Last week, my entire house was taken over by the stomach flu. It started with my two-year-old daughter screaming for me in the middle of the night. As I catapulted out of bed, running towards her tearful screams, I had no idea what was happening. It was only after I opened the door to her room and got close enough to touch her did I realize she was covered head to toe in her own puke. Ahhh, the joys of motherhood!
As a legally blind mother, visual cues, (like where the bodily fluids are) during my children’s illnesses are sometimes hard to decipher. I’m forced to rely on my senses as a mommy more than the residual vision I possess in my one functional eye. That being said, nothing can prepare you for the hell that ensues when your toddler begins to showcase her best Linda Blair impression. In my three short years of mothering, this was by far the “worst” week of my life.
My poor baby got sick for hours. Between washing sheets, cloroxing floors and breathing in enough aerosol Lysol spray to cause a pretty good buzz, I was D-O-N-E. Complicating matters, my uncooperative one-year-old daughter, who had been spared by the virus, was teething and refused to go to sleep. So there I was, one exhausted blind momma, one puking toddler, one teething toddler and a husband who was working the graveyard shift! Death would have been easier. Thankfully, I found some comfort in watching late night television.
While flipping through the channels, I happened across an old childhood favorite – Star Trek. And not the crappy one with that Jean Luke guy, the original with William Shatner as James T. Kirk. Man, how I loved watching that show with my dad when I was a kid. My favorite part – “THE CAPTAIN’S LOG” where Kirk provided a monologue-type introduction about key plot points in each episode.
“Captain’s Log, Stardate 1513.8. Star maps reveal no indication of habitable planets nearby. Origin and purpose of the cube still unknown. We’ve been here, held motionless, for 18 hours.”
Ohhh…just hearing Shatner’s voice still gets me excited. Then I remember he’s gone from that sexy Starfleet uniform to the Priceline commercials and I quickly regain my composure.
As my Star Trek marathon was frequently interrupted by vomiting or crying children, it got me wondering… how would my own “Captain’s Log” of these hellacious events sound if I were documenting them for the future frontier of blind motherhood? For the next few days, I decided to give it a whirl and the “Blind Mom’s Log- Stomach Flu 2016” was born.
Blind Mom’s Log – Sunday – January 24th, 2016: I was awakened by the blood curdling screams of my two-year-old daughter over the baby monitor. Upon entering her quarters, I discovered she had contracted a mysterious virus. Her room has since been transformed into her private sick bay in a valiant attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.
Blind Mom’s Log: Monday – January 25th, 2016: My First Officer (husband) believes the virus will depart our planet within 24 hours. But my experience as Captain (mother) of this starship has forced me to doubt these rather arrogant assumptions. My daughter still isn’t eating and lacks to energy to play with her toys. Recovery at this point seems rather illogical.
Blind Mom’s Log: Tuesday – January 26th, 2016: For the third time this week, I’ve contacted our pediatrician. She persistently urges me to push fluids and maintain calm as the virus continues to ravage our ship. Resistance is futile. My younger child shows no signs of contamination.
Blind Mom’s Log: Wednesday – January 27th, 2016: ALERT! ALERT! Sick Bay has been breached and the virus has infected none other than the Captain. I am forced, against my better judgement, to turn over command of the Bridge to my First Officer (husband). God help us all.
Blind Mom’s Log: Thursday January 28th, 2016: I’ve been drifting in and out of consciousness all day. I maintain only enough energy to throw up or run to the bathroom. My daughter still remains weak. The First Officer (husband) awakened me after our child threw up again. “Why does she keep vomiting?” he asked. “Dammit, Joe, I’m a social worker, not a doctor.” Outlook bleak.
Blind Mom’s Log: Friday – January 29, 2016: Miraculously, the virus has still not attacked my one-year-old daughter. Perhaps, she is an alien lifeform? It has, however, infected my First Officer (husband) who is reporting feverish chills. First Officer has been sent to sick bay. In an effort to save the ship, Captain forced to leave sick bay and head back to the Bridge. I desperately wish Mr. Scott could “beam me up” to a disease free, tropical location.
Blind Mom’s Log: Saturday – January 30th, 2016: I’ve regained control of my ship. First Officer remains in sick bay. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of laundry and bodily fluids that I’m forced to combat. I check on the First Officer repeatedly throughout the day, begging him to pull it together and help assist me with the crew. His response, “I’m givin’ it all I’ve got Captain, I don’t have the power.” First Officer deemed useless. Will take up with Starfleet Command at a later date.
Blind Mom’s Log: Sunday – January 31st, 2016: Infected child appears to be returning to her pre-viral self. Requesting chocolate chip cookies… always a good sign. First Officer remains in bed. Captain suspects mutiny. After a short meeting and threats to set my phaser to stun, First Officer is upright and helping on the Bridge.
It took 7 long days, but our ship has survived the Stomach Flu of 2016! I am physically and emotionally exhausted. However, after surviving this harrowing experience, I plan to continue to boldly go where no blind momma has gone before… to live long and prosper (fingers crossed)!