Over the busy weekend, Jonathan was a bit of a zombie trying to clear the remains of a respiratory bug. He sounded like a little smoker, wheezing and talking in a voice that sounded faintly like Joan Rivers.
Can we talk?
Monday it seemed like he was over it and bouncing back. Then suddenly Monday afternoon, he was beset by a violent stomach malady. He was in the bathroom about every half hour from 2:30 until 9 that night, growing progressively weaker. Throwing up really takes it out of you in more ways than one.
We got him ready for bed and laid him down in bed, but he continued to quietly whine, holding his stomach and writhing. He slept in five minute stretches interrupted by discomfort. You can guess how much I slept.
At 12:45 I finally called the on-call doctor. Precisely ten minutes later, Jonathan sneaked out of bed and got a cup of water, which he downed with great abandon (while his older brother Ben threatened to wake the entire house with his yells of, “NO JONNY! YOU’RE SICK! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO JUST SIP! NOW YOU’RE GOING TO THROW UP AGAIN!”). He promptly proved everyone wrong and fell into a restful sleep.
Then I waited for an hour waiting for the doctor to call back, which was a half-hour longer than they’d promised. Half an hour doesn’t sound like much, but it is precious at 1 AM.
During the course of the evening, I came to the conclusion that Jonathan probably had food poisoning from some bread that had mold in it. This discovery was as a result of the rest of us eating the same bread at dinner and me yelling, “STOP! EVERYONE WHO JUST TOOK A BITE OF BREAD, SPIT IT OUT RIGHT NOW. WE ARE NOT EATING THIS.” The other kids had had some bread at lunch as well, but I think Jonathan’s weakened immune system fell prey more than the others’.
Here is your helpful household hint for today: you cannot always see mold. I did not see it when I made the children’s sandwiches at lunch. But I definitely tasted it at dinner.
Anyway, I talked my theory over with the nurse, who finally called back at almost 2 AM. She talked my ear off for a good long while and then connected me to poison control, who she said would be able to give me more information about eating mold.
If you have ever called poison control, you know that they ask your for your name and zip code upon calling. I think by this time we are in the Top Ten Users of Carolina Poison Control. They probably have my picture hanging in the break room at the office.
My first call…I remember it so well…was a frantic call placed when toddler Andrew horrified me by eating carpet lint. Our new house had carpets that shed like mad, and every time I vacuumed I picked up a full load of lint. Andrew had found some in the trash and decided it looked yummy. My thoughts immediately went to stain treatments. What if he died from eating carpet lint with Scotchguard on it? Then there was the homeopathic teething remedy that Jonathan liked, remember that one? And there were many others along the way.
What we have learned from all this is that though my children like to eat bizarre and dangerous things, they usually come to their senses and stop eating before they consume enough to really be in peril. Maybe they will go to college after all.
Anyway, Poison Control at 2 AM — nope, strike that, 2:15 — on Tuesday morning was staffed by a man who clearly had better things to do. I recounted our afternoon and evening for him in an animated manner, since by this time I was AWAKE and RUNNING ON ADRENALINE because WHAT IF THE MOLD IS DESTROYING MY CHILD’S STOMACH LINING EVEN AS WE SPEAK?!.
Actually, that’s more like what I was thinking at 12:30. By 2:15 I was thinking WHY IS THE ON CALL NURSE SO TALKY AT THIS HOUR? and HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO CALL POISON CONTROL BEFORE THEY GIVE YOU YOUR OWN DIRECT LINE?
Here is the extent of what the man at Poison Control said to me:
“Uh….could have been mold, yes.”
Oh, thank you! That’s very helpful, sir!
And yet the conversation lagged on for fifteen more minutes, during which he managed to inform me of exactly nothing new about mold or the consumption thereof.
So I headed back to bed and crabbed at my husband, which is what every Godly woman does at that hour to a man who has to meet friends for breakfast in four hours.
On Tuesday, in the midst of teaching school, I urged Jonathan to drink, drink, drink, and he ate the sum total of one saltine all day long. He quietly laid on the couch and drifted in and out of sleep, never complaining. Yesterday he bounced out of bed, completely back to normal.
We have decided that his endurance under trial has established him as the child in our house Most Likely to Eventually Be a Marine. Freshman hazing can’t be much worse than what he endured.