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Stomach Flu: The Unwanted Houseguest


Last night I broke my toe leaping over a mess of sick on the carpet in front of our bedroom. 

I believe this is the first injury directly related to The Barf at our house. 

It is not, unfortunately, the first time it has visited. Our introduction to the stomach flu came a few years ago when my eldest, Sawyer, was three and in preschool (aka germ factory). Sage, the baby at the time, was 16 months. She threw up her milk one morning and we thought it was just a fluke.

Until Sawyer got going.

I was a little queasy that night, but woke up the next morning and felt okay. I went for a 10-mile run as I was training for my first half-marathon which was in two weeks.

And then, people, I made my big mistake.

I got cocky. 

I ate a good dinner. I went to sleep, congratulating myself that I was doing just fine.

Let me mention that I hadn’t vomited for 10 years, and that occasion was, shall we say, the result of a little too much celebrating a new job. 

I didn’t even think throwing up was a possibility.

But at midnight, at exactly the same moment, my husband and I bolted upright. He raced to the bathroom in our bedroom. I ran downstairs. And in complete synchronicity, we got knocked down by this horrible virus. Only he couldn’t stop - and ended up going to the ER for an IV.

Yes, it can be THAT bad. Meanwhile, I was left at home to take care of the kids. Sage was okay, but Sawyer threw up on the couch. I could barely summon the energy to clean it off. Luckily, my mother-in-law picked my husband up from the hospital and then came over and watched our kids.

David and I spent the rest of the day in bed. Sounds nice, you know, to just relax without having to take care of a child. Suffice to say, it wasn’t at ALL how I’d imagined it would be. Both of us felt like we’d been run over by a very large, very heavy truck. And then the truck reversed and ran over us again.

We never, ever want to feel that way again. Once you've lived it, you always live in fear of it. We’ve heard worse stories than ours: of sharing the toilet with your kids, the endless sheet changes, of wearing vomit - not your own - in your hair.

Then there's that sinking feeling when you discover the kids with whom YOUR kids just had a playdate now have the Ick.

So when Sage threw up on the way home from a trip this past weekend and again when we arrived, I was officially on puke patrol.

I washed my hands til the skin peeled off. I kept her as far away from everyone (me) as possible. I interrogated Sawyer to make sure he felt okay.

And breathed a small sigh of relief when, three days later, she was fine and so were the rest of us. There was a little part of me wondering if it was still lurking. That's why I wasn't shocked when shortly after midnight last night we heard, "I THROWED UP!" from our daughter.

I’ve learned my lesson about overconfidence. Now all I have to work on is my coordination.

This is an original OC Moms Blog post by Cheryl Rosenberg, who reminds you we're all in this Mommy stuff together at SpecialSauce in the House


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