Monday, February 12, 2007

But by 6:00pm or so...

Let's work backwards first. The cavalry arrived in the shape of Sue, my mother-in-law, who has been a paedatric nurse for over 35 years. Abby had called her in shortly after Matthew became ill at 7:30am. And being the clever type of man that I am, I didn't want her around.

That's not quite accurate. I was deeply grateful for having her around, but I didn't want her to be in danger of catching whatever Abby, Matthew and myself had been privleged to contract. I might have been sore from Saturday and Sunday's flu-ridden festivities, but I was sure that I had the wherewithal to drive, and felt guilty having a nice woman drive all the way to the Beach from North York to deliver...actually, you don't want to know the details of what was delivered. Most of it was there to boost electroytes of all involved, some was more along the sanitary lines.

Part of this was also selfish, I hate company when I'm sick. I always want to shut out the world and either endure or succumb to whatever it is (most often, a cold). People around you when you're sick are always offering stuff you may or may not want with the best of intentions when you're trying to sleep something off. And if you're my sister when she and I were kids, she'd throw something new into the mix.

" do you feel?"
"How do you feel now?"
"Still lousy."
"How about now?"
"Getting worse."
"Stop complaining!"
...and so on.

Abby, when awake and not wretching/twitching, reminded me that she was in no state to properly keep an eye on Matthew running around and occasionally issuing forth, well, issue. So it would be unwise for me to make the unwashed-unshaved-not-on-solids-for-48hrs run to the local IGA. Here, she had a point. Thus Sue was en route.

This proved for the best. She arrived with necessary supplies and her own towels, and began washing the light switches and door knobs. I thought that I was crazy when I did that the day before, with a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol. I was also seconds away from taking the varnish off of some very old walls. The idea, at least, was proven sound by Sue's arrival. It's also incredibly reassuring for a paedatric nurse to look at your out-of-character limp and pale infant and say "He's fine, just an upset tummy." 99% of your common sense agreed with her in the first place. The remaining 1% is a parent and is naturally inclined to worry.

And this all ends well, unexpectedly. Matthew, while confused and obviously very tired, did not degrade into crying and screaming about this wonderful new sensation called 'nausea', and was 75% towards normal after a 3hr afternoon nap. The morning wasn't fun, but it could have been far, far worse. As of 6pm, he's fine. Fine. Not interested in food, but that'll change in the morning.
Abby has bounced back faster than I did (less time with the nastier symptoms), I don't know why I won this particular contest. Only thing I can think of (with my years of medical experience and my brief sojurn at the Mayo clinic with Army Surgeon Hawkeye Pierce and that nice Dr. House) was that I was dehydrated on Friday.

Stay with me, it's a brilliant theory.

Friday's breakfast - large coffee with milk, 7:45am.

Lunch - General Tso chicken w/steamed rice at a food-court Thai restaurant (the first suspect in the illness, cleared due to recent happenings), with one glass of water, 3:00pm. It had been a busy day.

Dinner- One bottle of Mill St. Ale, large plate of rigatoni with red-pepper and roasted garlic heavy red sauce, 9:00pm All quite tasty at the time. An hour later it hit me, and continued to do so until around 2pm Saturday.
I was low on fluids to start with, maybe it made the symptoms a little more vibrant and delightful? Or maybe...not.

Whatever. I joined the young Matthew for the 3hr nap today and woke up feeling like hell. But it was a different kind of hell than I went to sleep with, if that makes any sense. It was the low-level lousy of somebody who hasn't eaten or slept much in 48hrs, rather than the piquante something-in-my-body-trying-to-leave sensation.

As stated previously, this was a stomach flu, not Ebola. Not even Norwalk. And if you can hole up for 48hrs with water, pop or juice, soda crackers and readily available plumbing (a change of clothes would be good as well, especially with infants), it's a pain but not a trauma. Get a cruise ship with cramped quarters and accelerated virulence and plumbing that isn't accustomed to all of the passengers flushing at once, it might get unpleasant. It might at worst extend the 48hr bug to 72hrs, which opens other doors. Simple bug, but it trips you up.

So now, I have to eat. My throat hurts and it's not an appealing concept, but I need something. Sue brought cans of chicken broth, I used part of one to make a batch of sushi rice. Short grain rice? The short grain rice you make sushi with?

What are you supposed to call it?

Anyhow...I thought it would be chewy and with some extra minerals and some fat and enough like chicken that it seems like a meal. And it's good, given the circumstances. But for reasons I find hard to explain, the only actual food I'm craving is a bowl of chili and brown toast (2 slices, buttered) from a long shuttered restaurant in the Annex, a place called Foodworks gone so long that there's no trace or mention on the internet. Maybe I had a bowl of chili way back when after a bad few days. One can't have everything, though. Sushi rice in chicken broth will be just fine for now.


Mr. Knight said...

And so the illness goes. It has jumped to my house and, if all goes well, has been limited to our youngest member. Alcohol hand wash is a great thing!

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