Saturday, March 20, 2010

they're falling like dominos

It had to be divinely inspired that I was up until 2:00 AM this morning. Because that is the only way I can possibly explain being awake at the exact moment my little boy began retching from his top bunk.

The joke I had made earlier in the day is that since I forgot to take my antibiotic until yesterday afternoon, I would stay up until a full 12 hours had lapsed and I could take my next scheduled dose. Of course I didn't really mean it. Because I've made it a priority that I'm in bed by 10:00 for the past few weeks. And I really needed my sleep last night, since Charlie is competing in a duathlon this morning and it was my goal to get the whole family out there to support him.

But last night, every time I started to turn off the lights and head in to bed, something else would pop up that I felt compelled to deal with. It is only because I was awake that I clearly heard the coughing begin at 1:58.

* Cough * Cough *

* Cough *

Followed by BLAP.

Followed by MOMMY!

My poor William. I got him out of his bed. Cleaned him up, and decided to bring him out on the couch where I would sleep with him for the rest of the night. Sleep being the choice operative word here. Unfortunately, sleep didn't happen, except for in short 10 minute spurts. Every 10 minutes he was up. Sicker than he had been, before. Two hours after he had been up, on or about the the eighth minute of a 10-minute sleep cycle, I heard a noise from the back of the house.

* Cough * Cough *

* Cough *

Followed by BLAP.

Followed by Wahh!

I left William on the couch and ran back to find Henry, walking out of his bedroom, sick every step of the way. Since I had closed the door so Charlie could sleep, my husband was oblivious to all that was happening.

With two boys on the towel-covered couch, and small plastic bowls within easy grasp, I tried to settle down. I also felt somewhat relieved that I better understood what was going on since earlier this week, Elizabeth had been sick.

On Tuesday, Charlie was planning to take the children on an outing one hour north of our house. Approximately 10 minutes from his destination, Elizabeth was sick in the far back of the van. My husband immediately spun the car around and drove home. And I spent the rest of the afternoon placing wet face cloths on her head and spoon feeding her ice chips.

Typically, when one of the children gets sick with a stomach virus, it sweeps through everyone like a wildfire. But when Elizabeth was the only one sick, for several days, we began to worry that perhaps she had ingested toxins from a recent pesticide spray around the perimeter of our back yard. And the only reason we would consider such a thing is because the exterminator sprayed on Monday morning. The children weren't allowed in the yard until late Monday afternoon. Elizabeth was complaining of a tummy ache Monday night. By Tuesday she crumbled. The next day, we found a huge dead in the middle of our lawn. Much like we found a huge dead rat next to our front door the last time the exterminator sprayed.

Both of these rodents, I believe, met their demise after the exterminator sprayed methyl ethyl death next to their nests. So if methyl ethyl death has that kind of effect on a one pound rat, what might it do to a 37-pound child if they inadvertently came in to contact with it? See, these are the types of things that worry me (in addition to a whole suite of other things.)

I'm not a toxicologist, but I understand chemicals well enough to know what can happen if you are exposed. Granted, the pesticide dries extremely quickly and according to all of the literature I've seen, once it has dried, there is *no risk* to humans. But you can't help but wonder. Especially since even after it has dried, it continues to do a fine job of keeping at bay those pesky ants that would otherwise swarm the entire inside of our house.

The point being, it is now Saturday morning. The stomach issue that struck our house earlier this week, has been deemed a virus and not a side effect of chemicals. That is the good news. The bad news is that Charlie is off at his race in north San Diego County and will not be home until at least noon. More bad news is that I'm very worried about William. He seems much more sick than Elizabeth was and although I typically don't panic and rush off to the ER, I'm getting myself ready.

The girls just woke up and Carolyn, the only one who hasn't yet been sick, is very concerned. She's currently laying in my bed, watching Dinosaur Train and contemplating her fate.

As am I.

But I'm also holding hope that if she falls ill, she does it after Daddy gets home.


  1. Our ped prescribes anti-vomit meds when the kids have repeated nasty vomiting to prevent dehydration. While it is a pain to head to the ped office w/a vomity kid, it's easier than the ER and the wait there. Good luck, I hope the rest of you stay well.

  2. Poor kids! I hope they get better soon, and William isn't too sick.

    Stomach viruses are awful, there seem to be some going around where we are too! Hopefully they'll all disappear with the beginning of April showers.

    Best wishes.

  3. It sounds like you are going to have a very long day... I spent all day long yesterday in bed sick with the flu. It was absolutely horrible. I hope your kids start feeling better soon!

    Marla @

  4. Oh no! The poor babies! Let me know if you need anything, okay?

    Ugh, I just thought of something: My trio spent an hour with your kids yesterday, just hours before your VomitFest. Uh oh...

  5. Oh, NO. Yikes. I hate those dreaded throw up/diarrhea viruses. Greg is out of town for 10 days, so that's usually when my quartet come down with those things. Booyah.

    I sure hope your kiddos are on the mend soon.

  6. Jen~

    Sending you and your entire family healing healthy vibes. I'm sorry your babies are sick, it's so anxiety producing for everyone. Hugs to momma.


  7. Wow! Sorry your kids are sick Jen! My husband was sick on Friday with the same thing...he even passed-out in the bathroom & woke up a while later~ very scary! I had been out out the house & when I got back he asked how long I'd been gone as a measure to how long he'd been unconscious! if I'd been there I'd have been calling 911!!!

    It's especially upsetting when your kids are sick & you can't do anything but get them to the toilet!

    Take care & I hope you're fast on your feet & can dodge the flu bug! T

  8. this is completely off topic, but i thought it might help you. having too much information is never a bad thing, in my opinion.