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Finding Hope – Chapter 10

          It was now Thanksgiving Day and Emma was not doing any better.  She still wasn’t able to keep food down, nor did she want any food in her system.  She was still having diarrhea and her cough was now worse than it had been the day before.

“Daddy, my back hurts,” Emma complained as she walked into the bedroom that they were staying in.  Emma and Dani had been downstairs while Kevin finished getting ready for the day.

          “Oh Emma, come here,” Kevin said as she ran into his arms crying.  Kevin picked up his little princess and sat down with her on the couch that was in the bedroom.

          “My back hurts Daddy,” Emma said as she gripped Kevin’s shirt and sobbed into it.

          “Shhh baby, did Mommy give you any medicine for it?” Kevin asked, he was curious if Dani had given her Tylenol or anything for it.

          “No, Daddy it hurts,” Emma cried into Kevin.

          “Oh honey, shhh,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back very gently.  Emma finally closed her eyes and fell into a peaceful sleep.

          Kevin went downstairs to see that Joe was sitting in the living room alone.  He took the chance and sat down next to him.

          “Uh, what’s up?” Kevin said awkwardly.

          “Uh nothing, just trying to figure out what to do with my life now that the band is done,” Joe said as he teared up.  He couldn’t even think about the band being done.  He thought that the band would never end and that one day they might play shows to sold-out crowds, like Paul McCartney.

          “I know how you feel Joe,” Kevin said as he too started tearing up.  “I have no clue what I want to do with my life now, I am thinking that I will go into the business side of things, I mean I have a family now and it is going to be hard to travel with a newborn, so I am trying to figure that out now.”

          “Yea, I know what you mean,” Joe said.  “I know I still want to do something with music, but I don’t know what yet.  Ideally, I would love to put together another band, but I don’t really know.  Vulture Magazine wants me to write ‘a tell all’, so I will have that coming up.  I don’t know what else I want to do though.”

          “Be sure to share that with us once it is done, I don’t want you saying anything bad about me,” Kevin joked.  He knew the Joe would share it anyways, but he really didn’t want anything bad said about him or anyone else that he decided to write about.

          “Don’t worry, I will for sure share it with you, I think it due next week or the week after, but I will for sure let you see it before I send it off,” Joe said.

          “Thanks,” Kevin said.  “Have you seen or spoke to Nick since the breakup.”

          “Yea, he texted me Tuesday night asking me to go out with him and Olivia, I said no that I couldn’t,” Joe said as he rolled his eyes.  “Have you?”

          “Yea he texted me a couple days after the breakup, just to check up on me, but since then no I haven’t heard from him,” Kevin said.  “I just hope that today goes by quickly and smoothly.”

          “Yea me too,” Joe agreed as he leaned back into the couch.  It was silent for a couple of minutes before Joe broke the silence.  “Where is Emma?”

          “She is sleeping upstairs, her back hurts,” Kevin said.  Just another thing to worry about.  If he didn’t already have enough on his plate, he now had Emma to worry about too.  She seemed to be getting sicker and not better.

          “I hope she gets better soon,” Joe said.

          “Yea, if she isn’t better when we get home, I think we will take her into the doctor,” Kevin said.

          “I don’t think it is diabetes, but you might want to have Nick test her just in case,” Joe said.

          “Yea maybe, it is just that I don’t remember Nick having any of the symptoms that Emma has,” Kevin said.

          “The only things that are the same are the sleepiness and that she has thrown up so much in the past two days, but I personally don’t think it is diabetes,” Kevin said.  “I am hoping it is just a stomach bug and it will pass.”

          “I am sure it is, but with her complaining about her back hurting, I would have Nick check her just to be sure,” Joe said as they heard the doorbell.

          “Speak of the devil,” Kevin mumbled to no one in particular.

          “I really don’t want this either, but Mom wanted it, so we have to be good and it is only for uh six and a half hours’ tops, knowing him, he will probably leave early anyways or be on the phone with Olivia all day anyways,” Joe said as he rolled his eyes.

