You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Folks

Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)

It all started last Monday. Meaning, ten days ago or so. The previous day we had a mini-birthday party for our oldest daughter, Kirstie. Some friends came over, we played games, we sang birthday songs, we ate birthday cake, we opened birthday presents. It was wonderful. But that night, pretty sure it was the middle of the night (isn’t it always?) Kirstie threw up.

Now, let me tell you something about my wife’s genes. See, the Walker clan have this thing where, when they throw up… they don’t stop. So, the same seems to be true for most of my children. And Kirstie is no exception.

The rest of the night wasn’t too bad, but there were a few episodes, and it continued through a lazy Monday, till Kirstie perked up by evening. That seemed to be that. At the dinner table that night I even admonished the children to make sure to get their sleep this week, and be sure to keep drinking lots of juice and water. “That should keep us healthy,” I spoke wisely.

Should have listened to my own advice…

Wednesday night, having had no further evidence of this strange, short-lived stomach bug, we entertained some friends. They hadn’t visited our home before, but we had a grand time. They are game players, so we played Dutch Blitz literally into the wee hours of the morning! They and their three young boys stayed till around one in the morning! It was a blast, but the girls were up till after 11pm, and the boys didn’t go to bed till 1:15am or so!! We were all exhausted, and I had work to do after they left, so it was around four in the morning before I was in bed!

Needless to say, that pretty much exhausted us. But we were not done.

Thursday held more of the same. It was a long day of being tired – and a full office day for me. Work is very busy at the moment, and especially so last week as I had a short week due to one last day working at the Apple store (meaning I had one less day to get web work done in my office). So, a long day of work, and a tiring day of tired kids for Jen… we probably should have been done. Instead? We went to visit our good friends who live WAY too far away for the evening. We knew our limitations, and made sure to leave not too late… got the kids (and us!) in bed by 11:15pm or so. (Well, I was in bed a tad later…) 🙂

Needless to say, that pretty much exhausted us. But we were not done…

Apple days – especially the closing shift ones for me – are very long days. I had a lot to finish still, so despite the tiredness, I got up around eight to start my day. I call those my twelve-hour days. Usually 8:30am-8:30pm. That’s long and hard for me, but equally hard for Jen. So, it was a very long, hard, tiring day… piling onto our already exhausted family.

Ohhhh wait. How could I forget?

Friday morning at 5am, the craziness started.

Alex woke up enough to get to the bathroom sink, and threw up in the sink. What was that I had said about getting lots or rest and making sure to drink fluids… wait… what was that first one again….

Right! REST!

So, having less rest than ever… sickness took hold of us, slammed us to the matt, held us in a sleeper hold, added a pile drive or two, and then pinned us to the matt again, down for the count. Really. It was that bad.

After Alex, Julia started getting sick. Both of them were sick on Friday, as was I. I felt a bit queasy on Thursday night when I went to sleep, but made it to sleep and didn’t think too much of it. Felt well enough to go to Apple on Friday – and wasn’t going to call in sick my last day there anyway! BUT, probably about three hours into my day there, I began feeling definite signs that I was definitely sick. So, I pressed through, but that was probably not very smart. Came home that night – exhausted – to a family exhausted from a day of sickness.

We went to bed that night, hoping we had endured the worst of it.

As I recall, that night passed relatively peacefully. In fact, on Saturday, it was only I who felt bad. I woke up feeling exhausted, achy, head-achy, and a tad queasy. But, there was a houseful of germ-infested, sickness-filled bedding to clean! So, I set out that morning to eliminate the germs right then and there. I opened every window, and removed, washed and dried every piece of bedding on every bed. It was quite an undertaking. I sprayed every surface I could think of with Lysol. The house was completely free of germs when I was done.

Or so I thought.

After completely exhausting any energy I may have had left in my body, I collapsed on the couch around dinner time and began feeling really, really cold. I hadn’t felt like eating much all day. I think I had a bowl of soup for lunch. Whatever was going on, it was not good! We had canceled out on a trip to Buffalo that day for a big extended family birthday party, and as I laid on the couch barely conscious and shivering, I was really thankful we had not made the trip!

I also began wondering about the next morning. I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to sing as planned. The brevity of the bug passing through my children did give me hope, but mine seemed different. I went to bed around 11 that night (super early for me!) and just felt awful. If I hadn’t been exhausted, it would have been hard to actually go to sleep, I think. I was thankful that no other children were throwing up, though. That was a positive.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, Emma woke Jen up, or was it Julia? I don’t know, but she didn’t sleep very much. (And I certainly was no help! I woke up at 2 or 3am, so achy that it hurt to even breathe! Somehow I found a position that allowed me to go to sleep, only to wake up drenched in sweat a little while later!)

