There will be times you will watch a tummy bug work its way through your children, and you will keep pounding down your vegetables, washing your hands like gangbusters, and getting a reasonable balance between exercise and rest, and you will think just maybe you have dodged it. And sometimes you will be right.
But other times, throughout the course of the following days you will take notice of certain um, functions, and realize that for all your efforts, the tummy bug has found you. Most likely it was via helping out the youngest with her own um, functions. The important thing here is not to shame yourself. No matter how well you do it, the viruses still get through sometimes. No worries, that's why you have an immune system to kill the bugs, uncomfortable and awkward though the killing may be.
Now, as to practical matters. Opinions vary as to the more favorable of the tummy bugs. Some folks prefer the sitting variety, and others the kneeling and/or bowl-toting types. I'm partial to the sitting styles, because the flow of stuff remains in its traditional direction. Switching directions is unacceptably disruptive to my inner peace in a way that, um, the other way is not.
That said, the disadvantages of sitting tummy bugs are as follows: you don't always get the obvious nausea that comes with the kneeling styles, so it can be a bit of a guessing game as to how much time you have to get to the, ah, porcelain throne. Also, you really need to stay on top of your wiping supplies.
In our family this is rarely a problem, as we are stocked with enough bathroom tissue for the apocalypse. Here's the thing though--toilet paper works largely because of friction, and with a tummy bug of robust caliber, that is going to become an issue for your bum-bum rather quickly. Even in this modern age of flushable wipes, one's delicate bum-bum can only take so much handling before the area gets a little tender.
My advice in these cases is to first and foremost, use the flushable wipes from the start. Make sure your home's plumbing system can handle them, and develop a protocol for wipes-per-flush. This could be controversial in some circles due to the more-than-usual water usage and sometimes-dubious degradation of the wipes, but frankly this is one of those no-win situations, and if you try too hard to save the flushes, you could end up shop-vac-ing a half inch of water off your spare bathroom floor (so I've heard...). All I'm saying is everyone's plumbing system is different, so find your best good-steward balance.
|Gentle dabs keep your bum-bum happy|
Second, pay attention to the virus's progression. There will come a point where gentle dabs will do the job, as opposed to the more vigorous swipes. If you are proactive and start dabbing sooner rather than later, you can keep your bum-bum feeling a teensy bit nicer while the virus has its way with your lower GI system.
If you are fortunate, your only symptom will be the endless hours of sitting through um, functions, and you will be in otherwise fine spirits. This is when you can take the opportunity to catch up on all of your social media platforms, internet articles, and online games. You can send cheeky texts to friends, and tell people how grateful you are to have them in your lives, and how grateful they should be that you are keeping your distance at the moment. If they love you they'll agree wholeheartedly.
Sooner or later you will want nothing more than uninterrupted sleep, but your lower GI system will not grant this. It will be a delicate dance, predicting how much bed-time you will have before the next round. If your bathroom allows, I recommend curling up on a nearby rug, regardless of how much you think your family members might laugh at you. The alternative to this is going back & forth between bed and bathroom as needed, and guess what--your family members will still laugh at you, but you also have the added risk of not making it or, at the very least, some very close calls. Only you can decide what to do.
The key here is to keep perspective about your routine being disrupted. Do NOT try to do more than you are able. Your single most important job is to prevent the spread of disease, and this is best accomplished by making it to the potty in time, and getting well as quickly as you can. If that means sleeping elsewhere for a night, and then taking naps to catch up, so be it.
Along the way you may or may not find yourself feeling hungry. In the early stages, it is completely OK to not try to eat your regular dinner to get the veggies down before the storm hits. The pico de gallo can wait a day or several. Remember the long view: as soon as you get through this, it will be back to your normal, healthy, veggie-rich habits. In the meantime, the name of the game is calming and containment. If you have a favorite tummy-calming comfort food, go for it. Otherwise, the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) is not quite as hip as it once was, but in the absence of any advice other than the vague "some other foods are OK too," it is still a solid option for firming things up and rebuilding system containment. If you are still in good spirits you can make your rice into congee or Norwegian risgrøt with little more effort than it takes to make oatmeal...and it is completely worth that little extra effort.
|Not fancy; still good advice|
In the meantime, it really is important to keep hydrating; otherwise you may find yourself a little parched a couple days later and wonder why you look a tad less vibrant and youthful than usual, tummy bugs notwithstanding. Nothing to worry about; just a bit of mild dehydration. Drink your water and tea, and all will be restored.
The nice thing about tummy bugs is that they are very often short-lived; all you have to do is keep your wits about you and keep an eye on your um, functions, to know when it is safe to venture out again and for how long. Your best bet is to keep your first few trips short, and even then to maintain strategic awareness and proximity of restrooms, just in case you need to duck in during your recovery. And truly, try not to rush things; no one wants your germs anyway.
In conclusion, as with all things this, too, shall pass. At times like roaring rapids and others like a gentle stream...but it shall pass all the same, and you will soon be inching toward your digestive norm with each new day, grateful for the small things in life. Things like bowel control, and indoor plumbing, and a comfy bum-bum. You have made it to the other side, and none the worse for wear.
Well done, you...