Intestinal bug is more than a mom can stomach

I haven’t seen my children in two days.

That’s because I spent all of yesterday with my cheek on the bathroom floor. Today I’ve graduated to my bed, but have vowed to burn these pajamas. I just need to get over the stomach flu first.

The other members of my family are thankfully still healthy. That’s why I’m in quarantine.

My husband has been bringing me Sprite and Gatorade, which I look at and sometimes consume. I’m very proud of myself for eating a Popsicle. (It feels like something to brag about.)

I’m healthy enough now that I’ve recovered my power of thought. It hurts my eyes to watch television, so mainly I’ve been staring at the bedroom wall. Looking for pictures in the knock-down texture is as much excitement as I can handle at the moment.

I’ve been thinking that I can really relate to Bertha Mason, the crazy lady locked upstairs in Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 classic, “Jane Eyre.”

I’m definitely feeling the crazy part, but my husband is a whole lot nicer than Mr. Rochester. He even made me rice pudding because I asked for it specifically. Then when I only ate three bites, he wasn’t even upset.

Probably the reason I’ve been thinking about Bertha Mason is because there is something about the stomach flu that takes you to dark, Gothic places like in a Bronte sister’s novel.

It’s the point that comes when you are on the bathroom floor praying, but you’re not sure what you are praying for.

The humbling thing about the stomach flu is that I was only really sick for about 24 hours. For at least six of those hours, I was so sick that I forgot every good thing in my life.

That’s what I mean about Gothic darkness. I am not old, I am not a child. Yet it only took six hours for the stomach flu to totally crush me and part me from my senses.

But if the stomach flu brings you to dark places, it also makes you see the light ones more clearly. I am so lucky that my children are healthy. I am so thankful my husband was here to take care of me.

Our family is so fortunate to have health care. (I can’t wait for everyone to have that.)

Now in hour 48 of the stomach flu, I have turned the corner. Tomorrow morning when I wake up I will hopefully be germ-free. I will put on my gray dress (or maybe my purple one) and be ready to mother again.

To help my son with his homework, to read a book to my daughter, to watch my husband go back to work: That is a good day.

I don’t care if it’s cold. I don’t mind if it rains. The freezing fog won’t bother me.

To eat porridge, to drink milk, to cook dinner for my family: That is pure light itself.

And if I can drink coffee again, that will be beautiful.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmy babytoread.blog.com.

More in Life

‘Found’: Author and climber a 20-year veteran of mountain rescue

In her second book, Bree Loewen shares her experiences of volunteering with Seattle Mountain Rescue.

Secret garden: Privacy trees that won’t outgrow a small space

These plants offer some height to block out unwanted sights without taking over your yard.

Stock your winter bookshelf with these animal and nature reads

Four new books cover outdoors topics from butterflies to wolves.

The Shed Players recently released their new album “Our Shingle Most Favorites.”
Listen here: Josh Clauson, The Shed Players release new CDs

This feature is all about Snohomish County’s homegrown talent: locals who make music and record it.

Newfangled cooker isn’t for those with tried and true methods

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley recently succumbed to peer pressure and purchased an Instant Pot.

Now is the time to assess your student’s back-to-school plan

Take a good look at how your kids are managing their new routine, class, teacher(s) and homework.

Author’s talk of birds and clouds kicks off Marysville series

1. Birds and clouds Marysville’s Outdoor Adventure Speakers Series is kicking into… Continue reading

How to shop in the street markets of France

It’s the best way to connect with the nation’s farmers and artisans.

Oprah Winfrey joins ‘60 Minutes’ for 50th anniversary year

The media giant debuts on tonight’s show, reporting on a story about America’s political divisions.

Most Read