The tummy bug hits the Ranch

The phone rang at 2:30 AM Monday morning.  I was deep in sleep, buried under our down comforter.  Outside it was cold and wet and very, very dark.

It was Ashley, RA of Martha House. 

“Kelly's throwing up and feeling awful,” she said, “She a really sick little puppy.”  I said I'd be right over.

Well, I would if I could figure out who I was and where I was, which I did after a few minutes.  I even got it together to find the key to the Pavilion pantry to search for the key to the infirmary to search for medications likely to help a very upset tummy.

Clutching them I arrived at Martha House.  My poor girl was doubled up over the trash can and other things were happening as well.  Poor Ashley definitely needed help.

Kelly's main concern was being well enough to go to Wal-Mart that afternoon, a hope I had to dash.

Over the next three hours we coped.  Kelly liked the warm shower and didn't want to get out but eventually had to because suddenly it wasn't warm any more.  I changed her sheets and bundled her into bed.

Between spells of sickness Kelly dozed and we cleaned up messes and disinfected.  Then Ashley heard Kristen in her bathroom and another game was afoot…

“Food poisoning!” we cried!  The girls had gone to a church potluck on Sunday, and it was now about 12 hours later.

Later that morning, I came home and made some of Mom's Chicken Soup, which will strengthen or cure anybody of  anything, especially if it's your mom's chicken soup.  Kelly kept it down and asked for more.

At least Rebekah and Alaina were ok, but uh-oh, Alaina came down with it yesterday afternoon.  Fortunately her mommy lives close by, too. 

In the morning we asked Annette, who had been at the same potluck, what the girls had eaten.  “Wasn't the potluck,” she said.  “We ate the same thing and I'm fine.  But now I'm thinking about all those hugs…”

Poor Ashley slept most of Monday, as did her girls.  Kimberly spent the day tending the sick, and for now the campus seems free of the icks.

Annette came down with the crud Monday afternoon, so there was no Wal-Mart for anybody. 

We finally decided it was a “cruise-ship” virus, because we discovered other people in other houses had had it the week before.  The Centers for Disease Control report that one in 15 Americans suffers each year from these “noroviruses.”

So now it's a call to EcoLab to install the hand sanitizers that have become ubiquitous on the ships, at buffet-type restaurants, and even at the entrance to churches.

It's not always fun at Down Home Ranch!