know what my son got for Christmas? Stomach flu
"Stomach flu" doesn't exist. That is a euphamism delicate daisies have invented to cover for any of a range of gastroenteral maladies that result in the common symptoms of barfing, diarrhea, nausea, gas and bloating. It was probably one of two things, the first being a mild case of food poisoning ... which doesn't need to come from food, either.
Much of the "food poisoning" bacteria come from public surfaces touched by others and then yourself. And because the average person reflexively touches his face/mouth a few thousand times a day ... that's how they get in. Another common source for the "food poisoning" bacteria is a public pool which had been flopped around in by either a diapered child who had a full diaper, or by someone who didn't wipe satisfactorily after ... uh ... "growing a tail".
Note: not urine. While it may be gross to think about, urine is sterile.
Also note: there is another very common source for basic GI distress that I'm not telling you about for the moment...
We went to see the nurse, who put him in isolation
Well duh. A cruise ship is a closed environment and they have to be very wary of one of those forms of "food poisoning", the one that's called Norovirus. This is the one that is refered to a "just a bug that's going around" by pediatricians who don't want to alarm parents whose kids are the dozens out of school at the same time barfing and trotting. Noro is very uncomfortable and very infectious, but I don't recall anyone ever dying from it - just feeling like they'd prefer to.
If you don't want to be confined to your cabin, don't go to the infirmary with gastric distress.
staff claimed that it was 6:00pm (ship time)
This is another "duh". It's always, always, always ship time on the ship; never, never, never anything else.
Since the ship was closing its gates at 8:30pm...
This one experience ruined our trip and family experience. Because the nurse didn't let ...
The way I see it, you were being a hyper-alarmist mother who knows almost nothing about the outside world and how it affects a person. I feel sorry for your kid.
First of all, every person - even in the uber-sterile US - will get food poisoning around a half dozen times a year. Get used to it. You ingest, on a daily basis, around a bazillion EACH of the "food poisoning" bacteria. They are very literally as common as dirt. The surprising thing is not that so much of these germs are out there and get into us, the surprising thing is that with so many of them getting into us we get sick from it so seldom. Your system has to get thoroughly overwhelmed with it, or you need to be otherwise health-compromised.
Second, all food and all water - esPECially all water - contain these bacteria. Food that's cooked and still hot may be spared.
Third, not all bacteria of the same type are truly of the same type - they have ethnic differences just like people do [to make analogy rather than cast human-ethnic aspersions]. And this leads to the form of gastroenteritis that I didn't tell you about above: Traveller's Diarrhea. Ever hear the saying "don't drink the water in Mexico"? It's not because Mexico's water is inherently unsanitary - they drink it without problem; it's because the variety of the same bacteria that's in ALL water, and which you drink every day of your life and DO NOT get sick from because you are used to it ... these same bacteria are from a different tribe. And when you have two tribes of the same bacteria in your GI tract at the same time, it upsets the balance of what internists call your "gut flora". The result of this imbalance is inflamed GI linings ... which causes barfing, trotting, nausea, gas and bloating. And you'll be miserable until those bacteria settle their differences.
For your future reference - and anyone else who may be listening in - if you get barfing, trotting, nausea, gas or bloating on a cruise ... take it easy, eat bland food, drink no alcohol [or at least less], take naps to get extra rest - and avoid contact with others. It's probably food poisoning from being overwhelmed with normal bacteria, traveller's diarrhea from being the turf war of competing forms of normal bacteria, or even motion sickness. If it's pretty much over with in a day, then that's what it was and you can go about your business. If it lingers, then it's either a sever case of food poison or, if seventy five others suddenly go down within six hours, it's the bane of confined populations: Norovirus.
But don't be trotting your kid to the doctor every time he get a widdow toomy ache because you'll raise him to be a weenie.
SIG: If you're going to create the drama, at least supply the popcorn.