What Went Through my Mind When I got Gastro


Gastro is a nasty nasty bug. So far my girls have been really lucky not to have experienced gastro which means Jacob and I have been fortunate enough not to have experienced what it’s like to care for really sick kids and to be on the receiving end of such a viral and hideous bug.

But not so this past week.

Last week Jacob was getting ready to go away for two nights for work. As I was putting Phoebe to bed on Wednesday night, I was about to put her in her cot and she started to get upset and I could hear what sounded like heartburn race up her throat and I knew she was going to throw up. I quickly rushed out of her room and she projectile vomited on the wooden floor, over her sleepsuit and over me.

It was gross.

I groaned a little and thought what brilliant timing to have a vomiting kid right before Jacob would go away for work.

After I cleaned Phoebe up and put her in new pyjamas, Jacob cleaned the floor. I took Phoebe in with me as I showered and got into new pyjamas.

As I got Phoebe ready again to be placed back into her cot it was like déjà vu as I heard the same heartburn sound and I raced again, hoping to reach the laundry tub, but the vomit was spewed at full force over my new pyjamas, over Phoebe’s new sleep suit and jammies and over the same bit of floor that Jacob had just cleaned.

This time Phoebe got a bath, I had another shower and Jacob cleaned up the same bit of floor.

I decided to stay up with Phoebe on the couch where she slowly dozed off by 9pm and I transported her back to her cot where she slept all night and she was fine the next day.

Jacob headed off to his work trip and I hoped that that would be the last of the vomiting.

It wasn’t.

Esther decided to jump into bed with me at midnight on Thursday night. By 3am she had her head over our ensuite toilet throwing up. We were like jack-in-the-box, constantly jumping from bed to get to the toilet. By 7am the worst was over and I kept Esther home to make sure she was fine.

She was fine all day.

My parents came over to help with the dinner bath routine. All went well and we had another good night of sleep.

The moment Jacob came home from work late Friday afternoon, I was feeling queasy and by 6pm I couldn’t keep anything in or down. It was horrific. My parents also got it and were sick all weekend with it.

I don’t wish gastro on ANYONE. It’s the pits of childhood bugs I reckon. It’s another reason not to be a teacher because we all know what the kids get, the teachers get as well.

So, while I was losing weight on the weekend, I had a few thoughts that ran through my head.

1. I think I’m going to die. A little melodramatic, but throwing up and pooing through the eye of a needle constantly is just awful. It’s draining. (Worst pun ever but it’s true).

2. I hope the rest of the family don’t get this. Nothing worse than getting over gastro and then caring for other members in the family that have contracted what you had. Gastro is contagious three days after someone is better. I remember this because I got gastro on New Years Eve in 2004, 4 months before my wedding. The only doctor open during Christmas at that time in my area is now my family doctor today, and he told me I was very contagious and would be three days after I was better. Never forgotten it. So this is why I stay clear from friends for at least a week when I know they’ve had gastro.

3. Thank GOD for western toilets. Can you imagine trying to aim your butt and your mouth towards a squat toilet? How does one gastro into a hole in the ground? Thank God for plumbers. Thank God for toilet pans! I was so thankful that while my butt was leaking, and my mouth was hurling into a bucket, I could do so with dignity by sitting on a toilet seat and pan.

4. I don’t give enough credit to my husband. I’m so grateful for Jacob, who took over the house and made sure the kids were nowhere near me so they couldn’t get sick and so I could rest. He rang the doctor when I knew I needed something to help me stop being sick. He brought me drinks and cleaned my ice-cream bucket when I needed it. He’s a brilliant husband and dad.

So just a warning… I know 4 families that have suffered from gastro and my midnight out-of-hours doctor told me if it was any consolation to how crap I felt (and looked), it’s the bug that is going around this winter and takes 36 hours to completely recover.

I’m just getting my strength and appetite back now.

Ever had gastro? Ever caught it from your kids? What thoughts have gone through your mind while you’ve been sick?

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.