What it Takes for a Mom to Earn a Sick Day

I got the stomach flu last week.

Better said, the stomach flu got me.

I woke up at 1:00 AM Thursday morning, surrounded by little bodies, and I could tell by the sudden rolling nausea that this would not be a good night for co-sleeping. With quiet tip-toes and many prayers, I got Teyla and Kieran situated in their own beds and returned to mine to await my fate.

By 1:30, that fate arrived, and I found myself getting a close-up view of our new toilets. Shaky and sweating, I climbed back into bed, hoping my stomach would settle down now and let me sleep.

I slept. Fifteen minutes later, the nausea roared back. And once again, I found myself lying on the cold floor of our bathroom, face pressed into the tile, my head swirling and my body bereft of all fluid.

And so it went. Every 30 minutes, I would stagger from my bed to the bathroom. A couple of times, I passed out before I made it there. I had no earthly idea how my body managed to keep up this grotesque parade. I mean, I hadn’t even eaten that much the day before. Was it somehow managing to reach back into time to meals from past weeks and resurrect them so the virus would have something to do?

Oh. And did I mention Corey was in Washington, DC at the time? He was. So when Kieran got up at 5:00 and wanted to nurse and be cuddled by Mom, I could only oblige him for 15 minutes before I was called away to heave into the toilet. (I stumbled out of the bathroom to find him crawling onto my nightstand, the better to get to my clock. Oy.)

Corey, to his never-ending credit, got my desperate texts when he got up at 6:00 AM for a breakfast meeting. He immediately called Delta and got on the next flight home. Natalie, bless her heart, held down the fort until he arrived at 11:30. (Read: My nine-year-old daughter took care of me and her three younger siblings all morning while I lay comatose in bed. At first, she was devastated when I croaked out that I was too sick to take her to school. The girl hates make-up homework. But she pulled through, and a few times, in my fevered haze, I saw her tip-toe into my room to place a garbage can near my bed or to refill my water bottle. She even got Kieran to take a nap all by herself. She was truly an angel to me that morning.)

(Although there was that time she asked me if there was anything she could do, and I wondered unintelligibly if she could dig up a bottle of Gatorade or Vitamin Water for me from the fridge in the garage. "I'm not really sure where it is," I said, eyes closed, voice raspy from dehydration. "But it might be on the bottom shelf? On the door? It's colored, like Kool-Aid." And ten minutes later, she came back holding a bottle of Cabernet. "Is this it, Mommy?")

I heard Corey arrive mid-morning, because I heard his deep voice and I heard the kids excitedly telling him all of their adventures. I vaguely remember him coming in to check on me. (I was no longer throwing up, but I was working on holding down 2 tablespoons of water at the time, which took all my focus.) Otherwise, I remember nothing from the rest of that day. I slept, on and off, until 7:00 PM, when Corey helped me walk out to the kitchen so I could sit with the kids and him while they ate Burger Time. By 7:25, I could no longer stay upright, so I returned to bed and slept until the next afternoon.

And even then, my bones ached and my energy was shot and I had to take a two-hour nap after sitting in a chair for 30 minutes.

It. Was. Yucky.

(Aren’t you glad you clicked over to my blog today?)

Thankfully, I’m better now. Even more thankfully, no one else in our family got sick. It was just me and one day of the worst virus I’ve had in 20 years. But it’s over now, and thanks to Corey, I even got a real sick day for the first time since I’ve been a Mom. (It does happen! You only have to puke for six hours straight to earn one!)

And now, I'm off to drink some Vitamin Water and enjoy my nausea-free existence. It is so very good to be here.


  1. I had that very same stomach virus right after the first of the year. It was awful. I didn't eat solid food for FIVE. DAYS (no throwing up after that first night ... just heavy-duty nausea)! Just thinking about it now makes me break out into a sweat. Glad you are feeling better now.

  2. And you get to puke for six hours straight to have time to blog!

    And we all read it with rapt attention because we can feel your pain and are so glad to see words typed by your hand.

    Your husband is amazing. And so are your kids, especially your big girl.

    I'm amazed you could even sit there while they were eating fast food. Glad you are back to normal. I hate throwing up.

  3. Oh man, I feel sick just reading this! So sorry you had to go through that. I hope you can take Natalie out for a special treat for handling things so well while you were down for the count!

  4. I cannot tell you how physically exhausted I feel after reading this post! Uggggh, you poor thing! How miserable...AND to go through it alone...nursing...??!! OH MY WORD!! Bless Natalie's heart....what a doll! She needs to get some sort of reward, or something. Sure wish I could be closer, and I would have taken care of you. Well dear friend, so glad that you're better. It sure makes you thank the Lord for your health...doesn't it? :) Love ya!

  5. Yup... I had the same thing about three weeks ago... brutal!!! I made my parents come down because my hubby was working! yuck! I am so sorry but am glad you are feeling better!

  6. I love that sweet Natalie took such good care of you and even brought you wine--that is so funny, can you even imagine drinking wine when you are that sick--gross!! So glad you are feeling better:) Hope you are enjoying life in your new home!

  7. oh man.

    yes, i'm glad i clicked here. i can pray for you even more. i have to tell you that you're on my heart even more lately as i look down at my new bracelet that says 'love well' because you are the one that put the way i feel about life so concisely into 2 words for me. so it really is a reminder for me to love Him, love people....yet, you now go hand in hand with that. =)

  8. What a little angel Natalie was! Wow! I love that she brought you cabernet! :) Glad that you're better now...and, honestly, for such a gross topic, you write so well that I was entertained by your post. Is that OK? Ha ha!

  9. Ouch. That sounds perfectly awful. And it would have to be nothing short of epic, wouldn't it, for Mom to get a sick day!
    Glad you're feeling better!

  10. Bless your heart, Kelly. That sounds awful - it's a wonder you didn't end up hospitalized. Although except for the constant interruptions, a day and night in the hospital don't really sound all that bad.

    Anyway thank goodness you are BETTER!

  11. Oldest children are very special, aren't they? Good for her! I'm glad your husband could get home so quickly - nothing worse than being that sick with a baby to take care of.

  12. Oh Kelly, that sounds HORRIBLE. I am so glad you are better now. I despise the stomach bug. It's something I pray against in Jesus' name.

  13. i only get the stomach bug when my husband is out of the country. seriously.
    feel your pain! and so glad you're better!

  14. Uh yeah, I'd say you earned that sick day. Yikes! So cute that your oldest took care of them all so well! (and brought you wine, that's hilarious!)
    Definitely glad you're feeling better though!

  15. There is nothing glamorous about the stomach bug. I remember passing out while on the toilet. My husband heard my head hit the tile and came running, to find me, ahem, uncovered and conked out on the floor. Feminine mystique takes a hard hit when we're that sick. Glad you're feeling better!