Bug,  Family Matters,  Moody Blues,  travel

getting better, slowly


What a week! If I had to title this set of seven days, I’d probably name it something terrible like the “Pilgrimage of Puke” or the “Trail of Tears and Vomit” or “Pukefest 2009.” It’s unfortunate that a lot of good memories from this week are going to be overshadowed this way.

While the other memories will be filed away neatly in the regular standard manila folders, this week will always stand out in the giant file cabinet of my mind as the green one with slime oozing out of it and some kind of spooky jack-in-the box timer that sends out a fountain of projectile vomit whenever you least expect it.

I’m sure that as time passes and the sour stench of stomach acid slowly dissipates, my memories will re-order themselves and I’ll be able to recall the wonderful vacation that we took to see relatives and the beautiful wedding. It really was a nice time. I’m just sad it had to end on such a horrible awful note. Most importantly, I hope that Bug doesn’t associate our time up in Northern California with sickness. If she does, she’ll probably never want to take a road trip ever ever ever again. I know I’m thinking second thoughts. If I have to clean puke out of a car-seat buckle ever again (and I know I will), I think I’m going to fall over and die.

Being sick wasn’t all bad of course. There were the sweet moments when she’d wake up in the night and say, “Hold me, Mommy, ” and we’d both fall asleep with her sleeping on my chest just like she did when she was a baby. There was that one day when we were both so sick of the couch and the television and the soggy towels that we opened the door of the cabin and sat on the floor looking out with the cold air blowing on our faces. We watched the children play in the grass yard across the street and she asked me to carry her over there so she could play too but I knew she didn’t have the strength.

Then there are her eyes, so big and chocolate and solemn. Her sick eyes are beautiful but they make me cry inside. I can’t stand this new silence she has about her. While I love being able to complete a thought without interruption, I miss the chatter. I miss being asked a million times if she can have some chocolate or a puffed rice treat that tastes like a Cheeto but is not. I don’t like this new moodiness.

So anyway, we are home but the sickness is not over yet. She’s been getting better and better every day and I thought for sure we’d get through today without any up-chucking but then she got a little too thirsty and drank her vanilla milk drink a little too fast. As soon as I can, I’m going to make an appointment with her pediatrician. I have a feeling they are just going to say it’s some nasty virus going around and she’ll be fine but I’m the mom and I worry.

I’m just scared that her skinny little body isn’t going to fatten back up again. I’m scared that this new quiet Bug is here to stay. I miss my old Bug.


  • Uncle George

    B, your titles for the trip made me roll on the floor laughing! I just love your writing.

    On the flip side, it was a wonderful time. Bug will always remember the fun stuff. We tend to remember pleasure vs. pain, it’s how our brains protect us. Being here with family and dancing and playing up and down Grandpa and Grandma’s stairs–pretending to be mountain climbers and fire fighters–will never escape my memories, nor will they hers, I’m sure.

    I remember Brion and I going through the same things when we were young, Mumps, Chicken Pox–Brion got Menengitis when he was four. I was so scared, I thought my little brother was going to die. But he didn’t. He stuck around and everything was fine. Kids are resilient and BB will persevere and be just fine. She is a Ponnay after all, tough and determined…


  • Ana

    Hi there, again!

    I’m happy to hear that your baby is now recovering, my daughter has had this same virus twice in her short life, the first time was when she was just 3 days old and I remember I just wanted to die… just seeing her so fragile and little made me want to cry, the really bad part is that after her shots she kept on having a bad tummy and it lasted for like 18 days, the same thing is happening now, she just finished with her treatment on Saturday but the symptoms remain… so I guess that with Viruses you can only wait until they’re gone and visit the Peditrician in case it doesn’t get any better. I’m sure that Bug will get back to normal soon… give her a get-better-soon hug for me.


  • Gretchen

    Argh, sorry that the illness is dragging on and on. That’s no fun at all.

    Regarding the repeat puking … going to the doctor is a good idea, but here’s what happened with us the last time my daughter had the stomach bug. She got sick. She’d start to feel better, I’d start to reintroduce foods, and she’d get sick again. She’d start to feel better, I’d start to reintroduce foods, and she’d get sick again (most memorably, all over the shopping cart full of groceries in the ice cream aisle at Kroger … good times!).

    When I took her to the doctor, the verdict was that she had developed a temporary lactose intolerance brought on by the virus. It’s apparently pretty common, which is unfortunate because it means that kids throw up when you give them standard bland foods like milk and yogurt. The doctor suggested we keep her on the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) diet for two weeks, after which we could start reintroducing dairy and other foods.

