An excruciating update

Tough weekend.

On Thursday last week, one of Sammy’s teacher’s reported that Sammy had a condition that I will not describe in detail (this being a family blog). Friday it continued, even causing an accident on the floor at one point. But then he was better. Friday night, Kimi gave me a break and I snuck off to see Iron Man (thoughts on that later). Saturday morning, Sammy woke me up at 5:45 and I felt miserable, my stomach in knots, weak, in pain. I soon discovered I was suffering from that same unmentionable condition as Sammy.

Now, previously, Kimi had worried that handling the burden of watching the kids mostly solo (while she recovered from the back surgery of two weeks ago) was too much for me, but I dismissed her concerns. After all, I had handled the first weekend all right, right?

(I had taken Sammy and Sophie to Happy Hollow on Saturday, and we went out all day Sunday as well. For once, work on Monday felt more relaxing than the weekend…)

But now Kimi was right, the lack of sleep and Sammy’s bug had caught up with me, and I hadn’t arranged any backup. I was too exhausted to call around much, but our usual fallbacks for help with kid care were either out of town or dealing with their own kids. So, Kimi, despite recovering from back surgery, stepped up while I recuperated, and John and Yvonne helped by taking Kimi and Sophie out to a rummage sale in the morning while Sophie and I slept. Then Kimi took Sophie in the afternoon while Sammy and I napped. By the late afternoon, I finally had started to feel better. I didn’t eat a thing all day. On Sunday, I was still a bit weak, and still dealing with the condition, but was mostly better. (The only thing I ate on Sunday was half a rice cracker.)

Kimi was now exhausted, however; still, she kept Sophie while I took Sammy for an abbreviated version of our usual morning cafe-and-Farmer’s-Market routine, picking up some food for a barbecue with Rob and Kelly at noon. (Which was fun.) We all took it easy that afternoon.

Alas, the bug that had bit Sammy and me then got to Kimi at around four in the morning on Monday. Only she got it much worse than either of us. After I dropped the kids off at daycare Monday morning, her condition had got much worse. She was alternating between being unable to get warm from chills and unable to cool down from hot flashes. She wasn’t able to keep food or even water down, and was in so much pain that Urgent Care was the only option. They saw us right away, which gave me hope, but then it was so inefficient: First a nurse took her vitals. Then wait 20 minutes in the room. Then another nurse for more vitals. Wait 20 more minutes. Doctor finally comes in, asks all the same questions. He gets called away (it is an emergency room after all). Wait 20 more minutes. He comes back, resumes exam. Decides it’s the same stomach bug. Writes an order for anti-nausea shot. Wait 20 minutes. Nurse comes in to give shot. Wait 20 more minutes. Doctor comes back to re-examine. Writes a prescription for anti-cramping. Kimi convinces him she needs a pain-killer, so he grudgingly orders some vicodin. Wait 20 minutes. Wait 20 more minutes. Meanwhile Kimi is moaning and shivering from the pain (although no longer nauseous). I go looking for a nurse for the pain. Finally she arrives, Kimi takes the pill, we get a wheelchair, off to the pharmacy, then finally to the temporary home so she can sleep. I’m still a bit weak (plus it’s been weeks since the kids have slept through the night — the 3am and 4am back-to-back wakeups are really getting to me), so I grab a couple of hours before it’s time to get the kids. So much for work on Monday.

Today we’re all better, finally, so that’s a relief. And both kids slept through the night last night (well, at least they did after 10pm — before that, not so much). And even better, Sophie slept in until 6:30am and Sammy until 7am, so everyone had eight hours.

Twenty-four hour stomach flu bugs — put them on your list of things to avoid.

* * *

This next part I wrote a week ago but never got around to publishing.

* * *

Last Wednesday, Kimi and I checked in with our contractor to see how the house reconstruction was going. They’ve been at work for a week, and in that time have removed all the carpet and old flooring down to the foundation (revealing far more cracks and patchwork than we had imagined even pessimistically), knocked open the walls we’re removing, and removed the shower in the master bath where they was extensive dry rot and termite damage.

Sammy was with us, because he was in a weepy mood and didn’t want to be left with the sitter; he seemed to take it all in stride, asking (as he frequently does these days), “What’s that!?” with great interest as each barely-recognizable-room was explored.

It’s been a bit challenging to live in one big room for the past few weeks as Kimi recovers from her back surgery on April 22. The good news is that Kimi’s back pain is gone, and she’s recovering from the surgery well (after being initially underprescribed for painkillers). She’s still supposed to be taking far more bed rest than she actually does, and for another week she’s not allowed to drive, and for five more weeks no bending, twisting, or lifting anything more than 8 pounds.

* * *

I took a fair number of pictures from the Happy Hollow expedition on Saturday, April 26. It’s conceivable I might actually load them and publish a couple. Suffice to say a great variety of happy experiences were enjoined. Except for me keeping him out long past his normal nap time, which caused quite a host of difficulties for the rest of the day.

* * *

Kimi: [reading from a new book about Africa, picked up at Sunday’s rummage sale]: This is a picture of a pygmy hippopotamus. Can you believe there used to be hippos that small? There used to be a lot of them in Madagascar, but now they’re all gone.

Sammy: Now they’re pretend.

* * *

Update, 12:40am Wednesday: Sophie’s turn. She just went through three cycles of throw-up/clean-up and is now out of clean pajamas. She seems to be in good spirits, despite all the vomit. She is now on my lap wrapped in a towel, while I wait to see if she throws up a fourth time, babbling happy noises that sound suspiciously like “uh-oh.”

2 Responses to “An excruciating update”

  1. Lacy Tree Says:

    Oh no…that’s awful. I hope everyone is feeling better now!

  2. Akos Says:

    Ug. That is terrible. The one time I had it, all I could do was lie on couch and seriously wonder whether or not I was dying, since I couldn’t even sit up due to the weakness and pain. The next day I felt perfectly fine.

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