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White Knuckle Parenting Faces the Plague

Has your family gotten this flu that's going around? Because my family just had it and it is terrrrrible.

I've been reading Facebook status after Facebook status describing whole families falling victim to the flu. It seems that a particularly virulent, contagious version of the plague is traveling rapidly around the region. Each time I saw one of those statuses, I mentally sent sad thoughts the way of the afflicted families and thanked my lucky stars that I wasn't one of them.

I should have known that our luck wouldn't hold. 

I'm glad that we managed to get through the holidays and New Year's without anyone being sick, but I wish that my youngest son hadn't fallen ill on the very first day back to school after break. I sent everyone off that morning and happily settled in to taking care of my post-holidays to-do list when I got an email from his teacher.

The subject heading read only "ew." You might be able to guess that it wasn't good news.

At noon, I got a call from the school nurse. It was official—my kid was coming home and our descent into sickness had begun. Since that time, I've had at least one sick and lethargic kid on the couch at all times.

My husband was the next to fall, and he fell hard. I didn't see him between the time he stumbled in from work Friday afternoon until he finally re-emerged on Sunday afternoon, by which point another of my kids was sick.

My weekend was not the best. 

I'm hoping that my oldest son, who is the only person in my family to have gotten a flu shot, will stay well. Next year we're all getting those shots—in September.

I couldn't even look forward to Monday because I had two sickies home that day as well. I tell you, I know I don't feel as bad as the sick people in my family do, but taking care of sad people who keep demanding Gatorade and water, and that you clean up their vomit, is not my idea of a fun weekend.

I knew my kids were sick because they even turned down video games. That is practically unprecedented. I mean, they napped for the love of God! I feel like I should be really concerned. I'm at the point now where I am impatiently tapping my foot and looking for signs that they are improving, like if they can walk down stairs themselves, without my having to carry them piggy back. Or they want to eat something besides toast and water.

The minute one of those kids asks for a piece of candy, their little butts are back on the school bus. Because winter break is now going on its third week, and I'm getting a little tired of it.

The really sad thing is that I am starting to feel less than stellar myself, which means that just as my family heads off to school and work, I will probably come down with my own passed down version of the flu.

I just hope it waits to strike until I am not taking care of any little sickies as well. See, I'm going to need all my strength to nap and to post sad little Facebook statuses about how sick we all are.

Jean, a.k.a. Stimey, is a freelance writer who writes a personal blog at Stimeyland and runs an autism-events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont. You can find her on Twitter as @Stimey and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Stimeyland.

Stuart January 09, 2013 at 08:00 AM
If your family got what half of ours did over the winter break (including a very unlucky me), then I'm fairly certain it was not the flu, but rather, some other nasty virus that resulted in what can be politely called gastroenteritis. "Ew" is right on. The real flu (influenza) usually results in headaches, chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, and respiratory issues. Getting a flu shot is a good idea for most, but probably would not have prevented your post-holiday joy. My sympathies!
Jean Winegardner January 09, 2013 at 01:14 PM
There is some nasty stuff going around. I hope you're feeling better now. Not a very good way to celebrate the holidays. :(
Alana Denise Hicks-Amoroso January 10, 2013 at 03:40 PM
My husband and I got the flu around the 15th of December and as of this very minute, I'm still suffering with bronchitis. I still have Christmas presents in the den to give to my children, grandchildren and family members because no one has been able to come around us for a daggone month!!!! This strain of flu virus has been awful. Its hit Harford County with a vengence.....and made a stop at my house!! Aren't I lucky......honestly, it could have just kept on going.....I would not have been upset, thats for sure. Hope everyone else is doing ok out there!!
Jean Winegardner January 11, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I am SO sorry to hear this. I hope you feel better soon!

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