I know, I know. It's not actually the flu and it isn't just in the stomach. But for the sake of a catchy title, I'll be referring to the stomach virus as the flu.
And for the sake of any readers who are a bit sensitive, I will attempt to omit gory details and stick to generalizations. Although, when you're talking about the stomach flu I doubt things can be too pleasant.
Nearly three weeks ago, we made a last minute trip to Montana for Christmas. Our main goal was to be a support and hopefully an encouragement to my mom after my grandfather suddenly passed away. I'm still not sure if we accomplished either goal because what we ended up bringing along with us was a lot of vomit. Not exactly encouraging, you know?
Round One: A Decided Victory
Stomach Flu: 6
Chew Crew: 1
Claude came home from work on Friday evening feeling unwell. He thought it was from some leftovers he brought along for lunch that day. As it turned out, that was not the case. He was sick for about four days. Our first night of driving, about 30 minutes after everyone was asleep, Abby threw up. We thought it was from being up late.
We arrived at my parents' house on Monday night. After a very late bed time (something to the tune of 1:00am for the kids), Jeremiah threw up. Again, we thought it was from being up late.
Then the next day...more vomit.
And then Christmas Eve was golden. Except that the illness the little ones had the day before meant that we couldn't see family - a bit disappointing considering it's probably the only time we will all be in the same place again. Sadness.
Christmas night, however, was a mess. And I do mean that in every sense of the word. Claude and my dad know the extent of that mess better than anyone else. Joshua and Hannah were both down for the count.
Within a few days Rachel also had it. By this time we realized that the earlier patients did not eat bad food or get sick merely from staying up too late. This was definitely a stomach bug and we were losing. I was the last one standing, and that because of the prayers of some faithful friends.
After Rachel we thought that might be it. We were ready to head home from Montana and we thought everyone was well.
Round Two: Down for the Count
Stomach Flu: 5
Chew Crew: 2
Don't worry...I'll be more brief from here on out.
We were up very late packing that last night before heading home. After just sitting down to chat with my very sleepy parents, we heard what we were dreading all week. Joshua was sick...again.
The next day all three of our back row kids were sick - Hannah, Abby, and Jer. And then Rachel decided to join in on the fun.
We stopped early that night, got a fairly expensive extended stay suite and did laundry until after midnight.
Round Three: The Victor's Strength Weakens
Chew Crew: 3
After a few more bouts of sickness on the drive home, we thought we were out of the woods. Finally, we were in our own home, with a pile of laundry and a bunch of tired kids. I can't remember if anyone got sick that first night, but it became clear very quickly that the stomach flu was not finished with us.
Abby, Jeremiah, Rachel, and Claude were the casualties this time around. For the most part everyone was less sick than previously.
Round Four: The Underdog Takes the Lead
Still in Progress
Stomach Flu: 2
Chew Crew: 5
We are hopeful that this will end. Soon.
Abby and Joshua are the only two sick...so far.
Yesterday I went to war with the germs. We have been disinfecting and cleaning and washing hands and all that jazz, but we needed to takes things to a new level. Every hard surface that gets touched by little hands was bleached and/or Lysol-sprayed, scrubbed, and then disinfected for good measure.
I sterilized all of the
water bottles, caps, lids, sippy cups, bottles, toothbrushes, and
medicine cups I could get my hands on. In case your were wondering,
Nalgene bottles don't boil well...they shrink actually. Oops.
The sick kids have been confined
to the master bedroom and bathroom and forbidden to touch anything
other than their own cup and snack bowl. Since they both got sick again this morning, they are confined once more. This time they are occupying the upstairs and the only healthy person allowed there is Mom.
Extreme? Perhaps. But there have only been 4 or 5 days in the last 21 where we have been vomit-free. Now that is extreme.
Claude and I are exhausted. The nights are long with many interruptions. Every cough, hiccup, sneeze, or strange sound sends us aflight. Who needs to be cleaned up now? To say that we are done with this thing is the understatement of the year...make that both years (2014 and 2015).
Now consider the kids. They are the ones actually being sick most of the time. They are also ready to be done.
This war must end. And the Chew Crew must come out the victors.