Saturday, February 23, 2008

Laid Flat by the Flu--Apologies to the Squeamish

We returned from Florida 5 days ago, but 3/5 of our family has been flattened by illness. Chris developed it first--a bout of some kind of stomach bug that came on Friday while we were in Florida. By Saturday, it had moved onto Kieran, who threw up in the car on our way up to Tallahassee, and had to miss most of the wedding festivities because he was so out of it. Fortunately he was mostly recovered by Sunday, and we were all safe for the flight home on Monday. (THANK GOD is all I can say about that!)

Poor wee little Nicholas has had the worst of it--I had flown to Spokane for a meeting the day after we returned from Florida, and on Tuesday evening, I called Mike around the kids' bedtime from the fancy steakhouse where we were having dinner...and Chris got on the phone to tell me that Mike was dealing with the aftermath of Nicholas and Kieran throwing up. Nicholas seemed to develop a bad cold and the stomach flu simultaneously.

Talk about mother guilt! Here I was staying in a lavish, luxurious hotel in Spokane (the Davenport Hotel...we have an amazing corporate rate) and eating caesar salad and crab cocktail for dinner (not being a steak eater), and my poor love was cleaning up after two sick kids. Kieran's illness had not returned--he's just developed a serious aversion to other people throwing up...much like my sweet nephews, who often start chain reactions when one of them hurls.

At any rate, Nicholas has been vomiting since Tuesday...we have never had a child in such a bad state for this long. I took him to the pediatrician yesterday, who discovered an ear infection and declared the vomiting to be a result of the cold. I immediately disagreed (to myself), as my mother's instinct tells me he has both. The doc recommended an intramuscular injection of antibiotic, since he's vomiting so the poor kid had to have two jabs when he was feeling so puny.

The antibiotic seems to be doing the trick somehow. He has vomited since then, but the frequency and amount seem to be gradually decreasing. He's hardly eaten any solid food except for a few bites of yogurt since Tuesday, and he's not terribly interested in nursing either. This might be the beginning of weaning, which makes me feel ambivalent mostly because it will be the end of my era as a nursing mom, and also because it means he's not a baby any more. That might seem odd to many of you, but I know my sister will understand that statement!

In the meantime, I started feeling ill on the flight home from Spokane and have not felt well since. I now have caught Nicholas' cold as well as not having much of an appetite. Mike suddenly got hit with something last night, fell asleep at 7:30, slept for 12 hours, and seems recovered now.

I feel so helpless when my kids are sick. Personally, I HATE throwing up, and it just kills me to see Nicholas throwing up multiple times a day. He hasn't been his usual sparkly, talkative self recently, and constantly wants to be held...although he seems to be making some small improvements.

Here are some photos of Nicholas from happier, healthier days--he is napping right next to me right now and looking like an angel.

With my buddy Nancie B. (and one of Nicholas' godmothers)

Playing in a kitchen cabinet at our condo in Florida

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