13 July 2013

The Very Nasty Week and My Family Pandemic Plan

Maybe the Fat Cat was right.

We've just come out of the week from...

If you want to read a happy post, go and have a look at Thankful Thursday. But don't read on here.

Friday, Saturday Sunday: So, as you know, the Friday night of the #vvow party, MissyMoo3 (21 months) was up all night with a tummy bug. We cancelled weekend plans and invoked family quarantine procedures. That weekend, she remained sooky, clingy and hard work parenting-wise. Ever the multi-tasker, over the course of that weekend, I developed a head cold.

Monday: My head cold took over my whole body. I had as little energy as I'd had when in the midst of glandular fever 15 years ago. I also felt queasy and had a tummy bug "encounter". I spent the day on the couch, getting up only to feed children and change nappies, and let the TV entertain them for the day. I went to bed straight after dinner and slept for 13 hours straight.

Tuesday: Supposedly my first day back at work after a week's annual leave, I had to call in sick. This also meant cancelling an important training session I was supposed to be running. But at that point, there was no alternative - I physically couldn't do it. Luckily, Nonna came over and looked after the MissyMoos and I spent most of the day sleeping.

Wednesday: I was back at work. I didn't feel 100% in the morning, but by the afternoon, I was back to normal. I wrote a couple of blog posts after dinner and scheduled them for later in the week (just as well). I went downstairs to chat with Hubby and just as I was getting sleepy, MissyMoo2 (4) cried out. Upstairs I went. Sparing you too much detail, I will say that over the course of the night ALL THREE MissyMoos had the vomits. At one point, two of them went for their respective buckets at exactly the same time. I won't say I've seen it all, but Wednesday night really opened my eyes. Literally. I barely slept.

Thursday: I went to bed just after 7am and slept for an hour and a half. Hubby took the day off work to look after the MissyMoos, so after my nap, I logged in at 9:30am to do my work from home day. Surprisingly, I lasted the day. Thank you, coffee.

Somewhere in there, MissyMoo3 also cut a tooth. I can't exactly remember which day it was - it's a bit of a blur.

It turns out that many kids in MissyMoo3's room on her daycare day ended up being sick last week. I don't know if both bouts can be attributed to that, but I definitely think the first round was. So here's what I have to say to any parents with children at daycare:

I know that some circumstances are unforeseen. Sometimes you don't know they're sick until it's too late, I get it. But if you do know, don't chance it. See what can happen? If you're working on a permanent basis for an employer (other than yourself), chances are you have paid sick/carer's leave. Use it. Take the day off, keep your kid at home. Not only will the kid be happier to have down-time when they're not feeling the best, it stops the spread of infection. One little kid is a touch-point for many other people in the community. If a toddler gets sick at daycare, they may have an older sister at a different pre-school (for example) and yet another older sister in primary school (for example). They may also have two parents who live with them and who work in two different workplaces. Those workplaces invariably contain colleagues with their own family members at home, who go to different schools and pre-schools again ... You get the idea.
Many corporates these days have pandemic management plans as part of a robust risk management framework. We have a kind of informal pandemic management plan of our own in casa di Francesca. It goes something like this:
  • Wash hands after touching the Fat Cat;
  • Wash hands after going to the toilet;
  • Wash hands when you look generally grubby;
  • Bathe kids every night (except Friday, we're too tired by the end of the week and who cares anyway?).
During illness:
  • Clean and disinfect buckets as soon as spew is over;
  • Wash soiled bedsheets, towels, clothes at first available opportunity;
  • Cancel all social plans for the next 24 - 48 hours. I'm sorry if I was supposed to catch up with you and haven't seen you for a while. I'm not fobbing you off. I wouldn't make this up. The reason I'm not seeing you is that I wouldn't wish this gastro disgustingness on anyone and I would not be being a good friend to you if I purposely infected you or one of your family members with said illness in the interests of maintaining a social life.
After illness:
  • Restock supplies of disinfectant;
  • Reintroduce dairy to the diet cautiously;
  • Attend to all preventative measures with renewed vigour;
  • Sleep.
Do you have any tips for keeping the lurgies at bay? Seriously, tell me, I don't want them back here any time soon...


  1. That truly does sound hellish. I swear you reflect on those times and ask how did I survive it. Thank god you were able to keep going when you were well enough and! have enough inspiration to blog. Wishing you ages and ages of time before more childhood sick days xx

    1. Thanks Pip. I'm still walking on eggshells, not truly believing that they're going to sleep through the night. Now I just need to relax!

  2. Oh I feel for you. We just recently went through the same with Elliott and then with Mr. G and me. And Oh, the cleaning and the washing! It took me ages to get my energy back too and weirdly enough, I totally went off coffee for a week! What was going on? I am glad to say that my coffee cravings have returned and I do not want to ever get sick like that again! I hope you're feeling better and are starting to get your energy back!

    1. So. Much. Washing!

      Much better now, thanks :-)

  3. All three sick at once? With you under the weather too? That sounds just dreadful!
    I hope that you are all feeling better now.
    And I totally agree about the don't send your sick kids to childcare thing. I also get really annoyed when people show up at work when they are blatantly sick!

    1. Yeah Caitlin, it was a dead set nightmare - one which I am now going to try to block from my memory!

      All better now :-)


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