Monday, February 20, 2006

The Baby Virus

by Blinkie Obsession

Oh, what I wouldn't have given for a fairy godmother this weekend. It was, in a word, hellacious. It was probably the second-worst three day stint in my entire life (the worst being the days immediately preceeding and following Luke's birth). I just wanted someone to wave a magic wand and make it all better.

Before proceeding, I feel the need to post a potential gross warning. This post discusses some of the things that happen when people have a stomach virus, and while not going into detail much at all, I know some have very weak stomachs and cannot even handle that much. You have been warned!

Let's set the stage. I had just received great news via email about being offered a job by a former boss (see previous post). This was slightly tempered by DH being quite sick (moderate fever, major fatigue, in bed 9:30-10 for two straight nights), but all in all, a good week. Luke was finally experiencing his first ever illness: a cold causing his nose to become a snot factory. Given that he's 16 months old and this is his first ever illness of any kind, I don't think we're doing too badly.

Friday, I wake up to Luke fussing, as usual. And I feel like total crap, which is rather unusual. Great, I think I have whatever DH had. But it's Friday. DH works from home on Fridays, which means he gets Luke up and manages breakfast. Friday is my day to sleep in. Yay! So I flip over and immediately go back to sleep. DH hadn't even left the room yet before I was unconscious again.

Which explains why he had to come all the way into our room to wake me up a few seconds later. "Luke threw up all in his bed. I'm going to take him downstairs to clean him up. Can you change the bedding while I do that?" Great, just great. And yes, it was a rather large spot (over a foot in diameter, roughly circular), though confined to the center of the mattress (not all over everywhere like I feared). I was most concerned that his two most important stuffed animals were compromised. They did not appear to have been, um, in the direct path, but there was some "collateral damage" (as my mother put it).

But the thing that upset me the most is this: it was almost completely dry. Why was this upsetting? On the surface of the issue, I was happy. It wasn't that bad to clean up when most of it had soaked into the mattress pad. But it also means that he had been sleeping in it for *hours* and I had no idea. I had heard him coughing a little in the night, but it was 3 AM and I was too tired and lazy to go check on him. But as long as it's just a little coughing, I don't usually check on him. That's standard procedure. Neither DH nor I heard anything that sounded bad enough to tip us off to go check on him, which means that he didn't fuss much (if any) about it when it happened, so how were we supposed to know? But I still felt like a terrible horrible rotten mother. I pretty much sat in the floor of his room and bawled for a few minutes, forgetting that the monitor was on so DH could hear me. He came up, thinking I was upset about having to change the bedding (which I wasn't).

So, Luke was all changed, the bedding was all changed and soaking in the washer, and I took to cleaning the stuffed animals (who are now just fine, BTW). He was running a very slight fever, but really seemed fine. We tried him on some grits for breakfast (something soft and gentle on the stomach), and would monitor him for the rest of the day. I will allow my emails to my mother (an RN) to tell the rest of the story for me. Keep in mind that during all of this, I am running a fever of 99-100 and am totally exhausted. DH pretty much managed the whole thing by himself (and did a marvelous job). My main job was bedding changes and laundry.


Friday, Feb 17, 2006 11:11 AM

He's now thrown up twice more since this morning, once (natch) right after we changed him from the second time. Have call into the nurse, but no return call yet. He's currently napping. And I have grits stuck in my carpet. Joy.

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 1:28 PM

Nurse called (around 12:15). There is a viral something going around, usually lasts around 48 hours. Also usually progresses from vomitting to abdominal cramps to diarrhea before it's finished (joy). Give as much fluids as he will take, mainly water, but any clear liquids fine (gatorade fine; no need for pedialyte), and feed him mostly dry things (toast, cheerios, crackers), but a small amount of applesauce or bananas, especially if the diarrhea starts, is fine. If he has no urine output for 8 hours, or if it is "very dark in color," I should call back.

And I think I am now running a fever. I'll check it in a bit. Luke is down for his nap. More news, if any, when I have it.

