I know that we can't be the only family who has been taken down by this wicked stomach bug. We all had flu shots, but we still fell victim to this fast and unbelievably violent virus. Our poor eight-year-old had to postpone her birthday party this weekend, and there is nothing more tragic than a sick baby, who has no words to describe the barfing all over himself sensation. Over and over and....
Once the sickness hits, what can you do? Not much, we've discovered. Our schedules have been totally disrupted, and even our care-givers have fallen victim to this plague, which has made our home-school schedule non-existent. Here are the things that have made this last week a little more bearable.
The Television - We strive to be a relatively media-free family. We usually only let the kids watch on weekends, and all of their TV is supervised by us. I will not lie, we've lived in front of the TV since Sunday. It's the only thing keeping the baby from screaming, and the only thing any of us has energy for.
Melba Toast - A childhood sick-bed staple, this is the only thing we've been able to even smell for the last three days, and the only thing that the kids will attempt to eat. The grownups have been able to manage a little more. See next...
Kichadee - No, that's not a spelling error. I'm lucky to live with my mother-in-law who happens to be one of the world's best cooks. She's also Indian, by way of East Africa, and has introduced me to a world of flavours that continue to blow my mind. When we have tummy troubles, she makes kichadee, a simple and delicious blend of basmati rice, ghee (clarified butter), and moong beans, which are kind of like a super lentil. Kichadee is supposed to be a perfect food according to Ayurveydic principals. The word kichadee means "mixture" so there are many variations on how to prepare this simple dish. When my poor dear mother-in-law recovers from this damn flu, I will share her recipe with you. Meanwhile, keep some simple cooked rice on hand. It's better than nothing. You can add banana and yogurt, depending on what everyone can stomach.
Pure Fruit Juice - When the stomach flu hits, it's game on for as much sugar as our little ones can drink by way of fruit juice. After losing so many fluids, and being so afraid to try to eat, we encourage juice consumption, which is not the normal stance we take. We'll even freeze it to make popsicles, because frozen stuff seems to make everyone feel just a little bit better.
Lowered Expectations - I felt much better last night, and the baby had settled too. We prepared to have a nice, full day back to school in our home school classroom today. Then, I woke in the morning to a text from my poor mom (also our caregiver) saying she'd been up all night sick. About an hour after coming down for breakfast, my mother-in-law (who happens to also be a care-giver) also started feeling lousy. I've thrown in the puke-soaked towel and have decided that there won't be much accomplished by way of schoolwork. I also know this means that my other work will suffer, but them's the breaks, right?
Honey Lemon Tea - This is as simple as it sounds; hot water, lemon wedge, generous tea spoon of honey. Variations for bad tummies can include a slice of fresh ginger, and if you have a head or chest cold try as much cayenne pepper as you can stand. A large thermos of this concoction should be on stand by.
Gravol Ginger - These soft, chewable anti-nauseant lozenges really seem to work, and are a great solution for those of you who find pure ginger too hot to stomach. They are made with certified organic ginger extract, but beware - they also contain aspartame and maltitol. Use them only when you really need to.
Books - I suggest you milk your sick days for one extra day (as I am going to do tomorrow). You probably need the rest anyway, so stay in your pjs, make a cozy spot on the couch, brew up a pot of honey lemon tea, and keep a stack of books nearby. Take that extra time to get back into fighting form, and spare your colleagues and those poor other kids at school/daycare the germs. If you're like us, and have had multiple wardrobe changes each day because of the projectile unmentionables, you probably deserve a mental health day anyway. Enjoy.
Here's hoping that the increase of mild, promising weather also brings increased wellness for all of us! What are your favourite sick stand-bys?