It was a lot…

Last night my wife got pretty sick. It must have been some stomach flu, as everything that entered flew out in no-time, including water. This kind of feeling sucks balls anyway, but something tells me it’s particularly heavy on breastfeeding mothers.

This morning, I let her and our baby daughter sleep, and prepared our son for the daycare. Just to be sure, we both did a covid test. My boy is a champion, and even though he’s only two, he seems to understand that we test him so we know he’s not sick. He always talks about ‘test good; not sick’ for half an hour afterwards. He was a happy chap. And he was happy to be at daycare, too. He loves going there. In the middle of a supervision meeting with a PhD candidate, I received a call. Daycare. They can’t reach my wife (doh… She’s only half alive in the room next to me). Rafa had vomited, and it was urgent that I should pick him up.

Rafa never vomits. Literally, in two years and a bit, he has vomited only twice, because something got stuck in his throat while eating. He never threw up as a baby either, and he never got sick like that before. It was quite a sad sight, that little pile of sadness, sitting in the middle of the daycare floor, covered head to toe in his own stomach contents. Usually I start retching myself, the moment I see someone vomit, but it turns out to be different when it’s your kid. I was just overwhelmed with love. I just wanted to bring my boy home. We changed clothes, and quickly left. A quick stop at the pharmacy to pick up oral rehydration salts. Mama wasn’t taking up any water, and that meant that the baby food wells dried up. While the friendly pharmacy lady explains to me the best approach to treat a breastfeeding mom with stomach flu, Rafa erupts once more. Twice actually. The carpet in the pharmacy will have a permanent mark I’m sure. I’m sorry St. Georg Apotheke… I’m sure he didn’t mean to. They were cool about it though. Proper empaths in such places.

Five minutes later, we’re home. Rafa seemed alright. He wanted to play. And drink. And eat. I gave him two sips of water, and a cracker. That seemed to go well. Until he started projectile vomiting. I changed his clothes three times today, and he must have covered another three, four cloths in a cocktail of electrolytes and stomach juices. He couldn’t hold in a couple of spoonsful. Near the evening, he still hadn’t kept in a bit. Six hours of stomach emptying is not cool, and we decide to call doctors for advice. This lousy health system here tells you they will not help kids, because they’re no children’s doctors. If I wanted advice I could ‘simply’ drive to the children’s hospital in Landshut, a good 40 kilometers away. What the fuck?

Then we tried grandma’s advice, which she kindly shared with us on the phone. A coke. Get out the gas, and give him a spoonful of coke. The drink. Not the powder. Then wait 15 minutes, then another spoon. Repeat that a couple of times, and then try some electrolyte water. That’s how I spent the last three hours, spoon-feeding my child. A child that was getting dehydrated and thirsty, but wasn’t allowed to drink more than a sip at a time. I’m not sure he understood that. But he didn’t vomit, and that’s all that matters.

He just fell asleep. Poor boy.

Now it’s time to take care of myself. It’s easy to forget your own food or drinks when you’re caring for others. Time for dinner! I’m hungry, thirsty, and not sick yet, so better enjoy it while it lasts….

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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