The Flu and the Worry

All I had to say was “I have the flu and I have a 9-week-old with Down syndrome” and all five of us were immediately put on Tamiflu, a nice $250 investment, but worth it.

Last Tuesday I woke up with a scratchy throat but thought nothing of it.  By Tuesday evening I was chilled but with no fever.  Wednesday I just didn’t feel right and had finally had a fever.  I did nothing that day but snuggle with Gigi.  Great.  Just what I want for my baby, someone sick to snuggle with her but as her caretaker there’s no other option sometimes.  Normally I wouldn’t even call the doctor, but Thursday my temperature was even higher (102) and we were approaching the weekend and I have an infant at home so I figured I’d better call.  They took me right away and the doctor said she’s seen a lot of flu.  I obviously was hoping it wasn’t that and I didn’t feel THAT bad.  The fever was the most uncomfortable thing and I had a slight headache and tiny sniffle, the sore throat was gone.  I certainly didn’t feel like I was hit by a truck.  She said that either I had a cold or the flu and normally she would just send me home, but with the baby in the house with a diagnosis of Down syndrome she wanted to swab my nose so that I would know for sure that it was the flu.   She also started me on a prescription of Tamiflu just in case.  The test came back positive the next morning for Influenza A.  Brendan called his doctor that he hasn’t seen in seven years, told him about me and that he has a baby in the house, they sent over a prescription, no questions asked.  I called the pediatrician and they started all three girls on Tamiflu.  Lia and Carina came home from school that day a little under the weather, but by Saturday they were bouncing around.  I’ll never know if they had a touch of the flu and got over it thanks to the Tamiflu so I’ll continue to worry about the flu monster for the next two months.

Those that know me well are probably thinking this is very ironic.  I’m a bit extreme when it comes to germs, especially now that I have a new baby.  I’m always telling people to use Purell if I’ve allowed them in their home, and chances are I haven’t allowed them in my home.  I have hardly been out in 9 weeks anywhere else but to pick up the girls from school.  If I was really crazy I’d home school them during the germy months.  I’ve taken the baby only to appointments and school pickup.  I hardly go anywhere by myself if given the opportunity for fear that I will get sick and pass it on.  So how did I get the flu??  I have no idea.  In the days leading up to me being sick I took Gigi to the pediatrician (this is my #1 suspect), took Lia to AC Moore to buy a birthday present, and took Carina to church (which by the way I’ve mostly skipped since November).  Who knows but I wish people would have better hygiene.  Don’t cough with your mouth open, cough into your sleeve, please.  Don’t cup your hands and cough or sneeze into them, that’s disgusting.   Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, not doing that is also disgusting.  Get your flu shot, it’s not going to harm you but not getting it can.  There are a lot of people out there that have immune deficiencies and therefore a common cold can lead to something worse like pneumonia.  I’m not talking only about children with Down syndrome, although I’ve seen way too many pictures lately of these children in the hospital with the flu, pneumonia, RSV, etc., but the elderly are at risk as well as children that have asthma, just to name a few.  The positive is that I got the flu first which means that I’m already making antibodies against it and giving those antibodies to Gigi who’s exclusively breastfed.  The miracle of breastmilk.  This cold and flu stuff obviously makes me crazy so I will do my best to keep us germ-free, especially during the next couple of months, but continue to worry.

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