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Finding Hope – Chapter 11

          Thanksgiving dinner was awkward to say the least.  No one really knew what to talk about and none of the brothers really wanted to be there, including Frankie.  He didn’t like the tension that was going on in between his older brothers and wanted them to be like themselves again.

          It was now Sunday and little Emma was not doing any better, her fever would come and go at odd times of the day.  This morning she was actually starting to act like her normal self again and was actually hungry, something she hasn’t been since Wednesday morning.  After Denise made her some toast this morning, she threw it all back up and her fever came back stronger than ever.

          “Daddy, my tummies owies,” Emma said as she coughed a little bit before throwing up the rest of her breakfast along with some more of the green bile that she had been throwing up since Thursday, pretty much every hour and a half to two hours.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back while she puked into the bucket that was in her lap.  Once she was done, she laid her head back on the edge of the couch, where she was sitting.

          “Can Daddy take the bucket?” Kevin asked his daughter who nodded as she closed her eyes and fell asleep for already the second time today.  Kevin carefully took the bucket out of her lap and took it to the nearest bathroom where he emptied it into the toilet and then cleaned it out with some bleach that his Mom had so nicely bought and put a bottle in each of the bathrooms.

          “She puked again,” Kevin said as he came out of the bathroom and went into the kitchen, but not before delivering the bucket back to Emma in case she would wake up and puke.

          “Poor thing, I hope she feels better soon,” Dani said.  She felt awful that she has been so sick for so long.  It was now going on close to a week since she started throwing up.

          “I know, we should probably take her to the doctor if she doesn’t start feeling better on Tuesday when we are home,” Kevin said.

          “Yea, for sure,” Dani said as she sighed.  She just wishes her little Emma Bug was feeling better.

          “Daddy,” little Emma called out from her spot on the couch.  She had just woken up and had to go potty, but she didn’t want to walk, she wanted to be carried.

          “Yea Emma,” Kevin said as he went into the living room to find Emma’s pale body lying on the couch.

          “I have to go poops,” Emma said as she reached out for her Dad who immediately picked her up and took her to the nearest bathroom where he sat her on the floor.

          “Okay Emma, hold up your shirt for Daddy,” Kevin said as he got her to hold up her pajama shirt that was way too long on her.

          “Daddy, hurry poops are going to come out,” Emma said as she jumped up and down.

          “Okay Emma,” Kevin said as he pulled off the pull up and sat her on the toilet as she started having diarrhea.

          “Daddy, my poops come out fasts,” Emma said as she continued to have even more diarrhea.

          “I know honey,” Kevin said as Emma let out a large fart before more diarrhea got dumped into the toilet.

          “Daddy,” Emma started crying.  She was scared, she didn’t know what was happening to her body.

          “It’s okay Emma,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back.

          “I’m done Daddy,” Emma said a couple minutes later.  Kevin looked around and found no pull ups in the downstairs bathroom, they must have used them all up in here.  On Wednesday morning, Dani went out and picked up some more pullups for little Emma.

          “Emma, do you think you can stay here while Daddy runs upstairs and gets some more pull-ups for you?” Kevin asked his daughter as she nodded her head.  She had been left alone on the potty before, with a potty seat on it, but never one without a potty seat on it.  She was on a potty without a potty seat on it right now.  The potty seat was on the potty upstairs, not downstairs.

Kevin quickly ran upstairs and grabbed a case of pullups, so that way they would have some in the downstairs bathroom.  The only reason Emma was wearing pullups and not underwear was because she was sick and she had some major diarrhea accidents, which is not fun to clean up anyways, let alone out of underwear.

          “Emma Daddy is here,” Kevin said when he got into the bathroom to find that his daughter had thrown up again, this time all over herself, the floor, and the wall opposite the toilet.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said when he walked into the puked covered bathroom.

          “Daddy, sorry, my tummy was hurting and then I threw up, please don’t get mad at me,” Emma said from her spot on the toilet.

          “It’s okay honey, let’s get you cleaned up,” Kevin said as he set the pullup on the counter for use later.

          “Daddy,” Emma said as she gagged and threw up again.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as he grabbed the bucket and rubbed her back while little Emma held onto the bucket for dear life.

          “Shhh,” Kevin said as he rubbed her back as she gagged and sputtered.

          “Come on let’s get you cleaned up honey,” Kevin said after Emma was done throwing up.

          “Daddy,” Emma cried as she reached out and hugged her father.  Kevin picked Emma’s crying body up and carried her upstairs to give her another bath just this morning.

          “Can you stand for Daddy,” Kevin said as he sat her in the middle of the bathroom floor while he went and turned on the bathtub.

          “Daddy,” Emma called out for Kevin who turned around in a split second to find that Emma had turned pale green again and didn’t look the best.  Kevin quickly scooped Emma up in his arms and set her in front of the toilet just in time for her to vomit.

          “Oh honey,” Kevin said as he rubbed the little girls back.  It was during this vomiting episode that Kevin could tell that the bathtub was getting full.  He quickly left her, turned around, and turned off the water, and then came back to find that she had stopped vomiting for the moment.

