Norovirus of Mystery Origin

Two weeks before I was scheduled to have my sinus surgery, we got hit with the norovirus. There is no question that norovirus is what it was. Oh, it definitely was. The question is how we all got it.

SATURDAY

It all started with Alden. Around 1am on Saturday he started vomiting. And it didn’t stop. Zach did the majority of the “getting puked on” role (the man took three showers that night) while I did cleanup. Alden continued to puke until well into the day. Come Sunday he seemed to be doing better, was keeping down some food, and we thought we were in the clear. Random stomach bug, no big deal.

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In the thick of it. Trying to help Alden to sleep in between puke-fests.

SUNDAY

Then dinnertime hit. Zoey was the first to go down. I thought at first that she just didn’t want to eat what we were having for dinner, until I saw how pale/green she looked. 5pm and she was puking. Within half an hour, Eleanor was puking as well. The two traded off vomiting for the next eight hours. We spent most of the night helping sick children to the bathroom, changing beds, washing sheets and towels, and just praying we wouldn’t be next.

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Still not feeling good.

MONDAY 

A couple of vomits from the girls in the first half of the day and then everything seemed to be tapering off. Zach graciously dismissed me to go out to dinner by myself and bring back a hamburger for him afterward. We were both trying really hard to keep me from getting sick since I was scheduled for surgery. I went to Kidd Valley and enjoyed the most enormous hamburger with a side of fries and a chocolate peanut butter milkshake. All in peace and quiet with no one puking on me. I ate so much I regretted it, as my stomach felt like it was stretched to the max and going to explode.

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Alden on the mend. Zoey passed out cold on the floor. Eleanor with a puking bowl within reach at all times.

 

We fed the kids a few crackers and some pedialyte (all they were up to) and put them to bed. Then we sat down on the couch to watch TV and have a much-needed relaxing evening. BOOM. 8pm and suddenly I was thinking “Ugh, I really shouldn’t have eaten that huge burger. I can’t believe I still feel it.” Within less than ten minutes of that feeling I was hurling into the toilet. I spent the next twelve hours in absolute hell, alternating between vomiting my guts out and desperately trying to drink some water because I was so dehydrated.

The vomiting stopped after that first night but it was another day or two before I could really keep any food down. I lost ten pounds in two days (mostly water weight, because I was so horribly dehydrated. I gained most of it back pretty quickly, of course).

Luckily it hit at the beginning of mid-winter break from the girls so they didn’t miss any school, and far enough ahead of time that I could fully recover before my surgery. But the mystery remains: how on Earth did we get it???? The thing about norovirus is that, once exposed, you come down with symptoms within 12-48 hours. It’s a really defined window. As you can see from above, we all went down like dominoes: Alden, then the girls about 24 hours after they were exposed to him (because they were asleep the first 10 hours he was sick), then me 24 hours after them.  Boom, boom, boom. But where did Alden get it? He had not left the house for two full days prior to the onset of symptoms. And if one of us had brought it home, why didn’t we catch it first (within the time window). It’s a mystery that will probably never be solved. For now I’m just trying to revel in the fact that at least I’m immune to it for the next six months or so (yes, norovirus is truly evil in that you can catch it repeatedly). Also trying not to hate the fact that Zach got puked on enough to need three showers in one night while I kept rubber dish gloves on at all times when cleaning up after the kids and yet was the one who caught it and not him. Blargh.

 

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