Monday, 18 March 2013

Holidaying through the Norovirus

We're back from our trip, which was... well, not quite what we hoped for, but definitely what we needed!  We were visiting friends who had moved ten hours up the road from us... seemed like a good excuse to visit upstate New York.

I wanted to start the drive Tuesday evening, so we could do a big chunk while the kids were asleep, and break the journey up with a motel stop and some sightseeing.  My husband was in favour of just doing one long slog on Wednesday.

The choice was taken out of our hands when our son came down with a recurrence of the stomach bug we'd all had two weeks ago in the early hours of Monday morning.  We figured leaving Tuesday might be a bad idea now, but we weren't too concerned, seeing as the bug had been a 24 hour thing the first time around.

Not this time.  He had three days of intermittent vomiting and grogginess.  On Wednesday, we hauled him into the doctor's office and got some anti-nausea medication for him.

Thursday was the point when we had to decide are we doing this trip or not?  We couldn't be that flexible on the return date, so every day we pushed back leaving would make the drive less worth it.  We were worried about contagion, but our friends had taken leave in anticipation of our arrival, and we didn't want to waste that for them as well.  They were still in favour of us coming, but there was a lot of discussion between me and my husband.

The deciding factor was that my son wanted to go.  He had been looking forward to the trip for ages, and although on Wednesday all he wanted to do was lie in bed, on Thursday he was adamant that he wanted to make the trip.  So we threw everything in the car and made a slightly delayed start at 10am.  We reached our friends' house just before 9:30.

The drive went much more smoothly than I ever dreamed.  We had been more or less housebound for three days and our daughter was so ecstatic to be going somewhere, she wasn't at all bothered at being stuck in the car.  She looked out of the windows, played with the toys, activities, iPad and was generally beautifully behaved.

We were very worried about my son, who was no longer throwing up but tended to be in a lot of pain after eating.  We believe he was getting stomach cramps.  He had been on a diet of water and peanut butter sandwiches ever since getting sick.  I had a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter in the car with me, so I could make him a sandwich whenever he felt able to eat.  We also drummed it into him that anytime he wanted a potty break, he should tell us immediately, but thankfully that did not become an issue!

Although he was clearly very uncomfortable, he handled it pretty well, except for the last couple of hours.  We had both the kids in their pajamas for the last stretch and, based on previous traveling experience, assumed they'd both fall asleep and it would be the easiest part of the drive.  Unfortunately, exhaustion over-rode my son's tolerance for his discomfort.  After a short sleep, he woke up and started crying because he wanted to lie down properly and screaming with every stomach cramp.  That woke up his sister, and we were all very relieved when we finally got to the house.

By the end of the following day, our son was more or less back to normal, but we did pass the bug onto our friends (went through the entire family, hitting the parents hardest) and I came down with a light spell myself.  Our friends were very nice about it though--and at least we'd brought medication with us.  My son no longer needed it, so we passed the pills around the grown ups instead.

Because of this, we kept the holiday fairly low-key, and gave up the idea of going to Niagara Falls.  However, the visit itself was such a rousing success that we're already planning a do-over.  Our children are all close in age so they played with each other and were almost entirely self-entertaining, while we grown-ups chatted and chilled.  Bliss.

Now we're back and although my daughter's worked her way through another cold, everybody is basically healthy and I'm hoping I might actually get to do some of the stuff I planned on doing with my free mornings, instead of playing nurse!


  1. OH MY LORD THE NIGHTMARE! You guys are amazing for traveling in spite of this--though the reasons do make a lot of sense. But AaaaaaiiiiiI! The horror!

    I think it's awesome that even though you made everyone sick, the visit was still a success! A testament to your coolness.

    1. It's certainly possible that while we consider it a success, our hosts were just being polite!

      And we came very close to not going. We could not have travelled with my son the way he was Monday through Wednesday. It was hard enough just getting him through the 20 minute drive to the doctor!

  2. You are so brave! It must have been absolutely ghastly! But I am glad to hear you are all back to your normal healthy selves.
    And I am so looking forward to the stage when my youngest is also able to give the adults a bit of time to chill and the chance to talk. That sounds SOOOOO nice. :-)