Saturday, February 13, 2010

Taking it back. Well, sort of.

When my daughter is sick, she still puts her hand down my shirt. It has been almost eighteen months since she breastfed. Still, she finds some kind of comfort there, her little hand in my shirt, her body curled around my hard round belly. Thor kicked her awake today, claiming my belly as his own. She shifted awake, and moved to the other, non-leg side of my body.

Her cheeks flushed and warm, she cried, "I can't yawn, Mommy. I can't yawn."

I don't know what it means, except I can see it. She tries to yawn and then stops herself. For 24 straight hours, she has been sick. Vomiting here and there, but mostly moaning and sleeping on top of me. She doesn't want much water, or even popsicles. For hours, as my bladder stretches, and my back aches, I let her sleep on me. It is what I do. Sleep on me. Puke on me. Wipe her snotty nose on my shirt. Catch a sip water between crying bouts, and readjustments.

What the hell was I thinking? Testing fate in the way that I did. Okay?!?!? I said we were okay. To be honest, I meant that I am okay with my friend and I going our separate ways, but not like okay OKAY. Let me break it down because I only have a few minutes before the shit hits the fan again. Literally.

So, last Friday, before Snowpacalypse 2010 hit, I intended to utilize my husband's day off to food shop without Beatrice. She is delightful at the market, don't get me wrong, but I am more streamlined without answering questions about why we cannot get cookies, candy and sixteen different popsicles. It was entropy in the local market. No milk. No eggs. I was walking around harumphing. "But this is MY shopping day. The same one I shop every week. Who are you people? And why are you taking my organic eggs?" As I drove home, my cell phone rang. I never answer my cell when I'm driving. But it rang a second time only a few minutes later and I pulled over and picked it up because both times it was Sam.

"What's wrong?"
"I've fainted and am on the kitchen floor. Where are you?"
"On my way home. Literally two minutes."
"I called the neighbor to stay with Bea."

I walked in to see my large, burly husband sprawled on our kitchen floor. It is one of my biggest fears--passing out or hurting myself while alone with Beatrice. Sam became suddenly overcome with dizziness and clamminess, and passed out in our kitchen. It was the beginning of the stomach bug. Now, Sam works at a pediatric hospital and we expect all kinds of bugs. This year we were sort of feeling a bit, I dunno, cocky. We got the sniffles a few times, but no high fevers. No RSV. No flu. No puking.

So, I laid Sam down in bed after he threw up, and set him up with the vomit kit: old towel, big bowl, cool washcloth, glass of water and space. I took the girl up to bed. As we lay in our bed for nap time reading books, the dog strolls into the room to, you know, vomit. Because apparently, I have become some sort of sick magnet, perhaps because I have the weakest stomach of almost anyone I know. I got sick once when I heard my husband chew too smackingly. My feeble mind could only comprehend that this was an XY chromosome gastroentrenitis, as though virus could differentiate men and women.

Sam never fully recovered this week. He's been bitching complaining about his stomach, his personal body habits (if you know what I mean), his penchant for bland foods.

I am exhausted.

I spend most weekends rejuvenating, putting my feet up, writing, catching up on email and whatnot, when I can. This week kicked my ass, and you know, then Sam had foot surgery scheduled on Friday. Well, he woke up feeling great, and I woke up nervous. Sam has bunions, which I'm not sure he is happy for me to share with y'all, but whatever. The surgery involves the breaking and resetting of two toes, as well as shaving off portions of crazy-growing bones. It means he will be on the couch, foot elevated over his heart for at least two weeks.

I sat all day yesterday in a hospital. My mother came to watch Beatrice. Sam's surgery was four hours late. And we sat watching Cash Cab and salivating over all the food commercials. We talked about the greasy food we would eat that night after surgery, when our baby was running around us. We never eat fast food, let alone greasy crappy food, but still, we pretended we were those people.

Sam's surgery went well, and by 6p, we headed home. I walked into our front porch and I could smell it. Call it my pregnant lady spide-y sense, or the fact that there was vomit spread across the entire entry way of our house. Did I mention I was holding my husband up the stairs at the time?