    This was during the two weeks when we were packing and moving to temporary housing 6 hours away while we tried to find a house, which made it all the more fun. I don’t want to think about how many heat-at-home hot pretzels my daughter ate for those two weeks (close enough to toast, right? especially if your toaster is in storage somewhere).

    So if you can’t get to the doctor for some reason, you might want to back up and just keep her on the super-bland, no milk product diet for a few days and see if that helps.

    Hope you’re all feeling better soon!

  • Gayle

    Bug will be back to herself soon. I know how worried you must be. My daughter had an awful stomach virus when she was about 3. It lasted about one week and she got so dehydrated, the pediatrician put her in the hospital for a few days on an IV to hydrate her. I think you should bring her to the doctor and they will probably tell you it’s just a nasty stomach virus, but at least then you won’t be so worried. Being a mom is a hard job, isn’t it? My kids are now 16, 13 and 11 and I still worry like crazy, about everything!

  • Amanda

    Last Winter not a week went by when some member of my family didn’t puke. I feel for you.

    But I’ll give you some assvice: stay away from the doctor! Her immune system is weak and the likelihood that she’ll catch something else just breathing the air in the waiting room is close to 100%. I mean, if she doesn’t get better or her fever won’t go down, obviously go, but otherwise, I’d stay away!

    She’s healthy! She’ll perk back up in no time!

  • Sue

    Poor little Bug, I hope she gets better soon :) I’ve no doubt she’ll be back to her normal self, it’s hard to think positive when you’ve been through such a hard week. Had to post a photo, great minds think a like with the PukeFest idea, check out my website link :):)

  • Heather

    Oh Brenda-I am so sorry! We’ve been there with our kids and I promise, she will get better. Sometimes it takes a week or so for the pukes to finally end. Lots of bland foods will help (like little bits of chicken, stuff like that), pedialite pops (you freeze them) tase a lot better than the regular pedia-lite. It’s so hard to see them sick–hope that you nad Toby stay well!

  • Lin

    For such a small child, she’s been sick for a long time. I would definitely talk to your pediatrician and also watch her very closely, as you probably are, for signs of dehydration. It can happen very quickly. Watery Jello juice, gatorade, pedialite…keep it simple. Poor little kid and poor parents.

  • pinky

    I’m sorry Bug has been so sick, and that your memories of your trip will have a bit of a pukey cloud over them.

    that sounded a little worse than I meant, sorry :-)

    make an appointment, go see the doctor. If it is nothing, they will tell you and at least put your mind to rest. And I’m sure your chatty Bug will be back soon.

  • Miss Virginia

    WHAT A BUMMER!!! Just as an FYI…there is a very yucky stomach bug going around that lasts TEN DAYS! So maybe that’s what she has…def. worth calling the dr. about. you could also try the drink “Ensure”…it’s packed w/ nutrients and tastes pretty good. I’ve been there and feel your pain.

  • BeachMama

    Oh poor sweet Bug. I know the kids are sick when they cuddle up on my lap and sit there, that’s when I start to worry. She will be back to her usual self in no time flat, for now enjoy the quiet time when she cuddles up on your lap and check with your Doctor, just in case there is something they can give her. You must be happy to be back at home, I find traveling with a sick child very difficult.

  • Aunt Kathy

    Sounds like the same bug that is going around up here – a ten day flu. Should be called the Ten Day West Coast Bug since it’s goes from here to S Cal. I second the motion remember to keep her hydated. Remember that you were in the hospital for dehydration…I think you were about Bug’s age, too.

  • Quacking Up

    You poor things! My little cousin (9) just got out of the hospital. He had pains in his stomach that would send him into screaming fits. MORPHINE wouldn’t even touch it! After 2 1/2 weeks of testing the docs decided it was just a virus.

    Try to keep her drinking and good luck!

  • Mrs. Wilson

    Aw, sorry to hear she’s still sick, but good to hear she’s getting better!! I hope the puke days say away for a long LONG time (maybe forever) and that she becomes her chatty little self in no time :)

  • sunny

    I really hope this post doesn’t sound condescending – but I’m a little worked up. I can’t believe the US health care system … ! You don’t have a doctor that you can call or visit after a week of your child being sick and vomiting? No appointment? Lines wrapped around the building? Im sorry, but that should be a basic right … to have access to a pediatrician after several days of vomiting. The mind boggles. It really does. Am I missing something – have I read this wrong?