Flu is enemy of families everywhere

Published 12:13 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

Flu season! I dread it with every ounce of my being.

Winter is all fun and games with Christmas and cozy fireplaces, until your five year old starts throwing up at 10 p.m. right before you’re about to nod off to sleep and continues doing so every hour on the hour when you are on a deadline the next day.

Oh I know, myself, like most parents, would do anything for our children and absolutely know without a doubt they can not help it. Although when winter hits, I cringe every time my children come home from school and tell me another child in their class was throwing up and had to be sent home, wondering if we too are walking time bombs just ready to get hit right at the least opportune moment.

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Case in point.

Last year, all five of us rang in the New Year with the worst flu you could ever imagine. New Year’s Eve, every member of our family dropped like flies by the hour. Not that I was very surprised.

I remember telling my husband, as my stomach churned and I held my head over the toilet, of course 2016 would go out with that kind of bang. One of the worst years of our lives, it had to give us something spectacular to make us remember it by at the very end.

This year, the day before Christmas Eve, my middle daughter was the first. The rest of us looked at each other with bug eyes, waiting, watching, seeing if we were about to have a repeat of last New Years for our first Kentucky Christmas.

Fortunately we all made it through. That is until I came to work last Tuesday, only to need to go back home because I, too, started to feel nauseous. I made it through with saltines and soda, but had the wonderful pleasure of staying up all night with my son as he was hit with the bug a few days after my daughter.

I know all parents can relate. That moment your child unloads everything they have eaten the last few days like a scene from “The Exorcist” all over household furniture and items that are typically non-washable.

The churn in your own stomach as you think about how you can’t miss work, how you have so much to do, and hope you’re not next. Praying maybe they just got too hot in their pajamas, or maybe it was something they ate. Until you realize you ate the same thing, it is 15 degrees outside, and then here you are one hour later holding the bowl for them again with a sinking and all-knowing feeling that it wasn’t any of the above, but the one word you don’t want to think of: flu.

So to all the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents out there (even the brothers and sisters that witness and hope they are not next) I dedicate this column to you. To all of us, who battle through this time of year; who use extra sanitizer everywhere you go; who Lysol furniture, stuffed animals, counter tops, desks, office supplies and even just the air we all are breathing!

Here is hoping when the flu hits your home (and hopefully it won’t), you make it through like I did last week with a little saltines and Sprite, and lots and lots of disinfectant. I wish you all a very happy  and flu-free New Year!

Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com.