Well, you win some, you lose some, as the saying goes. Our sports teams didn't get to the championship game during the tournament, so that was disappointing. And, because the games went longer than expected, they didn't even get to stay to watch that final game. They had to get on the road in order to get back to church on time. Even that didn't happen.......they got held up in the pass, having to stop to put chains on the tires because of the snow. Katie called me about 5:00 p.m. and told me they would be late getting to church Wednesday night because of the hold-up. I overheard someone relating Preacher's response to the news: he said, "Well, I won't start preaching before 7:30. Make sure you're here by then." They did even better, arriving just about 7:15 p.m. Most of them chose to file up the stairs into the balcony, but a few ventured down the aisle to their usual seats up front. We parents were very glad to get them home safe and sound, though discouraged because both teams blew their chances of getting to the championship game. Preacher, however, who attended the tournament with them (just came home earlier!), commended them from the pulpit on their solid Christian spirits and held-in-check tempers. He said that, even though they did not win the Christian character award, he believed they had done a great job showing themselves of Christ's mind and would reward them with a day off school! We received a note from the office yesterday stating that this coming Friday, school would be cancelled in honor of the sports teams' performance. YES!!!
Even though they did not come home with the trophy, they did bring something else home: food poisoning. Yep, according to some sources, one of the hotels at which some of the teams stayed had an outbreak of food poisoning on the weekend before the teams got there, and, apparently, the bacteria was not fully cleaned away before the tournament banquet was held there a couple of days later. Amanda had told me that one of the teams was really sick during the tournament, but I just felt sympathetic and thought nothing else of it---until Katie complained as soon as we got home after Wednesday night church that her stomach hurt really badly. She said it felt tight, and she thought she might throw up. I told her to get some water and a couple of Tums and, if she didn't throw up in the next half-hour, to just go to bed. Ashley, my ten-year-old, was also saying she thought she might throw up, but she didn't go on the trip; I figured she just had a tummy ache and sent her to bed. I never got a chance to ask Amanda how she felt since she literally walked in the door after church, dragged her suitcase upstairs behind her, and fell into bed. Somewhere around 1:30 in the morning, Chad and I were awakened by the sound of some poor soul puking their guts out. (Pardon the expression, but it is quite graphic, isn't it?) I jumped out of bed and rushed down the hall, thinking Katie or Ashley was sick, but it turned out to be Amanda. She had vomiting and diarrhea, causing her to be absolutely miserable. She finished---for the time being---and we both headed back for bed, only to be awakened again around 4:00 a.m. by the sounds of Katie in the throes of agony. She had been sleeping and so had not been aware (heavy sleeper!) that she was about to be sick. As a result, her floor and blankets were the recipients of her illness. That was the end of my night's sleep. I found myself going up and down the stairs, gathering bowls of hot, soapy water to scrub the floor, disinfecting sprays, air fresheners (!), paper towels, trash can liners without holes, etc. Once Katie got cleaned up, I sent her downstairs to the couch to finish sleeping if she could, and then I finished scrubbing her floor before starting the washing machine. Amanda got up more during the night to be sick, but Katie was able to sleep. When morning officially started (school time), I only awakened Ashley---who was fine---and Emily to get ready for school. The older girls couldn't go, of course, and I wasn't willing to leave them for hours at a stretch to be with Dale in school, so I opted not to take him to school Thursday and let him sleep in.
When I dropped the younger girls off, I found out that more of our sports teams and chaperones/coaches were ill now. As of the end of school yesterday, as many as a dozen of our people who had gone on the trip were down with this terrible sickness. And it gets worse: Dale and Emily began throwing up yesterday! I had taken Dale to school on Friday along with all his sisters (Katie still wasn't 100%, but I felt like she should try to go to school); we could only be at school until SP at 11:00. Dale had mentioned a couple of times that his stomach felt a little bad, just often enough that I decided to bring an extra trash can with liner in the car to SP "just in case." We wound up starting SP late because Dale had to go to the bathroom once we got there. Finally, we were able to settle down and let Dale work at therapy. I had told Lisa, SP therapist, that Dale had mentioned not feeling quite well, and she seemed okay with trying to have a normal session anyway. He had been working steadily for about half an hour when a strange look crossed his face. His eyes widened and he put his hand up to his mouth. I leaped out of my chair, grabbed the nearby (lined) trash can, and held it under his chin......just in time. The poor guy was so sick; of all the members of my family, the guys (Dad and Dale) hate throwing up the most. Lisa was so nice about it, not getting flustered at all. She got Dale a washcloth to wipe his face and some water to wash the nasty taste out of his mouth. And that was the end of SP! Once I got Dale in the car, I called the school and told them I was coming to pick up Katie; it was on my way home, and I knew she was miserable to begin with. As it turns out, that was a good idea; she still was battling diarrhea. I picked up Emily as well, which may not have been as good an idea. It gave her more time to be exposed to Dale's germs! Dale continued vomiting every hour or so for the next several hours until his stomach had emptied itself of all possible substance. Amanda came home from school not feeling well again, so she pretty much slept the rest of the day. Chad and went grocery shopping before dinner; when we got home, Katie informed us that Emily said her tummy hurt. Within ten minutes of our arrival home, Emily was throwing up. This did not help Dale much at all; he's one of those people that can't hear or see someone vomiting without doing the same himself. His illness tapered off toward nightfall; about 8:15 I gave him some crackers to see how his stomach handled those. He kept them down for an hour before expelling them. Once he was finished, he felt some better, so I gave him his meds with water, made sure he used the bathroom, and settled him for the night. (Praise the Lord, Dale did not actually throw up any of his meds!) My habit is to keep sick children downstairs with me until I am sure they are better, so I let Dale sleep in the easy chair all night. Emily scared me, though. She couldn't keep anything down---not even a few sips of water---all night; she threw up with regularity until about 4:00 this morning. I was seriously worried she might be getting dehydrated, but she seems to be all right now. Even today, her tummy has hurt; she slept quite a lot and finally decided she was hungry enough to eat some dinner. Someone a while back gave us some Pedialyte drinks, so I have had Dale and Emily drinking those. Amanda seems to be all right now; Katie's stomach is still unhappy; no one else has gotten sick yet. We are crossing our fingers!!!
It seems as though I have spoken of nothing else but this illness today, but, frankly, that has rather consumed our time these past few days! Please pray for everyone who has been in contact with this illness to be whole and healthy soon, so that they will be well, their families will be well, and life can return to normal once again.
Matthew 7: 7 - 8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."