[disclaimer: do not read this post while eating]
When I quit my full-time nursing job in the Air Force, I thought I was finally done cleaning up urine, feces, vomit, and sputum.
But what did I know?
I was only six months into motherhood then.
The puking started in our household about three weeks ago and it stopped over a week later. The whole saga began when Lucy woke herself up early from her nap. She had projectile vomited all over herself and her crib. The puke kept coming almost every thirty minutes after that, until it finally stopped late that night before she went to bed.
And then you can probably guess what happened. Less than two days later, Tess started puking, and puked every thirty minutes for the rest of the day.
Tess, laid-out on my lap between puke-sessions.
Then we thought we were in the clear.
Until about four days later, when Chris started complaining of nausea. And then the next day Tess started having diarrhea, and at one point it was coming out both ends. That same night Lucy also pooped in the bathtub, and the following morning she woke up covered in vomit. I think she'd slept in it, because it was already dry and crusty when I got her up. Chris was still laid out in bed, so I was manning the house-hospital all by myself for a couple of days, scrubbing floors, replenishing Gatorade, throwing away defiled underwear, and trying to keep our dog away from all the excrements, which she finds appetizing.
It all transported me back to the good-ole days working on a medical-surgical floor, with multiple patients with different ailments, who were dripping, spewing, and excreting bodily fluids in all the wrong places. When I went to nursing school almost ten years ago, I didn't know how much it would prepare me for motherhood. But what do ya know? God doesn't waste a thing!
All of these bodily excrements have been topped off by puddles of pee-pee I've been finding around the house, wondering "who done it?" It turns out that my suspicions were right all along: our dog, Texanna.
Finally, this week, I admitted to myself that these sporadic urine accidents weren't so sporadic anymore, so I took her to the vet this morning. It has been an eye-opener to realize that my furry baby isn't a baby anymore. She's an old lady who now suffers from urinary incontinence.
Tex, taking an afternoon snooze...getting so gray on her chinny-chin-chin.
And here I am--currently in the midst of my female cycle, keeping my heating pad and Motrin close at hand--and I'm in jaw-dropping awe of how controlled we are by the flesh...by all the bodily fluids that this flesh excretes.
During our life cycles we have these babies and we teach them and clean up after them and it wears us out...and then we grow old and we start making messes of our own and our children clean up after us while they start to have their own babies.
We spend the first 2-5 years of our lives (give or take a few) learning how to put our pee-pees and poo-poos in the right place, and it's hard work, you know, it's a real skill. And all it takes is a little virus or old age, and before we know it, we no longer possess control over our own bodily functions.
It's all very humbling.
In light of the past several weeks, I think the term "physical perfection" is an oxymoron. The flesh perpetually keeps us humble; we are slaves to the material world. It seems to me that all of humanity is at the mercy of forces much bigger and smaller than ourselves. Cleaning up the aftermath of stomach bugs and incontinence is evidence enough that when it comes to this fragile thing called life...the birthing, the growing, the aging, the illness...
we have no control.
Thank God for hardwood floors and washing machines.