Dire Rear 2

Hairy Farmer Family have been Sick. Both in the British and American senses of the word. This post is All About Sick. You have been warned, although, uncharacteristically, I have taken no photos of it.

Whilst under occupation from a Piddle of visiting babies on Thursday afternoon, I did vaguely hear, in between scurrying to the kitchen for more coffees, that a tummy bug had been doing the rounds. Everyone looked healthy, however, so I assumed it had been a thing of the past.

I had barely finished Pizza Hut’s less-than-special Vanilla Cheesecake on Friday night, when it dawned on me that I felt more peculiar than usual. After a couple more hours, it all became very ugly.

Now, I have heard tell of a phenomenon known as a Hair-Holding Hubby. Apparently they exist. Well, they don’t bloody exist around here. Upon realising that I had departed into the ensuite, Hubby enquires laconically how I am. ‘Bad’ I inform him. ‘I will require a glass of water soon’. ‘Oh dear’ he replies, and nestles comfortably into the duvet. Some minutes later, following a ridiculously prolonged and noisy chundering session, I still await my glass of water. 




‘Uhh.’ Pause. Grumpily: ‘Well, is there a glass up here?’


Hubby departs downstairs for glass of water. Returns. Hands to miserable me, collapsed miserably on the loo, next to my bucket of pepperoni pizza and diet coke. ‘My God, it really stinks of vom in here!’

He is motioned silently out of the door with an imperious wave of my arm. Whilst his conversation usually fascinates and enthralls me beyond measure, I have a strange absence of desire, currently, to listen to him. He returns to bed and sleeps peacefully through the next 6 hours – 6 long hours, that are unhappily punctuated by my distressing episodes of concurrent both-ends fluid leakage. By early morning I demand in a peremptory whisper that John summon the Delightful Doctors Next Door to put me out of my misery. I am quite prepared to be shot. It will be an improvement. Our Hero duly appears, lugging his enormous backpack of doctor goodies drugs and gently prods the intensely nauseous, wobbly sack of lard I term my tummy – and thereby putting himself at immense personal risk. He makes sympathetic noises, but feels that I am not yet moribund enough for prochlorperazine, and should start to feel better by mid-morning. Which I do (if we can agree on an extremely loose definition of ‘better’) – at about the same time, in fact, that Hubby begins to feel queasy.

So I do the clever thing and put in an emergency call to my mother, who arrives, as she so often has to, with a virtual blue flashing light above her head. She entertains Harry for the duration of Saturday afternoon, but it is sadly only after her departure that John makes the progression from nauseous-but-functioning to total wreckage. He manages to get Harry into his evening bath, an hour early, and lift him out again before crawling away to groan alone. I am then left with a lively, naked, wet youngster, who feels that he so does not need a nappy, or a sleepysuit, or a sleeping bag. This presents me with a mighty endurance challenge, as I can barely lift my arms, and he is comically out-distancing me. Lifting his 20 pound weight into the cot is touch and go, and I damn nearly drop him. I listlessly sit and listen to his yells for 25 minutes before heaving him out again to be cuddled. He seems ominously unsettled.

By this time, it is 7.30pm, fully dark, and a wintery storm is blasting Hairy Farmer hill with everything it has. I peer blearily outside and see that the geese are huddled miserably by the gate. Bugger. Bugger. I’m going to have to go out. I wobble into the bedroom and enquire gloomily of the quivering heap under the duvet how to shut the door to the geese hut, as it has beaten me before in the dark. Hubby manfully declares that he will go himself, and staggers outside into the gale’s teeth. It’s most odd. Man-flu invariably reduces him to a truly dismal shell of his normal self, but present him with straightforward discomfort or pain – broken nose, smashed-out teeth, huge lacerations – and he’s tough as old boots. We return to bed and huddle together, dithering, comparing notes on our misery – until 10pm, when the baby-monitor, turned up deafeningly loud for just this eventuality, announces unmistakable vommy-noises. I scurry next door with sinking heart to find the cot a lake of horror, and a protesting child crouched, dripping, in the centre.

Annnnnnnnd so it went on. I am on my third load of washing this morning, and I still haven’t finished the vomit-encrusted items. Harry, poor child, repeatedly imitated a lawn-sprinkler with devastating results. I had thought, given that he was the reflux king for so long, that he was a happy-chucker for life. But no. The little lad had fully fledged and utterly piteous wretch-and-heave sessions, and was exceedingly scared and distressed – as was his hand-wringing mother. Fortunately, his nausea settled quicker than either of ours, and by the early hours he was lying between us in bed on a motley assortment of towels, as all the sheets were officially past their best at that point. He was reasonably chipper, considering, first thing this morning and even managed some breakfast – but ejected it soon afterwards in an absent-minded refluxy-overspill fashion. Since then he has managed on boob – how the hell I am still producing anything at all when all I have drunk for 36 hours is 2 pints of flat coke and half a cup of tea, is totally beyond me – and John is currently trying him with some pear and rusk. We shall see if it sticks to his tummy, or merely our clothing.

