On icky pukery
And the Winner of Best Performance in a Stomach Bug Outbreak goes to…
“Thank you, so much. This award means so much to me. Ohmygosh, I didn’t expect to win, what with the stomach bug of 2012 so wide spread! Um, ohgosh, I’d first like to thank God for not killing me that weekend. At times death seemed like a welcome retreat, but in the end I’m thankful that the Almighty spared me. Of course I’d like to thank the little people, namely Maxwell, for puking all over me that fateful Friday night, after all, he started this whole sticky mess.
“Ha! I’m shaking! Reminds me of the shakes I got after my twelfth puking episode. This is so exciting to be up here, holding this golden toilet-bowl shaped award! Makes me kinda sick just looking at it!
“What does that say?” <squinting at the teleprompter>
“I only have thirty more seconds?”
“It was Friday night and I made dinner for the boys. The boys usually get their own drinks from those cute little cups they sell at Ikea, ya know? Anyway, I looked at Max and saw he had an awful look on his face. He said, ‘Mommy, that doesn’t taste that very good.’
“When I looked in his cup, I saw a congealed glob of days old milk. Guess I’m not getting the award for Best Supporting Role to the Dishwasher! Max had taken a sip of the separated milk before I snatched the cup from his hand and poured the contents down the sink. Actually, it was the disposal. The stuff had solidified and went down in a single, slimy move. You know what I mean, I mean we’ve all left milk in a cup for day before, right? Right?!
“Dinner went off without a hitch and Max seemed fine. He kept up his usual three-year old eating strike and I asked my roommate if he thought the milk would have made him sick.
“’Nah, he only had one little sip,’ he said.
“Yeah, you’re right. An hour later Max was complaining of his tummy hurting. I told him to sit on my lap and we snuggled on the couch for a bit. I just love it when Max snuggles me. He rarely sits still!
“Halfway through the episode of Scooby Doo, you know the one with the Harlem Globetrotters? Max sat bolt upright and projectile vomited all over me. Mac ‘n cheese and bits of broccoli and more liquid than I thought a child of his size could hold was dripping off of my legs.
“I yelled to my roommate, ‘TOWELS!’ and tried to contain the Icky Pukery to just the legs of me and Maxwell. I carried him to the shower where he and I hosed off, watching bits of baby barf swirl and get caught in the drain.
“After thirty minutes and five soiled towels, I watched as my littlest one sat on the potty and had a series of explosions from his bum. More wiping and sanitizing I changed Max into a pair of warm fuzzies, you know the soft footed jammies and added a pull-up for good measure. I laid him in his bed, covered in towels and brought a big Tupperware bowl for him, should he again feel the need to blow chunks.
“And blow chunks he did! My goodness that child could not stop vomiting. I encouraged him to take small sips of water as I pulled from the cobwebbed recesses of my mind the signs of dehydration in children. Something about a sunken soft spot, right? No tears? Crap, how do you tell in a non-infant?
“Max managed to miss the bowl every single time. The poor dear associated the bowl with vomiting and even when I held it under his chin, he tried desperately to miss it and swallow the vomit back down.
“Midnight arrived and my little one was not any better. I called his father and told him to meet me at my house. We needed to take Max to the emergency room.
“Former arrived in record time and my roommate stayed with Sam, who had been asleep for hours.
“You can imagine I was feeling pretty shitty, pardon the pun. I mean, what kind of mother leaves a cup of milk out for their three-year old to find? Who does that? Well, me apparently. I was wrought with guilt.
“After two bags of IV fluids, anti-nausea and anti-cramping meds for his tummy, a tube of Desitin – the runs left a raging rash on my sweet boy’s tender bottom –– we left the ER. I cried on the way home, as I watched the sun rise. I felt awful. This was all my fault. My child had food poisoning because I’m a complete slob. Where the hell did he get that milk?
“Saturday was uneventful. Maxwell and I slept most of the day due to our overnight exertions. He was able to keep sips of Pedialyte down but ate nothing.
“That weekend was a long weekend and Former and I had decided to split the days. He picked the boys up on Sunday. Max was better, was able to keep down a few popsicles and rested comfortably at Daddy’s.
“What an awful experience! I needed to unwind, so I decided to cook. I popped open a bottle of cabernet, and made a delectable dinner for me and my roommate. We had fresh, steamed artichokes, lobster tail, NY strip steaks and mushrooms. It was divine! I was happy to know that the worst was behind us and Max was doing better.
