We have lived in our bungalow with one bathroom for more than five years. We have plans to put another bathroom in our basement in the next couple of months. On Monday, I was telling a patient about our plans for the bathroom. I told her that from the time that we moved into the house, I lived in fear of the day we all had a stomach bug at the same time, but thankfully, ‘knock on wood’, it had never happened.
That was incredibly stupid to say out loud. I should never have done that. Why even put it out in the universe and tempt fate?
So you can imagine what happened next.
First, Mark sent me a text to let me know Brady was vomiting. Then another to let me know that Sullivan was, too. Oh, and Colin had thrown up once, too. Colin had thrown up a couple of times the day before but it seemed more a result of choking on phlegm than anything else, he was playing and eating like normal, so I had not really thought too much about it. Looking back on it, I am pretty sure he was patient zero. After those texts, I started to feel not so good, but I figured it was in my mind and brought on by the power of suggestion.
It was not in my head.
By bedtime, we were all ill, except Colin who seemed to be over it. We put the older boys to sleep on blankets on the floor in the living room and I “slept” in the recliner beside them. The night passed in a whirl of trips to our one bathroom, rubbing backs, patting heads, emptying buckets and replacing soiled blankets. By 2:00 AM, I was running out of clean blankets, so I gave up mine and resorted to covering up with a couple of baby blankets. As I watched the laundry pile up, I cursed myself for having not made a new batch of laundry detergent. I had run out earlier that day and would have to shred a bar of Fels Naptha or go to the store to buy detergent in order to wash clothes, both options seemed unrealistic in my weakened state. The sounds, sights, and smells of that night will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am still amazed that I never broke down in the fetal position and cried (it actually never occurred to me to do so, but if it had, I am sure I would have), but I guess that is a benefit of having to take care of kids, it makes you tougher.
The worst was over by midday Tuesday and by the evening, the overwhelming job of clean up, laundry, and sanitization (and blog writing) did not seem as impossible as it had that morning. And though it was miserable, at least it was fast and furious and is now over with.
I have learned two very important lessons:
1. Do not nonchalantly brag about terrible things that have not happened to you unless you are prepared for them to happen to you that day.
2. Do not run low on laundry detergent (or toilet paper for that matter) lest your whole family be taken out by norovirus in one fell swoop.
And there is always a bright side to every story. I am 3 lbs. closer to goal weight and if there was any doubt about investing in a second bathroom in the basement, it has been completely eradicated.