          “True, I just don’t want to be in a room alone with him, promise me that you won’t leave him in a room alone with me,” Kevin said as Joe nodded.

          “I won’t leave you two alone together, at least not today, maybe at Christmas I will,” Joe smirked as he got up and left the room to go see what was going on in the kitchen and if he could help his mom with anything.

          “Haha, well I am not going to be here for Christmas anyways, Dani’s pregnant remember,” Kevin yelled after Joe.

          Meanwhile upstairs, Emma had just woken up from her nap and didn’t see her parents anywhere to be found.  She looked around for a minute or two, before she realized where she was, she was at her grandparents’ house in Texas, on the couch in her parent’s room.

          Emma wasn’t feeling good again and wanted her Mom, so she got up and walked out of the room and down the stairs.  She saw her Uncle Nick standing there talking on the phone to someone.

          “Uncle Nicky,” Emma said when she was two steps from the bottom. 

          “Hi Emma,” Nick said as he waved.  He was talking to his girlfriend on the phone.  He would of rather of spent Thanksgiving with her and her family and not with his family.  His mom wanted them to all be here, so he had to come.  He only planned on staying for a couple of hours though. 

It was then that he heard a retching noise come from behind him before little Emma puked all over her feet, the two bottom steps, and the floor.  Nick turned around and saw that Emma had puked.

“Uh Liv, I have to go, my niece just puked,” Nick said.

“Wait Nick is she okay?” Olivia was asking him on the phone.

“Uh I don’t think so, considering she just puked again,” Nick said.

“Okay, tell her that I hope she feels better,” Olivia said as Emma puked again.

“Okay, I will,” Nick said as he hastily hung up the phone and shoved it in his pocket as he walked towards the crying little girl.

“Oh Emma,” Nick said as he tried not to step in the puke.

“I want Mommy, my back hurts,” Emma cried out as Nick swooped her up into his arms as they went and found Dani.

“Mommy my back hurts,” Emma cried when they saw her sitting at the island talking to Paul, Denise, Kevin, and Joe.

“Oh Emma, come here sweetie,” Dani said as she took the crying girl from Nick’s arms.

“Her fever is back,” Dani said as she felt the little girls’ hot head.

“I will go get the medicine,” Kevin said as he pushed past Nick and went to go get Emma’s medicine that she has been taking to help reduce her fever.  Nick followed Kevin and Joe was quick to follow Nick, he didn’t want to leave Kevin and Nick in the same room together.

“How long has she been sick for?” Nick asked Kevin.

“Since Tuesday,” Kevin said as he found the medicine in the living room.

“Oh yea, she threw up, that is why I was carrying her,” Nick said to Kevin.

“Great, just another thing to clean up,” Kevin said as he dropped the medicine off with Dani and then grabbed a rag under the sink with a disinfecting spray to clean up the puke.

“Here Kev, let me do that,” Nick said as he came over and took the rag and disinfecting spray.

“Thanks,” Kevin mumbled.  He wanted to be polite, but at the same time he wanted to punch his little brother in the face.  He was still mad at him for breaking up the band.

          “Hey, so do you think you can test Emma, I just want to be sure she doesn’t have diabetes,” Kevin said quietly.  He was hoping that Nick hadn’t heard him, but he was wrong, because Nick looked up at him.

          “What makes you think she has diabetes?” Nick asked.

          “I don’t know, Joe got the thought stuck in my brain, I guess, but she has lost a lot of weight and the past couple of weeks she has been sleeping more than normal,” Kevin said.

          “Kevin, she was still taking daily naps before this,” Nick said.  Nick called one time before the breakup and Kevin was just putting Emma into bed for her afternoon nap.  To say that Emma loved sleeping was an understatement.  Anytime anyone said nap, Emma would fall asleep pretty much right away.

          “Yea, whatever,” Kevin said, he wasn’t about to argue with his brother about this.

          “I will check her if you want me to,” Nick said.  “I just think that it is a little unreasonable to check her if her sleeping patterns haven’t changed much at all.”

          “I just want to make sure, okay,” Kevin said.  He really didn’t feel like arguing with Nick today or ever again.  Nick always seemed to win in every argument and if he didn’t, he would be mad at you for at least a month.  It was just his personality.

