A decade ago, my father’s side of the family had a family reunion in Martin, TN. While surrounded by delicate infants and fragile seniors, Sarah and Tommy developed red spots. Red spots that went from two to two hundred over a matter of hours. We probably caused the biggest outbreak of chicken pox that small community had seen in years. This weekend, our family alone doubled the population of extremely rural Parsons, TN (so small it has no Wallyworld). The night before the funeral, I felt my stomach staring to betray me and before the sunrise, it was in complete rebellion. I momentarily thought of blaming the previous night’s dinner, but I’ve had food poisoning (thank you Chattanooga Taco Bell) and this was not food poisoning.
Earlier in the week, the day my grandmother’s body stopped working, Evan spent that day with mystery vomiting. No fever, no cough, nothing but endless stomach emptying and a cranky disposition. Oh, he slept a lot, too. Whenever Tommy gets sick, he leans over the edge of his bed, vomits and then screams for it too be cleaned. He moans loudly that he is “too sick” to get off of the bed. When Sarah is sick, she leans over the edge of her bed, vomits and then goes back to sleep. She can’t be bothered with trying to make it into the bathroom. Noah just tilts his head to the side to vomit. This scares me. He shouldn’t drink in college. Amy sits straight up and projectile vomits before bursting into tears. I try carrying Evan into the bathroom, but he screams in terror if I hold him over the toilet. He contentedly empties his stomach all down my shoulder, back, arm and chest, then nestles his head down on the least disgusting side of my neck. When Evan was sick last week, we repeated the vomit all over mom routine all day long.
So, when I got sick Friday night, there really wasn’t any question about the source of the virus. Saturday, I spent the day moving from one chair to another. Doug and Sarah did most of the toddler/preschooler corralling. By the time we drove home Saturday night, I had aches, chills and a serious case of the oh-poor-me’s. Yesterday I progressed to just feeling like a deflated balloon. Today I am looking at our mountain of laundry that could hide more soldiers than a Trojan horse. I would crawl back in bed, but the sheets are in the laundry.