Somewhere between November 13-16th 2018
After taking care of my sweet son throughout a night of vomiting and diarrhea, it is apparently my turn. “Things are not boding well for me,” I inform my husband as I clutch my cramping stomach and wear his soft cotton t-shirt for comfort. Neither I nor my daughter had really touched our dinner. Around 10pm she appears back out of bed, visibly ill. And how. Turns out she awoke vomiting; in her bed and across the floor at least four times before even reaching us, poor thing. I pull back her hair and watch in admiration as she deftly performs the Toilet Dosey Doe, elegant and naked, turning around between between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, proverbially worshipping the porcelain throne as if she’s done this before. I am also awed by her preternatural calm. “Ew. Mom can I please have a towel to wipe my mouth?” she says. No whining, self-pity, fear or added drama at all.
Regrettably I am not quite so graceful. When it’s my turn to finally sprint to the toilet, I make it in time WITH bucket in hand so I can, er, multitask. I think I am so clever with my planning, but alas I am bested by my life long relationship with syncope (passing out). Gradually I become aware of strange and distant sounds, a mechanical whooshing noise as if in a cave, mixed with unknown murmuring voices. I start to feel the cold hard floor beneath me, and an uncomfortable stabbing sensation. It is the plastic beach toy bucket I have crushed under my face on the bathroom floor when I landed. “Babe!?” I cry plaintively for my Hubsand. He comes running from our daughter whose entire bedding he has already collected for the wash. “I passed out.”
He helps me off the floor and back onto the toilet where I resume explosive pooping and vomiting. He leaves to go continue scrubbing daughter vomit out of the carpet. I go, “BLEH!!!” and then hear, “Pshhhhhhhh!” I go “BLEH!!!” again, and again hear, “Pshhhhhhhh!” By about the third time I realize there is a crack in the bucket where it buckled under my face, and the vomit is now spewing out forcefully in all directions. Dear Hubsand reappears. “I broke the bucket,” I say. “I was wondering,” he says, bringing another bucket. “Don’t look at me!” I say. He goes, “??” So I admit “I guess we have no secrets here,” and then remind us both, “‘Mawage is a bwessed awangement.’”
He goes back to our daughter, who is now falling out of our bed while vomiting over the side. I pass out again, waking this time splayed on the cold tiled floor in a slurry of my own vomit and shit. I am so thankful the house is otherwise completely clean, due to my having had TIME all day and help from the cleaning lady this morning. All I can think of are migrants living in freezing dirt huts in refugee camps near Greece and elsewhere. What unholy hell must illness like this be for them?
I on the other hand, finally coming down off of high-velocity expulsion, have the privilege of flopping over into a clean fiberglass tub which I fill with hot soapy water. Beloved sweet relief. I’m also bwessed with this functioning and chawitable mawage to a Hubsand who is scrubbing floors, spreading towels, hauling laundry, the works. “Sorry I wore your shirt in a pool of my own vomit and diarrhea, Wove,” I tell him. Of course he forgives me. Because #Mawage.
Fast forward an entire day of convalescence, and another of laundry, housecleaning, more laundry and more housecleaning. Slowly titrating water intake back by the teaspoonful –clean, fresh, delicious potable water on tap– Dear Daughter has barely moved from the couch except to the bathroom. And every normally performed function there by any of us is a victory. Peeing out your pee-hole instead of your butt, for example. We now refer to each fart as a “Dry Fart!” and celebrate them as such. You can tell ClaraJane is feeling better because she’s already taken a couple lunges at catching her beloved kitten, and is now semi-upright reading fairy books.
The question remains of Dear Hubsand, who mind you is the Head Chef of our kids’ school. Taking no chances, he tapped out of work the second his belly started to rumble. He rested the remainder of that day, suffered headaches most of the night, and is even taking a shower today. NOT KNOWING if it will hit him the same as us is a different and special kind of torture. Though I am leaning optimistic as we share a chuckle fumbling over whose glasses work well enough to re-read the acetaminophen dosage we can’t remember.
“So this is getting old together,” he says laughing.
So it is.
I’ll take it.