Other than my maternity leave, scheduled vacations and a day off for the funeral of Zac’s grandmother, I haven’t missed more than a day or two of work since I started as an intern at the Daily Mountain Eagle in 2007.
But this week a stomach virus that could only have originated in the pits of hell changed that.
Wyatt woke up with it on Tuesday. I stayed home with him and came down with it by midday Wednesday.
My mother and brother, who had helped care for Wyatt while I was making supply runs and then sick myself, had the virus by Wednesday night. Thursday was my father’s turn.
As I write this on Friday morning, I have yet to return to the office because none of the five of us are completely well.
Only Zac has escaped the wrath of this so-called “zombie virus.” If he somehow manages to make it through the weekend unharmed, his new nickname is going to be Superman because his immune system must be made of steel.
I’m sure doctors have an official fancy name for this stomach bug, but all that really needs to be said about it is that it’s highly contagious and gross.
Unfortunately, little Wyatt, who has never had anything more serious than a sinus infection, was its first victim in our family.
Between 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the poor baby threw up no less than a dozen times.
There was a lull around 6 a.m. when Zac left for work. Wyatt and I were trying to catch up on lost sleep in the recliner when he came around and kissed us on the forehead.
“Whatever it was, he seems to be over it now,” Zac whispered. Famous last words.
The next several hours went something like this. Wyatt would wake up and whine, “Mommy, need to go ‘bafroom.’” I’d pick him up and rush him to the “big potty,” as he calls it.
He would hand me two of his favorite new action figures, Sully and Boo from “Monsters, Inc.” I would place them on the sink as he laid his forehead on the toilet rim.
Earlier in the morning, he had been trying to hold himself up with two shaky little arms. By the fourth or fifth trip, he had lost the strength to do that.
When he was done, he would ask for Sully and Boo back. I would wipe his face and walk him back to the recliner, where he would snooze until he woke up again and announced “Mommy, need to go ‘bafroom.’”
The highlight of the morning was when I let him get the contents of a dirty Pull-Up from one end of the house to the other.
While washing it off one of the loveseat cushions, I noticed some crumbs that needed to be taken care of as well.
I retrieved our new vacuum cleaner and promptly sucked up not only the crumbs but some weird red strap that must be used by movers.
I couldn’t find the off switch right away because it’s in a totally different spot than it was on our old vacuum cleaner, so I tugged and tugged until the strap broke in half. That’s when I smelled the burning.
At that point, I found the off switch.
I also sent Zac a text notifying him that I might have screwed up our new vacuum cleaner.
A couple of hours later, I went to the drugstore to retrieve the nausea medicine called in by Wyatt’s doctor.
I knew I wasn’t exactly firing on all engines since I had been caring for a sick baby since 4:30 a.m. However, I didn’t know how bad it was until it came time to pay.
I got out my debit card and stared at the little machine in front of me. What I didn’t realize is that machine is where I would be signing, not swiping.
After an eternity, the clerk gently tugged the card from my hand and said, “Let me see it, hon.”
Zombie virus indeed.