Journeys in cars
From my own childhood I loved and hated car journeys. Reading was impossible due to sickness. Chatter was limited due to “stop making all that noise” from my Dad. There was no radio or any other device with which to enjoy stories or music.
Children in the back and parents in the front so not even a cuddle was on offer. In fact it was more likely to be a kick or hair pull. For my grandsons it had to be better.
Facing the fountain
Two of the boys are inclined to be sick, neither of them provide a warning “ I Feel sick Nan” before it happens. After many moments of soggy smelly clothes removal, digging the bits out of the seat, the floor and wiping off their faces, I have learned to note the early warning signs and act with calm haste .
The moving head, asking for music or stories, talking, all stops, everything goes quiet. Now this can be exactly the same as the pre sleep moments. Eyes look glazed, head drops to one side and lids fall. But for me the precursor to a puke does not typically include a dropped head…. More a face forward rigid stare.
I ask if he would like the window open. A very small nod follows. I open the window to howls from the others of “it’s cold’ but better that than a salvo of sick flying from one side of the car to the other I tell them. I wait.
If there are no signs of improvement and his colour pales we rapidly move into sick bag mode. Over time this has been two carrier bags placed one inside the other upgraded to a plastic luncheon zip bag rapidly separated from its contents and ready for action and now to the more sophisticated airline sick bag before finally purchasing double layer plastic bags with pull cord closure and soak up padding inside.
The latter is particularly useful if the projectile vomit starts on a motorway when there is no place to stop. It contains the vomit well once the cord is pulled. The smell is contained as well. Just don’t let the boys treat it as a balloon to burst.
One bout may not be all there is, if the wee sick man has eaten recently there may be a second and third burst of it to eject. If there has been a lot of drinking the ejection could be very watery and thin…a bile which is much harder to contain in anything less than a full on sick bag made for the purpose.
Once the sick is carefully contained and the bag placed out of harm’s way a small sip of water and a sleep…stroking his head or gently running my finger from the top of the nose over the forehand helps.
- Be alert and prepared
- Hope that only one child is sick at a time
- Learn to handle two bags as well as one if you can
- If it hits three or four patients at the same time shout for reinforcements or give up!