Posted 09-03-2003 at 13:03:48
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My daughter Jill's boyfriend climbed into my truck last Friday morning complaining of a stomach ache. Either he is the tuffest kid on two legs or he was way underplaying the situation. Had a little diarreah, stomach cramps, but nothing he couldn't handle, he said. He and my daughter rode with me sixty miles and back to pick up my husband's paycheck.
By Friday evening, Jill was curled in a knot on the end of the couch. Stomach cramps, diarreah, mild fever. She slept from Friday night until Sunday evening, waking up only long enough to sip on the gatorade I was forcing her to drink.
By four o'clock Monday morning, this insidious little bug had found it's way to my digestive system and begun to wreak havoc. Five a.m. found me clutching the toilet bowl and heaving up everything that wasn't tied down and some things that felt like they were. By the way, meatloaf, even mine, tastes a lot better going down than it does coming back up. Sweat was pouring off of me in buckets and when I wasn't puking I was, well...you get the picture. Suffice it to say that one end of me or the other spent quality time with the ceramic throne.
About noon I called my husband whimpering.
"I think...I think I'm..dying. I need....water."
I was literally bawling like a baby. I have to be really, really sick before I'll cry. Fred knows this. It scared him to death.
"Jill will be home in two hours can you hang on? Even if I leave now it will take me longer than that to get there. Should I call an ambulance?" I had to really think about that.
"No...no...maybe I can crawl into the bathroom and drink from the bathtub."
I slept for almost twenty four hours straight, waking only long enough to groan at the intense pain in my lower back, hips, and upper thighs. I don't know if this was due to damage that I did to myself straining my puking muscles, or just more of the bug's handiwork. I woke up early this morning feeling like someone had dumped a bucket of sand down my throat. Every muscle in my body ached and I was still sniffling and sniveling out of pity for myself. I only began to make some kind of sense again this morning.
"Jill....have you talked to Paul lately?"
"How's he doing?"
"Did he give you any idea where he might have caught this creeping crud that he so graciously gifted us with?"
"Well, yeah, we were talking about that. He was over at John's last week."
"I KNEW it!" I was too weak to be too scary, but still her eyes popped open. John has three kids, kindergarten and younger. Just the right age for a bug like this to be crawling around looking for a host.
There is a reason why these types of illnesses seem to attack small children. Number one, they have the energy for it. They are young, and puking for five or six hours straight is a walk in the park for them. Physically, they bounce right back. Their muscles are strong and versatile. Plus they have someone there to take care of them, bring them drinks and a cool washcloth for their hot little brows, and last but not least, when they make a boo-boo in their knickers nobody is surprised and certainly not angry.
This is precisley why, as much as I love them and want to hug them and squeeze them and kiss them, that I steer clear of these little cookie crumblers. Any single one of them could be carrying what amounts to the black death to an adult with no resistance to these carpet crawling viruses.
My kids are all practically grown. We get normal stuff like, the flu, or a cold, or even strep throat, but these kids, they are biological warfare in pretty little grinning packages to anyone over twenty five or with no exposure to kids on a regular basis. Parents, grandparents, teachers, day care workers, seem to build up a certain amount of resistance to these germs, it's not fool proof but they are a lot safer than the average person who has no exposure to small kids and the germs they carry.
I work with PIGS for God's sake, and I am exposed to the west nile virus regularly, and all it took was a little germ from a litle kid passed through THREE people to knock the wind out of my sails.
"Well you tell him that the next time he goes over there he's not allowed over here for TWO WEEKS! You hear me!"
I still have no apetite and I still hurt all over and doing even minor things is a major challenge, but I am on the mend. Slowly but surely. Now I have only one thing to look forward to. Nursing the three other people in the house through this little wade through intestinal he11.