I avoid it at all costs. I have even been known to lock myself in my room while my poor husband is forced to comfort and clean up after sick children.
Don't get me wrong, if I'm the only one here...I take care of the sick children. Keeping them clean and hydrated. But I reeeeallly struggle with it. A lot. It has actually become a bit of a joke in my family. My parents just recently went on vacation, asking me to keep an eye on my siblings. My sister was going through a rough time and my mom apologized profusely at the prospect of her "falling apart" on me.
"Don't worry Mom, if she falls apart, she falls apart. I can handle it" I assured her.
"She's right, as long as nobody's throwing up, she'll be just fine" my dad replied.
Ha. Ha. Good one dad.
My brother, the aspiring psychologist has even inferred that I have a full blown phobia. I prefer to think of it as post traumatic stress. On Olyut's second Christmas, he came down with rotavirus. Any mom knows that is a nasty, nasty stomach virus that lasts for. ev. er. He couldn't keep anything down. He was crying all the time because rotavirus comes complete with horrible stomach cramps that I've heard likened to digesting razor blades.
We took him to the ER two days in a row where he was given fluids through an IV, just to be sent home with instructions to come back if he didn't get better. On the third day, we took him to his pediatrician who admitted him to the hospital. He stayed there for a week. Then a week after he was discharged he got norovirus and was right back to the ER.
He got the stomach flu 5-6 more times over the following year, each time landing him back in the ER. He has a very touchy gag reflex (I'm guessing from all the time spent on a ventilator when he was born) and has a very hard time stopping once he starts throwing up. It has mellowed over the years but, it took a few more visits to the ER, several visits to the pediatrician, and a prescription for Zofran to keep at the house. It's really only been in the past three years or so that we've been able to manage the stomach flu without him getting crazy dehydrated.
So it's true, I get super stressed out about it. I don't want to go anywhere near anyone that has thrown up in the past 72 hours. So I about lost it a couple weeks ago when my mom asked me to take a care package to my sick brother. I could not believe she even asked. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor and give myself a major pep talk before I was able to pick up some Gatorade and Saltines, drop them on his doorstep and run like mad after ringing his doorbell. Not to mention the hand sanitizer bath I took once back in the safety of my car.
No joke. This is an actual text exchange between us after the fact...
Thanks for getting me all the stuff B-rooke. Thanks for coming to the belly of the beast to do that!
You're welcome. You better know how much I love you, punk. Just use it so my sacrifice isn't in vain :-P
Haha no joke! I was telling Matt it's really nice that you came because I've never seen anyone else that's as weirded out about throwing up haha. Hopefully none of y'all get sick. Hopefully it was just a fluke thing.
I know! I'm the worst....like Mr. Monk, Howie Mandel, and Mark Sommers all rolled into one.
Haha. Luckily it's mostly just the throw up bug that freaks you out. So you can shake people's hands and stuff.
True. Unless I know they've barfed recently.
In fact, I may never shake your hand again ;)
See? Problems, I got 'em.
That's why, when my Zumba teacher ran out of class with ten minutes to spare because she was going to be sick, I could not get out of there fast enough. And may have taken another hand sanitizer bath when I got home. I heard later that several of the other Zumba students texted her over the next couple of days to make sure she was ok. Me? I just prayed and prayed the virus didn't make its way to our house. It didn't even cross my mind to check on her.
On second thought, maybe my brother is on to something. Maybe I really do have a phobia. Maybe that means I can plead insanity on judgement day. Is that how it works? I hope so. Or I may just end up in h-e-double hockey sticks.
I HAVE gotten a lot better over the years but I doubt I'll ever be the kind of mom that strokes her kids' hair as they are throwing up. I am now capable of offering a comforting hug though. Please tell me that counts for something.