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Why does the sickness keep coming back?

(8 Posts)
Solo2 Sun 02-Jan-11 13:56:41

About 10 days ago, one of my 9 yr old twins (DT1) came down with a nasty stomach virus, which became really symptomatic on Xmas morning - with vomiting. Since then he's felt unwell and had diarrhoea about 9 times a day for the first 5 to 6 days but now only about 3 times a day. He's eating a bit more normally too but still isn't himself.

His twin (DT2) was absolutely fine for the first 7 days and then without any warning, began vomiting. He vomited copiously for 2 days and nights and then 2 to 3 days ago made a full and rapid recovery - no diarrhoea the whole time and no more nausea or vomiting.

Meanwhile, I (single mum) had nausea and mild diarrhoea and spine ache/ abdominal rash/ stomach ache and feeling yukky but soldiered on as normal, eating v little or nothing.

Ten days on, the twin who only had vomiting for 2 days and nights and who has been absolutely fine compared with me and his twin for the last 2 days, has suddenly begun vomiting again and is currently in bed with a nasty headache and feeling v sick.

We are all fed up as it's been 10 days now and I'd hoped we were all beginning to get better but looks like DT1 has got it really badly - again!

Is this just a normal tummy bug and is there anything I should be doing beyond trying to keep the home clean, getting the DCs to rest a lot and keeping up their fluids?

Finally, how do I cope, psychologically, with this relentless illness right across the Xmas hols? DCs are back at school on Thursday and I'm back at work - but maybe none of us will be well enough by then and none of us has had a proper Xmas or a holiday.

Is this a normal stomach virus? Do they come and go with the display of symptoms in some people or manifest more mildly be for longer and more consistently in other (eg me and DT2)?

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Sun 02-Jan-11 14:08:44

Sorry to hear youve been going through this. It really is the pits.

IME the same stomach bugs can affect individuals in different ways, and can re-infect people.

The key is, of course, scrupulous hygiene. But perhaps also you've gone back to 'proper' food too soon, before your tums have been ready? And then if course the second time around may be worse than the first because you're already weakened.

Do you know about BRAT? The post D&V diet, I mean! Flat full-fat Coke is good, if the boys can cope with the caffeine, else flat full-fat lemonade is a adequate substitute.

You've just got to take it slowly.

What a shame that your break was spoiled. If you're still low when school and work begin again, then you have to allow yourself to take sick-leave. You'll be drained, and need to recover. I'd even say that, if the dts are up fir school on Thursday, you should still call in sick and rest^ for the day.

PrettyCandlesAndTinselToo Sun 02-Jan-11 14:10:24

(sorry, don't know where all those italics came from, but meaning is still the same)

ragged Sun 02-Jan-11 14:12:19

It sounds possibly quite normal. It could be 2 different bugs you've had to deal with (Twin 1's early bug was a different bug from Twin2 & the rest of you, hence why Twin1 got it again).

I have a weird feeling that I read that immunity to stomach bugs wears off faster than any other immunity, too....

DC4 & I came down with stomach cramps on 16 December. Slowly it's worked around the family (6 of us), with many days all of us seeming well, but DC1 finally succumbed on 31 Dec-1 Jan (over 2 weeks after start!).

Catsmamma Sun 02-Jan-11 14:15:27

Step up the hygiene...stick to your own towels for a bit

also new toothbrushes, i read that somewhere!

Solo2 Sun 02-Jan-11 14:19:08

Thanks PrettyCandles. The twins have practically been living off coca cola for 10 days now - which is a drink I never normally allow but had heard it was good for D & V. Neither has ever tolerated dioralyte.

DT1 ate - with no problems - ordinary food about 36 hrs after he was last sick and had no further symptoms, so I thought the bug had hit him acutely and repidly and passed through him but stayed around longer in DT2 and I as we don't vomit as easily. However, it looks as if it hadn never really gone or that he had indeed got it back again.

He ate a soft boiled egg and toast with hoummous this morning and then a pain au chocolat and felt fine and had just eeb about to have his lunch of a cheese and onion toastie, when he threw up.

He's asleep now and DT2 - who has had the bug the longest - is feeling fine but watching TV. I STILL ache along my spine and feel nauseous. I can't not go back to work as I'm self-employed and will just have to manage with sick children at home (I work from home but have client meetings in my home office), feeling under par myself. Already taken off a lot of time over Xmas so can't not go back unfortunately.

Will try keeping the house as clean as possible still. Can stomach viruses just keep hanging around your system for weeks and coming but with symptoms every so often?

ragged Sun 02-Jan-11 16:45:13

I've had kids who had symptoms on/off for a week or more, yeah.

DC4 is the worst: will not let himself vomit. So he just puts up with cramps, barely any food intake and misery for days.. eventually he runs a high fever for a few days to kill it, and then even after fever is gone he still isn't "right" for a few more days. A week is normal for a tummy bug for him -- meanwhile half of us can vomit it out and usually have it clear within 36 hours if not much less.

OhYouSnowySnowyKitten Sun 02-Jan-11 17:09:08

dd has had a funny bug, d&V before Christmas then a week later she was being sick again. she was fine in between and is not normally prone to tummy bugs.

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