“Head down, I dove into my dinner with a voracious hunger that had grown in me the previous forty eight hours. My roommate left the table for a moment, but I was so headlong into artichoke leaves and melted butter, I barely noticed.
“’Muh thoat is fee’ing kina funny,’ my roommate said.
“I looked up and his face was swollen and fire-engine red. His tongue was so swollen he could barely talk and his throat was closing up. He started to double over in pain and I ran to grab some Benadryl and my car keys.
“‘CHEW THESE!’ I screamed and ushered him into the car. I hauled ass the few miles to ER, honking and flashing my lights the whole way. He had taken some Claritin earlier, and I could tell the Benadryl was beginning to help. His face went from fire-engine red to only beet red. Perfect.
“Another ER visit later, we made it home with a diagnosis of ‘allergic reaction’ and a prescription for an epi pen. Our discarded dinner was still on the table. I was in no mood to eat, so I tossed it all in the trash.
“‘I’m going to bed,’ I said and retreated to my room. My tummy wasn’t feeling all that great, but I thought it was due to my monthlies that had graciously appeared the night I was in the ER with Max.
“Sometime that night, I woke up and ran to the bathroom. To be succinct, I blew it up. I flushed and then felt the urge to vomit, so I looked for a vessel in which to do so. I mean, a girl has her limits and I wasn’t about to puke in the toilet I had just assaulted with my ass.
“I walked into the dark kitchen and headed toward the cabinet I keep my extra grocery bags. Whoa, I feel dizzy! Why is it getting darker in here?
“I woke up on the cold tile floor of the kitchen, lying in a pile of grit and sand. My head was throbbing something fierce and I was very disoriented. It took me a few moments to realize where I was and why I was there. Did I just decide to sleep on the floor of the kitchen? Why does my head hurt so bad?
“The impulse to vomit slammed into me like a tsunami and I clamored up and ran to the nearest sink. You know, the one without a disposal. Why make things easier on myself now?
“I heaved into the sink several times before I was able to stop long enough to wipe my mouth off and knock on my roommate’s bedroom door.
“‘I’m really sick and I fainted in the kitchen. I think I hit my head because it really hurts and I have a big lump!’ I told him.
“We walked into the kitchen, flipped on the light and saw pieces of drywall scattered on the floor. I hit my head on the wall, excuse me, on the corner of the wall and took out a chunk of drywall as well. There were cracks in the wall where the drywall hadn’t yet fallen, so please understand that this picture I have here does NOT do it justice.
“Could you zoom in on Exhibit A?
“My roommate looked at me with concern asking ‘Are you alright?’ several times before he abruptly stopped and said, ‘Oh God, I’m going to be sick too.’
“He took off for his room and me to mine and we spent the remainder of the night, and into the dawn puking and shitting the life out of us.
“In all fairness, he only puked once. I, however had to secure a garbage can for my upchucking as I sat on the throne and, well, you know.
“Sometime the next morning, I called Former to tell him I would not be able to take the boys back that day for I was sick. Very sick.
“’Me and Sam have it too,’ Former said.
“He informed me that it wasn’t that bad, Sam had only vomited once and Former not at all, so he would keep the boys and allow me to huddle under the covers, achy and chilled from fever.
“Sleep finally found me. The spewing had ceased and I was able to rest. My roommate was feeling better-ish and was keeping up on his dose of Benadryl as instructed by the ER doc.
“My headache had only gotten worse and the lump on the back of my head was very tender. When I tried to sit up several hours after sleeping, the room began to spin and I rushed to the bathroom to resume the emptying of my stomach.
“HA! Can you effing believe it? I was BACK at the damn ER, this time for me! The good news is that I had some of those handy barf bags left over from my visit with Maxwell, so I could just sit in the waiting room and upchuck, rather than visit the unsavory ER bathroom. Hooray!
“A CT scan revealed I do in fact have a brain, contrary to popular belief, and I did not need emergency brain surgery from Dr. Derek Shepherd. Well, damn. A girl can mc-dream, right?
“Two bags of fluids, anti-nausea pills and two shots of pain meds later, I was sent home. I was going to make it.
“The aches, fever and chills persisted. The entire illness lasted about a week. Between the five of us, we ate enough popsicles to build a high-rise from the sticks.
“So thank you to my supportive team of drywall repairmen, disinfectant manufacturers and drug companies. If there is one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it is that…
“IT WASN’T THE MILK!