The Sickness Snowball Effect

Living in a house with five people, three of whom are under five, means that, inevitably, when one person gets sick, it snowballs until every person is sick.

Which would be fine, if all five people were able-bodied and capable of tending to their own needs.

Obviously this is not the case in my household.

I tell you, this has been a rough week for the Fantastic Family. In fact, this week I shall rename myself, Fantastic *cough* Mrs *achoo* T.

You know when you get such a bad cold, or tummy ache, or, heaven forbid, the actual flu, and all you want is your Mummy? Well, poos to that – what if you ARE the Mummy? And YOU want YOUR Mummy?! When does it end?!?!?!?!?!

It’s Winter. It it horrible. We apparently have the worst cold and flu season in five years. After this week, I believe it. Do I what.

This is a little over a week, in the Fantastic *cough*sneeze*achoo* Family household. Brace yourselves.

Saturday Morning

I woke up to news that my friend had spent the previous night vomiting. She was the second in our group of friends, though we had assumed the first had food poisoning. I was sympathetic to her plight. Obviously not sympathetic enough. By midday, another friend had been sick. Ruh-roh.

Saturday Evening

The stomach cramps began. The pain, the agony. If I were pregnant I would have driven myself to the labour ward, they were that strong. And, sure enough, the vomiting followed. I was up all night long – judging by the neatly arranged towels on the bathroom floor, I’m pretty sure I slept there. I can’t be certain, the night is a blur. Remember going out on a Saturday night and coming home, feeling a big “off”, wondering what you did the night before, and then sleeping it off? Yea, it was just like that. Except my “out” was the toilet room. And my sleeping it off was non existent. Because Children. And the Snowball Effect.

Sunday Morning

I rise from the dead, feeling barely worth standing. At least the vomiting eased a bit by mid morning. For me. Then BoyChild started. Bless him, he paints a sad picture when he’s sick. He slumps his shoulders, says, “Oh, Mum” in the most heartbreaking voice, then slumps to the toilet to be sick. At one point I found him standing the the corner with his head against the wall. I asked if he were alright and he replied, “Oh, Mum”.

Sunday Afternoon

Well, BoyChild seems to be keeping his toast down. Yay! So, of course, it’s BabyGirl’s turn! And, because she is so little and so vulnerable, it was just painful watching her go through it.

Monday

The tummy bug seemed to have magically skipped both Mr T and Princess, thank heavens for that! We are done! Until …

Thursday

Mr T turns to me and says, “How did your tummy bug start? I don’t feel so good …”

Friday

Ruh Roh. Mr T’s incubation period is obviously a lot longer than ours. Poor fella, he was sick as a dog that day. I just tried to keep the kids as far away as I could.

Friday Evening

I will ignore the sore throat I can feel developing, because NO MORE. It’ll pass, right.

Saturday Morning

Wrong. Wake up feeling a bit gross. Blocked nose, sore throat, the works. I figure, it’ll be a 24 hr thing, I just need to get through it. Mr T had to work all day long so I kept busy with things like housework and entertaining three preschoolers. Mostly by getting them to do housework.

Saturday Night

Ruh Roh. Fever, shakes, headache, stomach cramps, chest cough, the actual works.

Sunday Morning

How the heck could this cold be WORSE than last night?! I actually think my body was shutting down. The pain. The cold – I lit the fire at 9am and didn’t move from that spot all day. The fever. The cough. Oh, dear lordie. I called my Mum and cried that I neeeeeeeeeeeeeded her (unfortunately she lives 4.5 hours drive away and couldn’t come, though did offer some very reassuring words). I cried when BabyGirl headbutted me. I cried because I WAS SICK AND I DIDN’T WANT TO BE SICK. And, more than anything, I wanted to be the baby that day. I wanted to lie on the ground in front of the fire and moan and whine and be waited on. But, Mr T had to work and someone had to look after the kids. I tell you what, it’s hard work being a Mum, when the last thing you feel like is anyone touching you!

Sunday Afternoon

An amazing friend popped in and grabbed Princess for the evening. One down, two to go. I called my sister and her partner and said, would they mind coming over for dinner, I was NOT coping with the kids? And of course, they came. It was a hard thing to admit, that I wasn’t handling the kids at all. But sometimes you just have to set aside your pride for your sake AND the kids sake! My sister brought with her all kinds of necessities for a sick mumma (medication, hot lemon and honey drink, a magazine, chocolate …) and I was able to have a bath while they watched the kids.

Bliss.

Glad the worst is over.

Don’t be silly, Mrs T!

Monday Morning

RUH

ROH

I’m not sure why I’m surprised. I mean, I spent two very long days in very close proximity to all three kids, at least one of them was bound to catch what I had. But, all three? At the same time?!

While still not 100% myself, I spent all of yesterday dosing kids up with pamol, juggling cuddles, rationing lemonade ice blocks, playing games, charging ipads, getting laundry done, taking temperatures, re-dosing with pamol, changing tv channels …. and this carried off well into the night.

Tuesday

And here we are, on Tuesday morning. Day Four in a row of myself at home with all three kids, none of whom feel well enough to tolerate anything … at least I feel better. Better, mind. Not well. Better than Sunday. The entire night was a juggle of children in and out of our bed. I was up at 4am with BabyGirl, I moved BoyChild into his own bed at 5am and Princess needed a bath at 6am. No kindy today, no preschool. And no, Princess – we are not going out for lunch!

It’ll be a long day but we will get there. Slowly.

Princess’s big birthday bash is this coming Saturday, so I’m hoping that these illnesses will be long gone by then. The silver lining is that at least they are all sick at once and not dragging it out over weeks. *touch wood*.

And there you have it, the Sickness Snowball Effect. Can it be prevented? No, I don’t think so. But, I will be grabbing plenty of fresh fruit and veges and vitamins at the supermarket later on today, just to be sure.

Right, I need to get off the computer, BoyChild has been sitting behind me on my chair for the past five minutes, coughing and whining about playing a Thomas game on the computer, asking if it’s his turn yet?

Yes, BoyChild. It’s your turn. I need to go and disinfect my entire house.

 

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