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 8:11 PM

Well, we made it from the beginning of nap #1 to the end of nap #2 without incident, and I was hopeful. He seemed hungry, though he didn't want graham crackers (that should have been a clue), but we let him have cheerios (#2 recommended by the nurse after toast). He threw up what few he ate within about 10 minutes. Nothing more after that until around 6:30 (a few short sips of water maybe, and he won't drink the gatorade, which is really odd for him). We gave him some water before putting him down to bed. He drank some (not as much as I would have liked, but more than the single short sip he had been taking). We were just getting ready to take him upstairs and put him down for the night just after 7 when even the water came back up, though I'm glad he did it before we put him down, and most of it landed on the changing pad, so no major clean up of the floor required. As we were changing him, we noticed that he is now hot to the touch (previously, he had simply been a little warm). Not in an "oh my goodness, you're burning up" kind of way, but definitely in a "no doubt about it, you really have a fever, and we should probably get an actual temp reading" way. And naturally, we can't find the thermometer. So we cleaned him up, changed him (outfit #6 for today; 1-5 currently in the washer), gave him some Tylenol, and put him to bed. I'll check on him before we go to bed (probably in the 11-12 range, since we both took long naps this afternoon), and I guess we'll set an alarm to check on him in the night. I don't know what else to do for him, but I guess there really isn't anything else. Think good thoughts for us.

Love, E (whose own thermometer is not working, so she doesn't know what her temp is either; Steve just walked in with new ones for all of us and dinner)

Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 10:07 PM

Latest update: no throwing up today, but he is utterly exhausted. He ate really well this morning, with several handfuls of cheerios and half a piece of toast. After nap #1, he had a whole jar of carrots and a few bites of pears, and I think a few crackers. He's been a little warm all day, but not hot enough to prompt me to take his temp. Nap #2 came much earlier than normal (just after 1), and he woke up at 2. Steve brought him downstairs (I stayed up and took a nap; been running a fever of 99-99.5 for two days now, so I'm pretty drained), but said that he didn't want to eat anything and just sat in Steve's lap the whole time (very odd). He was really sleepy by 4, so Steve put him back down, thinking he would take another quick nap, getting up around 5. Instead, we unknowingly put him down for the night! He's still asleep, and we've hardly heard anything at all, not even him turning over. I know he needs his sleep to help recover, but it's still a little worrysome. I hope he will be more like his usual self tomorrow.

Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 4:51 PM

We checked on him before we went to bed, but he was completely wrapped up in his blanket (head included), so there was no way to tell if he was hot due to fever or hot due to smothering himself. And trying to remove the blanket would only have woken him up, so we just let him be.

He completely pooped through his outfit in the night, which was oh so fun this morning. Not really messy (not on puppy or Eeyore), just his jammies and the sheet/mattress pad, but it smelled worse than anything I've ever smelled in my life. Got him cleaned up, got grits in him, but not much else. After nap #1, he didn't want to eat anything, but he did like the orange juice (cut about 25% with water), so I felt better getting some fluids and calories in him. He didn't want to be put down or to play; he only wanted Steve to hold him while sitting in the recliner. Once we turned on Finding Nemo, he was willing to be fed Cheerios between sips of juice (had 2/3 of a glass, probably), and eventually got to the point that he wanted to feed himself. He probably ate 1-2 handfuls of Cheerios, and it seems like a few crackers. Nap #2 was only 45 minutes long, and ended in another "poop through." (I am so tired of washing baby bedding.) Some drink and no food between naps 2 and 3, though there was a little bit of playing involved, and he seemed very happy to "help" Steve empty the dishwasher. I dashed out the door to get some more cheerios (we were *completely* out, and so was Target), another mattress pad (we only have 2, which might not be enough for just me home tomorrow), more laundry powder (washing 8 loads this weekend did us in), and some more baby Tylenol. Nap #3 was only about 30 minutes long. We are currently trying to get him to eat something (no joy yet), and we figure he'll go down for the night between 6 and 7.

