Been a little quiet around Frank’s Place for the last week. Well not really quiet, just not a lot of meaningful conversation going on. Unless you count the deals we’ve all been making with God. Aside from the painful noises associated with blowing yesterday’s breakfast all over the bathroom, deals with God were the next most frequent noise you would have heard this week at Frank’s Place HQ.
One of the best movie lines ever uttered, and most repeated by my brother, sums up our week nicely: “The raven of death has dropped a black feather at your door.” The black feather came in the form of a vicious stomach virus. The raven who delivered it came in the form of our 2yr old tornado.
<—–Yeah that’s her.
Happily on our way to Raleigh last Friday, I was alerted to a problem within the Starship Frankerprise when I felt something hitting the back of my seat. We were 20 minutes into our trip and our little Anne Marie was spray painting the front two rows of the van. The problem: she wasn’t holding a can of spray paint. Projectile with a capital P best describes the torrents of vomit coming out of our 2yr old. It was everywhere. Only Frank escaped the barrage. After three healthy blasts of the vomit cannon she ran out of steam. Time to make some decisions.
Continue on or turn around to possibly relaunch the next day? No way we can keep going. Back at the house the kid let loose again. In fact she barfed, puked, up chucked, hoarked, dry heaved and otherwise threw up for the next four hours. Other than when her little body was locked in vomitus expellius, she was fine. You would not know she was sick. The same could not be said for the two adults in the house.
Tracy was the voice of doom. “We’re going to get this.” Yeah I figured. Look, the only thing that frightens me more than looking out of a window in the dark is throwing up. So I was hoping against all hope that we, or at least I, would be spared. No luck.
By Friday night Tracy was giving back a weeks worth of meals. By Saturday night into the early Sunday hours I was giving back a very bad choice of pulled pork sandwich I had for lunch on Saturday. I took a different tact this time around. Instead of using my extensive Jedi mind power to hold off prayer time to the goddess porcelain, I decided to embrace the puke.
Looking at every vomit event as a little weight loss plan I felt it might go easier. It worked for the first few times. By the second round of dry heaves, I went from confidently standing over the hopper giving back lunch and trimming my waist to a crumpled mess on the floor hanging onto the crapper much harder than DiCaprio held on to that huge piece of wood when the Titanic went down. Dumb bastard. There was plenty of room on that thing for him and that english chick. No reason for him to float in the ice cold water….
I was so friggen exhausted, but there was no icy deep to absorb my body and relieve my misery. I had to go on, although at that moment not by choice. At one point I was convinced someone would burst through the door and kill me, taking away my pain, making everything alright. Not to be. Had to drag my ass back to the couch in the bonus room and live on. Covered in sweat, smelling like death, I lived on.
While I suffered in silence, the two kids were fine. Frank had yet to get sick and Anne Marie was already better. Tracy was having a harder time than me, laying in the master bathroom where she set up shop. It put us in a position never before experienced. We were both gravely ill while both our kids were fine.
I knew both kids were awake by 7am Sunday. Tracy managed a burst of energy, putting the cartoons on and making it back to bed. At some point morning became afternoon and Frank kept bringing me different food products to open. I was so weak I couldn’t get the granola bar open. He looked at me like I was a moron. I found the TV remote, took off the battery door and stabbed the corner of it into the granola bar. A rip in the package! Success! A quick chuckle and I triumphantly handed the treasure over to my 5yr old son who gave me one more moron look and disappeared into the hall.
As it turns out Frank was making lunch for his sister. A granola bar, apple sauce, saltines, a piece of wheat bread and apple juice. Quite the spartan menu, but at that moment had he feed her M&Ms and mint chocolate chip ice cream I would not have cared. Actually other than the granola bar everything else was perfect for a kid with a stomach bug.
I finally regained semi-conciousness Monday morning, nine pounds lighter for my troubles.
For all Frank’s troubles, his willingness to do what he could for his sister, taking some burden off of his parents, essentially baby sitting for an entire Sunday, he managed to escaped the … Nope, no he didn’t. Murse Frankingale started puking Sunday night into Monday morning. Worse, his kindergarten assessment was Tuesday morning. The kid is a trooper, he rallied late Monday and answered the bell Tuesday and did great. A post of that little experience is up coming.
It takes a village.
Or in this case a SAC, as in our cul-de-sac. We had no choice. No relief in sight and no help coming we had to put up the SAC Signal. The SAC responded. Within minutes there were relief supplies and dinner for the kids on the porch. It was a true life saver.
Rachel & John, Amber & Travis, Whitney & Mike, all came to our aid and pulled us through a pretty dark moment. Honorable mention to Becky & JB for volunteering to be added to the SAC Signal and putting themselves in harms way for next time. Kidding aside, it sounds silly but being so sick as to be immobile, unable to help your children, is a sad and sickening thought all on it’s own. Knowing we live on a street where people rush to help is a comforting feeling.