Diarrhea and vomitting: damn those two!

Recently, one night, Joel vomitted. Three times. The next morning, he vomitted some more, and had diarrhea. Oh no, I dreaded. Was it going to be the same episode of vomitting and diarrhea that could wind him up in the hospital?

Diarrhea and vomitting are my two worst nightmares ever since I have my kids. When Eric was about 1-1/2 years old, he had a case of D&V so severe that he went into shock. Even thinking about it makes me teary-eyed. What took a 20-minute drive to the private hospital took only 10 minutes for my husband. As I cried my way to the hospital, I couldn’t help feeling angry. Angry at myself for failing Eric and letting it happen and not knowing exactly what to do, and angry at the doctors (both GP and paediatrician) because none of their advice or medicine worked, even after three visits within the past four days Eric was ill. That morning when we asked the paediatrician if he should be admitted, the PD said it wasn’t necessary. That afternoon, it took Eric to be unconscious, unresponsive and his body frozen blue to convince the docs that he needed treatment immediately. it was the most horrible week of my life.

Joel had a similar case of D&V around the end of last year. We didn’t wait for the docs to decide for us, and since it was the third day, we decided to send Joel to a private hospital immediately. Thank God for our medical insurance and our quick action, Joel’s predicament was less worse than Eric’s.

When Joel recently showed signs of D&V, both my husband and I did something quite contrary to what we actually would do. That morning, I immediately stopped feeding him his milk, and he started drinking water the whole day. I didn’t feed him much that first day, either, just one cracker, which he didn’t finish. When I gave him around 3 oz of milk, he had diarrhea within an hour. He vomitted a little more late at night. Interestingly, he was still actively playing around the whole of first day.

On the second day, he kept drinking his water. Just a slight diarrhea in the morning. For some reason, I felt like baking some butter cookies. Those cookies really went down well for him, and he ate a tray (16 pieces of them) throughout the day and night. I didn’t give him any milk, and he just took his water happily. He had another round of diarrhea in the evening. But everything else was calm and normal. Mind you, though, I really wanted to take Joel to the docs, but my husband was so busy even at night with his work and bowling, and I just didn’t have the energy to take along three kids to the doctor without someone to help me.

On the third day, he kept to the diet of cookies and water. No diarrhea in the morning. Everything went smoothly until night time. I finally gave Joel something to eat, the same plain rice porridge I feed to Ezra. He only had a few spoonsfuls, less than 5. No D&V the whole time.

On the fourth day, no D&V in the morning, so I finally gave him 5 oz of milk. Cookies as usual. In the afternoon, I gave him a little bit of noodles and soup. I had to drive out in the evening, so in the middle of the trip, I stopped to buy some takeaway noodles and dumplings, and my sister help fed Joel while in the car. He ate with gusto. I wasn’t surprised, but warned my sister not to feed him too much in case his empty stomach went into shock. No D&V the whole day.

He started to have normal stool every morning, and ate and ate on the fifth, the sixth and so on. Phew. My nightmare is over. I’ve taken a humongous risk not bringing him to the doc, but I’m just glad Joel’s healthy now. I didn’t have to see my kid spend his nights at the hospital. Thank You, God.

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2 thoughts on “Diarrhea and vomitting: damn those two!”

  1. I can imagine what it was like when your son had that serious case.

    A few months ago when both of mine had chicken pox (back to back) they too were vomitting and having diarrhea for a few days. But over here, I was told of signs to watch (dehydration) before I need to send them to the emergency room and thankfully, none of them reach that stage.

    But it was scary too for me as it was also the first time that both of them had these symptoms and I was clueless as to what to expect.

    Let’s hope none of them will ever go through what Eric went through then.

  2. Severe dehydration was exactly what happened to Eric. Part of me blamed myself, but I was also terrible angry at the doctors I referred to for not insisting that Eric gets treatment immediately. “Dehydration” seems like such a mild term compared to how horribly dangerous it can affect our kids.

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