Day 6 of Stomach Bug

This is the first smile we’ve seen on him in over 96 hours. He’s lost 2 1/2 pounds. Pedialtye is our new best friend. And the godparents are godsends for picking it up along with the prescription for Zofran.

I cannot express how heartbreaking it is to hold a near-listless child whose pleading eyes look up to you as he cries out in pain for you to relieve him in some way. And that you are doing all you can. And it is not enough. It isn’t even scratching the surface of his comfort.

He’s off solids, and the pediatrician suggested this morning that we pull him off formula until he can hold something down. It’s been 4 days. He’s hungry and you give him Pedialyte, but small amounts at a time to trick his system into thinking there isn’t anything going in, and thus preventing the trigger that makes everything come out. I got the bug on Monday and threw up more times than I can count. The next morning, my abs were sore like I’d done 300 crunches. So I cannot imagine the cramping and discomfort our little guy is enduring.

Though the Zofran and incremental hydration is working on the upper valves, his intestinal tract cannot be fooled. Anything ingested makes it’s way out, only to burn his raw bottom. Over, and over again.

Yesterday morning at 7:30 a.m., I was at Home Depot along with a whole bunch of construction workers – to purchase a large tarp, plastic disposable gloves, and two 5×5 drop cloths. Had I included a shovel at checkout, there is no doubt that the cops might have met me at the car or followed me home.

His poor butt looks like he went sledding down a mountain of heavy duty sandpaper. And then scooted along a gravel road for good measure. All the gear is down and we are keeping him diaperless or wrapping his bottom parts lightly with a loose cloth diaper. Our washer and dryer are earning their keep.

What does he have? On the heels of ear infections #4 and #5, he got a stomach virus, probably picked up his first day back at daycare last week. Harper has miraculously remained oblivious to the bug. Having her at daycare these last three days has helped us manage caring for Mateo one-on-one while essentially quarantining her. I’m a little nervous, however, about the next several days.

We’re interviewing nanny’s and as soon as we find someone we’re pulling them out of daycare. Mateo has been some version of sick since late August, except maybe 15 or so days. I’m all for getting them exposed early on, but the expense of daycare plus the additional caretaker expense when they can’t go to school is tipping us over and throwing us down the stairs. Concrete stairs. With metal reinforcements. Made worse when the sitter no-calls/no-shows and Jen has to cancel two lessons to take Harper to school and I now have to stay home from work. Translation: loss of income x 2.

My hope is that he is on the mend, and that we don’t end up at the hospital to rehydrate. And that Harper stays healthy. It seems like a lot to ask for in a season when we should be giving thanks instead of asking for mercy. But be there no doubt, we are so grateful for the blessing in our lives – especially in these tough economic times. We hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by as much or as little family – chosen or given – and friends as your hearts can take.

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