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Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Vomit-Scented Haze Somewhere Near the 7th Circle of Hell

Thank you for joining the circle (not the circle of hell in the title; the circle of friendship) and taking a stand--I was afraid that I was going to be out here alone with my ass waving in the breeze...why my pants would be down, I don't know. Feel free to get up and leave the circle for a moment if you are squeamish about vomit because I am about to tell you a story about the stomach flu including the sad tale of Mr. Whisker's near earectomy.

As I was about to hit publish on that last post, understandably anxious and debating whether it was cathartic enough to simply write the words or whether they needed to be published and commented on in order to gain closure, I heard a garbled sound and shouts of "shit, Mel!" coming from upstairs. By the time I got up the stairs, the Wolvog was standing by the toilet with Josh, coated in his own vomit. He threw up a thimble-sized amount into the toilet and we congratulated him for getting at least some of it in the bowl. Josh warned me that there was a hefty-sized mess in his room and I went back down to get cleaner and garbage bags and paper towels. Oh, and latex gloves, dear Lord, latex gloves.

At this point in the story, the Wolvog had been holding his beloved Mr. Whiskers, a stuffed animal cat that my sister gave him a few months ago. I did not check said cat and instead tossed it into the sink in order to free his hands and collect his clothing and slippers. We hosed him down, put on new pyjamas, and tossed the bedding and clothing into the washing machine, forgetting about Mr. Whiskers. And then we tackled the room.

The thing you need to understand is that we recarpeted the house when we moved in and I've done a decent job at keeping the carpets stain-free for many years. One of my proudest moments ever was when the ChickieNob projectile vomited and it bypassed the carpet entirely, landing solely on the chair a few feet away. She pointed out this fact to the Wolvog in her most preachy voice while they watched us clean, "you know, I've thrown up two times. Or maybe four times. But I always throw up only on my bed and myself because Mommy cleans it up faster. You are a messy vomiter."

And so he was. It was his first time having the stomach flu and he managed to hit every inch of carpet surrounding his bed. Of course, I had fed him something stain-inducing right before bed therefore the carpets were a lovely shade of barbecue sauce and (again, if you're squeamish, you may want to close this post, though you'll miss the earectomy) covered in undigested chicken. You remember that part where I'm a vegetarian, right? So it was about 11:30 p.m. and we were cleaning up chicken that was staining the carpets. In the meantime, the Wolvog was sitting in a rocking chair watching us and this was what he kept saying to no one in particular as we scrubbed:

"I'm sick, but I'm happy. I am really happy right now, even though I'm sick."

Close to midnight, we closed the door and everyone said goodnight and I decided to hit publish while we waited for the laundry to be ready for the dryer. I mentioned to Josh that I felt a bit queasy after the clean-up which was odd for me because while I don't enjoy cleaning up bodily fluids, I'm not really squeamish. I can see something disgusting and still keep eating (except for rice--rice was ruined for me by an image I saw in one of my medical anthropology textbooks one night in college and I didn't eat rice for years). But I was fairly queasy around midnight.

Of course, the clothes and bedding were not entirely clean so we had to put them through the washing machine again and it was close to 1 a.m. when we finally crawled into bed, bolting back to the Wolvog's room several times during the night whenever we heard a whimper with thoughts of additional clean-up dancing in our heads.

Around 5 a.m., the Wolvog fell out of bed and after we got him settled, I realized that I was going to be sick and went on to be ill for an hour. Some people may do the math and realize that I emailed them around the same time I was vomiting and I just want to state for the record that I emailed people after I couldn't go back to sleep because I was more nauseated lying down than sitting up. I did end up going back to sleep for a few more hours and was awoken by the Wolvog coming into my room and deciding that he felt crappy enough that he deserved a video. I was down that until I learned his choice.

He wanted to watch My Little Pony.

And even worse than hearing the ponies was the fact that said video was only 14 minutes long and therefore needed tending every 14 minutes.

