Sunday, June 7, 2009

No One Untouched

Tuesday will mark the completion of the third solid week of sickness in our family. Back in mid-May, Ruby contracted what we originally thought was an ear infection, but by the next night, decided it was pain caused by congestion. Thus began our saga with a multi-symptom flu(?) virus that affects weird things like the eyes and the hearing and continues to surprise us in its duration.

Since that May day, the virus claims another family member at the rate of about one every 5 days. Saturday, it claimed its last victim: Casey. Unfortunately, I came down with it only 2 days prior, and only Ruby seems to be completely out of the woods so far.

All of us are dragging considerably. In the past few days, our minimal effort in meal prep has meant lots of tea, yogurt, toast, crackers, Ramen noodles . . . great for improving our health, right? We are seriously on survival mode, and I guess it is a blessing that this virus suppresses the appetite, because when both parents are this sick, meals are only one of the hurdles to get over.

This morning, Casey and I found ourselves sitting on the couch like zombies, blowing our noses, one of the girls' videos playing, all three children playing (or something) at our feet. (Sweet guy; he took the girls downstairs to let me sleep a little longer this morning). Even today, three days after I came down sick, I feel the need for a rest after getting lunch for everyone and emptying the dishwasher. A trip upstairs makes me winded. Casey is recovering from a pulled something in his chest due to . . . um . . . much heaving yesterday. The virus has hit him the hardest in the symptom department. Good times!

As I was succumbing to this sickness on Wednesday night, I thought to myself, "Why now, when I'm finally getting a good routine down, some exercise, seeing some improvement in my house and progress in my attitude with the girls? I'm going to lose all that headway." But by the next day, I began to see what a blessing it was that for those three days, I had made a dent in housework and maintenance (though that may have also been what pushed me over the edge in getting this sickness :). It facilitated Casey taking care of the girls and not going crazy (he likes things clean) while I was sick and has made it to where doing a few dishes several times a day and minimal laundry keeps us not too far behind (it probably helps considerably that we--as in all of us--stay in pjs all day:). Of course, I will admit that at the same time, our home is not exactly "company ready." It works out well, though, that company probably wants to stay as far away from us as possible at this moment!

So, as much as I am a little late in asking this, I was wondering if any readers have tips on ways to survive when both parents are sick at the same time while little children are underfoot. God has been so gracious to us. This rarely happens, and we are thankful that at least we didn't come down with it on the same day. As rare as it is for us both to be out-of-commission at once, it would do us some good to have a game plan on what to do when it happens, as it is sure to happen again. We never were so sick so often until parenthood! And our kids don't even go to preschool, daycare or a church nursery. How do people do it?

Please send me your ideas!

1 comment:

Karin said...

Sarah, I'm so sorry to hear about your sicknesses. How awful:(

I've never been in this situation, but I can imagine a couple of things - keep paper products on hand to keep dish-washing to an absolute minimum, and keep boxed/frozen foods specifically for down-and-out days. And, allow yourself to be more lax on these things (and others, like letting the girls watch videos) than you normally would WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY - you and everyone else know that you do not normally parent this way - it is a unique situation and you need to conserve your energy for the things that matter most.