to walk several miles with a sick toddler and a baby to draw up water from a well to clean my daughters.  Thank you that I had an entire stick of Oxi-Clean on hand to get the stains out.

Thank you Lord that Baby Bird only had a touch of it. When she had a poosplosion of epic proportions and my husband held up a sleeper covered in baby waste shaking his head we both knew we weren’t going to try to salvage it.   Thank you that I wasn’t standing at the sink with my hands covered in filth trying to salvage something so disgusting because we are just so blessed that we can just buy another sleeper.

Thank you that when my mother got sick that there were good friends at her work willing to drive her home and help her.

Thank you that Dr. Pepper is also on the road to recovery.

Thank you for our excellent health on most days of the year.  Lord, thank you that I am not holding a sick and hurting child every day wishing I could make them feel better.

Thank you for Phenergan.

And Ginger Ale….

And Ritz Crackers…..

And Lysol.

Amen

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