The Dreaded Stomach Virus

Just as Molly has more or less kicked off the remnants of her terrible RSV attack, and she is just getting back to eating and sleeping normally… Kit and Claire have now come down with an apparent case of a dreaded stomach virus, which may or may not be rotavirus. In my limited experience with these things, RSV and the stomach virus seem to be among the worst of the “peacetime” viruses. By “peacetime”, I mean something that does not automatically land you in the
hospital.
Here are the lowlights of this one:
  • Kit woke up early Monday morning vomiting profusely. She was sick enough to call in sick to work for the first time in memory. When she told her colleagues she was vomiting and had diarrhea, they quickly told her to stay home. They said something like, “Keep that thing at home.”
  • Then on Monday night at bedtime Claire was complaining that she was scared she was going to have nightmares. At 4 am I heard her moan in the stairway leading up to our bedroom, then as I got to the stairs, she vomited all over the stairs and started screaming and crying. This is the first time Claire has vomited since she was a baby, when then it was only ever once or twice. Kit stayed with Claire from 4 am to 6 am while I kept on Molly duty, who was finally just fully recovering from RSV.
  • Kit crawled into work on Tuesday. She took a shower and thought she looked pretty together. At work they told her, in a nice way, that she looked terrible.
  • Claire stayed home on Tuesday, the first time in memory that she stayed home from school. I had to drag poor Claire with me in the cold and damp weather to drop off Molly at school. Molly — miraculously, and for the first time in weeks — was consistently just smiling and happy. At school, Claire waited in the shoe-changing room just outside of the Molly’s classroom while I dropped off Molly, to avoid bringing those germs into the room.
  • Once back home, Claire spent almost the entire day curled up on an inflatable bed in front of the TV in the living room watching The Aristocats over and over. The idea was just to make her as comfortable as possible. She moaned with tummy aches throughout the morning. The aches subsided for the most part by afternoon, when she fell into a disturbed sleep in the living room.
  • Already behind at work and exhausted, I calculated that if either I or Molly got this nasty thing, then it would be real trouble. If Molly got it, I would sure miss another few days of work. If I got it, then I would sure miss work too and surely give it to Molly.
  • Although all the teachers already had suffered from the stomach virus in the past few days, and now Kit and Claire had it, this is when I started my freakish obsession with keeping Kit and Claire’s germs off of Molly. It was a challenge, and my hands ended up dry and cracked and literally bleeding from the constant hand washing. I was also doing endless loads of laundry. If Kit or Claire so much as touched something that Molly might later touch, it went in the laundry. I also disinfected the hard surfaces daily. I was so excited when I found the Clorox. I wanted to kill that nasty virus. I was out for blood, and now I had the good hard stuff. Kit said she had never seen anyone so excited to find bleach.
  • In the afternoon, I had to drag poor Claire through the cold and damp to pick up Molly, who was still miraculously smiling and just fine.
  • Claire fell asleep on the inflatable bed as I fed Molly and put her to sleep upstairs around 6:30 that night. We just transferred her to her bed and let her sleep the rest of the night in there with Kit on the floor beside her.
  • Miraculously, the next morning, Molly and I both woke up smiling and fine. I was keeping a plastic bag by my bed at all times though, since this thing had caught both Kit and Claire with vomiting a fit in the middle of the night.
  • On Wednesday, Claire’s tummy was mostly better. She managed to eat two tortillas in the morning. I stated home with her though because she seemed real worn out and was not eating much.
  • I had a babysitter, Kailey, up to the house in the afternoon so I could get focus a on work for a little while.
  • Kailey handled Claire’s nap. Claire sobbed when it was time to go to sleep, then refused to pick a nap-time story, then the babysitter left Claire in her room sitting up. She peeked in a few minutes later, and Claire had fallen asleep in the a very awkward, sprawled out position with no covers on. Three hours later, after the Kailey had left, I woke up poor Claire to drag her to school to pick up Molly again. Claire would have to wait in the shoe-changing room once again.
  • That night, I told Claire that we would probably send her to school tomorrow, and she went into a rare diatribe about how she hated school and she was really really sick and needed to stay home for five days. She said she really hates taking naps at school because she hates hate hates sleeping because it makes her tired. When pressed, Claire said she liked her friends at school and her teachers too, but she hated school. She wanted to have her friends over to the house instead. I guess it turns out that Claire loved lazing around watching TV all day. She was also very upset that we were putting away the inflate-a-bed in the living room.
  • Claire was still worn out but good enough for school the next day. She protested mightily at first, but once was got there, she seemed happy to be back.

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