I felt the body aches cascade throughout my body Saturday night.
Then the fever.
Then the nausea and the chills sending me pawing for the toilet. No…no…no…
By early Sunday morning, I carefully crawled to the bathroom sink. I looked like a zombie– part of the pasty, undead hoard of the Walking Dead. The dark rings under my eyes had the remnants of crust and frenzied sleep. My blood vessels had hemorrhaged. Andrew, thankfully, was still fast asleep.
“Mom,” I croaked over the phone.
“What? What is it? Everything okay?” my mom said, half-asleep herself.
“I need dad to take me to the ER.”
My mother is use to the constant stream of sickness. This is the third stomach flu in three months. The gremlins at daycare have radar. Seek and destroy with biological warfare.
Both of may parents arrive in separate cars. One to take Andrew and one to ferry me to the ER.
My dad slings a bathroom trash can into my lap.
“Vomit here,” he directs. As if I had a question.
Four hours later, I am discharged, a Zofran pill (thank the gods for this miracle drug) dissolving under my tongue.
I sleep for three hours at my parents place, try to force down burnt toast and sadly wave to Andrew through my self-imposed bubble of quarantine.
That night, I’m (kind of) well enough to go home. At least the vomiting has stopped and the chills are waning. The ER was a gift (albeit a $100 gift). My dad drives Andrew and I home. I quickly bathe and tuck him in after wearing my hospital-issued face mask while washing my hands like an OCD patient.
The next day, with my spirit renewed, I couldn’t have thanked my parents more. I am lucky to have a support system who can drop everything at a moments notice. But I hurt for the single parents living away from their family when the proverbial shoe drops.
If there is ever a day I hate being a single parent, it’s listening to Andrew wailing for “Mumma,” while vomiting uncontrollably into a toilet bowl.