I said I would only blog about Swine Flu once and not contribute to the H1N1 hysteria. However, I thought I could hopefully provide some comfort.
The issue whether to vaccinate has been a ridiculous mess. Conflicting information, wrong information, no information. Enough said about that. We decided not to give our children the H1N1 vaccine and there were many contributing factors to this decision:
* The questions surrounding the “safety” and efficacy of the shot.
* Many people who have already had the virus reported its symptoms are mild. I know, but what if “we” are the exception? Trust me, I’ve wrestled with that.
* We wondered if getting this flu and thereby gaining some natural immunity for the future might be wise? I have concerns about over vaccinating our children so their immune systems never get a chance to “learn” how to defend their host. Please don’t misunderstand, we DO vaccinate our children for many diseases; Meningitis, MMR, etc. but have concerns about flu vaccines specifically.
* Finally, and here’s the big one. As part of our 3 year old daughter’s genetic disorder, we know that there is a chance – maybe next year, maybe in 30 years, maybe never (please, please let it be the last one) she will be faced with a serious neuromuscular disease. The thought of me, her mother, the person who is supposed to protect her, allowing the injection of a neurotoxin that could potentially kick start a dormant disease… No. Friggin. Way.
It turns out all of the research and questioning and searching for answers and sleepless nights was a waste of time. We got the flu before the vaccine was even offered.
People, including children, have died from Swine Flu and that is terrifying. However, MOST people, including my family were and ARE fine.
My six year old son became ill first. His worse symptom was lack of appetite and fever for two nights. If you were to ask him, the worst part was extreme boredom. Apparently there is “nothing to do in our house.” Who knew? I kind of feel like there’s too much to be done around here…
The three year old got it two days later. How would this girl, so compromised and little survive this? She was fine. Tamiflu and Tylenol and she was happy as could be. The forth day in, she woke with a cough that worsened throughout the day. She also had several episodes of sleep apnea the night before. That scared the hell out of me, but only in light of what I had been reading about respiratory conditions related to H1N1 and DEATH. I got a caught up in the fear. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve treated her at home with confidence. Instead, my husband took her to a walk-in clinic. As soon as he mentioned breathing issues, they sent them to the ER. I appreciate their cautious approach but it meant twelve hours in a germy hospital. I was forced to stay at home, wringing my hands (and watching America’s Next Top Model…What? I needed a distraction!) as I had come down with the virus as well. They were sent home the next morning. No signs of respiratory issues. Today, she is absolutely fine. Back to normal. Feisty as ever.
I’m not a good sick person. I deny that I’m even ill until I pass out or vomit in my shoe. This time there was no denying it. I was indeed sick. Headache, tired muscles and a HIGH fever. I was really sick for one night only – fever, chills. After that, I was just tired. I would take this flu over a stomach bug or snotty cold that drags on forever any day. I’m not implying that I enjoyed having the Swine Flu but, I did enjoy:
* Co-Sleeping with my children. Such a special bonding experience. The night I adjusted my baby girl’s blanket and she rolled over and smiled at me and said, “Love you mummy” and stroked my cheek? C’mon, that’s a memory I’ll treasure forever. A fever of 104.5 is a small price to pay.
* Letting hubby take control and take care of “the infected” as he so lovingly referred to us. Usually I’m the care taker. Sometimes it’s nice to let somebody else look after things and that would NEVER have happened if I wasn’t stuck in bed.
* I read a book! A whole book!! I haven’t managed to read a book from cover to cover in years! I flipped through mags, watched trashy t.v. shows online, talked on the phone. That part was bliss. Sweaty. But blissful.
I’m here to bear witness that the Swine Flu is not as horrid as the media is making it out to be. Any new viral strain is worrisome and precautions should be taken. However, if you intended to get vaccinated but because of the POOR PLANNING AND STUPIFYING STUPIDITY OF THE POWERS THAT BE* you are unable to do so, please take comfort in the fact that we’ve been through it and in our experience, it was no more severe than any other seasonal flu.
*IF I DID intend to vaccinate my 3 year old HIGH RISK child, I would be so pissed right now. The fact that they were vaccinating everyone and their uncle when the initial vaccine was intended for HIGH RISK people only, astounds me. What were they thinking??