The bruise on his forehead, incidentally, is a mystery to all of us. The even bigger one on the cheek you can’t see was from him falling face-first into his wooden storage units. Still not-so-good at this walking business.

Given that I am still shaky on my legs and completely ambivalent about solids (John is fine and Harry seems cheerful and greedy for boob. The bug obviously attenuated itself by mutation from person to person) there is a glimmer, a glimmer, of a silver lining for me. By virtue of my nil-by-mouth diet, I have actually returned to the weight I last left my tonnage-ticker set to, hence I am very close to the scales reading 13 stone-something, as opposed to 14-something. I am very tired with 14-something. Diet? Bring it on.

16 Responses

  1. ‘A piddle of babies’. Superb! I giggled like a drain. Whilst reserving sympathy for the actual situation thereinafter of course. Hope you feel much better soon.

  2. Ooooooooh poor you! It always amazes me how fast these bugs spread around the world so quickly! Wishing you all a speedy recovery!

  3. Oooooh sounds truelly vile. Mind you at least the weight loss meant there was one good outcome from the whole weekend nightmare!

  4. double ending is never fun. Hope you all recover fully quickly.

  5. Oh poor Mrs. Hairy Farmer. My eldest went through a day last week of vom, albeit short-lived and that was enough to yank me out of an important class to rush home to comfort her and wash her beloved bunny (who, unfortunately has borne the brunt of such a situation before, poor lad). I cannot imagine being ill oneself AND having to deal with ill babe as well. I feel for you, I truly do. I hope it passes quickly (NO PUN INTENDED) and becomes a repressed memory faster than, well, you know what.

  6. Oh, my poor dear! That sounds awful. If it makes you feel any better at all (and I cna’t imagine why it would but I’m still going to tell you) compazine makes me feel like I need to jump up and run away to anywhere-but-here. Misery! Maybe it’s better you survived without its tender mercies.

    I’m glad Mr. Hairy Farmer and Farmer In Training are feeling better and that you seem to be not terribly far behind. And that it wasn’t all for nothing! Yay for weightloss!

  7. Ugh – I’m sorry to hear of this nasty episode. Thank goodness it passed (relatively) quickly … I hope you are completely recovered soon!

  8. He’s very cute.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  9. Truly ugly episode for all of you. Hope you all make a sterling recovery and you leverage that unexpected reduction in the weight loss stakes.

  10. One of my most recent seafood-induced gastro experiences (what can I say- I have either a delicate constitution or a propensity for dodgy eateries) had me wondering which end to put over the toilet. Sometimes I wished I could do both at once….


  11. Oh dear. You poor woman. You poor poor woman.

    Also, the guest who joined the Piddle while STILL BEING INFECTIOUS? I hope she wakes up at four am in a cold sweat of guilt every day for the next month.

    As for hair-holding husbands, H and I had one of the worst rows of our courtship over hair-holding. But wait, it’s more ironic than that! I was vomiting, and lying in a sweaty, shivery huddle on the bathroom floor in between bouts, and H wanted very much to hold my hair and cuddle me, and I couldn’t BEAR being touched, it made the nausea so much worse, so I told him to leave me alone and he was wounded to the heart, and when I was feeling very much better a couple of days later, he told me how much I’d hurt him with my thoughtless rejection and I ripped his arm off and beat him to death with the soggy end.


    Swift recovery to the HFF household.

  12. Reminds me of my own recent illness, though I managed to, strangely, not throw up at all. I felt like I needed to every five minutes, but no expulsion ever took place. I think I would have been better if it had. However, on the odd occasion that I do vomit, it drains me for two days at least.

    I hope you are completely better soon. I must say that the horribly vain part of me was quite pleased with the weight loss I achieved when I was ill. Ugh. I hate myself for thinking that way. Anyway, yes, look after yourself!

  13. I can withstand pain of unknown origin. I can have my liver probed. But I am no match for full nausea-vomiting.
    I can’t do it.
    It shocks me to the core.

    As Owl says to piglet “Be Brrrave”

  14. Oh, Cholera Ward in the Cotswolds – I’m so sorry. At least these things pass quickly.

    Re. your mother with the blue light flashing above her head: so much envy. Can I have one? Or at least rent her for Northern California duty. We’ll give her wine and crabcakes….

  15. oh dear, that sounds horrendous. Hope you and the other Hairies are feeling better now. Very cute pic of Harry, he’s adorable!

  16. Potentially the best chucking up/gastro/family nearly drowns in lake of vomit post I have ever read.
    I’m sorry I don’t have a nifty awards to recognise such and neither am I clever enough to whip one up on photoshop or whatever it is they use but if I could I would be handing it to you post haste. (And then squirting on the handsanitizer obviously)

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