Two weeks ago our 8 year old came home from school looking a little pale and saying he had a stomach ache.  That's when it all began.  

I thought we had this thing pretty well quarantined at first.  The kids never once were in the same area together, we bleached and bleached and bleached, threw out toothbrushes, and did the best we could.  I really thought we had this handled.

Then, 2 1/2 days later our daughter got sick.  We did the whole routine again, using latex gloves, trying our best to contain the illness.  Once again, we thought we had it contained.

Then 2 1/2 days later, my wife got sick.  At this point I just threw my hands up in the air and waited my turn.

A week went by, my mom had come down to visit on a Thursday.  2 1/2 days after she visited our house, she was sick.  So the incubation period I would have to say is about 2 1/2 days.

I thought I had it beat considering it had been over a week since the last time someone had been sick in our house.  But Monday afternoon it hit me.  And it hit hard.  It's probably one of the worst cases I've ever had.  I guess what makes this one the worst is what I've heard from other people and experienced myself:  violent vomiting.  It's the worst.

So here's the tips I learned from my experience this year to help you get through it:

  1. Don't use hand towels in the bathroom.  They are a magnet for germs and viruses.  Use paper towels during the sick season and throw them away.  You're less likely to spread germs.  If I trace back where I think i got sick was when I used a hand towel.
  2. Call your primary physician and ask for anti-nausea medication.  If you have a good relationship with your doctor, he or she may prescribe you this.  By the time I realized this was an option, I was already passed the worst part, but I hear it really helps.
  3. Follow the 2 hour rule.  After you vomit, don't drink or ingest anything for 2 hours.  Don't even suck on an ice chip.  Then after two hours sip a little water and wait 15 minutes.  If you can keep it down, keep slowly sipping water.  If you throw up again, start the 2 hour rule over again.
  4. Once you are ready to start eating things again, start slowly using the BRAT diet.  Bananas, rice, apple sauce, or toast.  But only continue that diet at first to get your stomach working again, as you'll need other nutrients from other foods soon to get your body back in shape.

Everyone always asks how long did it last?  For me it was about 30 hours before I was confident enough to leave the house.  The worst of it was in the first 12 hours.

Good luck, and keep washing those hands!

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