Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sickness and Birthdays

Abraham came down with something Thursday night, shortly after his sleepy Superman picture. He started getting sick at 8:45 and then continued to get sick every half hour until about 11 or so. I went to bed, sure that I would be getting up too many times for a restful sleep; but fortunately, he slept until 6:30 AM or so when his sisters in the room above the boys' got up and were loud and woke him up.

Yesterday he spent looking pale and sickly. Lily has taken to being his nurse and makes sure he always has his bowl, cup, and appropriate blankets. She will put a movie on for him and stroke his head; and while I want to say, "NO! HE'S IN QUARANTINE!" I know the inevitable will happen no matter what (others will get sick), and I can't really help loving her loving him.

At first we weren't sure what was causing his retching, but now I'm pretty sure it's a virus.  We wondered if it was the shrimp we had Thursday night (when he was younger, he broke out when we had lobster) or the fact that he fell and hit his head on the rock steps earlier in the day (but I don't think that would cause him to still be throwing up, and his pupils are the same size, and he didn't knock himself out, etc.). But Monday I was sick with what I was sure was more than routine morning sickness -- I had even told Ethan, "I think I have a bug." And Ethan was a little off earlier in the week, too, so I think poor Abey has caught it. Although, truth be told, he is one of the best if one of them has to be sick. He uses his bowl, suffers quietly, and is altogether a sweetie.

I'm doing what I can to make him comfortable, but the challenge is getting him to keep anything down. While his bouts are getting farther apart, they are still ever-present and I'm not sure he has anything in him. All of his siblings raved about yesterday's egg-drop soup, but he was underimpressed, took less than three bites, and didn't keep that down. So today we will hit this head-on. My mother was telling me that when I was younger, my pediatrician had her give me 1/4 tsp. of ginger ale. After 15 minutes, if I kept it down, I got 1/2 tsp. And so on, doubling every 15-20 minutes. I remember this (and the extreme thirst and wanting to gulp it all down) and the ensuing hatred of ginger ale for years as just the thought of it made me feel sick. But Abraham loves ginger ale, and we have some of the real stuff with ginger, so we'll try. If he's up to it, we'll do some burnt toast. I've thought about picking up some activated charcoal from the health food store, which we should probably have on hand anyway . . .

I just hate when the kids are sick.
In other news, today is my brother Daniel's 23rd birthday! He is celebrating it exactly as I imagine he would want to -- it is the last weekend before his close friends go back to their respective out-of-state colleges, and my parents are gone to a church family camp where there is no cell phone reception. So he will get no calls from Mom and Dad and gets to spend as much time as he wants with friends. Although OF COURSE he will get the obligatory "Happy Birthday Song" as performed by his Montana nieces and nephews, even if he refuses to answer the phone. There's always voicemail.

I wish I had a picture of him to share, but he is so doggone evasive when it comes to photos. I'll have to embarrass him later. He is so introverted that someone got him a black t-shirt with tiny white letters on the front spelling "introvert" and he gave it to Ethan because he was too embarrassed to wear it. You know who ended up with it? Me! I'm the only one not introverted enough to refuse to wear the shirt!

When we were younger, someone made the comment that if they were to have to divide us into teams, Hannah and David would be on one, and Daniel and I would be on the other (Becca wasn't born yet). I think it's still kind of this way. Although I am probably the least like all of my siblings (at least in interests, thinking ability -- my brain tires much sooner, etc.), Daniel and I share some similarities. I think he's dangerously funny. He has a dry, dry, dry wit that just cracks me up. He and my husband are a lot alike, and they actually enjoy each other's company. I love to hear them talk back and forth because they are just hysterical.

And, even with his extreme hatred of the cold and anything not Southern, Daniel co-drove the moving van all the way from Virginia to Montana ... sleeping in hotel rooms with "the guys" (Ethan and Ben and Abe) and our cats (whom he is very allergic to) ... in December. Yep, ice and snow from Ohio on. That's hero status in my book.

Happy Birthday, Daniel. We will call and we will sing. So answer already.

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