It was like lying in a vomit-scented haze somewhere near the 7th circle of hell*.

Later in the day, I was feeling somewhat better so Josh decided to go down to work, but when the door closed, the ChickieNob pointed out that a large wasp had gotten inside and was on the window. I usually catch wasps and bees in cups and take them outside (I know, it makes no sense--I'm fine with bees that could hurt me but I am terrified of crickets that can't?) but I decided to suck this one into the Dyson because it was just that sort of a day.

It got sucked into the vacuum and I turned off the motor and the wasp began flying around in the clear canister. It was a little grey with dust, but still moving along which was amazing. I mean, it lived through the entrance into the vacuum and the root cyclone technology. I turned on the vacuum again, explaining to the ChickieNob that I'd like the wasp to quiet down and go to sleep. I let it run for another 30 seconds or so and turned off the machine. And the wasp picked himself up and went back to flying. I turned on the machine again and has an extended conversation--probably two minutes in length--while I sweetly smiled and hoped my child wouldn't ask me what I was doing to the wasp.

And the wasp began flying yet again the moment I turned off the vacuum. He was dust-covered and a little dizzy, but still kicking. I took him outside and set him free, though knowing my luck, after all of that, he probably died in the pile of dust outside the front door.

Later in the day, we returned to the bathroom for our bath and found poor Mr. Whiskers still languishing in the sink. I forgot to dump him in the washing machine with the rest of the bedding and his ears were coated with caked-on vomit. I tried to explain that it was too late for Mr. Whiskers, that there was little chance to remove the stench from his orange-like "fur" now that it had seeped into the cat. The only solution would be an earectomy.

"Plenty of cats," I reasoned, "are missing ears. If you go and see Cats, I believe they even sing about one of the cats missing his ears. Or part of an ear. Which is sort of the same thing."

"Mr. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiskers," the Wolvog moaned.

"Let's just table this for the day and take our bath."

My plan was to revisit the issue of Mr. Whiskers in the morning and his impending earectomy. See what my mother could do about reshaping his head. And then we ended the day as it began, with the sugary sweet voices of the ponies singing about rainbows and flowers, lying on my side, figuratively in the 7th circle of hell.

*Why the 7th circle? Because vomiting feels like such a violent act of the body. And because doesn't everyone aim to open up a discussion on Dante's nine circles of hell?


Vintage Mommy said...

I was an Italian major (I'm meeting the other one for wine today) but my aging brain has retained little Dante . . . however, my memories of flu, vomiting and losing beloved stuffies are all too vivid. I won't bore you w/the details of our visit to flu hell, but I'm sorry to hear you've been sick and very sorry to hear about Mr. Whiskers.

Reasoning has never worked well w/VintageGirl; it's better if I just agree how terrible things are and how sorry I am.

Hope your weekend is much, much, better!

Nina said...

Oh, yuck. I suggest sending Josh out for buckets and garbage cans, stat. And said vomiters are to carry them around, hopefully saving carpets? Poor Mr Whiskers. I hope you're all feeling better soon!!

Gina said...

I hope you feel better soon. I hope Mr. Whiskers is doing o.k. minus the ear(s).


Cassandra said...

What became of Mr. Whiskers? Don't leave us hanging!

At least it wasn't a whiskerectomy. Can't call him Mr. Whiskers if he doesn't have any!

areyoukiddingme said...

I managed to save Scotty (the stuffed dog who looks like the dog next door) during the last vomiting incident, however, we are all still traumatized by the previous incident involving the Mickey Mouse phone. My daughter had managed to christen it right on the speaker portion. So, I dutifully attempted to dismantle it in order to clean the vomit out of the speaker holes. Of course, I broke some solder or another, so the thing doesn't work now. Every time we talk about the phone, she mentions that mommy broke it because I threw up on it.

I don't know how you expected to start a discussion about Dante's circles of hell. People would much rather tell vomit stories!

