Surviving Our Son’s Stomach Bug Woes

On the third Sunday of March, after our son’s fever, he had what seemed like diarrhea. But it didn’t progress beyond the day, so we weren’t worried at all. On Monday, we even went out for a nice walk at the lake.

But the next morning, after he went to school, I got a call from one of the staff at his preschool. She told me that we needed to pick him up and bring him home. He had been to the restroom twice within 2 hours! I thought “that can’t be good.”

A Trip to the ER

Thankfully, within 30 minutes, my wife picked him up and got him settled at home. I stayed at work and just went through my day just like any normal day at the office. But when I got home that afternoon, he couldn’t keep anything down. He was vomiting and his diarrhea showed no signs of letting up. By 7:45 p.m. after several times of vomiting, we decided to bring him to the E.R.

They did some tests. The medical technologist at the triage said that our son probably had flu since that was the main thing that people complained about. We got more worried, thanks to that well-meaning (or maybe not) medical guy.

We went out of the triage, went through the registration process, and then waited some more.

Finally, a doctor saw our son, asked us about his situation, waited for the flu test results to come back. Meanwhile, the physician assistant or she must have been a nurse, I’m not sure, gave our son a half-tablet of Zofran to help ease the vomiting so he can keep food down. She promised our son a reward of Popsicle, which worked because he eagerly took the medicine.

The doctor came back and told us the flu test came back negative. He looked at our son and said that he looks okay, he didn’t look dehydrated or anything like that. Probably it was just a viral infection.

I’m getting pretty suspicious when doctors say that an illness has “viral causes.” It seems like that is the common answer for things that cannot be explained away sufficiently by doctors.

The good thing about going to the ER was the Zofran. It definitely helped him keep his food and water down. And yeah, he gobbled up that Popsicle real quick. He even had an excited smile when the nurse/Physician Assistant gave it to him.

After he finished his popsicle and the doctor decided he was doing good, he sent us home. But before going out, we stopped by the cashier and we had to pay $280 for the ER services we availed that night. EXPENSIVE!!

But it would have been more expensive if we didn’t pay right away. By paying before we left, we got the cost down from $320.

Pedialyte? No thank you!

The biggest danger in diarrhea–both for adults and kids–is dehydration, which could lead to loss of electrolytes and important nutrients in the body. To address that, anyone with diarrhea needs to drink an electrolyte solution. For kids, Pedialyte is probably the most popular brand. But boy, our son hated that thing! Hated with a passion that he would cry and throw a tantrum if we insisted.

So, no pedialyte for him. Thankfully, though, he drank a lot of water. He ate some soft foods from the BRATTY food group: Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast, Tea, and Yogurt.

It’s very difficult to have a sick child, though. He’s very fussy and grumpy and cranky if he’s not sleeping or not in the bathroom pooping. Thankfully, my wife stayed with him all day while he was sick. She was patient, well most of the time, and if she loses her cool, I was there to take over for a little while at night.

He looked so thin and just a little emaciated by Thursday. We were worried for him. Now I understand my parents when they said that if they could only take on our pain and our illness when we were kids.

“My poop is hard!”

I left for work early on Friday so I wasn’t able to check on him in the morning. But when I got home, I opened the door, and he had that usual smile on his face and said: “Tatay, I have good news! My poop is hard now!” He looked so proud.

I let out a sigh of relief! Glad that it was all over. He ate quite a lot on Friday and the next day, we brought him to his first soccer game. He still felt weak since he was still recovering. But we were glad that he played soccer for about 10 minutes, drank lots and lots of water, and watched the rest of the game.

Later that day, when my wife was out buying something at a nearby shopping center, he told me: “Tatay, I will not gonna be sick again!”

By that time, he knew that being sick is no fun at all. Hopefully, he won’t get any stomach bugs any time soon.


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