Well, there are probably a lot of family dogs that would enjoy a good barf mystery, but me, I’m not so keen on it.
Mona has been sick recently, but no one can figure out with what. She has no fever, she is not fatigued, she’s eating everything she normally eats…. In fact, to look at her in the daytime she is about the healthiest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. Yes, she’s a little pale, but she’s my daughter, and my mom once declared me to be the palest person on earth so that’s DNA. No, if you saw Mona laughing and running around the playground and racing her scooter around the block you would be hard pressed to say she doesn’t look like the healthiest person you ever met.
But! For three nights in a row last week between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. Mona threw up in her bed. She’s also had diarrhea, although she doesn’t complain of any discomfort. Mona seldom complains. She doesn’t want comfort or attention for any kind of ailment, so she doesn’t even call out to us when she throws up, we just hear it happening and run to her side. Poor baby.
Anyway, having had experience recently with Quinn and dehydration, we at least know how to keep a kid pumped with enough fluids and electrolytes so that we don’t end up in the hospital, but I called the after hours nurse to find out how we know at what point to bring Mona in to see the doctor. Based on the fact that there was no fever or anything else going on and that the vomiting was not repeated within an eight hour period, she said it was probably a virus and to just monitor her at home.
Mona was looking so good the first morning after she threw up that we let her go to school. She loves school. She desperately wanted to go, so we let her, because it looked like a one time fluke thing and we thought we were in the clear. Of course an hour after getting to school she threw up all over the art table. The teacher wasn’t able to get a hold of us because she tried calling our cell phones (which we just don’t use since the majority of the time we are either sitting near a phone at home or a phone at work). She called a neighbor who brought Mona clean pants, and eventually found our work number and told us what had happened. The teacher wanted to know what we wanted to do because after throwing up Mona seemed great. I left it to her, because if she were willing to risk another barf bomb going off I knew Mona would much rather stay at school, but I understood completely if she wanted me to come pick her up. The teacher let Mona stay and she was fine the rest of the day.
But in the night, again, she threw up between 3:00 and 4:00. This time we kept her home from school, which she didn’t like, but she dutifully drank juice and ate toast and bananas and looked bored. I actually told her to stay in bed in the morning, but after her brother and sister went to the kitchen for breakfast she got dressed on the sly and tried to sneak downstairs. Ian and I heard these tiny little creaking sounds in the hallway, and when I said, “Mona?” she bolted, and I saw this brief flash of purple shirt and black leggings before she disappeared down the steps. I don’t know if she seriously thought she could stowaway in the minivan and make it to school, but she gets points for trying. In any case, she was perfectly fine all day. No fever. No runny nose. No coughing or sneezing. No pain or fatigue. Just Mona being happy Mona. That night, like clockwork, more vomit.
Now, at least Ian and I have a system worked out where any kid emergency in the night that involves soiled bedding we hop up together and he gets stuff in the wash and remakes the bed while I calm and clean the kid. This kind of thing was much harder when Ian was deployed because doing all of that alone was complicated and took much more time. It’s nicer to be able to concentrate on cleaning up the kid and checking symptoms and then returning him or her to a bed that has been magically made with fresh sheets.
Anyway, we were confused about what to do. Mona was obviously not well, but didn’t seem sick enough to take to anyone. It was weird.
Then it stopped. For three nights in a row, nothing. We thought, great, it was just a stomach bug, it’s over, hooray.
Then again, between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., more vomit and diarrhea. At that point the nurse said we had to bring Mona in because she had technically been vomiting for a week and needed to see a doctor.
The doctor was stumped. She said a virus would not cause Mona to vomit on a schedule, and the time Mona was throwing up was past the point where you could connect it to food or reflux. She needed more information to decide the best course of treatment, so they had to draw blood and collect various samples. I don’t know if I feel worse for Mona or Ian, because Mona freaked out and Ian’s the one who had to hold her down for the blood draw and talk her down for the X-ray. Ugh. We haven’t heard any results yet.
Normally I don’t share a lot of stories about vomit or poop because, first of all, EWW, and second of all I don’t want to embarrass my kids. But Mona threw up in class so it’s not a secret to anyone whom she would care about, and as a famous book (possibly Shakespeare) once intoned, Everybody Poops, so I can’t see her world being shattered one day by discovering I told people she was sick when she was seven. We’ve all thrown up, we’ve all had intestinal distress, so in my book it’s gross but not particularly embarrassing after the fact.
The only reason I’m writing about it now is that I’m wondering if anyone else has a clue what might be going on. Has anyone known someone with these symptoms? Last night Mona was perfectly fine again, but I don’t know what that means. It’s awful to feel helpless in the face of something happening to your children, and I just want Mona to be well.
But since this is what Mona looks like when she’s sick maybe we should all wish to be as sick as Mona:
And in case Mona does come across this post one day and is disgusted by my over sharing, let me show off her latest paper creations that she made for some projects at school. One is a tiger and the other is a rainbow trout. (We go through a lot of tape in our house.) Mona’s amazing, either in sickness or in health.
(I had to snap these pictures fast before she left for school because the rainbow trout she made for her friend, Sammy, and I think the tiger was for someone else, too. I didn’t know if we’d ever see these particular paper creations again. She seems to have become the go-to person among the first graders for building props for presentations about animals, so she’s always cranking out something new after school.)