Now, there are certain minor ailments which you could have in your household and still move forward with party hosting but the stomach virus isn't one of the ailments on that list. No, no one wants to drive by your house, much less eat there, when you say those dreaded words. So, sadly, we called off the Thanksgiving meal with my in-laws. We also cancelled our Christmas card picture appointment because, well, it's difficult to have your family picture taken when one of you can't sit up and is the color of loose leaf paper.
I don't know how y'all are but I just don't play around with the stomach virus. Sure, when the kids were little and really needed my help, I would get in there and get my hands dirty. Pardon the pun. Now, not so much. I will pat on you, and comfort you during almost any kind of illness but if you've got the stomach virus, you are on your own, my friend. I don't care if I'm married to you or if I birthed you or if you birthed me. I don't care who you are. I don't love on people afflicted with the stomach bug. It's not really the sight of throw up. That doesn't bother me when it's my own kids. It's just that I don't want what you've got.
So, I'd put my nose down in my shirt and without touching any knobs or surfaces, I'd push Blair's door open with my foot and ask through the sophisticated, antibacterial filter of my t-shirt, "Can I get you anything, baby?" "No," she'd reply weakly. On my way out, she informed me that the last place she ate was a Mexican restaurant and that I'd be without my Mexican food amiga for a good, long while.
I don't know what it is. I just feel like stomach ailments are so much more contagious than other sicknesses. Just the mention of someone having it and your stomach starts to feel queasy. You never know if you're actually getting it or if it's just the power of suggestion. You can almost see the germs creeping around the house like big rats. You can feel them like crawling up your neck like hairy tarantulas. So, I closed the doors off and tried to keep the patient in a cordoned off area in order to limit the spread.
Well, it was my good fortune that John Samuel was home for the weekend when she came down with this. They're in that dating stage, you know, when you just want to be together (insert birds singing) .......no matter if the other one is puking their guts out or running back and forth to the restroom. Your love just won't allow you to be separated at such a trying time no matter the risk to your own health. He'd check her temperature and get her Gatorade and medicine. He stretched out across the bed with her and rubbed her back, kissed her forehead, and stroked her hair while she slept. I'd warn him when I'd go in there with my nose covered, "John Samuel, you can't snuggle with the stomach virus." But, he wasn't concerned. I guess a mother can feel pretty good about a young man who will stay by her daughter's side through gastrointestinal upset.
Well, she got better and, much to no one's surprise, John Samuel came down with it this morning. So, Blair and his Mom took him back to school today because he wasn't in any shape to drive. Bless his heart.
So, while she was gone, I put on my latex gloves and sanitized everything. The Clorox wipes. The lemon-scented Lysol. All the switches, bathroom surfaces, and knobs got disinfected. Davis stripped her bed and the guest room bed where John Samuel had slept. We opened the doors and let the cool, fresh air circulate through the house. We got the washing machine and dryer going. It was kind of like a viral exorcism. We had it like an operating room up in here.
Until, literally, just two minutes ago, when the dog's ears perked up and I heard a lot of commotion coming from down the hall. Carson has it now. So, let me get my nose back into my shirt and go check on him.
I think I feel something crawling on me.
Where is John Samuel when I need him?
Save me from all of these sick people.