Last week, I got THE CALL. You know the one… Your phone rings, and you see that it’s your child’s school calling. There’s only 1 or 2 reasons your child’s school might call you during the day. Either they’re sick, or their teacher needs to discuss something with you. It’s usually the former. Sure enough, my 2nd grader had complained that she didn’t feel very well, and shortly thereafter, fell asleep in the classroom! I drove to pick her up early, but not soon enough… She vomited twice in the hallway while walking to the office.
And that was the beginning of a very, very, very bad week in our household. This is a form of family bonding that I can definitely live without.
Day 1, kid #1: Sick every 15 minutes for 6 hours. Laundry, baths and Lysol commence.
Day 2, kid #2: Sick every 15 minutes for 8 hours. Laundry, baths and Lysol commence.
Day 2, middle of the night, Mommy: Sick every 20 minutes for 5 hours, BOTH ways. I’ll leave it at that. At one point I was nursing the baby at 2 AM and I became so unbelievably nauseous that I had to unlatch him and lay him on the floor so that I could run to the bathroom. Poor little kid! And poor Mommy, right??!
Day 3: Laundry, sanitize EVERYTHING, desperately attempt to sleep, kids watched movies round the clock and barely ate anything. A day later we had a second round of this for both kid 1 and kid 2, but it wasn’t nearly as bad.
Finally, a couple of days later, everyone appears to be okay and over this stupid thing, and I am taking a day off from laundry, baths and Lysol.
These things are so highly contagious, it’s frightening. My husband managed to escape the whole thing, as did the baby. I think breast milk was my baby’s saving grace (isn’t it amazing how your breast milk creates exactly the antibodies that your baby needs? They say if the Mom is sick, it’s best to keep breastfeeding the baby for that very reason.). My husband was helpful during all of this, but he avoided the actual vomit – I was the lucky one to deal with all of that – so I think that’s how he escaped.
Here’s the one pro of the whole thing. I lost 5 lbs. I was afraid to eat anything more than toast for 2 days.
Here’s the other negative. I will probably gain it back now that life has returned to normal.
These things run amuck around our children’s schools, so if it hits your household, here are a few tips for dealing with is:
- Stay hydrated. This is incredibly important. For children, choose an electrolyte replacement such as Pedialyte or Vitamin water (I choose the Vitamin Zero variety, because it’s not full of sugar or red dyes). Note: During “Phase 1” of the stomach virus, vomiting tends to be frequent. You should avoid drinking anything at all until you haven’t vomited for at least 30-60 minutes. And then, take small sips only…every few minutes or so. Too much liquid too quickly could trigger more vomiting.
- Some people recommend drinking peach juice for electrolyte balance. Buy canned peaches in heavy syrup, wait until you haven’t been sick for 30-60 minutes, and then drink 1 T. of the juice. If you were able to keep it down, drink another 1 T. of the juice in 15 minutes. Some Moms swear this is a lifesaver. (I haven’t tried it.)
- Once you have not vomited (or…you know what else) for several hours, slowly reintroduce food to your system, choosing wisely what you consume. The BRAT diet is your best bet, of course. For kids, I usually start with Kix cereal (dry, no milk) or goldfish crackers…then we move on to a fruit pouch (applesauce)…juice/water… I would avoid dairy (milk, cheese) for a minimum of 24 hours.
- Wash EVERYTHING! Bed linens, hand towels, bath tub, etc. Clorox wipe all surfaces which may have come into contact with the virus. That’s a HUGE job…door handles, remotes, toilet flush handles, light switches… It’s worth the effort. You do NOT want this thing making another round in your household! I usually spray Lysol on the bed mattress and pillows, and you might want to toss their tooth brushes and buy new ones.
- Make a sick bucket (like the one below in the pic) that is stocked with soups, juices, and crackers. Keep it handy during the sicky times of the year.
- Keep a throw up bucket or trash can lined with sacks. As the first sack gets used, throw out the bag and you’ll be ready for the next round.
- Keep hand sanitizer around the house, and remind your family to use it often.
- REST, REST, REST! I know this is practically impossible for the sick Mommy who is caring for everyone else. Where the kids are concerned, I encourage them to sleep, watch movies or read for as long as it takes them to regain their energy. This is one time when I have no problem with a TV or iPAD marathon. Whatever it takes to keep them grounded for awhile.
It is unbelievably heartbreaking to watch your little one be sick. They don’t understand why they feel so terrible, and they don’t know when it will end. It’s just awful. So naturally, the very, very, very best thing you can do under those circumstances is to cover them with love and prayer, and make them as comfy as possible.
Here’s to hoping you don’t get that dreaded phone call from school anytime soon!