I've been feeling uneasy since Wednesday about the fact that I took Michael to the photo place when he's still not back to 100%. Tom and I went back-and-forth about it a bit; he was of the opinion that the bug is gone from Michael's system and that his bowels simply need time to reset. Thus, the lingering diarrhea. But I was not so certain. I was too tired and too flustered to think too long on it Wednesday morning as we were running around getting ready, but I have been going back to it since, especially since we're scheduled to attend a Christmas party tomorrow.
The last thing I want to do is unintentionally bring a "gift" with me, if you get my drift.
So, I called Michael's doctor's office. Left a message. I should have called the advice line, where I would have reached a real-live person, but I was hoping that leaving a voicemail would be quicker and easier, and I assumed I would get a call back today. I didn't.
However, Dr. Google seems to say, in many places, that stomach bugs are contagious for 2-3 days after all symptoms (this includes diarrhea) disappear. (What?!) What I can't seem to get a solid answer about is whether or not it can be passed through saliva. Regardless, Michael is still not over the poopy part, and while his diapers can sometimes contain everything, they often cannot. But if I have to do a diaper change at all, technically I could be bringing his germs with me, whether through saliva or no.
All day I've been agonizing, because I had to cancel on this same Christmas party last-minute one year ago, and I don't wish to have to do it again. But more than that, I wish not to put anyone else through what our family has gone through for the past week-and-a-half.
I guess the simple solution is a compromise. I could go hang out for a bit with Abby, while Tom stays home with Michael. Though we all had planned to go, at least this way I can make an appearance on behalf of the whole family, and Abby will certainly appreciate the scene more than Michael would have, anyway. I will spend the whole time feeling bad that Tom is not there, but that can't be helped. And it's better than having him there with Michael and worrying about the alternative.
In the meantime, I still feel guilty about Wednesday, and whether or not I might have exposed anyone at the mall. Michael had no blowouts or diaper changes of any kind there, but he did hold a prop for a few minutes. Was that enough exposure to have caused a problem for the next kid?
I don't know.
What I do know is that my agonizing over all of this suddenly took a backseat to the horror and sadness I felt upon hearing the news of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, today. I considered writing a blog post more focused on the topic, but honestly, I still feel too simultaneously sick and numb to say anything worthwhile.
And it's not as though there's any shortage of commentary to be found. I see it everywhere- little knives to my heart with each reminder.
But still, as I reflect on the unthinkable, and cry random tears over it, I continue to obsess about the little things in my little life, and my head feels as though it's about to split open from the strain.
What I really want to focus on is these guys:
Right here, right now, not in some strange, scary future where they go off to school and these fears rear their ugly heads anew, with fresh meaning.
How ever will I keep them safe? I suppose that I can't always- not every moment. I just have to have faith, and try to cherish every moment. Sadly, it often takes the occurrence of tragedy to make me remember how very important that is to do.