          “Daddy, I am cold,” little Emma said as the four-year-old shivered.

          “I know, Daddy is going to get you in a nice warm bath and then we will get you warmed up, okay,” Kevin said as Emma nodded her head a little bit and ran into Kevin’s arms.

          “Come on let’s get you in the bath,” Kevin said as he gently picked her up and set her in the tub.  Kevin first washed her hair with shampoo and then he rinsed her hair with a plastic cup.  He put some conditioner in her hair to make it shiny.  He then took the luffa scrubby that Denise had gotten Emma before they got here.  It had a duck attached to it.  He gently scrubbed her body up with it.  He then helped her stand up, so he could rinse her off.  Once she was rinsed off, he picked her up with a towel wrapped around her body.

          “Daddy, sleepy,” little Emma said as she tried to cuddle into him while he was getting her dried off.

          “I know, let’s finish getting dressed and then we will go take a nap, okay,” Kevin said to his daughter who started crying.

          “Oh honey, we will get you dressed quickly and then we can take a nap, here let’s put your pull-up on,” Kevin said as he helped his daughter step into the pull-up.  He then helped her step in her pants.  He then helped her get on her pajama top.  He immediately picked her up.  Little Emma cuddled into him, stuck her thumb in her mouth, and fell asleep almost immediately.

          Kevin walked out of the bathroom, through the bedroom and downstairs where he laid her down on the couch that already had a sheet on it.  His mom always put sheets over the couches whenever someone was sick, just to make clean up easier and to help germs stay off of the couch.  He made sure a bucket was in reach in case she woke up and needed to use it, before giving her a kiss on the forehead and walking out of the room to find his wife and younger brother Joe.

          “When does your plane leave?” Kevin asked Joe.  He knew that is brother left today.  Kevin, Dani, and Emma were leaving late tomorrow afternoon.

          “I leave at 6:30 tonight, so I will probably leave here around 2:30 or 3:00 at the very latest,” Joe said.  It being a good 45-minute drive or so with traffic to get to the Dallas airport.

          “Okay,” Kevin said.

          “How’s Emma doing?” Dani asked.

          “She had major diarrhea, and then I had to leave her to go grab a pull-up and wipes from the upstairs bathroom.  When I came back, she had thrown up all over, I mean it was all over, it was in her hair, going down the front of her, all over the wall by the toilet, all over the wall across from the toilet, and all over the floor.  I have never seen that much throw-up, let alone out of a little four-year-old.  So, I took her upstairs and got her in the bathtub.  When I was filling up the tub, she threw up again, this time though, we got it in the toilet,” Kevin said out of breath.

          “Where is she now?” Joe asked.  He was worried about his niece; she has been very sick since she had arrived on Tuesday.

          “She is napping on the couch,” Kevin said, but then added, “I know I don’t want what she has.”

          “I just hope she feels better soon,” Joe said.

          “Thank you for being such a good Daddy to Emma this past week.  Being pregnant and all makes it harder to get to Emma quickly this past week, and you have taken all of the worry out of that for me, so thank you,” Dani said.

          “Daddy,” Emma cried out for her father.  Both Kevin and Dani got up and went into the living room to find Emma crying.

          “Emma, what’s wrong?” Kevin asked as he sat down next to his daughter.

          “My back hurts,” Emma cried as she leaned into him.

          “Oh honey,” Dani said as she started rubbing her back.  This past week, back rubs from Mommy made her back feel somewhat better.

          By now, Joe had wandered into the living room where his brother, sister-in-law, and niece were sitting on the couch.  Poor little Emma was crying into Kevin’s chest, while Dani was rubbing her little back.

          “Emma, do you want some medicine for your back?” Kevin whispered into her hair.  Emma just nodded her head into her father’s chest.

          “Joe, can you go grab us the Tylenol, it’s in the bag on the couch upstairs in our room,” Kevin asked his brother who nodded his head and left to go get the medicine that Kevin had requested he get.       

“Emma, look who I found upstairs,” Joe said when he came downstairs a couple minutes later.  He was holding the teddy bear that Emma loved so much.  The poor bear had been through the wash at least three times this past week and his eye was starting to come off.

“Teddy,” Emma said as she started coughing again, big deep coughs.  Not like what a little four-year-old should be coughing like.  Her coughs sounded like a grown man’s coughs.

“Oh Emma,” Dani said as she continued to rub her little back.  She had the bucket within arm’s reach though just in case Emma was to throw up again.

“Mommy, my back hurts,” Emma screamed out as she started hyperventilating.  She was just in so much pain that she didn’t know what to do.

“Emma, take some deep breaths,” Joe said as he got down on his knees in front of her and put her hand on his chest.  The last thing they needed was to have Emma pass out.  “Take breaths as my heart is beating Em,” Joe said as Emma started taking deep breaths along with Joe’s heart.  In a couple of minutes Emma was breathing regular again, no more hyperventilating.

“Hey thanks,” Kevin said.  He had never seen her get that worked up before, maybe something was more wrong than just the flu.

