Monday, November 02, 2009

fight the swine! fight the swine!

my beautiful family dressed for success

The global hysteria over the swine flu entered my body sending shivers through my system last Thursday when my son came home from school complaining of a headache and coughing a dry hack. Alert! went my Mommy radar! Alert! All hands on deck! Bring out the Pine Sol, the medications, the hand sanitizer! Where's the thermometer? Ginger Ale?

I informed my husband that I was convinced we were about to face the dreaded Pork problem. He looked at me like I was bonkers because, well I'm not very level headed when it comes to my kids getting sick. However, he also knows that I 90 percent of the time, I call it right. It's that intuition thing I recently wrote about? I can sniff out illness in my kids the moment they catch something. The first sign of croup..... I heard it. The moment my daughter's cold turned for the worse when she was 7 months old, I knew. So.....even though Max only had the early early signs of H1N1, I knew it was upon us.

For two nights, he coughed for an hour before he fell asleep. That was about it. No temperature, no upset stomach, no aches and pains. A cough and a headache only. His appetite was fine. His energy was fine. He went to school Friday, came home upbeat and went to a Halloween party. Saturday, he laid low, but ate well and had no temperature. He went out trick or treating. When he got home that night, he crashed and slept through the night. Sunday morning, he woke up and looked like he had been on a bender. Low grade temp, aches and pains, upset stomach, cough and headache...... plus fatigue. On the Swine scale? He score a perfect 10. But, thank God........ a mild case. One hysterical Momma began to breathe relief and focus on managing things.

As soon as the tylenol kicked in and relieved the symptoms, he poured out his Halloween candy onto the floor to check out the loot and touched every single package. Why? To SWINE it of course! The little bugger!

Today, he was supposed to get the vaccination at school. That didn't happen. Instead, he fought off the waves of the yuks, posted updates on facebook, connected with his friends who are also home from school dealing with the same porcine plague and slept..... and slept. Every now and then, I would sneak up beside him to check his breathing. He's fine.

Just to make sure, I phoned the doctor's office and spoke to the secretary. God love her, she still has her sense of humour intact after answering hundreds of calls, questions, and booking appointments beyond November 20th! I railed off the symptoms to her, informing her that I didn't intend to bring Max in, but just wanted to double check. She agreed with me that it sound like Swine flu, and NO they weren't keeping tabs on the numbers. So, who does? It seems to me that most of my friends have at least one of their kids on the couch with the same oinky ailments. Whose keeping the numbers????

Tonight, I took my daughter to the local clinic set up on the high school gymnasium. Her hands are already red and raw from the hand sanitizer she's been rubbing on them. She's a hand sanitizer addict and a worrier. She did not want to wait for the planned high school clinic in a couple of weeks. She wanted the vaccination NOW! I'd like it now too, but I don't qualify as a priority. Somehow I envision the children of this country nursing their sick parental units in a couple of weeks when it hits them!

We arrived at the school about halfway through the clinic hours and managed to get there when there was a bit of a lull in the perambulating line-up with many people we recognized. Still, the process took 2 hours of standing in line with families who were all so anxious and tense from the hysteria. Kids were running and jumping and jiggling all over the place. Babies were squirming and practising their squawking and walking all along the snakey line. The last time I was in a line up like that it was to take a ride through Space Mountain at Disneyworld. That was WAY more fun.

As much as we've heard many complaints about the chaos at these clinics, about the shortage of vaccine, the lateness of the whole flu shot program, I've got to say that I was so darn impressed. I kept thinking about all the other folks across the country in every community who were doing exactly the same thing we were doing .......... how in a month or so anyone who wants this FREE vaccine will be innoculated .... how it must've taken a hell of a lot of planning and calculating to get us to a line up to receive a dose of protection. What an amazing undertaking!!!!

When it was finally my daughter's turn, she was as nervous as she was when she was a little girl receiving a needle in the doctor's office. The nurse who had been working crazy hours over the past week shoving needles into people's anxious arms smiled broadly while calming my daughter down. She was kind and interactive, almost pleased to be doing her job under such circumstances. I was struck by the fact that she was definitely in the right field... Public Health.

So, I have one who's Swinish and on the mend, and another whose vaccinated and will hopefully be H1N1 free if she can keep her hands off her brother's Halloween candy and stay out of his way for two weeks. November may be the longest month of the year. Already it feels like it should be halfway over, and we've only just begun.

Stay well will you?


kenju said...

I just hope no one gets really sick! So far we've had 2 grandkids with flu-like symptoms, but nothing that could be pinpointed as H1N1.

TheChicGeek said...

Wow, that's scary! Sometimes I feel like this whole thing is just over-hyped but the numbers are scary out there. I'm glad your mommy radar kicked in and you were able to treat your son early!
Love the Halloween pic cute :)

Have a Wonderful Day!
Stay Healthy :)

Awareness said... too! They are not testing everyone for H1N1, so the confirmed cases wont really tell the tale. was scary. There was a young boy who contracted it in Ontario a couple of weeks ago and died within 3 days. This 13 year old's death scared many across the country more than any of the media hype. he was healthy and actively involved in Hockey and simply collapsed. His death has had an effect on the numbers seeking out the vaccine. His family has been overwhelmed with the care and concern and sympathies of everyone across the country.
We're very lucky here, and I hope my son will be able to return to school soon. It continues to linger though.
Glad you enjoyed the pics! :)

Selma said...

At the back of everyone's mind lurks the fear inspired by the word 'pandemic.' We imagine towns being evacuated by government officials in biohazard suits, which doesn't help those of us who worry about illness.

I am a terrible worrier whenever a high fever is involved. The media blitz certainly doesn't help. It is good to keep people informed, but not to scare them.

Wishing your son a speedy recovery to health.

Awareness said...

Thanks Selma. He's back at school and healthy again. We were lucky it wasn't as severe as it could've been. A huge relief.