The continuing saga of pestilence

By Mir
December 30, 2011

Thank you all for the well-wishes for my mother-in-law. She had surgery and they were able to insert a rod into the bone to repair it, and it is around about this point in the story when Monkey puts his hands over his ears and says “YOU CAN STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW” because it weirds him out to think about operations and people being fitted with rods. Because we are excellent parents, we assured him that Grammy is just fine, and we will all love her just as much now that she’s a cyborg as we did before.

In the meantime, my poor brother-in-law Nearly Nickless wasn’t feeling so hot, and the LAST time we were at their house, you know, he got a stomach bug which I ended up getting (which landed me in the ER), so I immediately started spritzing myself with hand sanitizer and giving him an extremely wide berth.

It turned out that he had strep throat. Because of course he did! As the excellent house guests we are, we clucked sympathetically, asked him if we could get him anything, and then promptly packed up all of our stuff and left.

(Technically that’s not entirely true. First we went into Boston to visit my mother-in-law at the hospital. She was delighted… except for that whole part about being in the hospital with a broken hip.)

The drive back to New York was uneventful, and there was much potato chip consumption by all involved. My parents were very happy to see us again. The dogs had a wonderful greeting wherein you could see Zoey thinking “OH YAY MY BESTEST FRIEND IS BACK!” and Licorice clearly thought, “OH GOD NOT THIS AGAIN.”

As everyone hugged and kissed and Otto and I unloaded our stuff, Licorice escaped Zoey and promptly darted into a back bedroom and pooped all over the floor. We, of course, didn’t discover this for several hours, which just made it all the more magical. It also earned Licorice a new Care Bear name: Puppy Poopsalot.

My stepmom had dinner ready and waiting for us and my father had the wine ready (have I mentioned how much I like this hotel?), and the evening passed quickly.

Last night I dreamed I had strep throat. In my dream my neck was puffed up so far I couldn’t even turn my head, and when I woke up this morning my hands flew to my neck to check. It’s… still a normal neck. And my throat doesn’t hurt. Just a bad dream.

But when I wandered out into the family room around 7:15 or so, Chickadee was already up. And anyone who has a teenager knows this is a VERY BAD SIGN indeed. “What’s up?” I asked her, trying to stay calm.

“My throat hurts,” she croaked.


Sooooooo it was off to the local Urgent Care clinic, and now Chickie’s on antibiotics, but I’m guessing she feels terrible. This is partly because she has strep, and partly because every time I stop moving she leans into me and then, eventually, ends up in my lap. My deductive powers suggest this is a poor little bunny, indeed.

Bad things come in threes, you know, so when Monkey mentioned that his stomach was hurting, I assumed his appendix has burst. But then he had some lunch and said he felt fine, so I feel like we really dodged a bullet.

Still. I’ll be waiting for number three. Maybe I can whack it with my shoe if I catch it early enough?


  1. meghann

    So. . .you’re psychic AND you have a bionic mother in-law?! This blog gets more and more interesting all the time!

  2. Sassy Apple

    There’s really nothing like the holiday plague. My step-daughter gifted us with it on Christmas, and now my husband has taken TWO SICK DAYS in a row (unheard of) I’m dutifully caring for him, but I’m mighty tired of bathing in Germ-X and sleeping on the couch…..all the while waiting for it to strike me. Fingers crossed for all of the semi-healthy people remaining in families everywhere.

  3. Jan

    I just heard recently that scarlet fever is actually a particularly rotten strain of strep. So maybe you’ll all come down with that?

    Jan <———–helpful

  4. Varda (SquashedMom)

    So sorry your family is so plague ridden this year. I am NOT going to say we have escaped unscathed, because I really don’t feel like spitting over my left shoulder three times right now. Best wishes for your mother-in-law’s speedy recovery and for a wonderful New Year for you all!

  5. Megan

    Jan – weird, my mum just last night was recounting about the time my sister and I had scarlet fever (which I’d totally forgotten) and how the only thing she could think of was how Beth died in Little Women.

    Of course, then I replied that as a horrid child I had been really glad when Beth died because Beth was a total killjoy with her ‘conscience of the family’ thing. This horrified and offended my mum so much she cheered right up about my scarlet fever bout and dinner took a happier turn.

    NB – I’m not sure what the moral of the story is here.

  6. Arnebya


  7. MomCat

    I’d book an NCL cruise for next year’s holidays, then invite any relatives who want to come. Not that strep can’t catch you in the tropics, but enough rum kills it, I hear.

  8. Chuck

    Travel is stressful, even when it’s for a fun trip. I swear by Airborne now anytime I go somwhere more than 4 hours away. I know there’s not hard scientific evidence that it works, but it seems to do the trick for me…

  9. Beth A.

    So I’m thinking that the sickness has already come in 3s…Otto’s Mom, Nearly Nickless, and Chickadee. There are your 3 issues for the winter.

    Now no one is allowed to get sick until you see snow again.

  10. Damsel

    My husband and two children each suffered from different maladies on Christmas day. I bathed everyone in hand sanitizer and sacrificed chickens to the immunity gods in the hopes that I would escape unscathed… lo and behold, I have. Recommended: chicken sacrificing. Also, hand sanitizer.

    It WAS pretty pitiful to watch my son opening his gifts, then periodically get pale and pasty and make a dash to the bathroom to puke… and then coming back almost like nothing happened to continue with the gift-opening. It takes MUCH more than vomiting to dampen the Christmas spirit, ’round here!

  11. Reb

    Poor bunny indeed. Strep throat sucks. I recommend heaps of honeycomb to coat the throat. Not cause it tastes fantastic, of course. That’s irrelevant.

  12. Daisy

    Can we count the morphing of Licorice into “Pup Poopsalot” as one of the three troubles? Then you’d be done.

  13. mamaspeak

    I’m still stuck on Puppy Poopsalot.
    Happy New Year.
    I heard (through the grapevine, or FB, no difference really,) that there are still no jet packs in the future. But, the Mayans were wrong, so there’s that. (I have friends who live in Oz, it’s already 2012 when you’re reading this. Did I just blow your mind? You haven’t had enough wine then. Move along, that bottle’s not going to drink itself.)

  14. Reb

    not in Aus, it’s not. But it is here in NZ. I’ve drunk the wine and am off to bed. Happy New Year, everyone!

  15. Sara

    I’m claiming that Licorice pooping in the house was the second bad thing (because really, poop in the house? Certainly not a good thing.) and Chickie’s strep was the third. BAM! Following my logic, you are finished! Now. Go and worry no more my child, and have a happy new year.

  16. Brigitte

    Really, I think Puppy Poopsalot counts as one, too.

    Though I had to laugh at Monkey’s stomach hurting. That sounds like my method – whenever my stomach hurts, I eat. If the feeling goes away, I was hungry, if I hurl, I wasn’t. :-D

  17. Beth

    My kids have never had strep (I know! We get everything else instead.) so take this with many, many grains of salt. I have friends whose kids have had strep with no sore throat but stomach aches and sometimes vomiting instead. That was the first thing that flashed through my head when I read about Monkey’s stomach hurting. :( Just thought I’d mention that as something to think about before hitting the road for home. :( I hope it’s a complete non-issue!

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