It's been a rough month. Here's a brief timeline of my experiences from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5, for those interested in the sordid tale of barf, cross-country travel, and marathon running.
Sunday, November 5: Owen started brewing our first bout of stomache flu on the airplane home from Joanna's wedding, where he crapped his pants twice with awful diarrhea. Let's just say his underpants ended up being tossed out in a barf bag, and his pants were washed in an airplane sink. Yeah. Try to picture that.
Thursday, November 9: Owen has been barfing and crapping for about four days at this point, whereupon Stewart picked up the baton and spent three nights straight crapping himself and his bed about three times a night. Meanwhile, Kyle spent much of these three days lying in bed, typing weakly at his keyboard amidst a fever and chills.
Saturday, November 11: I took care of everyone all week, getting pretty much no sleep. So I was looking forward to a little "me" time. I did my twelve mile practice run for the half marathon, came home, showered, then promptly fell into a raging fever. My throat swelled up like a toad's, my tonsils hurt so badly I couldn't swallow without bracing myself and the back of my mouth was covered with little pus sacks.
Monday, November 13: My mom called to let me know that my Grandma had died.
Tuesday, November 14: I raced to the doctor, hoping to get some drugs in my system so I could improve in time to fly home for the Friday memorial.
Diagnosis: Strep. The cure: Penicillin.
Thursday, November 16: I felt good enough to fly to Illinois for Grandma's memorial, though weak and in a sweat.
Monday, November 20: Wilbur and I returned, and I had just about a week to get the house back in order from all the travelling and barfing. I unpacked, did about a zillion loads of laundry, revisited all the old barf sites with Febreeze and just in general tried to catch up from all the chaos, while of course, decorating the house for Christmas and cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
Monday, November 27: Kyle left for Palo Alto for a business trip, so I had three difficult days trying to meet everyone's needs and get everyone to school on time with no help.
Thursday, November 30: Kyle was home, and thank God. Stewart was up barfing all night. Diarrhea followed all day long, and for the next three. Once again, the couch, floor, and "crap towels" got a workout. Loads and loads of filthy, vile towels and jammies were washed.
Sunday, December 3: I ran my half-marathon. My knee started aching almost immediately- either because of the cold weather, or because I didn't stretch enough- who knows? I pushed through the pain okay for about the first seven miles. Miles seven, eight and nine, I limped along by "running" on my left foot- basically, I just let my right leg touch the ground instead of using it to propel myself. Still, however, the impact of it on the ground hurt so much it nearly buckled under me, and I thought about stopping and seeing the medics on the sidelines, but I was afraid they wouldn't let me finish the race.
My knee hurt so bad I walked/limp-jogged miles 11 and 12, and limp-jogged mile 13 to the finish line. My time was 2:30:20, which is not horrible, but very disappointing, because my time on my twelve mile practice run was 2 hours. So I really thought I'd come in pretty close to two hours, ten minutes, or thereabouts. And it was just depressing to have all this adrenaline going and all this energy to finish the race, but just not being able to run on my knee. I know, I know, pity party, right?
Suck it up and get ready for the next race was Steve's advice.
So anyhow, on the way back from the marathon, Kyle gives me a call- "Can you pick up lunch?" I call back to find out what he wants.
"Actually," he said, "Owen is throwing up, and Wilbur just woke up covered in barf and diarrhea. Maybe you should just skip the food and come right home."
Great. Back home to the cesspool.
I get home, calm the kiddies, try to help Kyle while he showers, then take my own shower and nap.
I woke up from said nap queasy, and spent the afternoon knowing exactly how why Owen kept saying his stomache hurt. Finally at like 4 pm I barfed and felt better. The diarrhea didn't begin in earnest until the next day.
Monday, December 4: Too weak from diarrhea to cook dinner, I order pizza for the Ford fam. Owen, who seemed to be improving, ate pepperoni and cheese pizza heartily. One hour later, he unleashed a torrent of barf on the couch unlike any I've ever seen. Half digested pepperoni dripped down several cushions, soaking them through and running into the carpet. Kyle and I had to spend the evening cleaning up.
Tuesday, December 5: About 12:30 am- Kyle went upstairs to help Owen, who had of course diarhea'd his pants. Two minutes later, I heard Kyle calling for me. "I need your help right now!" he said.
I got up just as he was rushing down the stairs like a madman. He made it to the bathroom door before spewing barf all over the hallway and bathroom entry.
I was treated to another view of half-digested pepperoni pizza, this time with wings included, as I wiped it from the floor and walls.
Another day, another load of barf-soaked towels.
Tuesday, December 5: Spent the morning using a hair dryer on the couch cusions, hoping to dry them enough so they're usable, though crusty and vomit-scented. Then I decided to create a timeline of all this drama, brining us to the present moment.
Let's just say it's been a weird month.
(Interesting side note: This November was much like two years ago, when we had the great 2004 November of Horrors. That was the November that started with Owen spending four days in the hospital with ITP which we thought might be leukemia, and and ended with a vomit soaked drive from Phoenix to L.A. that is the stuff of nightmares. I hope having a horrifying November every two years isn't some kind of weird pattern...)