Sunday, March 11, 2012

The smell of vomiting

I don't know about you, but when unpleasant things in my life arise, sometimes I'll put the situation to song to make it seem somewhat... funny, for lack of a better word.

Like on Friday night... I was nestled very snugly in my bed, playing a hard-fought game of Angry Birds on Fred's iPad that I had commandeered, when from the bedroom down the hall came a very loud... "BLEARGH!!!" (times 3). The bedroom that happens to belong to Elise. Le sigh.

As soon as I walked in, THAT smell hit me, as did the size of what Elise had expelled from her body. Good Lord, it must have been everything she ate that day.

So, as I shook Elise awake (yes, she rolled over and went back to sleep), checked her BG and ketones (80 and .4), stripped her linens, got her undressed and into the bath to wash the puke from her hair, I started humming to myself;

"Bah bah, bah bah, this is the smell of vomiting..."
(Death Cab for Cutie's Sound of Settling).

Yes. I know I'm weird. I'm okay with it.

Anyway, the rest of the night was spent trying to get Elise's BG up, her ketones down, and the carbs we gave her to stay IN her. We tried apple juice, a popsicle, diluted OJ... everything we gave her came back up. Some of it on my bathroom floor. My very carpeted bathroom floor. That Mattias had barfed on only 24 hours prior.

(Side rant: Who decided that it was a good idea to put carpeting in a bathroom; the elimination station for all things disgusting from the human body? I can only imagine the cesspool of human vileness that is breeding in those carpet fibers).

In the end, smarties were the only thing she would tolerate and by 2:00 am, we finally got her BG to a point we felt comfortable with putting her to bed. And her ketones were falling instead of rising. She was still feeling yucky the next morning, but the pukefest had passed.

We hadn't dealt with the low BG + puking + ketones thing in awhile, and every time it happens, a shiver of fear runs down my spine at the beginning. I run through our sick day plans in my head, wondering if I've forgotten something. I do a mental inventory of our pantry and fridge, hoping I have something with carbs that Elise can keep down. I start to debate about when I should take Elise to the ER.

I'm about to go on a tangent here... but stay with me. I'll bring it all back.

Fred and I used to be avid white water rafters. Since we started dating, we had done a river every year; some of the hardest (commercially run) in North America. Every time we'd do a trip, they'd have a safety briefing at the beginning of the trip. I always paid close attention because frankly... rafting scared the poop out of me. I am not a strong swimmer and I wanted to know EXACTLY what to do if I fell out.

On one of our last trips, it wasn't me falling out, but another guy on our raft. It was in the middle of a class 4 (pretty big rapid), and he popped up right beside me. I didn't have to think, I just acted. Took my paddle, stuck the t-grip out to him so I could drag him closer to the boat. All the while our guide is yelling, but I couldn't hear him. I was locked into the task at hand. When he got close enough, I grabbed him by the shoulders of his life vest, braced my feet against the side of the boat, and fell backwards, using the weight of my body to pull him into the boat.

After it was over, I was amazed at how I didn't have to think. I just acted. I just knew what I had to do.

And I hope one day, when dealing with low BG + puking + ketones (which I am now dubbing lowpuketonefests) I won't have to worry... it will come as easily as hauling a guy into a boat that outweighs me by 100 pounds.

Rafting pics!


  1. You are a bad-ass Joanne - be it pukefest or rafting!

  2. Awwwwww, Jen stole the name I was going to call you! Guess I will have to go with ....... wait, I need some time to think.

    Your writing in this post reminded me of something our Pastor said in sermon today. He was making sounds ( grunting, groaning, whining) to illustrate our 'somethimes' reaction to God's commands. He told us we were performing ONOMATOPOETRY. Not a real word, but a perfect description. I smiled big time while reading your words aloud in my head. You are quite the poet!

    Sorry about the puke and the carpet and the job your have ahead of you to remove said carpet . . . because you are going to make Fred do that, right?!

  3. Ugh...I HATE that smell!
    Glad you kicked some lowpuketonefest that name! ;)
    Oh, and I think we will all totally get to the point where we just 'do' without thinking in this crazy D life. With some things, we are already there...with others, it might take a while.
    And I will NEVER understand why there is carpet in bathrooms!

  4. you are a rockstar...and for some reason I can't stop thinking of Yoda's "do or do not, there is no try" in my head

  5. you are one life saving amazing mama...glad everybody is feeling better (I hope!)

  6. I do love your style so much. I love your style of writing, your style of inner strength to deal with these situations and your style of interests. Must be the "canadian" in you. ;)
    get rid of the carpet... put down cheap linoleum or something. ANYthing but carpet!

  7. Hope everyone is feeling better! I have the same fear wash over me when Our Sugar Babie gets sick. White Water Rafting are one amazing family!

  8. lol @ your lowpuketonesfest tag! may you not have to use it again for a very long time.

    that death cab song is so jaunty for the new lyrics you've written! love the contradiction!

    also, yeah wtf carpet in bathrooms!

    those rafting pics are badass. like you. i think your automatic kick-in reflexes happen every day already, yeah? so for sure they will if needed in the future.

  9. Two sick kids! White water rafting looks like such fun. Maybe you and Fred will get a chance to go again. Hope those two babes feel better soon. I'm sure you will be able to take good care of Elise. Please post what you have learned later on. Can't be of much help to you, as our DD only had one stomach bug very shortly after diagnosis, and since still in honeymoon, not really a problem. But I always take notes should the need ever arise. Hope someone can spell you out so you can get some rest.

  10. That is an awesome comparison! Hats off for bravery!


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