The Stomach Bug has Invaded

Dear FlyLady,Our home has been hit with a nasty stomach bug. I can’t find your essay about this. Can you help me?Suffering through Flu Season

Dear Suffering,

I feel for you. The flu has been rampant this season. Now the stomach bug is everywhere. My niece and her husband have been really sick. We are washing our hands and staying hydrated. I have had humidifiers going and I have been taking my vitamin C.  My water bottle is my best friend.

Dear FlyLady & crew,

Thank you again for the tips on how to “Fly with Illness” and make it more like a “trip to the beach!” Having that bucket ready to go (and possibly more importantly- as it was bathroom zone week, encouraging me to dust off that shelf so I remembered where the bucket was!) made last night much less insane than it would have been. Plus, as there was no sour laundry in the washer, all I had to do was dump in the soiled sheets and stuffed animals and set it going.

The Rubba Scrubba also came in particularly handy cleaning the rug and a stuffed animal that was in the line of fire, but not machine washable. I didn’t have to touch anything nasty, and then could rinse off the R.S. with hot, hot water! I’m thinking I may get a Rubba Scrubba just for my emergency “beach bucket” lol.

Thanks again!
Lee in NH
beachtoysFlyLady here; When you think about a stomach bug as a day at the beach it can help you be prepared for this emergency. I think we could take it to a new level. Get your Popsicle cups or some paper cups and freeze some Pedialite or Gatorade. Put them in a freezer bag. Keep in mind to use light colored drinks so you are not grossed out by what comes up. It is good to wash your hand often with soap and hot water. This goes for everyone in the house.

Right now dig out beach supplies from your summer stash grab your Beach bag to keep everything in except the popsicles. Get your bucket, air mattress, shovels, towels and pretty cups and straws. Check out your supplies for this bad weekend. None of us want to run to the drugstore for supplies.

Here is my essay about A Day at the Beach

Are you prepared for those nasty stomach viruses that can sometimes invade your home? You know the ones where you are up all night holding your baby’s head. Not to mention cleaning up the beds, steam cleaning the carpet and doing laundry in the wee hours of the morning. Multiply this by every member in your home; it is not a day at the beach. I want to help you turn a rough night into just a bad dream instead of a nightmare.

When the bug attacks your family it is usually in the middle of the night and you can’t run to the pharmacy; you need to have the necessary supplies at your finger tips. Keep in mind that you can get dehydrated very quickly if this starts happening in your home. So what do you need to have on hand? Grab one of your old beach bags and gather up the items that your family is going to need.

Ask your doctor. When my son was little, sports drink was just about the only thing that would replace electrolytes. Now there is Pedia-lite and Popsicles for the children and many other kinds of sport drinks. There are some over the counter medicines that will help to stop the throwing up and queasiness: we used Emotrol. So ask your doctor what is best for your family and keep it on hand.

So what do you do? After the initial explosion, it is time to clean up. The longer it stays on the bed and in the carpet the worse this is going to be; a small handheld carpet steamer is going to make your life easier. While are cleaning up you still have to make a place for your babies to rest: a little air mattress that blows up quick can be put in the bathroom or close by for those emergency situations. Poor babies! By the way, nothing says I love you like a clean toilet at this time. Also a handy sand bucket for those times that you can’t get there! You may even want to give them a little incentive for hitting the bucket. Children may not feel well but if they think they are going to get some money for each good hit then you could put a smile on their face.

At time when the whole family is in distress, it may be good to have a sheet in your control journal that outlines what to do, just in case you are the one who is sick and your spouse is in charge. Barking out orders when you feel bad doesn’t come across well. So if it is written down and you have everything on hand, there is no panic.

What food do you keep on hand? My pediatrician always told us to only feed the baby clear soups and diluted juices. This means no noodles. One food that my granny used to fix for us was a very simple potato soup. Take a potato and grate it in a saucepan, add water to cover over it a little and a bit of salt and cook it is done; only a few short minutes. Remember don’t feed your family grape juice or red cranberry juice; that makes an even bigger mess to clean up. There are white versions of both of these. Dry toast, crackers and plenty of TLC and you will be back to normal in a few hours. Put some of these things in your beach bag.

Use your internet to read up and print out the signs for dehydration. Keep this in your Control Journal. The one sign I know is about the skin on top of your hand. If you pinch it, it will stay pinched up. Keep your doctors phone number in your Control Journal too. As their little throat gets raw, try to get them to drink some water that is cool; maybe one ice cube in it, just before they throw up. The cool water actually feels good to the back of the throat, especially if they have nothing else in their tummy but hot stomach acid. This works for morning sickness too. I am not a doctor or a nurse, but we all have to play these roles when this hit our family. Talk to your doctor about medications, set up an emergency sheet for your Control Journal that tells anyone what to do and then just stay calm and watch for signs of dehydration. Don’t forget your doctor’s phone numbers on this sheet and wash your hand often.

When the stomach flu rages in your home, those old towels become a valuable asset. As you upgrade your regular towels, keep a few of the old ones for times like this. An old beach towel makes a great cover for that air mattress and another one will make a blanket to cover up with. It is never fun when you are dealing with the whole family in sick mode, but you can get through it, with a little thinking about this right now. The sand bucket can catch those accidents when your baby can’t make it to the bathroom. Then you can use the little sand shovel to scoop up the misfires along with your Rubba Scrubba.

What a day at the beach!


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