Sick kids

Sick kidssick kids

Again? I mean, I think I just posted about sick kids. How can this be a recurring topic?

Well, then again, how can it not?

I work in 2 hospitals (surrounded by sick kids), the girls swim (and drink pool water) at least once a week, and they hang out with other ( potentially) germy kids in (very) germy arenas at least 2-3 times a week, so I guess this is par for the course.

This particular episode happened several weeks ago, so I’m no longer in the midst of the plague, running an infirmary, feeling sorry for myself, and wishing for a sick kid camp that I could send them to.

But it was bad, and I may have some PTSD, so just wait….I may start to regress, and have flashbacks, and start sweating thinking about vomit and uncontrolled fevers and talk about them as if they are indisposed right now. And actually, today is the first day of school, so very, very good chance that they will be sick by the end of this week.


Payton woke up sick in the middle of the night. She came to my bed and touched me with her hand that felt like 5 little scorched sausages (no thermometer at the beginning of this illness, but obviously a high fever from the get go), and a tummy ache so bad I couldn’t even touch her stomach lightly. I toyed with the idea that it was appendicitis. I gave her some motrin and tried to put her back to bed and rub her belly. Usually a sure fire method to get the kids back to sleep. She screamed when I came near her belly, so I just sat with her, thinking about her upcoming appendectomy. And that would be a “sat up in her bed and shut my eyes immediately until I was able to fall asleep in a sitting position without her noticing” kind of sat with her.  The worthless kind of sitting, but required nonetheless in this age group.  She eventually fell back asleep, so I decided when she woke up I wouldn’t give her breakfast and I’d take her for her emergency appendectomy at that point. I’d get some sleep in the meantime.

Yes, I know that sounds like I just single handedly won the most pathetic, uncaring, selfish, not fit to be a mom award.  Who doesn’t take their kid straight to the ER when they suspect they need surgery?? Well, I guess me. Because I work in said ER, and I know the wait times, and honestly,  sometimes the need for sleep overrides your good mom judgement.

So the morning rolls around, much faster than usual, and now both girls are sick.

This news actually thrills me! No way both girls have appendicitis….must be a virus.  Hallelujah, no ER and no surgery. And no CPS coming to take away my kids because they found out I “rested” while Payton’s burst appendix infected her entire abdominal cavity overnight. Phew. Another near miss.

Payton is now running fevers and throwing up, still complaining of stomach pain.   And Harper is having fevers and headaches and threw up all the 7-up she drank.

It’s a sick, disgusting house, and no one wants to be here.



Here’s a wider shot of the sick kid couch. Making sure I get both barf bowls in the picture. Lovely, no?

And this is, oh…..maybe 7:20 in the morning? It’s going to be a looooong day.


sick kids

So what does a mom do when both kids are sick? Well, I thought I remember from being a kid that my mom would watch her soap operas with me lying on the couch next to her. And I would be in and out of sleep and wouldn’t really be paying attention.


Let’s go Netflix!!!! I have a TON of shows to catch up on!

Never happened. How can 2 little girls too sick to move be so much work?

Tom wasn’t any help. As soon as he recognized the extent of their affliction, he bolted.   A “coffee date” with a friend, and then “errands”….oh, you’re leaving? Oh, see you in 8 hours? Great. No worries. I got this. Just do me a favor and pick me up some…..(someone starts dry heaving, I’m called away, Tom sees his opportunity to decamp. I won’t see him again til sundown).

If I ever felt like an imposter before, today there was no doubt, I was the mom.  It was one of the first days I really felt like a mom.

I had to chase Payton around with her bucket as she threw up everything she drank. Every 20 minutes I was there to hold her hair, wipe her mouth, resist the urge to head butt her out of the way so I could throw up in the bowl myself, and dry her tears. And then try to make her comfortable with her fevers that were uncontrolled because she couldn’t even keep motrin or tylenol down.

Would have sent “someone” out to the store for some rectal tylenol if “someone” had been around.

After helping Payton puke I’d have to go console Harper who freaked out every time Payton threw up. Who knew those gagging/barfing noises would send Harper into a tizzy every time? Why take it so personally? But she’d lose it, and start crying and screaming to drown out the noise. So after I’d hug and reassure her (while the poor puking Payton sat alone watching us), I’d start cleaning up the nastiness. There is NOTHING I hate more than cleaning up vomit. (Except listening to someone vomit, watching someone vomit, or vomiting myself.)

Yep. Even talking about it is making me queasy.

So running between the girls,  the bedrooms, the couch, the bathrooms, and the kitchen, I felt like Mrs. Brady and Alice in the Brady Bunch when all the kids had chicken pox and had bells to ring when they needed something.

We did have a few minutes throughout the day when both girls would feel a little bit human. This is when they would watch a little bit of TV. Or talk to me without crying. Or even take the bunny outside for a bit. One of these trips outside, late in the day, we were all there watching the bunny hop around, and suddenly Payton was missing. Harper didn’t know where she was. Nor, did she care.  I didn’t see her leave, and was worried she was throwing up, so went looking for her.

Sure enough, I found her around the side of the house, way down towards the end of the house by the gate to the front yard. She was hunched over her pink puking bowl. Not yet puking, but seemingly close. I ran to her and asked her what in the world she was doing down there! She said she had to throw up, or thought she did, and she was trying to get clear of Harper so she wouldn’t hear it.

This brought me to tears. Not because of the sweet intention to spare her sister. But more because I was so exhausted and delirious and I saw this as my youngest child going to a private place to die alone, like a wild dog would do.  I know, it was a leap, but that’s what struck me. So I carried her back to the house and made Harper suffer through the sounds.

Because nobody in this house will die  throw up alone.


(of note, bunnies are not able to throw up. So he was safe through the malady.)


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  • Caroline DavisOk – that sounds aweful and not for a minute do I envy you …. What in the world did they have??? However, love love love the pink vomit bowls (so much classier than anything I’ve ever thrown up in) and your beautiful couch and blankets. Love your taste in decorating!!!! Glad all is well now and that you survived ( did you or Tom ever get it?). XoReplyCancel

  • Jennifer MacDougallWow. Rectal Tylenol. Have to remember that! Thanks for cracking (me) up.
    P.s. I have minimal to no medical aptitude but kids now call me The Ther-MOM-enter because I’m amazingly good at guessing temps!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Daniel-DuckeringI LOVE your posts… you are truly funny! And very glad all is well now … as well as glad it didn’t make its way down the hill to us 🙂ReplyCancel

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