For the last week or so, our house has been hit with gastroenteritis, aka “stomach ‘flu”.
It started on the weekend with the little guy being fussy and tired … and quickly went downhill from there.
I got sick on Monday and spent twenty-four hours in or near the bathroom (side note: someone should really invent a toilet-bowl headrest).
Fortunately, the hubs was able to gamely step up to the plate … until he made a dash for the bathroom late Wednesday night and didn’t emerge until late the next morning (see, inventors of the world, see? Families, not college students, would be your niche market!).
Thursday saw our three year-old start to feel funky, so we knew it had made it full circle.
The worst thing about being sick when you’re a parent is feeling like you’re not properly caring for your also-sick kids . This is especially true if, like us, you’re a bit short on extra pairs of hands to help out in an pinch. At one point, the hubs and I did rock, paper, scissors to see who would venture out to get supplies. I lost, so it was up to me to shuffle around the pharmacy like a zombie. Here’s what I wish I’d known to buy ahead of time to keep in our emergency kit, otherwise known as the “sick bucket”:
- Electrolyte solutions – for adults and kids because dehydration is always a worry, especially when you can’t keep much down. These have a long shelf-life and even come in crystal form.
- Thermometer (plus caps or alcohol wipes) – we have an electric ear-type but we started to get low on those disposable caps so needed to stock up to avoid sharing ear-wax (eww).
- Anti-emetic suppositories – it’s never pleasant to have to use that erm … delivery method. But they do work quickly, and if your stomach is irritated from vomiting for 24 hours, they’re a good back-up.
- Hot Water bottle or Heat bag – because the ‘flu makes you feel like you’re freezing even when you’ve got a temperature of 102 degrees.
- Saltines/ Breadsticks – literally the only things we ate for the better part of the week!
- Straws – if you’re too exhausted to raise your head to drink from a cup of electrolyte solution, a straw is your best friend. Plus, it makes it easier to give kids sips of liquid too.
- Reusable Icepack – to bring down a mild temperature without resorting to wet cloths
- Vaseline – because everything gets chapped … everything.
- Disinfectant spray – to try to battle the bug and prevent little hands from spreading their germs everywhere.
- Freezies – it’s a little known fact that toddlers can and will subsist on breadsticks and freezies for an indefinite period … until someone makes chicken noodle soup that is.
What do you keep on hand for when illness strikes?