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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is the head web developer for a regional newspaper
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

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January 17, 2003

Welcome to My Norwalk House

Welcome to My Norwalk House of Death

Yes, the birth of a new child is quite a miracle, and I was lucky enough to go through that experience last week (thank you for kind words from some of our visitors). This was my second child; first is a girl, this one is a boy. When the first one came along I really didn’t know what to expect from the whole experience. I mean, I knew what the end result was going to be, but I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like in the delivery room, from here on referred to as ground zero.

The first child was delivered so quickly I hardly had time to get squeamish. We went in to the hospital, got my wife her epidural, pushed twice and BAM!!!, there she was. I didn’t watch a lot of the real action and when asked I refused to cut the umbilical cord. While I did record the doctor holding the baby up and saying, “It’s a girl,” I did not videotape one second of action that I would not show to a complete stranger. I just did not picture myself sitting down to watch that over and over again.

This time the delivery was equally as smooth (I realize this is my opinion, not my wife’s) and equally as painless, since the doctor gave my wife the epidural very early. But this time I did watch more of the actual process (although once again not filming it). I saw the head pop out, not too different from the alien jumping out of Sigourney Weaver’s stomach in Aliens 3, just a lot less upsetting. He pushed his head out and wiggled around slowly, then rushing out once the head had escaped. It is a miracle, but also a process which makes us seem much more like the rest of the animal world than many of us would like to admit. I cut on the camera to hear the doctor tell us it was a boy and once again declined the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord of my newborn child (after all, what the hell am I paying the doctor for?).

We only stayed one night in the hospital, partly because my wife is tough, and mostly because we will pay a percentage of our total hospital bill. We got home, let our daughter show our boy around his new home and settled in for a few days of adjustment. My folks were there for a couple of days so we did have some help managing our little family…………then it all went to hell.

We came home on a Thursday, and in the middle of the night I heard my daughter crying so I went in to check on her (at approximately 2:30am). She had yacked all in her bed. I cleaned her up, her sheets and her bed and got her ready to put go back to sleep………..when she threw up again. She then continued to throw up every 15 minutes for the next 4 hours. It was bad. Around 6:30am she went to sleep and so did I.

I woke up and saw that she had thrown up one more time in her sleep, but only a little bit of water. I guess she had no more “chunks” to offer. I cleaned her up again, gave her a bath, and prayed she would be better. She spent the next 2 days with diarrhea and a slight fever, but at least she wasn’t throwing up. So my folks went home and the in-laws came over for the weekend. That night my mother got sick with the same virus and was up all night hurling, etc. and felt like crap for the next 3 days.

Sunday came and I got it, throwing up and running frequently to the bathroom (my time improved by .46 seconds in 2 days). It was ugly. My in-laws left and my mother-in-law got it, while my wife started having problems as well. Three days after that my father-in-law started showing symptoms. Not only do you puke, crap and feel awful, but it is difficult to eat anything even days after most of the symptoms have disappeared.

I have since learned that in Virginia they are calling this virus the “Nora” (sp?) virus, which is obviously kin to the Norwalk virus which has plagued the cruise ships in recent months (to Bigwig’s credit, he identified it as part of the Norwalk virus immediately after hearing of the symptoms, and I’m sure would want to be acknowledged for it). My daughter got better and went to stay with my folks for a couple of days while my wife and I quarantined ourselves and scrubbed every inch of our house, trying to disinfect the entire thing as best as we could. We opened doors and let out that “sick funk” which has taken over.

Now about 8 days after the problems started, we think we are all over the sickness, and while almost everyone got it, thankfully the newborn was spared, apparently juiced up on mama’s immune system. This virus SUCKS, and if you have plans to see someone who is dealing with it, my advice is to avoid them at all costs. If you take them dinner, treat them like lepers and leave the food outside and let them come and get it after you have long ago left the driveway. Perhaps only for my children and wife would I sit in their vomit and possibly get this again. It is hard to remember exactly, but I think my episodes of pneumonia were more pleasant.

I know one thing, if this problem is not taken care of completely, I damn sure won’t be going on a cruise any time soon.

Posted by Woundwort at January 17, 2003 12:22 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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