Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I accept the vomit, part II

Shortly after this adorable picture was taken (yes, he put the horse in that box himself), Bumpus promptly and enthusiastically vomited all over himself and that nice white carpet. 

Just a warning, there is a lot of vomit in this post. If you feel the need to move on I promise my feelings won't be hurt.

I have never seen him throw up like that. He was immediately very upset, so I stripped off his soaked clothes, wiped him down with the burp cloth I keep up in the playroom for just such an occasion, and held him for a while to comfort him (I know to me throwing up is just about the worst thing ever, so I sympathized). Then I tried to formulate a plan to clean up the mess. Again, this is up in the playroom where I can't get access to the rest of the house unless I take B with me. So he can't be left up there alone while I go get cleaning supplies, and I can't leave him downstairs while I go up to clean. There was nothing to it but to wait four hours until bedtime. I cracked open a window and took us downstairs. 

Put B in a new outfit and figured we'd just have to mess around in the living room for a while. He played and flirted happily. I couldn't imagine what caused him to be sick other than the restaurant mac 'n cheese he had for lunch just didn't sit with him. On rare occasions when he's thrown up a little in the past it's always been cheese related...yet he'll eat some cheese, lots of milk, yogurt and cottage cheese with no issues. So who knows? 

Then out of nowhere he throws up all over the dining room carpet. I clean him, and it, up, and figure it's time to be in the linoleum floored kitchen now. I start piling the foul clothes and rags into the thankfully empty kitchen sink. It's almost dinner time and I don't want him going to bed starving, so I figure I'll see if he wants to eat. Maybe some stomach-settling food - banana, bread, apple sauce, milk - will be just what he needs. He eats it all enthusiastically, then throws it all up on himself. More crying, more comforting, more wiping down and adding to the pile of clothes and cloths in the sink. More wiping of the floor. More wiping of myself. Everything in the house positively reeks. I thank God I'm not nauseated myself but almost lose it a couple of times. It is just SO disgusting. How can that tiny little belly hold gallons of food???

He's clearly exhausted, so I put on his jammies, change his diaper, and hold him extra long before lying him down to sleep. He conks right out. I head up to the playroom to do the massive and ultimately utterly ineffective job of scrubbing the carpet clean and bring downstairs the clothes, toys, and cloths that have been soaking for hours, and start up a load of laundry on "hot" with lots of soap. I sit on the other side of his door, too nervous and grossed out to eat, wondering if he has a stomach flu, wondering if I'm going to get it now, picturing us all at the emergency room in the middle of the night, picturing the thousands of dollars that will cost, wondering when he'll stop throwing up, wondering how awful this night is going to be, texting the babysitter who's supposed to watch him through my dentist appointment, my OB appointment, and my book club tomorrow that maybe I'll have to cancel everything. 

Within an hour I hear coughing and he's thrown up all over the bed. More changing, more stripping of bed clothes, more laundry. I force some dinner down and retire to my bedroom with both of our doors open so I can hear him breathing. It's been three hours. I check him constantly. Afraid he's thrown up again and is sleeping in it. Afraid of the worst thing ever - that he'll choke on it and I won't even know. 

Realizing this was one of those scenarios I had so dreaded when I thought about being a parent - the all-night puke-a-thons all little kids have. God knows I had  plenty. How do you clean up the mess? When do you know to get them to a hospital? And what the hell is exactly wrong? He's been off his dinner for three nights, even when I made him his favorite. But he's eaten huge breakfasts and good lunches; I thought maybe the dinner issue was because we'd had lunch way too late and he just wasn't hungry. But why do kids just randomly throw up for hours? I think back on my episodes and there was no rhyme or reason there, either - it just happened. No other symptoms of anything, nothing I can put a finger on except restaurant food that may just have been too rich or strange for him. 

So I am steeling myself for a horrid night. I so hope he just wakes up well and we can put this behind us. But I don't know. If this continues into tomorrow I think we're going to the doctor. 


  1. I hope there was no more puking for all three of you! (And really hoping that it is not catching for all 6 of us)

  2. Ugh, that sounds beyond awful! I would call the restaurant and tell them it might be from their food, just in case there are others who get sick.

    I hope whatever it was is out of his system.

  3. Carys is puking too. All night - about 4 or 5 times, even threw up water. Her daycare told me there's a stomach bug going around. Seems to be short lived though. This morning she ate cereal just fine. We've got the hot water/bleach washes going too! I was lucky and just needed to clean up multiple sets of sheets and bed pads. Your cleanup sounds miserable! I hope it is short for both of us!

  4. I hope he's doing better. If there is no fever, I think in the short term the big concern with vomitting (or diarhea) is dehydration, so I would start him on something like Pedialyte which is designed to keep sick kids hydrated (rather than letting him eat), and if he can't keep that down, call a doctor or take him into an urgent care or something the next day- if he can keep fluids down for an hour or so, then offer him something light and gentle on his stomach- crackers and chicken noodle soup, maybe (not milk, especially if cheese upsets his stomach). If you can keep him hydrated and there is no fever, he can probably go a day or two, but I'd take him in if he's still sick after three days. (Of course it's easy for me to dispassionately say what I think I would do in your shoes, but I've cared for (other people's minorly) sick kids in the past and that's what I've come to understand). Good luck!

  5. The main thing with vomiting is that you have to start liquids SLOWLY. So after vomiting, just a little sip of something to rinse his mouth (since he's too little to spit). If he goes 15 minutes without vomiting, give a little more, like a tablespoon. Do that every fifteen minutes for an hour. Then two tablespoons (1 oz) every 15 minutes x 1 hr. If he's still okay, then let him have free access to fluids and start a bland diet -- dry toast, saltines, broth. If that goes well, you are home free though I'd avoid greasy food for a day.

    Oh, and white vinegar is fabulous for getting that funky smell out of things. I make a spray of 50/50 vinegar and warm water, and spritz everything down. Totally safe for you and Rumpus, too.

    Good luck! I hope this passes quickly. Vomiting is the worst! Especially for little guys who don't understand what is happening. Poor little dude.