          “I will be happy to check her,” Nick said as his mom called him and his brothers into the dining room for lunch.

          “Emma, do you want toast for lunch,” Denise asked the little girl who shook her head no.  They would be having dinner later on, but they were just having a light lunch of sandwiches right now before the early Thanksgiving dinner.

          “Cuddle with Mommy,” Emma said as she snuggled into her Mom again and stuck her thumb in her mouth.  Emma had been doing that a lot in the past couple of days. 

          “Oh sweetie,” Dani said as she put her hand on the little girls burning forehead.  “I just wish you felt better Emma,” she added as she looked down and found that Emma had fallen asleep once again.

          “Here, I will take her,” Denise said as she picked up the sleeping four-year-old girl and took her into the living room, laid her down, and covered her up with a blanket.

          “Poor thing, she is burning up,” Denise said when she came back into the kitchen to help get lunch ready for everyone.

          “Yea, I know,” Dani said.  “I just wish she felt better and wasn’t sick.”

          “I know, but this won’t be the first time that you have a puking kid on a holiday,” Denise said.  “I remember once Kevin got sick on Halloween and he was so upset that he couldn’t go trick-or-treating.”

          “Poor Kevin,” Dani said.  “Did he get out for any trick-or-treating that year?”

          “No, he was puking every five minutes, so Paul had to take Joe and Nick out while I stayed home and took care of poor Kevin.  I remember I was at the door once and he came around the corner and started puking his guts out,” Denise said as she pulled out the stuff to make quick sandwiches.

          “Oh Kevin,” Dani said as her husband and two of her three brothers-in-laws came into the kitchen again.

          “What did I miss?” Kevin said as he came into the kitchen and sat down by his wife.

          “Denise was just telling me about the time that you were sick on Halloween,” Dani said.

          “I remember that, I was so sick.  I had a really good costume and wanted to go trick-or-treating so badly,” Kevin said.

          “I think I was sick on Christmas one year,” Dani said.  “I only had a really bad cold though, thankfully.  I gave my dad a pen that I had made him and sneezed all over it when I gave it to him, he had to go sanitize it, I felt so bad.”

          “That would be a worst holiday to be sick on,” Kevin said as they heard coughing and gagging come from the living room.

          “I got her,” Kevin said as he got up and rushed to the living room, just in time for her to throw up.  Kevin thankfully got the bucket under her mouth before anymore ended up on the floor, couch, or wherever else she had puked today.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back as she gagged and sputtered.  There wasn’t much left in her stomach, just some medicine and the red Gatorade that Dani had given her before she fell asleep.

          “Come on let’s go get you cleaned up,” Kevin said.

          “Daddy,” Emma said as she sniffled and snuggled into his shoulder.  Kevin easily swooped the little girl into his arms and carried her upstairs.

          “Do you need any help?” Nick said as he followed Kevin upstairs.

          “No, you have done enough already,” Kevin muttered as Emma started gagging again.

          “Crap, I forgot,” Kevin was saying as little Emma vomited all over his shirt and herself.

          “It’s okay Emma,” Kevin said as to try to calm her down.  Kevin didn’t have any time to get her calmed down though, because before he knew it, he was covered in green foamy vomit again.

          “Here Kevin, let me help please,” Nick said as he tried to take Emma from him.

          “Come here Emma,” Nick said once Kevin let go of his daughter.

          “Nicky,” Emma cried as she hid her face into his shoulder.

          “Shhh Emma,” Nick said as he swayed with her in his arms.

          “Nicky, I poop,” Emma said as she raised her head from his shoulder.

          “Okay, come on let’s get you to the potty,” Nick said as he sat her down on the floor and she ran ahead to the bathroom and waited for her uncle or dad to come pull down her pants and help her sit on the potty.

          “Thanks for helping,” Kevin muttered as he followed his daughter into the bathroom.  He found her jumping up and down by the toilet, waiting for her Dad to put on the potty seat and help her get on the potty.