And thus it began, the shitstorm. Or the puke storm. As Sam lulled in and out of consciousness, asking for water and narcotics, and blankets and more pillows, and Bea cried and puked, and wanted another sip of water, only to send it right back up. My mother and I scrambled. And all I wanted to do was cry. Cry and throw my hands up and say uncle.

She is still sick. Sam is not so out of it, but still rather incapacitated. And the girl just got tucked into my bed, where I will wake every hour as she tells me she can't quite yawn, whatever that means.

I have a lot of emails to write, things to do, I have read some blog posts here and there, and haven't quite been able to comment, like all week. And I'm sorry. I cannot figure out the mechanism to comment on my blackberry, and that is all I have been able to get to during the day, the blackberry. I mean to comment. I mean to email back, but I became a bit overwhelmed and then it got worse. And now, I am writing to grasp a moment of clarity and sanity.

Watching your children sick is torture. Helpless, flailing torture. It reminds me of my other daughter, even though I didn't see her suffer, I am just reminded of that feeling of not being able to catch a falling child. The other aspect is that I cannot get sick myself. I hear the stomach bug is a rather contagious, and I have been puked on 23 times rather a lot in the last two weeks. I have managed to stave off the plague. Sometimes I think it is sheer will. the nausea sets in, and I tell it off, give it the finger, and somehow manage to exist without becoming incapacitated.

My mother is helping me. She has cooked, and cleaned up puke, and gotten piss bottles, and refilled waters, and done vomit-y laundry. She perhaps is now deserving of some kind of honorary sainthood. I can only hope she escapes the plague. So, you know, that is what happens when you say something like "We are okay."


  1. Oh dear. How I wish you were close enough for a chicken soup delivery.

    Feel better, everyone.

  2. Holy crap. If you're still upright and functioning (and typing) after all that, you are indeed ok. I'd be wasted.

    hang tough, I'd sip broth and liquids if I were you, and I hope everyone is on the mend soon.

  3. Oh shit. I am off to delete my last post because I'm sure I said "We're okay" in it too!

    Oh my god I wish I could help you out somehow. What you're going through sounds positively awful. Hope you all heal up fast.


  4. Oh I feel like and ass for sending in my late submission.

    Angie. what a shit 2 weeks.

    Vomiting is pretty much my worst fear other than the obvious one of losing another child.

    How awesome is your mum. Mums are beautiful, beautiful creatures.

    Angie. Wishing you and your family a break, fresh air and some good energy.


  5. Oh, Angie. Say the word and I'll be there to mop up with you and make tea. Even minus the tea, you've definitely got the sympathy. I'm sorry it's been so rotten.

  6. OH babe!!! I am sending you sunshine from Austin and LOTS of good vibes- for strength, health and patience!!!!
    Comin' atcha live from down south!!

  7. Oh dear... I second Jen and hope we'd all be close enough to deliver soup, tea and healing sweets. Sending good healthy vibes over and hope everybody gets well soon.


  8. ((((Angie)))) Sending you all the avoiding the plague vibes I can!

  9. Oh Angie - be well all off you. May those with the plague recover and this without be immune.

  10. Eek, sounds like you have a lot on your plate these days. Watching your child be sick...I can really see the connection between that and losing an unborn baby. In both cases you're just sort of hanging there helplessly and at the whim of mother nature. Glad your mom's there to help a bit. Here's to plague-avoidance.

  11. Wow, you have a lot going on. Hoping everyone is feeling better.

  12. So so many healthy and healing vibes sent your way & hoping that you don't pick up the sickness!

    How is Bea today?

  13. you are IN IT, angie. the worst. hang in there. lots of liquids. lots of rest. glad your mom is there. xo

  14. yucko! sounds like a nasty one. and I am with you on the sensitive tummy - can't stand that stuff!

  15. Oh no. I hope you managed to keep well and not get the dreaded stomach bug as well. I have the weakest stomach and a phobia of vomit to boot...that would do me in. I hope little Bea is feeling better soon and that she can finally yawn again!


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