“You’re welcome, I am glad I could help,” Joe said.  He was really glad that he could help her feel at least a little better in that moment.

A couple minutes later Emma was sound asleep again.  The really scary episode of Emma hyperventilating was over, and all was at peace again with Emma sleeping.  Sure, Kevin and Dani were still worried about her, probably more now that she just had the hyperventilating episode, but she was at least sleeping for now.

“Joe, how did you know how to do that, and you were so calm,” Kevin said as both him and Dani left the room with Joe.

“One of my friends was taking a class on how to help someone calm down after hyperventilating, because his girlfriend hyperventilated a lot or something like that, and he wanted someone to come along with him, so I went with him and they taught us how to do this,” Joe said.

“Gosh a class for just hyperventilating, I guess LA does have everything,” Dani said.

“Daddy,” they heard coming from the other room right then followed by gagging and coughing.

“I’m coming Emma,” Kevin said as he rushed out of the room and into the living room.

“Yea, it was really something, they had dolls that hyperventilated, it was actually kind of creepy and to get the certification you had to like stop them from hyperventilating,” Joe said shivering.  He was still creeped out by the dolls and the class was months ago.

“That does sound creepy,” Dani laughed.

          “It was extremely creepy, I think I had nightmares for weeks,” Joe said.

          “I had no clue that they had a class like that, why would someone take a class for that, did it teach you anything else?” Dani wondered.

          “Nope, it was like Handling Hyperventilating 101, I guess there was more classes if you want to take them, but I opted out of signing up for more, I think James signed up for a whole semester long class though,” Joe said.

          “That is crazy,” Dani laughed.

          “Yea, I agree, like if you are going to school for that, then maybe, but this was at a clinic of some sort, we all sat in this room and learned about it,” Joe said.

          “That does sound a little odd,” Dani said as Joe nodded his head.

          “It was, trust me,” Joe said.

          “I wish Emma felt better this weekend, I know that your Mom wanted to go take Emma to the zoo, she is just so sick,” Dani sighed.

          “I know, but she will be better in no time and back to her normal self,” Joe said.

          “Let’s hope so,” Dani said.  “I just hope that Kevin and I don’t get it.”

          “Kids get sick all the time, she is going to get better,” Joe said.

          “Thanks,” Dani said as she hugged Joe.  When Dani went to hug Joe, the baby kicked.

          “Was that what I think it was,” Joe asked in shock.  Sure, when he was younger, and his Mom had Nick and Frankie, he felt them kick inside of her, but not since then.

          “Are you excited to meet your Uncle Joe,” Dani said as she looked down and talked to her belly.  Joe started getting teared up, once again.

 “Gosh, this weekend has just been so emotional, sorry,” Joe said as he wiped his eyes.

“Don’t worry about it.  I know how hard this has been on Kevin too, he has kept it together pretty well for Emma.  He has cried for hours at night, just sobbing into my arms.  He doesn’t know what to do with his life anymore, now that the band is done,” Dani said. 

“I just can’t believe that you are going to have a baby in a couple of months, then you will have two kids,” Joe said as he wiped his eyes.

Kevin walked into the living room to find Frankie sitting there rubbing Emma’s back while she vomited in the bucket.  Kevin rushed over to where Emma and Frankie were sitting.

“I was walking by when I heard her coughing, so I ran in here and got her the bucket just in time, I handed her the bucket and she literally started throwing up before she could grab a hold of it,” Frankie said as he continued to rub Emma’s back.

“Thanks, Frankie, for helping,” Kevin said.

“It’s nothing that all of us haven’t done before, we have all been sick,” Frankie said as Emma coughed and gagged some more, but she had nothing more in her stomach, so she dry-heaved for a while before she was done.  When she was done, she leaned back against her uncle and closed her eyes briefly before opening them up again.

“Daddy,” Emma said in a panic.  She had to go to the bathroom really bad and was afraid that she wouldn’t make it.

“What Emma?” Kevin said as he looked at her panicked face.

“I go poops,” Emma said as she stated crying, because she knew she wouldn’t be able to hold it much longer.  It wasn’t but a second later that she farted and started having diarrhea in her pull up. 

“Come on Emma Bear, let’s get you to the potty,” Kevin said as he swooped her up in his arms and took her to the downstairs bathroom where he sat her on the floor in front of the toilet.

“Daddy, I poop in my pull-ups,” Emma said as Kevin helped her get her pants down. 

“I can smell that.  Do you have to go potty anymore?” Kevin asked Emma as she shook her head a little bit and started crying.

“My tummy’s hurt,” Emma cried out as she started coughing and gagging.  Kevin spun her around and got her head aimed in the toilet, just in time for her to throw up more.

“Oh, Emma Bear, it’s okay,” Kevin said as he rubbed her little back as she sputtered and coughed.

After Emma was done throwing up, Kevin sat her on the potty.  “Emma, we are going to sit her for a minute, while I get another pull-up on you, okay,” Kevin said her ripped her pull-up off, picked her up, and sat her on the toilet.

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