          “Daddy hurry the poops are going to come out,” Emma said as she jumped up and down in front of the toilet, waiting for her father to put the potty seat on the potty.  Once the potty seat was on the toilet, he pulled down her pants and took off her pull up and sat her on the potty, where she started having diarrhea.

          “Call me when you are done,” Kevin said as he left the bathroom to go change into new clothes.

          “Okay Daddy,” Emma said as she kicked her little legs while she sat on the potty.

          “Hey thanks for helping with her,” Kevin said to his brother when he went out to the bedroom to change into new clothes.

          “You are welcome,” Nick said as he left the room to go get another shirt for himself.  Even though he never really got any puke on him, he felt better about changing.

          “Daddy, I am done,” Emma yelled from the bathroom.

          “Okay, just a minute honey,” Kevin yelled back.  “Daddy has to talk to Uncle Nicky for a second, okay.”

          “You know she really looks up to you,” Kevin said as she ran into him in the hallway heading back downstairs.

          “Yea,” Nick said.  “Just so you know, I don’t want to be here as much as you do, I would rather be in Rhode Island with Oliva and her family, instead of here, but I am here because of Mom.  I don’t want to play your little shenanigans, just so you know.”

          “Can you please at least test Emma for me please, she is really sick, and I don’t know what is wrong with her,” Kevin said.

          “Fine, I will test her, bring her downstairs after she is done and I will test her,” Nick said very grumpily.

          “Thanks Nick, it means a lot to me that you will do this for me,” Kevin said as he turned to go back into the bedroom that Kevin, Dani, and Emma were sharing.

          “Sorry Daddy, my tummy hurt and then I threw up,” Emma said as she was sitting on the potty when her Dad came around the corner.

          “Oh Emma, it’s okay,” Kevin said as he rushed over to his little girl as she coughed, gagged, and puked again.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as he grabbed the garbage can next to the toilet and held it in front of her mouth just in time for another episode of puke.

          “Hey, do you need any help,” Joe said as he came into the bedroom to find Emma puking in a garbage can now and Kevin holding the garbage can for her.

          “Uh no, I think we are fine, once she is done, maybe you can help,” Kevin said as he held the garbage can up for her.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as Emma gagged, and green foamy vomit came up.  Emma had been puking green foamy vomit for about half an hour now.

          “Come on let’s go downstairs,” Kevin said after he got Emma all cleaned up again.

          “Daddy carry me please,” Emma said as she put her arms up.  Kevin easily picked up the four-year-old and carried her downstairs.

          “Hey, Nick, do you want to test her before we have dinner,” Kevin asked his brother when he ran into him.

          “Sure, just let me go get my bag and I will be right in if you want to go into the living room with her,” Nick said as he turned and went to the front hall to get his bag and testing supplies.

          “Emma, Uncle Nicky is going to come and give you a little poke, but it won’t hurt, I promise,” Kevin said as he sat down on the couch with a sleepy Emma in his lap.

          Emma just nodded as Nick came over and opened his bag.  He first changed out the needle and made sure he had a Band-Aid for her finger after he was done testing her.  Typically, Nick would just suck on his finger until it stopped bleeding, but he figured Emma wouldn’t want to do that.

          “Okay Emma here comes the poke,” Nick said as he poked her finger and Emma started crying and tried to pull her hand away from Nick’s grasp.

          “Just a minute Emma,” Kevin said as he attempted to hold her arm still and within reach of Nick who was still trying to get his meter to work to do the final step of testing her blood sugar.

          Nick finally got his meter to cooperate with him and work, he pressed the meter to Emma’s finger within turn made her flinch and pull her hand away.

          “I have it, I think,” Nick said as Kevin was trying to get her to hold her hand still for Nick.

          “It is normal,” Nick said as Kevin let out a sigh of relief.  He was glad that his daughter didn’t have diabetes, but he was still concerned what was going on with her.

          “Come on Emma,” Kevin said as he stood up with her in his arms.

          “Emma, do you want a Band-Aid on that?” Nick asked the little girl who shook her head.  She was never going to let Nick have her hand again.  He made her hand have owies.

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