There is almost nothing sadder than taking care of a sick kid. Children are so miserable when they are sick; babies seem so helpless but even older kids look so pathetic and needy when they are ill. We have been fortunate to have healthy children so when one of them gets sick, it reminds us how tough having a sick kid can be.
After a cold made its rounds through our household over the past couple weeks, we had hoped to be on the mend. When a notice on Friday from the school nurse warned of a stomach bug at school, I didn’t pay much attention.
At bedtime on Friday Hannah complained that her belly hurt. She went to bed and we hoped it would pass, but a little after midnight on Friday night, Hannah woke up, went to the bathroom, and puked all over the bathroom floor. I cleaned her up, cleaned up the bathroom, put her back to bed and hoped for the best. Instead, she spent the next nine hours in a sequence of throwing up that was painful for all:
- Midnight: bathroom floor
- 1am: in her bed (first batch of laundry)
- 2am: trashcan (we both figured out the drill)
- 3am: trashcan (two in a row in the right place!)
- 5am: trashcan (we were on a good roll)
- 7am: stairs (she woke up and came to find us, but didn’t make it)
- 9am: trashcan (many trash bags were used today)
She spent all day in and out of sleep, drinking a little, eating practically nothing, and hoping to feel better. We watched shows, movies, read to her, and let her nap. It wasn’t until almost 5pm that her color returned and she enough strength to have some soup and crackers and start to act almost like herself.
When your kid is sick, there are three distinct reactions:
- How can I comfort her in the moment?
- How can I help cure this?
- How I can avoid infecting the rest of the family?
Those three are at odds with each other: rubbing her back might feel good but puts my hand awfully close to the infectious germs; forcing her to drink Pedialyte is not what she she wants but hopefully helps her body fight off the bug; keeping her separated from the family protects us but makes her feel isolated. After spending the night focused solely on #1, I let Jeanne takeover #2 and especially #3 (much laundry was done in our house).
With the first snowstorm of 2017 dropping 6+ inches of snow, Caroline shipped off to a friend’s house for the afternoon, and Hannah horribly disappointed to be missing a gymnastics meet, it was not the day we planned, but we all made it through. The girls are now asleep and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the worst is over. But wow, that was not a fun day 😞
Update from Sunday morning: Everyone slept soundly, the sun is shining, the snow looks beautiful, and everyone is healthy again! And there was much rejoicing