Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Plagues and Pox

An e-mail I sent to my mom and MIL yesterday to describe the day's excitement:

Monday, April 21, 2008

This morning, after the kids and I took Nigel to the bus stop, we came home and were planning on going for a nice hike down to the ever-shrinking lake. I set everyone up for breakfast (they didn't want to eat before we took Daddy). As they were eating, I noticed that The Starving Child's spots, which we had noticed night before last, were redder and more extensive on his face. I looked under his shirt and they were all over his back as well. Last night, he had been complaining of a headache, but he said he felt fine today. He has no more fever, hasn't since Saturday morning.

The Lottery Winner began to complain of a headache. He had spots and a fever last week, but they've all gone away. I gave him some Ibuprofen.

The Princess began to complain of a headache. She had complained last night as well, and even hurt so badly that Nigel gave her some Acetominophen at 4am because it was making her cry. I looked at her and her face is also covered in spots, as well as her back and her arms and legs. She had had a slight fever a couple of days ago, but nothing now. I gave her some Ibuprofen. She said it hurt so bad she wanted to lie down, so I told her to get her jammies back on and I'd make her a bed on the couch and she could watch Princess movies.

I explained to the boys that we would not be able to go for our hike today, but maybe tomorrow and started looking "chicken pox" up online. The boys started taking turns on the computer. The symptoms of chicken pox seem similar to the "headache, fever, spots" cycle we've seen, but the spots themselves are not nearly as large or gross looking as the photos showed. Still, it seemed likely they might just have it, since their school has been a breeding ground for it since mid-March (non-vaccinating parents - HATE 'EM). Plus, everything points out that some 30% of kids who've been vaccinated still get a very mild case if they're exposed. Our kids seem to win the odds lottery in just about everything, so I figured we'd just wait it out and see what happened.

Later, I found two ticks on Speck. Hooray. So I started looking up Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Don't worry, it's definitely not that.

Then, The Princess started saying, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!", so I ran over to see what she was sorry about. She had thrown up all over her clothes and the comforter I had laid out for her and her pillowcase. We changed her clothes, I gathered up the bedding, found that the pillow was okay, since the barf was only on a corner, replaced the pillow case, put the comforter from her bed on the couch, got her blanket and settled her back down with the barf bucket nearby.

I went upstairs and used the shower thingie to rinse all the barf off and started the wash. A large load takes about 4 hours (no, I'm not exaggerating!).

About an hour later, I fixed lunch for the boys, and as they were eating, The Lottery Winner complained of a headache again, so I gave him some Acetominophen. I asked if his stomach was okay and he said it was. The Princess didn't want to eat anything, but the boys ate well.

About an hour after that, The Princess said, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" again. I ran over and she said, "I missed the barf bucket!" I had forgotten that she is famous for not being able to barf into the bucket, no matter how close it is to her mouth. Barf was all over her comforter, her blanket, the coffee table, the floor, and this time, all over the pillow itself. I got her cleaned up, cleaned the table and the floor before Speck could get into it, then gathered up the bedding and went upstairs to get a bath sheet-sized towel, a bedsheet, and a towel to wad up for her to lie on. I got her set up again and went up to rinse the barf out of the bedding and put it by the washer to start it when the last load ended (about 2 more hours).

About an hour later, I heard gagging noises from over by the litter box. TANG was barfing. I started laughing, sort of hysterically. Now, I'd been e-mailing Nigel with updates this whole time, and he had just written me back to say that he was considering staying at work for the night. (Ha ha, what a funny guy!) At this point, I wrote him back and let him know that he would be responsible for my suicide and would have to explain it to my family if he stayed. At any rate, I cleaned up the Tang-barf and as I put the paper towels in the trash, I heard The Princess say, "Oops."

I ran over to see what she had barfed on this time. Well, she said, "I forgot I was on the couch and I wet my pants." Yes, her panties were drenched along with the towel and sheet. Again, I began to giggle uncontrollably, in a hysterical manner. Nobody was here to slap me and snap me out of it. I went upstairs and got a new pair of panties, some wet wipes, a new tank top, a new towel, and a new sheet for her. Got her changed and set up again and took the new batch of laundry upstairs.

I wrote to Nigel to say that he should probably call the men in the white coats to come get me now. He hasn't yet responded; he's probably halfway to Lebanon by now. I think he will be safer and get more rest there than he would here tonight.

I'm beginning to wonder if we're experiencing the plagues of Egypt in honor of Passover. We've had boils and insects, and our water tastes funny since they've shut off the water system to keep us from accidentally eating breadcrumbs fishermen may have left in the lake; it's not blood, but it still tastes bad. I'm waiting for it to rain frogs and fire and have asked Tim to bring home some lamb-blood and a paintbrush, just in case.

The Princess is now asleep, looking like a little angel. The boys are getting along perfectly, playing together. I think I am the only one who has a sort of wild look in my eyes. But I think we'll survive. I'll keep you posted!


Update e-mail:

In addition to that little tidbit, Nigel has shared with me some interesting news he discovered at the drug store tonight. He volunteered to go to the drug store to get some more Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen for the kids, since we're running through it like it's water lately. He asked the pharmacist or whoever it was behind the counter where to find it and she informed him very sternly that Ibuprofen is NOT KOSHER. He said, "Fine. I'll take two."

Gotta love it!

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