Friday, March 14, 2014

Eeek! Norovirus!

So, I had a post planned out, about kids and technology... but then my week took a U-turn and crazy things happened so something else entirely seems really important to write about, instead.


Let me tell you... Norovirus is not to be taken lightly. It is very serious and potentially life-threatening. It's extremely contagious, fast moving and violent. And on Wednesday, it attacked my middle boy. It attacked him fast and hard and he just returned from a two-night stay at Children's Hospital, Boston. Here's what happened.

Wednesday evening, Monkey mentioned that he wasn't too hungry, and didn't feel like finishing dinner. At the time, I thought this might be code for "I don't really like tonight's dinner," or that maybe he was tired from staying up late for a parcour class the night before. So I told him to go have shower and get ready for an early bedtime. By 8pm he was looking decidedly green, and said he REALLY didn't feel good. Vomiting soon commenced, along with severe stomach pains. He spent the next 90 minutes on the bathroom floor, alternating vomiting with curling up in pain from cramps. He couldn't get more than 15 minutes break between bouts. I'd never seen any of my kids so sick, and I was concerned. I called his pediatrician. By 10pm we were at the ER. They soon started him on an IV, as he was already showing some signs of dehydration. By 11pm they were giving him anti-nausea meds in the IV, too, as he threw up the meds they gave him orally. By Midnight, when the diarrhea started, they decided to admit him, as he was losing fluids faster than they could replace them. By around 4:00 am, they found a good combination of meds and things quieted down a bit. By 4:30 am, he was asleep, as best he could with constant checks of his vitals, as happens in hospitals. By this point, I had been awake for a full 24 hours, as I had gotten up at 4:30 for fitness bootcamp the previous morning, but I was wired from a combination of adrenaline
The view from our window at
Children's Hospital, Boston.
and concern. By 5am I had settled into the parent's sleep-chair, updated concerned family members, and then spent the next two hours drifting in and out of sleep until Monkey woke again at 7. He slowly got a bit better throughout the day, though suffered a relapse in the evening, after attempting some solid food. They put him back on the IV, things settled down, and he was able to get some good rest, finally, from about 9pm until 5ish. He was better by morning, and actually felt a bit hungry, though still very weak from his ordeal. Once he proved that he could get out of bed on his own accord, drink fluids and keep down some light food, the doctors agreed that he could leave the hospital. We got home around 3 o'clock this afternoon, and he was VERY happy to have a nice, warm shower, and crawl into his very own bed. He's still tired, but I think with a good night's sleep here at home, he'll be back to his old self tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

So here's the thing... Monkey is a very healthy, robust 12-year-old boy, with a strong immune system. Having seen just how sick this illness made him, in such a short span of time, I can only imagine how horrible it would be for a toddler or frail, elderly person. Norovirus is no joke. Seriously , it happened SO FAST. And, I very nearly did NOT take him into the ER that night, thinking that maybe I was overreacting, and that it was just a minor tummy bug which would soon run it's course. I am SO glad I listened to my gut and took him in... because who knows what would have happened if I didn't.

At this point, I've had a total of about 6 hours of sleep the last 3 days. I'm totally spent. It's time for me to get myself ready for bed. So happy to finally be at home with The Man and three healthy kids. Counting my Blessings tonight, for sure.

Info about avoiding Norovirus here:

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