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Viral gastroenteritis sucks

It all started with little F’er 2.2 having some diarrhea. No biggie – it happens, or so they say.  Of course, it quickly turned into painful diaper rash on top of diarrhea.  Still nothing I haven’t been through before.

But then little F’er 2.1 started to act crabby and seemed a little warm.  Then the diarrhea came from 2.1 as well.  And then the painful diaper rash.  And then more diarrhea.  And then more painful diaper rash.

I spent hours looking online for suggestions on dealing with painful diarrhea in toddlers.  They were in so much pain that whenever they would pee or poop they’d cry, and then refuse to let us clean their tushies.  It was just too painful.  The redness was so bad, it almost looked like the skin was ready to come off.  Poor little F’ers.

I tried everything.  Triple paste we’ve used but I’ve never had great luck once the rash is pretty bad.  I’ve had the best luck with the industrial strength (or is it maximum strength?) Desitin.  Unfortunately, any of the creams were too painful to even apply.  Oh – and even trying to clean them up was horrific.  The wipes caused too much friction.  I tried using wet cotton balls to clean them and that was slightly better, but still too painful at times.  The best was rinsing them off in the shower, which is kinda gross and little F’er 2.1 wanted none of it.

One of the suggestions I saw online was using maalox on the rash.  It seemed to make sense if the acid in their poop was part of what was irritating them.  Little 2.2 let me put some on and it may have helped, but 2.1 was having none of it, none of anything for that matter.  The best I could do was just using vaseline to try to protect it from getting worse.  Oh – and air drying when possible.  I’m not a huge fan of toddlers going without diapers when they have the stomach flu, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

The waking up multiple times through the night wasn’t much fun either.  It’s hard enough getting these kids to bed when they are feeling well.  This was definitely not a good time.

I of course was also worried about everyone else getting sick.  The last thing I need is everyone else being sick too.  Looking things up, it seemed the most likely culprit was rotavirus.  Both toddlers had the vaccine, but that seems to mainly prevent severe cases.  If that’s the case, I’m really glad my kids had the mild cases.  Most kids have been exposed to rotavirus by the age of 5 and while exposure (and vaccination) doesn’t provide full immunity, it seems that each successful exposure gets milder and milder.  My hope is/was that we are dealing with rotavirus.

But then the other day I started to feel sick.  I had a brief runny nose – maybe only lasted 30 minutes, but then I started to feel really crappy (no pun intended).  Headache and lousy.  I don’t usually get headaches, so I was worried what was to come.  Especially since I had a long ride home.  Uh oh.  On the ride home, I more than once had the thought that I should have splurged for leather seats.  Cleaning the cloth seats would not be fun.  Not fun at all.

Fortunately, I made it home without puking or crapping (I did have a plastic bag nearby in case I puked – not sure what I would have done if I had to crap).  I had a low grade fever – around 100.5.  I had already taken tylenol before leaving work.

The weird part was I started having horrible shaking chills.  I’ve only had them once before when I had an upper respiratory infection.  And aside from headache, some mild stomach upset, and low grade fever, I had no other localizing symptoms.  Given the prior weeks events with the little F’ers, I figured it had to be the same virus, but if it is rotavirus, I would have expected to not have so many symptoms. The shaking chills lasted about an hour!  I was debating whether I’d need to go to the emergency room, but I’m not sure what they would do, other than probably laugh at me and send me back home.  And I honestly didn’t want to move from my spot on the couch.  I was most comfortable when I didn’t move at all.

I made it through the night with tylenol and drinking fluids.  Interestingly, I had no diarrhea or vomiting.  What kind of gastroenteritis is this?

Then my hypochondriasis really started to kick in.  Could it be something else that I have?  I did have that boil on my neck last week that never drained.  It did seem to resolve on its own without draining, but perhaps it is burrowing its way deep into my carotid artery, dumping all sorts of staph into my blood stream.  Hmm.  What does staph bacteremia look like?  I’ve only seen it when it was IV related (drug use or therapeutic).  I’ve never seen bacteremia from a runaway boil.  Again – spent lots of time searching for symptoms of furuncles and boils leading to sepsis, but I never really found anything to help me.  If i truly had staph sepsis, I had about a 20% chance of dying.  Hmm.. that’s not good.

Then in the morning the diarrhea came.  Relief that I probably wasn’t dying of staph sepsis. And the GI symptoms weren’t nearly as bad as what the little f’ers had.  Still had another few days of low grade fevers, feeling crappy, headaches, and chills though.

Hopefully they now have good and strong immunity to whatever the nasty bug was that did this to us.

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