With 2018 underway, I can now look back on this past Christmas and safely say, “Thank God that’s done with.”
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I was very excited about this one. But, life threw us a little curve ball that put our plans to travel to my mother’s on hold.
The Thursday before Christmas, my four year old started complaining about a stomach ache. As much as I love her, she can be very dramatic.
She knew she had a doctor’s appointment that day for her four year visit, so I figured she was telling stories in preparation for her visit.
The appointment was uneventful – except for the part where she received four vaccinations, started screaming her head off and scared her baby sister.
But other than that, it was uneventful.
We went out for dinner that night and I noticed she didn’t seem that interested in her food. But, I also knew she was battling constipation, so I figured maybe that’s why she had a decreased appetite.
That night, as my husband and I were packing up the suitcases, I heard the four year old screaming her head off. I ran into her bedroom and found her vomiting all over her bedroom.
She redecorated 70% of her bedroom floor which is kind of impressive.
As soon as the little one stopped vomiting and we cleaned up the mess, I called my mother to tell her that we weren’t driving to her place on Friday like planned. I know she was disappointed but as much as she loves her granddaughter, she didn’t want a puking kid anymore than we did.
Friday was spent with my daughter complaining about her constipation – but no vomiting. So, we planned to leave Saturday morning for my mother’s house.
Friday night. 10 pm. (Insert Law & Order Gong sound effect here.)
My daughter starts vomiting again. Everywhere. All. Night. Long.
Saturday morning I look at my husband. “I’m calling it,” I said. “We’re not going to my mother’s for Christmas. We have to get baby girl through this first.”
So to be clear: my daughter was both constipated and had a stomach virus. All of the foods you’re supposed to give a child with a stomach virus (bread, rice, apples, toast) are the exact foods you’re not supposed to give a child who is constipated. No matter what we did for her, it wasn’t going to be right.
Fortunately, our pediatrician was open Saturday morning. So, at 7:58 a.m., I started calling the doctor’s office until someone answered at 8 am.
My daughter got the first available appointment that morning and my husband took her for an enema and some anti-nausea medication.
A few hours after she came home, my daughter began vomiting again. The first time it was clear with some red flakes. My husband was concerned the red flakes were blood. I told him it wasn’t unusual to rupture some blood vessels in the throat from frequent vomiting. She threw up 20 minutes later and this time the vomit was a dark, dark, dark brown color.
“Could it be Oreo cookies?” My husband asked when he saw the color.
“Honey, she hasn’t eaten anything in two days. And, we haven’t had Oreo cookies in the house for two weeks.”
By this point in time, the pediatrician’s office was closed for the day. So, I turned to the Internet to find out what brown vomit meant. Bad idea.
According to the Internet, brown vomit was either a symptom of a bowel obstruction or athlete’s foot.
I don’t want to sound like a drama queen, but option A sounded much more reasonable than option B. And, bowel obstructions can be caused by severe constipation. I’m not sure if my daughter’s constipation was severe, but what if the enema she received didn’t get everything out? What if something was still lodged in there?
My husband scooped her up and took her to the emergency room where it was determined she did not have a bowel obstruction. The cause of the brown-colored vomit was from a small tear in her stomach lining. My husband told me this expecting this tidbit to comfort me. I’m not sure what he was thinking. A hole in my child’s stomach that’s causing her vomit to turn brown from the blood that’s mixing with her stomach contents does NOTHING to comfort me.
Anyway, the hospital started her on several rounds of anti-nausea medication and she was able to tolerate the apple juice they gave her. But here’s where she really concerned me. When it comes to a stomach virus, I’m used to how my five-year-old son reacts to them. He’ll puke his guts out for four hours and then be ready to eat an entire pizza.
That wasn’t the case with my daughter. She refused to eat. Anything. I was offering this child things that no one would ever offer a child with a recent stomach virus. She wouldn’t eat anything. Cookies, ice cream, cake, chocolate, waffles, yogurt. Nothing. Not even a little bit. It wasn’t until the day after Christmas, when we started our journey to my mother’s house, before she was willing to try and eat anything.
Inclement weather kept us at my mom’s for one more day.
We returned home on New Year’s Eve and, Wow! That drive sucked. Our windshield sprayer-thingy that cleans crud off the windshield was frozen from the frigid temperatures. Every ten minutes, my husband had to pull over on the freeway and poured wiper fluid onto the windshield while the wipers swept across. We passed abandoned cars that had struck guard rails and saw a semi-truck that was overturned. Eventually, our wiper-fluid-thingy thawed out which made our drive much easier. We got home late in the afternoon, ordered a pizza and tried to unpack via telekinesis. It didn’t work. I didn’t think it would, but it was worth a shot.
So there you have it. This was our hot mess holiday. I hope yours went much better.
And because a promise is a promise. The answer to the multiple choice question that appeared at the end of Praise Bands and Pet Cremations is “A.” A friend told me that the pastor’s daughter takes the opportunity to screw with him during church services as much as possible.