Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We're not at my parents' house for Thanksgiving with my sisters, their husbands, and my sister's daughter, who was born the day after Ada and we rarely get to see. We're not anywhere for Thanksgiving. We're home, of course, but we won't be celebrating very much tomorrow; no one in my house is eating. The girls and Paul are not eating because of their GI bug. I'm not eating for two reasons: 1) I know that I will be struck down similarly very soon, and would prefer to have as little in my stomach as possible when that happens (I'll still eat toast, etc., as I become hungry). 2) My nose is so full of the unbearable stench of a house full of three people with GI bugs that it's hard to imagine wanting to eat.

This no good, terrible, very bad situation is exacerbated by a few things, most of which I'll call Paul, just for the sake of convenience. Since Paul is sick, he's very cranky and passive-aggressive. Since I barely cope with this much illness anyway, having a marginally civil co-parent is not easing matters. For example, if I notice that he's using diaper wipes on a freshly showered child, I might ask, "Oh, no, did she have more diarrhea?" And he might reply, "No, I just saw some on her and decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to leave it there." Unnecessarily sarcastic, rather than collaborative.

Further, he has very different ideas about cleanliness and germ-existence than I do. Granted, I was the one who took all those Biology courses in college. But his dad's got a Master's in Biology and is a high school Biology teacher, so surely Paul picked some of the 19th century concept of germ existence. But frequent hand-washing? Not so much. And, something germy (e.g. a used diaper wipe or soiled clothing) can apparently be set down on a surface frequently touched by other people (e.g. a chair) without leaving any germs behind. And the most disgusting things can be rinsed into the kitchen sink, despite all the dishes piled up in there.

Moving right along.

Thanksgiving. A couple of things about this whole illness have been wonderful. Yes! Wonderful! First, Ada seems to be through Part 1 of the illness, the throwing up part, and hasn't been nearly as sick as her older sister. Second, Ellie communicated with us! We took Ada to the doctor yesterday, and while she was being examined, Ellie told us that she was sick too. We blew her off nicely, thinking that she just wanted attention since her sister was getting so much. Then, after she'd been vomiting etc. for a few hours this morning, she told us that her throat hurt. So back to the doctor we went - and, indeed, Ellie has strep! (Ada's culture was negative.) This is the first time, the very first time ever, in more than 4 years, that she's diagnosed herself and given us the necessary information to help her. She told us her throat hurt! We took her to the doctor! She cultured positive for strep! And she got a shot of penicillin! Yay!

Where did she get the strep? Good question, and I do have a theory. The GI bug could have come from anywhere. Ada was sick first; she might have picked it up in the nursery at church, or anywhere else. After all, she's the one of us who crawls around on the floor, tries eating everything she sees, puts her dirty fingers into her mouth all the time, and gets passed around groups of people like a party favor.

But the strep part, I presume, came from Paul. He wasn't himself on Saturday night. (Note to the big crowd of people we had over here on Saturday: I'm sorry! But at least alcohol kills germs, and we sure had a lot of that!) I kept asking him why he wasn't participating in the party more, and he just said that he felt like sitting quietly and enjoying from afar, and that his throat hurt. We've all had a little cough/cold, so he insisted that his throat just hurt from coughing. I doubt that. I think he brought home strep. I wish he'd go get cultured. (Rob, I even used you as an example for motivation! No dice.)

So far, my throat's fine, and my stomach is a little off mostly because of what I'm smelling. I hope. Another bright and shining Thanksgiving light: I've written over 38,000 words this month, and am on target to hit the NaNoWriMo 50,000 target several days early. So I'm taking tonight off and going to bed. After I start a load of laundry and load the dishwasher.

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is going better than mine!


Orange said...

My MIL doesn't like diaper wipes. Her method is to remove the dirty diaper, drop the poop in the toilet if possible, and wash the baby's ass in the bathroom sink with her soapy bare hand.

Fortunately, there's only one grandkid who might still be in diapers, and he turns three this month.

I'm sorry you're living in the smelly sick house!

Sarahlynn said...

So. Gross. So gross!

I'd be using Clorox wipes on that sink a dozen times a day.

HiddenChicken said...

I'm sorry you had such a stinky and disappointing Thanksgiving, but it sounds like at least one very wonderful thing happened. I hope everyone gets better soon, and congrats to Ellie!

I'm very impressed, by the way. It sounds like you're staying remarkably calm - I'd probably be burning the sheets, clothes and chairs by now! If it makes you feel any better (and I doubt it will, but I'll say it anyway), my husband has a horrible habit of leaving used clothing and diapers on every available surface - mostly the floor. Any floor.

We'd probably be in the exact same boat if he and/or Ragsy got sick. If (when) that happens, I'm thinking I'll sequester them both together and torch the room once they're better.

Orange said...

Sarahlynn, you should see where she thaws frozen chicken.

Sarahlynn said...

Orange, I tried not to ask, but I cannot resist: where? Oh, where?

Hidden Chicken, it sounds like our husbands are more alike than I knew!