Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome to the Vomitorium

Let me give you a rundown of the past ten days or so… and, I apologize that this is a bit lengthy but I implore you to hang in there and read to the end... this is a good one!

On March 26th, I had major abdominal surgery -- the details of which I just may share another time but for now, suffice it to say, this operation made the three c-sections I had look like a walk in the park. Things were going relatively well (thanks to Vicodin and my family taking the kids for a few days) until Wednesday, the 31st. That’s when the puking began. It was Declan, Ciara, and Cormac, each of whom seemed to take a 6 hour shift of almost continuous hurling. Declan had the 4PM-10PM shift; Ciara took 9PM – 3AM and Cormac followed up from 1AM-7AM… leading us into Thursday, April 1st. Though it was April Fools Day, it turns out that Des wasn’t kidding when he asked me where we keep the crib sheets. You see, due to that aforementioned surgery, I’m on the disabled list. I’m supposed to be benched -- sitting on the sidelines peacefully recovering from having my insides rearranged. As such, I wasn’t much help with kids overnight or in cleaning up the aftermath… and, not that I’d wish it on him, but a part of me thinks that after 18 months of not knowing where we keep the crib sheets, Des was long overdue to find out!

In any case, much of Thursday passed without much ado. It was just the occasional hurl accompanied by a lot of dirty diapers and sadly, my last little pain pill. As the sitter strode off into the sunset, Des strolled in complaining that his stomach hurt. Rather than any sort of empathetic, kind or loving response, I gave him the “Buck up, Big Boy” speech. It went something like “No it doesn’t. Your stomach doesn’t hurt. It can’t hurt. We need you! We can’t afford to have another man down around here!” Then, he made an odd gurgling sound, ran for the bathroom and slammed the door… proving once again that I am not always right!

Thus began a solid 72 hours of violent vomiting and its equivalent from the other end. I’ve never seen my poor husband so sick in my life and personally, I’ve never experienced such pain! The only thing worse than puking your brains out for days on end is doing it less than a week after abdominal surgery! Ouch!

For the first time in my life, I had to wave the white flag of surrender. I called my parents at 11:00 that night and had to confess that I needed them. Bad. Bless their souls for showing up at 8:30 Friday morning to a putrid stench and horrific scene… Des and I sprawled in bed in a semi-comatose state. Three babies in saggy, leaky overnight diapers filled with diarrhea. A five year old literally asleep on the vomit-covered bathroom floor. And a spunky three year old on the rebound, trying to make herself breakfast.

Over the next few days (including Easter), my parents, sister, brother-in-law and aunt tended to our injured troops like battle-weary commandos. They did laundry, changed sheets, changed diapers and administered doses of Pedialyte, Gatorade and ginger ale. And then, they went down too. First my Dad, followed by my brother-in-law. They went down one by one, running to the bathroom and groaning with a pain I knew all too well.

On Monday, just as we thought the worst was behind us, another valued family member bit the dust. Yes my friends, our mighty Maytag. It might have survived the Swine Flu but the Lyons Virus was just too much. After days upon days of continuous service with no rest and no gratitude for the pounds of nasty puke and crap encrusted garments it dutifully cleaned, the poor thing finally just blew a gasket. Literally.

It happened just as my aunt happened to be passing by and decided to check in on us. As she put it, “timing is everything”… for just as she arrived, a thick black smoke started billowing out of our basement prompting her to call 911 quicker than I could say “Hi Auntie Pat! What are you doing here?!” I slowly made my way downstairs just as the entire fire department, including the fire chief and two police cars pulled in front of the house and started gearing up.

Always one to look on the bright side, here are my key takeaways from our ten days in hell:

1. Avoid puking after abdominal surgery at all costs

2. Give daily thanks for family members who will rescue you when you need it most

3. Try on "skinny pants" as they will surely now fit

4. Thank fire department for providing child-friendly entertainment

5. Appreciate opportunity to buy new energy-efficient washer; I’m told we will save zillions!

So, there you go… though the Lyons Den was briefly renamed the Vomitorium, we are back on track and look forward to meeting our new washing machine one day soon!


Aunt Kristin said...

It would almost be funny if I wasn't there to see it firsthand! Glad all are on the mend and still overly excited about the prospect of a new washer. Or, hey...what about a washer dryer combo????

Mona said...

OMG, Kerry, my experience doesn't even come close, but I do remember one foul-smelling Valentine's Day weekend about 4-5 years ago, where I was washing sheets for 3-days straight, praying I didn't catch the bug that struck both boys in our back seat driving home from our beloved babysitter/best friend. One kid woke up, smelled his brother's effusion (formerly known as pizza), and promptly starting puking too. Later on, my hubby upchucked $200 worth of our wonderful romantic ♥ Day Dinner. So let me tell you, you're a trouper!