Jenn said...

I am so sorry everyone was feeling bad but glad to hear that you are all on the mend now.

I hope you are getting enough fluids

Sending out special prayers to MR. Whiskers on his upcoming surgery.
It will only give him "character" as my parents would have put it!

Feel better!

Cathy said...

Bisell Spotbot. I know vomit, and that sucker gets the stains up. Orange, green, purple, poop, blood, we've had it all - and our carpet is spotless.

And, hands-free, leaving you to attend to the puker. I mean, sure, sometimes you have to run it 8 times when they've really spread it around, but that's ok.

I'm still perfecting my soft-toy cleansing process, but it so far includes a hand-washing, some baking soda, a machine gentle-cycle, and some fabric refresher. Hoping to get it figured out before they learn any true attachment to inanimate objects.

Sorry you guys are sick! And now, speaking of hell, he just nailed the couch. Yellow. Yum.

annacyclopedia said...

Plain white vinegar is good for getting smells out, too - if you soak Mr. Whiskers for a while in a vinegar bath, maybe you can avoid the surgery.

Oh, I feel for you, Mel. It sounds just awful. Although the quote from the ChickieNob about her tidy vomiting pride really made me laugh.

meepitonparade said...

Jeeze, Mel. That's really gross. I'm so sorry you guys are sick, and that Mr. Whiskers got the raw end of the deal.

At least he'll be more interesting and unique now!

Happy ICLW, and I hope you all feel better soon.

Elizabeth said...

I'm always up for a discussion on Dante. Work often resembles at least the 7th level and sometimes the 9th. Am I the only one who sees inverted resemblances between Clerks and The Inferno?

I hope everyone in your household feels better soon!

Chickenpig said...

I have a seal named Whiskers that I have owned since I was 8 years old. Sadly, he no longer has whiskers, and I don't know when he lost them.

I hope you all feel better soon.

infertilityrocks said...

Poor you guys! I hope the other two don't get it as well. I absolutely ABHOR both getting the stomach flu and dealing with my son when he has the stomach flu. I definitely learned not to change the sheets after each vomitting episode (what I mean is I just put him back down on his plastic liner. Because, it's just easier to wipe up, sweaty as it may be.

Your story of the wasp cracked me up! I always vaccum up spiders and wonder if they actually die during the vacuuming process...sounds like possibly no. That thought sorta freaks me out.

Lori said...

"You are a messy vomiter."

My son can hit the toilet every time, but my daughter acts like it's an avant garde way to paint her bed/walls/floor/clothes/parents.

"I'm sick, but I'm happy. I am really happy right now, even though I'm sick."

Oddly, I understand this relief releasing something that was ready to go.

So sorry for your night of hell. Blech!

Kristin said...

Oh man...that sounds miserable. For future cleaning disasters (including saving much beloved stuffed animals), dissolve some oxyclean in water and use it. You can even add oxyclean to the water in your steam cleaner. It will remove almost any stain and any smell. Although some particularly tough stains require an oxyclean /stain remover paste.

Mr. Shelby said...

Ugh. Feel better.

Mr. Shelby

jenn said...

Hope you and your family feel better soon! Sorry to hear about Mr. Whiskers. If it helps I had a real cat with out ears growing up... so I'm sure Mr. Whiskers will be just fine. : )

Indigo said...

I think you need a very very very large glass of wine. I hope it gets better, and WTG on saving the wasp. lol


M said...

oh my, what craziness you have been experiencing these past coule of days. hope everyone is on the mend now and the carpet is alright.

btw, i'm pulling for mr whiskers as i had an actual live cat of the same name who was one of the best cats ever.

Beautiful Mess said...

ACK! The flu!!!! That, my friend, is NOT a fun way to spend the evening. I hope everyone is better and it stays FAR away from your house.
Just for the record, I'm sitting on the grass with you ;o)
P.S. Happy ICLW week!

