Despite the fact that it is supposedly “Springtime”, the stomach flu is still making it’s rounds. As referenced in yesterdays blog, my baby girl is down with it currently, and now the hubs is as well. I’m constantly hearing adults with no children whining about how they are “so sick with the flu”, and my uber-competitive self is LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY at them! Sure, maybe it’s just because I’m 75% crazy (TRUE story), but it also may be because every time I hear about the flu, I am reminded of the “incident” a few years ago that happened in our house. I refer to as, the DEMON FLU FROM Hell!! It started with my son Jonah, in that horrible night referenced in yesterdays blog Boys vs. Girls: Being Sick with the Flu (if you haven’t read it yet, do so now…I’ll wait. All caught up now? OK, let’s proceed). But that was JUST the beginning.
As EVERY parent knows, if it’s a NASTY virus, it usually was brought home by one of the little darlings from that petri-dish called “school”, and the whole family will get it, and probably not at the same time, so be prepared. So that’s what I did. That evening I sent the dear hubs to the store with the last of our between-paychecks money to get children’s tylenol, ibuprofen, toilet paper, ginger ale, blue Power Aid (the drink of choice to combat dehydration in our house), Ramen noodle soup, and ingredients for me to make homemade chicken noodle soup. I THOUGHT we were all prepared…
Then the temperatures hit -20 degrees below (Fahrenheit NOT Celcius) and we rent a house that is over 100 years old, so GUESS WHAT? The water intake pipe running to the toilet FROZE. “What does this mean”, you ask? It means that after you go to the bathroom, there is no water coming up the pipe to flush the…contents…down the toilet. Instead, I have to fill a 5 gallon bucket with warm water, pour it into the toilet bowl (SLOWLY so there is no yucky overflow) until all the…contents go away. Of course this is the point when Jonah’s “being sick” decided to…switch ends. Yep, you guessed it. He now needed to…go to the bathroom every 10 minutes, which meant I was a nonstop bucketeer both to make the toilet flush AND wipe the child (BUCKETeer…see what I did there? :). This is when the following conversation transpired:
“Mom I sowee but I can’t stop poopin and it hurts. Is like I peein out da wrong spot.”
“Jonah you have diarrhea”
“NO MOM I NOT WANT TO DIE!“– and he proceeded to wail inconsolably for 30 minutes until he drifted off to sleep.
Jonah was down another day, but then we had a sick free day, the temperatures soared to a balmy 10 degrees F (Fahrenheit) that day so I thought, “hooray, all is well and good with the world!” WRONG.
By Friday evening, temperatures we down to -10 degrees F again, and we were all cuddled up on the couch trying to warm up. At this point it was JUST before bedtime (the Daily Post word of the day) when EVERYTHING bad happens with children. I was relaxing for a brief moment and cuddling with Aria when *BAM* out of nowhere she gets sick…ALL OVER ME (are we noticing a pattern here, because I am). I immediately yell for the dear hubs to grab ‘The Bucket’ while I attempt to catch round 2. During this Aria starts crying and saying she’s “sowwy” between rounds. I couldn’t be mad at the kid, it came out of NOWHERE. So I AGAIN strip my defiled clothes, the child’s defiled clothes, the defiled blankets and headed downstairs to the FREEZING cold nasty dungeon basement and threw the noxious load in, the double dose of laundry detergent, set it on HOT water and hit “Start”. Nothing. YEP!! Our WASHING MACHINE BROKE!! RIGHT then and there.
‘It couldn’t get ANY worse’…right? Well that’s what I said. HUGE MISTAKE!! The temperatures continued plummeting, and were averaging -10 during the day, which meant -20 to -30 (again FAHRENHEIT) at night. Which meant that for the first 5 hours of the morning, the toilet didn’t work. Just in time for Aria’s flu to “switch ends” on Saturday morning.
By late Sunday morning, luckily Aria was feeling better and heading back to the land of the living, but I still kept her home from the meeting at our Kingdom Hall (church) and sent Jon & Jonah on without us. When the boys cam home, Aria and I were on the couch watching a movie, and the boys changed into comfy clothes and joined us. Literally THREE minutes later, the hubs DASHES to the bathroom and gets sick (Side Note: my dear, sweet husband throws up louder than any other human on the planet. True Story).
After the kids went to bed, sometime after 8:00 pm, the toilet intake pipe froze again and our ONE toilet wouldn’t flush. It was too late at night to call the landlord, and we were too sick to let anyone in! SO WHAT COULD we DO? If the hubs got sick and needed a bucket, I had to go outside, empty the contents (remember how COLD it was) then run back in to the kitchen and clean the bucket in the functioning kitchen sink. Jury-rigging something for when he got sick on the “south side”, when he needed a toilet was much trickier. I put a box of thick trash bags next to the toilet (which had no water and was not functional). I cleaned the toilet bowl with bleach, and put a thick blag garbage bag in the potty. When someone had to…go to the bathroom, they just went or and got sick in the bag, then after I threw the bag outside, and replaced it with another. It wasn’t optimal, but it was a solution.
This was the point where I foolishly uttered the infamous phrase “Things couldn’t get ANY worse!” At around 9:30 that night I start being sick, both sides. While I would normally say, “No Biggie” I may have have forgotten to let you in on one minor detail: I was slated to have surgery in 3 days, and you are NOT supposed to be sick within 72 hours of a surgery. SO we have two sick adults, from both ends, one NONFUNCTIONAL bathroom. The poor hubs and I were both up sick most of the night, and into the next morning. The only upside was that it was Monday and at least our son would be off to school, right? WRONG! It was so bitterly cold (-25 F) that Jonah’s school got cancelled, so we now have TWO HYPER kids, while Jon and I crawled from the couch to the “bathroom” all day long.
So now is when you say.. OK it JUST CAN’T get ANY worse, right? WRONG! Around 1:00 pm the bathroom sink and bathtub started backing up with…STUFF… Our ONE BATHROOM is now COMPLETELY . So Jon is sick on BOTH ends, and our ONE bathroom is out of commission. NOTHING ELSE COULD GO WRONG!! NOPE.WRONG AGAIN. The landlord was at work, and couldn’t get any plumbers to come out that day, due to the amount of calls coming in from frozen pipes, etc. So as we attempted to convalesce, the stench grew more and more rank.
We all went to work and school the next day, and when my dear hubs got off work, the stench and state of our abode was toxic and unlivable. Despite his hypersensitive smell and weak constitution, the dear hubs sent the kiddos and I to spend Tuesday night at my parents, while the helped my landlord fix the issue. When they were finally done he set off to meet up with us at my parents, only to be hit halfway through the drive with a whiteout of a snowstorm. The next morning, Wednesday ,FINALLY, ONE WEEK from when Jonah first christened me in vomit- it was over, and we were back in our home with a functioning bathroom, within 16 hours of my surgery.
So the next time the flu hits your household and you you are about to utter those fateful words: “this CAN’T be ANY WORSE,” TRUST me… IT CAN. Until then, take it from me: “Just SHAVE Your LEGS!”