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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 39 ~ October 13, 2009
~ When the Stomach Bug Brings You Down

Hello! I am writing to you perched on my laptop . . . in the laundry room of our grand estate! OK, so it's not really grand! Ha ha But, I truly am writing from the trenches-the place in our home that has seen all the action lately--the laundry room!

Illness is so unsuspecting. I mean, one day, we're a healthy family of ten, but moments later, we are succumbing to a nasty stomach virus (and I do mean nasty) within just minutes of living a "normal" life.

Here's my story:

Last Thursday, I was happily entering my daily routine: Waking up at 5 am so I could take my 5 mile power walk. Jumping in the shower, heading up to the kitchen to make healthy breakfasts for the NECAP testing (wretched tests that take place each Fall in our school system. The teachers preach to the kids that they need to have healthy breakfasts each morning in order to do well on the tests . . . such pressure on us lowly parents!), lovingly sending each of my eight school kids out the door to face their days. After I drop Annie off at pre-school, I head to my job . . . doing an interview for one of the magazines I write for . . . this time, at a wildlife rehabilitation center. I walk into the rehab center and am nearly knocked off my feet with the raw stench of ailing seagull, goose and pigeon. I recover quickly and begin my stoic interview because in fact, this is a very interesting story and I am learning things about wildlife I never would've known otherwise.

The interview concludes and I am excited to begin my new story. I am in the car for only five minutes, and my cell phone rings and it's the school nurse. My son, Brendan, in the third grade has thrown up in gym class! Oh dear! I speed off to the nursery school to pick up my daughter, Annie, so we can fetch Master Brendan and get him home to safe terrain on our Chenille couch in our living room.

Sadly, my daughter's teacher tells me that "Annie has not been herself today" and I know deep down, as any mother knows . . . she is coming down with something. I race to the Elementary School and no sooner are we in the car for five minutes and Annie begins vomiting all over the back seat of the car! "Oh No," I scream!

I am numb. I walk into the Elementary School to pick up Brendan and the moment I walk in to the nurse's office, I know I am in trouble! Not only is my son, Brendan, lying on the cot, white as a ghost, my 4th Grader and his classroom are lined up in the clinic being checked for head lice! Oh dear Lord . . . save me now, I cry!

Thank God . . . Cameron does not have lice! Sadly, the stomach bug has just begun its descent on our vulnerable household of ten!

Five days later, we are finally in the homestretch. Six of my kids succumbed to it, two did not. Phewww! That's a break!

It's been a hard five days! A very hard five days! But guess what? We survived! I survived! The pukey bedding has been washed and placed back on the beds. My kids have lost a few pounds, but that will all go back on in record time! I'm a bit more tired, but somehow, mothers always rise above and keep on truckin!!

I am thankful that this is just a temporary illness! It could always be worse! I am also hopeful that we have paid our "stomach bug" dues early on . . . and will not be hit again during holiday time!

I hope you and yours are well and can avoid this stomach flu! If not . . . hang on tight. It is bad, but you will get through it!

    ~ Cheryl

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