Definition: noroviruses

Noroviruses belong to a family of viruses that cause the "stomach flu." Noroviruses are also called Norwalk-like viruses and caliciviruses. Stomach flu is also called gastroenteritis, food infection, food poisoning, and acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis.

Sounds pretty innocuous, stomach flu, doesn’t it?

Well, for us it started with our youngest son of 3 years started to vomit on a Sunday night. He had eaten a sausage earlier that day, so we figured it had been a bad sausage, but I had eaten one to, and I didn’t get sick.

He finally stopped vomiting and fell asleep from exhaustion. The next day he didn’t eat much and he was very tired. My wife and I were worried, and we discussed taking him to a doctor or the ER. Usually, he bouncing off the walls, and all day he was just lying there on a couch watching movies and TV.

The next day we took him to our family physician to have him checked out. The doctor told us that it was probably gastroenteritis, and most likely the "Norwalk" virus as there was an outbreak going on in the state of Washington. He have us instructions on the fluids we needed to make sure he got as well as an anti-nausea pill.

Well, we gave him the pill and stuffed him with fluids. Then he started complaining about pains, and later that day he started to vomit again. He just wouldn’t stop throwing up.

My wife and I decided that we’d had enough and took him to the ER. At that time the little guy was just lethargic, we got straight in with no delay. Our little boy made the point by staring to complain that he needed to throw up when we were with the triage nurse. I grabbed their wastebasket, but the nurse gave me one of those hospital barf bags.

We finally got in and the nurses there decided that our little 3 year old needed an IV to make sure they could get some fluids in him. Let me say this, there is no pain greater than having to hold down your 3 year old baby, while the nurse puts an IV into him. IT HURTS!!!!! Almost physically so.

When we finally got the IV into him, he relaxed and laid there for about an hour getting some fluids into him and a less intrusive anti-nausea medicine. After that we were allowed to leave the hospital. On the way home in the car, the poor guy fell asleep and slept until the next morning.

Well, it didn’t stop there. The next day, both my wife and I felt crummy. Nausea and diarrhea, well, that is she was nauseated and I had both nausea and diarrhea.

I tried my best to drink fluids, such as water, Propel, tea (bad idea), eat crackers and banana (the hospital calls BRAC, Banana, Rise, Applesauce, and Crackers). 

That night I started to have stomach cramps and the diarrhea got worse, so I decided to go to bed. Well, I didn’t stay there long. I started sweating, and I felt that I needed to throw up AND I still had diarrhea. We I almost fainted, my wife would have no more, and called for an ambulance. the ambulance folks knew instantly what I had, in fact, they had all been there.

They drove me to the hospital where I was now my turn to have a IV in my arm.

that felt good, I not good with needles, but I felt good once I had gotten the fluid in me (with and anti-nausea drug).

Originally, my wife had decided that our oldest son (18 years) should pick me up because she felt really bad. Well, sufficed to say, I was somewhat surprised to that my wife picked me up from the hospital when they released me.

She was not feeling well, and she told me that our 18-year old had started to feel sick, with stomach cramps and nausea.

When we got home, he had started to throw up and kept on through the night.

This had been the worst week ever! This ordeal started Sunday afternoon and it took us until the following Monday before we all started to feel somewhat normal again. I didn’t really have much of an appetite for 4 days.

Our biggest worry was our two boys, none of them need to loose the weight. Well, they both got over it, but the 3 year old is still not quite back in to eating normal.

The next time someone brings up hygiene and anti bacterial soap and anti bacterial hand lotion, I’m not going to rail over that this country uses to much anti bacterial this and that. NO WAY, over the last week I have come the realize that there’s a time and a place for almost too much cleanliness.

gastroenteritis is one of those, it is really important as you wipe up vomit and clean someone who’s sick with gastroenteritis to be almost hysterical with washing and cleaning. I learned that the hard way!