What a miserable few days!!!

Oh right, and it was Daylight Savings Time. I lost an hour of sleep that night. Nice. 🙂

Magically, I woke up at 6:40am, right before my alarm was to go off, and was neither sweaty, nor achy… and felt pretty OK! I rolled out of bed and got ready for the gig. All was pretty good, even mostly didn’t have a head ache. I was grateful for my healthy body and perhaps even more for the quiet house around me. That was a great sound. I began thinking we had finally made it through.

I’ve got to stop thinking that…

I instant messaged Jen in between first and second service and found out that the baby was now sick 🙁 Poor little Emma, whose first birthday is only days away, was not only throwing up, but it was about every 15-30 minutes! And, it was kinda strange looking, so it was definitely a concern to Jen – and now me! I had to go back to work, so with a knot in my gut – for Emma and Jen, not from a stomach bug – I sang my songs, then went back and talked to Jen on the phone. We were both praying that God would just remove this sickness at least from Jen, but I think from all of our household, too!

I got home and helped with Emma. Jen had her wrapped in a towel to catch anything she might not want to keep down. But actually, she had started getting better already. She was pretty happy, cheery and playing. We were so glad! Everyone else seemed pretty good, too, and Jen and Ian were crossing their fingers that they had somehow escaped this pesky bug!

Meanwhile, reality set in for me again and I had a pretty hard rest of the day – still quite achy, not very hungry, exhausted, and even cold/shaky. Not good. But when my body saw it’s chance to rest, it took it. I was in bed pretty early that night.

Oh wait… 🙂

Before I went to bed, Ian, who had just been saying that evening, “I feel just fine, Mom,” … yes, you know. He made it to a much cleaner place than most of the small children, but … it was only the beginning. In true Walker fashion, there were many more episodes for Ian that night and through the next day.

“WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END???” we wondered, simply exhausted. (But, admittedly, getting rather good at the whole vomit triage routine…)

I had another hard night – just strange overpowering flu symptoms. Jen did, too… no one has been sleeping well for quite some time in our house. Thankfully, most everyone was so exhausted that we did sleep in Monday. All of us. I still worked several hours in my office that day, but committed to not working more than a half a normal day. And indeed, that’s what I did. I think that was helpful, as there was no more aching, nor was I exhausted. There was also no more throw up happening in the house from the early afternoon on. It appeared that we were finally done.

Tuesday came and went without any trouble, so we even went out for a little pre-birthday treat for Julia (whose birthday was the next day) at Burger King. All did well, and we were home and in bed by a pretty normal Campbell bed time. Nice!

The Part You Just Can’t Make Up

Yes folks, as if that all wasn’t bad enough…

All day today (Wednesday) was very good. No throw ups. Much less exhaustion. All was getting back to normal. Had a fun birthday day -doing lots of fun things Julia wanted to do. Some of it was making fun things in the kitchen with Dad. We made a green birthday cake, which we later iced with green icing, and topped with green sprinkles. Then for dinner, she helped me make green pancakes and some sausage, to boot. (She loves the color green, can you tell?)

We stuffed ourselves with all of the green cuisine, and celebrated our beautiful little girl. Even made it to bed, and were settling down for the night when…

“Mom!” came the troubled voice from the top of the steps, “Julia threw up!!” Big sister Kirstie was appalled and so were her parents! WHAT??!?!? NO WAY. NO WAY! Again???

Sure enough… Julia had thrown up, so we began the clean up process. Jen started in on the mess in the room and I began prepping a bath for little Julia.

This is shocking… prepare yourself…

Not two minutes later, from downstairs we hear, “Ian is throwing up!!!”


No one was laughing.

It was true, but thankfully, I could tell something was different about these two, nearly simultaneous incidents. Both Julia and Ian showed no after effects. They were completely happy, alert, and totally fine after spewing their dinners on the floor. (Wish they could have found a better place for them…) My best guess is something that we ate was not “kosher”. Jen has already gone through the leftovers and some of the ingredients (the eggs in particular) and appropriately disposed of them.

But seriously, folks. How much can we really take? Do you know how much laundry we have done in the last 11 days? How many times we’ve changed sheets, pillow cases and blankets? How many times we’ve said, “Get the bucket!”? 🙂

Really, really crazy. From the stomach bug, to, what? Food poisoning? Not sure, but … can it please stop?

I’m hoping that by chronicling it, I’m putting an end to the story. Perhaps the pen is mightier than the germ? Let’s see…


(I think that probably did it.) 😉

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