MrsSpock said...

When we had the bug in November, I was glad I never got around to throwing out the bath basin I'd taken home from the hospital- it makes a perfect puke bucket.

I had to laugh at the latex gloves- I never clean up "family vomit" with gloves. Of course, I can't say I've never been sprayed with "stranger vomit" in the hospital.

I'm having a hard time refraining myself from telling the story of my coworker, when she used to wear her hair in a small afro, having a pile of puke land right in the middle of it- it just sat there like a slimy, quivering bird's nest.

And we all ate lunch and laughed about it afterward.
There- I told it- bwahahahaha!

Andrea said...

Ugh....I am so bad with puke! I see it and I'm puking too! I'm impressed you held out for so long! Hope you are both feeling better very soon!!!

Liddy said...

Feel better soon. Being sick SUCKS! And I am coming out to DC (okay, in 5 weeks) so you have to get better!

Stopping by for an ICLW visit...
No. 125: The Unfair Struggle (male-factor, big remodel, friends)

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Mel---Yuck! Glad everyone is recooperating now. :) ICLW

B said...

Poor Wasp.

I'll raise your wasp story with my rat one. Like you, I'm not particularly queasy. But I'm bad at rats and worse at dead ones.

This morning we woke and heard a terrible thunk thunk thunk coming from the sub-floor ventilator fan. Jake went out to investigate and told me a rat was caught in the fan and being repeatedly bludgeoned by the rotating blade. I promised not to look and for once my morbid curiosity did not get the better of me. After about a second of discussion we decided the only way to deal with this was to "call the man" ($82.50 well spent I say). As he was rescrewing the fan on (his gloves were vinyl) he says "it wasn't very nice. Not a nice way to go. A smart rat would not have tried to exit that way. He must have been disoriented" Something to do with the kilos of rat bait we've had lying about? So, a poor sick rat with a fried neuro system got bludgeoned to death by our fan.

Hopefull Mr Whiskers meets a happier ending and you and yours are no longer feeling like my poor rat.

WiseGuy said...

LOL @ "with my ass waving in the breeze"

Mel, hoping for some good rest coming your way, and praying for a quick descent ....from the vomit ladder...Yikes!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Oh poor you! To get the wasp-that-wouldn't-die on top of all that other hellaciousness. I hope that things get better!

Frau said...

Scrub Mr. Whiskers. Then put him in a bag with those dryer sheets and half a box a baking soda and leave him there for about a week. Then take him out, put him through the wash so he doesn't reek of dryer sheets and the smell will be gone.

Please don't ask how I know how to do this. It doesn't involve children but people who are old enough to do better.

Just Meim said...

I am so sorry you're sick, but I have to admit, this post made me laugh. But only because I could relate all too well.

I was in your shoes a few weeks ago, however, when MY daughter puked, we needed a dust pan to shovel off the carpet.

Oh, the memories.

But I do have a suggestion. Let your kiddos decorate an old ice cream bucket to keep with the first-aid kit. It becomes their literal "barf bucket", and they get excited to use it. My Munchkin thinks of it as such a novelty that she begs to use it at the first hint of an upset stomach. Unfortunately, her's was MIA a few weeks ago.

Good luck!

battynurse said...

Oh wow that sounds truly awful. And yet I'm over hear laughing (at work) about Mrs. Spocks story and the idea of you getting out the latex gloves (because I was so worried I'd be the only parent to have them to clean up after my kids). So hoping that you all are clear of this sickness and that the earectomy doesn't need to take place.

Which Box said...

Wow. What a story. HOpe all are feeling better. Including Mr Whiskers.

JamieD said...

Oh, goodness. I hope today is a vomit-free day for your house!

Fertilized said...

Oh poor household! I hope you and everyone are feeling better now.

My childhood cat at my parents house has a nub for an ear. She has been in soo many fights that involve her ear that her ear has almost fallen off