A quite unfortunate event happened in our house the night of Halloween. Food poisoning.
First to fall victim was my husband, violently vomiting all night and morning. Then the following night I began vomiting. Mine however lasted for 4 hours in 10 minute increments, landing me in the emergency room. Then my daughter swiftly joined the ranks. Miserable does not even begin to cover it.
Vomiting, diarrhea, migraines, body aches, cold sweats, shaking, fevers, back pain. You name it and we had it.
It was almost too much to bare.
Now that we are emerging from the haze, I'm taking some time to help others who may soon fall victim to full family illness. Trust me it could, and will, happen to your family.
-3.) Get flu a shot. The entire family.
-2.) Take vitamins, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, drink tons of water. The healthier you are the less likely you are to get sick.
-1.) Prepare and cook your own food. It's healthier and safer. If you are unsure about storage and temperatures, freshen up. It's crucial.
0.) You did it all right, yet you and your family are sick ... here's what you need to know.
1.) Act fast and be seen by a medical professional right away.
When I was younger I never went to the doctor when I was sick unless I was on my death-bed, but with children involved you need to tread cautiously. Illness affects children differently.
2.) In conjunction with 1.), don't take or give anything until you know what you are ill with.
Some medications may interfere with what the doctor would like to give.
3.) If you have been vomiting for several hours and can't keep liquids down, you need to receive IV fluids.
It can be very dangerous to continually vomit and not be able to re-hydrate. Vomiting is especially dangerous in babies and children.
4.) If you are nauseous or vomiting, ask for Zofran.
Zofran is a medication that stops nausea and vomiting, allowing you to re-hydrate and re-fuel. It is also crucial in functioning as a parent through the sickness.
5.) Once you have Zofran at your disposal, make sure to always take it first.
Zofran takes 30 minutes to work so make sure you hold off on Imodium or Ibuprofen until you are protected from vomiting.
6.) Vomiting and diarrhea constitute a liquid diet for 24 hours following.
There is a reason that hospitals have you start with a liquid diet after surgery. Your stomach isn't ready to digest food after being empty and at a stand still. Lemon-Lime Gatorade is our family's favorite beverage when sick. Of course plain water is great too. Hold off on dark-colored juices until a doctor says it is okay. If you have been vomiting severely you want to make sure that that is over, otherwise it would be hard to distinguish blood in your vomit. Included in the liquid diet are popsicles. Grape, cherry, orange, lime or banana! They all taste great and soothe you when sick. Once you do begin a normal diet start very slowly. Introduce juice, and Saltines. Slowly work up to toast and other plain items eventually moving to soup. No spicy food, meats or dairy at this time.
7.) Babies taking solids may only want milk when sick.
Just like us, little ones lose their appetite. Milk is often the only thing they are interested in. This is fine and solids should not be pushed.
8.) Probiotics are a must when diarrhea is involved.
Both adults and children can benefit from probiotics. For babies they have packets that can be dissolved into a bottle once a day. My choice is Culterelle. Something to keep in mind, doctors will not stop diarrhea in little ones, so don't try to yourself.
9.) Stay on top of your medications.
Continue to take all the medications suggested for at least 1-2 days even if you seem better. It may only be because of the medication. You don't want to risk a relapse. Set a timer or write it down so that you make sure to take your meds at the right time. For them to be most effective, they should be taken in the time increments suggested on the label.
10.) Rest. Above all else, rest.
Let the house and everything else go. Sleep as long as you can at night, and nap as much as you can during the day.
11.) Designate one area for everyone to spend the day in and keep only that space clean.
Get together the tissue, blankets, pillows, fluids, vomit bowl and snacks, and keep everyone entertained in one space. Choose a room that is close to a bathroom and the kitchen. Avoid requiring sick family members to go up and down stairs. Keep some toys handy in case anyone feels up to playing. Also have Lysol wipes handy in that room so you can wipe it down throughout the day. This makes the next step much easier.
12.) Once the storm has passed, clean EVERYTHING.
Disinfect all surfaces and wash all bedding, toys, and blankets. Give that bug the boot out of your home!
I don't know how many times I prayed and then repeated "this too shall pass". This was one of the worst experiences our family has ever had. Thankfully we made it through and are now even more grateful for our health.
My prayers are with all families struggling with sickness.