On Sunday morning, I found myself up before daylight, awoken early by Mikey as I had been the morning prior. He had been sick with the stomach flu all weekend, and he had woken again on Sunday morning for the same reason.
After he went back to sleep I sat in the dark for a while, listening to the low tuneless whistle of the vintage radiators as the heat slowly came on in the apartment. I fell asleep there for just around an hour until I was woken again by Mikey and decided to just stay awake myself. I hadn’t intended to be spending a weekend nursing my sick family, we had nothing planned this weekend so we had all originally just intended to sleep in and relax.
I found myself preparing the day’s meal so that it could cook in the crockpot and defrosting some homemade chicken broth while the rest of the family slept. Folding the previous day’s laundry that had been washing late into the night, leaving the still-damp pieces to air dry on the rack that takes up most of the dining room. Coin operated laundry is an extra pain when you have sick family. But at least it was quiet this early, the day had yet to begin and I could spend some time with my thoughts before anyone else woke up and needed attention.
Later on Sunday, I left the apartment to fetch sickness supplies: orange juice, lemons, tissues, canned soup, bread. I filled my basket and was standing in line before I began to feel nauseous. I started to panic, I realised I was stuck in line between two carts and wouldn’t have been able to get out if I needed to vomit. My heart was racing, breathing shallow. My vision began to cloud over for just a second and I thought I might faint.
I made it through the line and paid for my groceries, the cashier commenting on how pale I looked and asking if I was ok, I could manage a nod and a thank you. I scrambled to collect my groceries and quickly left through the closest door. I sat on the sidewalk for a moment, heart still pounding, tears stinging my eyes. I stood on wobbly legs and began the walk home, each breath of fresh air helping me to gradually feel a little better.
We spent Sunday night camped out in the living room. I woke every hour or so with Mikey, giving him small sips of water a little at a time until he could keep it down. We finish the weekend, significantly more exhausted than when we began it. Curtains closed to daylight, hands raw from being washed. I am desperate to throw open every window and get the smell of sickness from this apartment, but it is too cold outside to leave them open.