Thursday, October 30, 2008
On Monday, Dad's movers called to say that they'd arrive at the apartment at 8:30 Tuesday morning. The plan was for Fran to let them in, and for Gary and me to arrive later, after they'd left, to start unpacking.
But at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, the phone woke me from a sound sleep. It was Fran. "Susan, help me! I'm so sick I can't even get out of bed!" She'd been up all night with one of those gruesome, spouting-at-both-ends stomach bugs.
I went over and let in the movers. Then I went home and got Gary, and we returned to the apartment and did some unpacking. He also cleaned up various bodily fluids.
That evening, I went to the nursing home. Dad was coming down with the same thing. A friend of mine who works at the hospital says this bug is Going Around, and hitting the elderly especially hard.
Yesterday morning, Fran and Dad were both feeling much better, but by the evening, they were both feeling worse again. And last night, Gary got it: he's thoroughly miserable and hasn't yet gotten to the point where he can keep anything down, or in.
This thing is your classic 24-hour bug (at least in otherwise healthy people), so at least it doesn't last long. But at this point, I figure it's a matter of when, not if. I'm thinking norovirus, which I had last May after WisCon, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean I'm immune: there are about 80,000 strains, and getting one of them only renders you immune to that one, and only for a little while. And I think I had some early warning symptoms yesterday (the same type I had at Wiscon a day or two before the beastie hit in earnest).
So I've set up my study as a sickroom: made the bed, put out the tissues and barf bowl, arranged knitting, reading and grading close by. I went to the supermarket and stocked up on Gatorade, and also got some frozen lemonade pops for Gary, since he asked for them. I made sure we have bananas, tea, and applesauce, three elements of the classic BRAT diet. We always have rice. I'm staying home today, because I figure that I'm probably shedding virus, and I don't want to reinfect Dad or Fran or infect anyone at the pool. (I'd already canceled my hospital shift, just because I'm so exhausted from everything that's happened since Dad and Fran got here.) The incubation period of this puppy appears to be one to two days, so if I'm going to get it, it will probably hit between today and Saturday.
If I do get sick, I'll be as prepared as possible. It feels like preparing for a hurricane or a blizzard. And if I'm prepared, maybe I won't get it, right?
In the meantime, I'm trying to take care of Gary even half as well as he takes care of me when I'm sick!