When you are trapped in a small apartment with one sick husband and two sick children, you don’t know whether to be grateful that you still seem to have held onto your own good health or apprehensive about the certain doom which must await you.
Watching a yucky stomach bug make the people you love miserable means that you second guess every bite that you consume, knowing that your healthy body is in fact probably a ticking time bomb, and you find yourself eating a strict diet consisting of things you’ll regret a little bit less later. Somehow you still manage to gain five pounds.
When you are the lone healthy person in a family of sickos, it means that your role as Caretaker and Mommy Supreme must kick into overdrive. There will be more baths taken during The Sickness than your kids have had all year. You’ll find that three sets of sheets for your four year old’s twin bed aren’t actually enough to get through one night and you’ll cross your fingers and pray while you clean stuffed animals, baby dolls and other toys that were tucked into bed with them so sweetly before the nightmare began, hoping they’ll survive to be snuggled another night.
When you’re kids have been sick for three days and you think you’ve washed every article of clothing, every set of sheets, blankets and towels that your apartment has, they’ll throw up once more for good measure, forcing you to track down anything else that might conceivably be dirty so that you can wash the one lone set of pajamas that were soiled. You’re hands will by now be dry and cracking from excessive hand washing, bath giving and laundry prepping. Your sanity hanging on by a thread.
When you finally go to sleep after a long day of tending to your poor sweet babies, you’ll find yourself unable to actually sleep because between keeping one ear carefully trained on the door for sounds of sick children, you’ll be listening carefully to the sounds of your own body, questioning every gurgle and grimace that your body makes that you wouldn’t normally worry about or even audibly hear. You wonder, “Will this be the last minute before the sickness overtakes me, too? Will my husband be healthy before I’m wiped out so he can take care of me or will we all just roll around in agony together and hope for the best?”
When you’re family has been sick all weekend and all Monday, too, you’ll find the highlight of your day – the one lone moment of calm and peace in the storm – lasts about as long as one warm mug of chai tea. Drink up, momma. You’ll be back on duty soon.