No throwing up anymore, so I guess that's good, but I am definitely concerned about his lack of caloric intake. I just don't see how he can get better with no fuel for his body. His lips are also starting to peel and crack, so I know he is getting very dehydrated. He's crying off and on most of the time like he's in pain, so I guess I should just keep him doped up on Tylenol, but I don't want it to be hiding any other symptoms. He hasn't had any Tylenol today since his fever is pretty much gone. He's just so obviously miserable.

Oh, we have a winner in the food department!! Looks like Steve is getting some squash in him as we speak. He wouldn't even let the spoon come near him for lunch, so perhaps this is an improvement. Be thinking of me tomorrow as I try to manage all of this by myself. At least I seem to be mostly over whatever it is I had. Still a little sniffly, but no fever, and I'm feeling much better. Let's hope Luke makes a similar recovery, and soon.


Thus ends our saga; the virus seems to have passed. (And for the record, I have been feeling much better since late yesterday afternoon.) He ate 3/4 of a sheet of graham crackers, a large handful of cheerios, an entire jar of applesauce, and 2/3 of his oatmeal for breakfast this morning. That's almost as much food as he's eated in the last three days *combined.* Only got one jar of food in him for lunch (instead of his usual two) and one handful of Cheerios (instead of his usual 2-3 plus crackers), but it takes time to get your appetite back after being sick. He did have 8-10 crackers for snack when he got up from his second nap, and we'll be attempting dinner shortly. He was actually talkative and smiley this morning. It didn't occur to me until I heard him babbling this morning that he hasn't done that at all since Thursday. Other than whimpering and whining and crying, he's been virtually silent. He's obviously much happier today. Yay! I have my little boy back.

Currently feeling: relieved


  1. {{HUGS}} I'm glad you are both feeling fine. Take care of yourself as the virus can easily pass on to other members of the family. Keep giving him fluids since he's still dehydrated. Mehul went through this in August last year, complete with an ER visit due to dehydration. Take care.

  2. HUGS!!!!

    You poor darlings, all of you.

    I so get you on the "rotten mother" thing, although we do exactly the same thing with Marcus, leaving him to settle if he's just coughing. Which I guess is why I get it. Been there, done that.

    It's scary how many lots of bedding and clothing one sick child can go through in a day.

    I'm so glad everyone is coming right again. Being sick sucks for everyone.

    shalini is right. Keeping as hydrated as possible is the most important thing.

    Oh and by the way, cherios are a kind of cereal, is that right? They're something totally different here (little cocktail sausages) that I would NEVER give to a sick child, because coming up again they are totally disgusting.

  3. *hugs* I am so glad he is improving. What a worrying time it must have been for you all.

  4. (((Erin))). Been there, done that, and you have my sympathy! Last year I slept in DS's room one night while he had the stomach flu. I was hoping if he started to heave it would wake me up and I could catch it in a receptable so I wouldn't have to wash the bedding yet again. Unfortunately my back was to him when it happened and he threw up *in my hair* and all down my back, getting the bedding as well.

    Anyway, I am glad he's feeling better and I hope you are too!

  5. Glad to hear you guys are on the mend. I hate it when the kids get sick, cause I usually get whatever it is too and then have to try to care for them while I'm feeling crappy. Hopefully this is the end of it for you for some time to come! :)

  6. Ohhhhh, Erin. {{{{{Hugs}}}} I well remember those days. Glad you're both feeling better.

  7. {{{Erin}}} I'm glad to hear you guys are on the mend!

  8. Jeez Louise! Poor kid and POOR YOU AND STEVE!!!! Sounds like Luke really made it through like a trooper. Heck, when I had the stomach flu two weeks ago I cried more in one night than McKenna does in an entire day!

    Glad he's on the mend! Give him a squench from me!

  9. Erin, I'm so relived! I know having a sick baby, *especially* when you are sick yourself, is no fun!



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