I got home from my less than fun doctor's appointment on Tuesday (are they ever fun?) and after sharing with C how things went, he was asking about what I wanted for dinner. I didn't feel particularly hungry, so I didn't really know or care. He was still coming off of his run at the quick little flu-bug that's been passing through the house and family (O, Z, N and E), so he didn't care much either.
About 6:30pm, I started feeling that urge that I was going to lose my lunch at any time. After standing by the kitchen sink ready to go, C said, "Are you sure this is where you want to be doing this? You'll freak all the kids out."
True. He's wise.
So I went upstairs, put on my PJs and flopped on the bed. Twenty minutes later, it started. Mama was next in line for the flu.
I battled half the night with fighting the sick and ultimately giving in time and again. The rest of the night was spent alternating between the bed, which felt too hot, and the bathroom floor, which was cool, but unwelcoming. About midnight, I went down to the couch and watched some random HGTV television to try to forget about the terrible I felt in my gut.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, I found out that poor J was vomiting again. I'm sure this was her turn at the five-hour flu (which is about how long it lasted for the other kids), but still, I felt bad that she was having to endure that after weeks of vomiting otherwise. Thankfully, S did a great service to me and helped her through the night so I could tend to my own illness. I think C helped her out, too, but I was too out of it to know the exact details.
By morning, the vomiting stopped. J felt great. I did not. Somehow, this flu acts differently with the adults. It took C a good 24 hours to return to his normal level of tired. I'd say it was about the same for me except that several hours beyond that, I still have a pretty good headache and low tolerance for the misbehaving of children. Anyway, this was yesterday morning (Wednesday) and the boys thoughtfully brought me a Popsicle and ice water in bed. A little while later, J brought me a bowl of chicken broth (she said, "I know you only had a Popsicle for breakfast ... I thought you might still be hungry").
S went to watch E and N at their house for me, so my sister could still go to work. Meanwhile, our other four kids -- other than a few minor scuffles, which brought them up to my room to help them sort through the problems -- behaved generally well. H and O even did a little schoolwork together. Z kept me company and watched a couple shows on our bedroom television. J nursed me -- checking in, giving lots of hugs and refilling my ice water often.
But the rest of the time, I was completely out of it. My body and head ached like I'd been run over by a garbage truck. I remember just patches of time and the hours were oddly spaced out. I remember S coming home from her aunt's house (which would have been around 3:00) and checking in on me and the next thing I knew, it was 6:58pm and the house was empty except Nova and me. I vaguely remembered hearing from Z that C was going to take the kids to get dinner stuff at the grocery store, but I couldn't tell you when that was.
I sat up and called C on his cell phone. "Are the kids at youth group? And where are you?"
Then, back to sleep.
Usually, when I get sick, I have to muscle through. I'm
the Mama. I have work to do and I don't get sick leave. But there are
sometimes when I get so completely sick that I never actually make it
out of bed. This was one of those times.
I got up around 9:00pm after kids came home after youth group (I think I heard C yelling at Z and H for some dumb behavior on the drive) and C made me a chicken breast and broccoli, which settled well with me and kept me full through the night. First thing I'd eaten all day after a Popsicle and broth.
This morning, my head was still pounding and I still felt tired, but overall, I felt better. I felt at least that I could get out of bed. And needed to get out of bed.
I spent the first twenty minutes racing around picking things up downstairs and delegating jobs. Dishes, vacuuming, putting small things out of reach. There was so much to catch up on from my lost day. Plus, nieces would be over soon with grabby hands and curious mouths. Our kids were asking if they could eat breakfast and I said, "First, do this job..." and thankfully, they complied without too much groaning.
It's weird to think that an entire day sleeping off sickness can be made up in a fast 20 minutes. That had to be God's clock there. I can't explain it any other way. It's good to know He keeps some spare moments around for sick mamas. Without the rest I got yesterday, there's no way I'd be up on my feet today.
I'm also very thankful to my family for allowing me that kind of rest and not burning the house down while I wasn't paying attention. The mama in the family is only as good as those who support her through those really tough days.
P.S. L stayed home with the flu today. So that means there are just three kids and one other mama who has escaped so far. I'm still hoping and praying it doesn't get to these last few. These resilient ones. Aren't we nearly to summertime? We should be done with this kind of sick already!!
P.P.S. Z's orthodontic appointment was scheduled for yesterday afternoon. I did manage to remember and cancel that for now. There was no way I could make it.