Friday, October 23, 2009

I am Kibunwarui

(image is from Inside Out Tees)

I have the swine flu. After dozing in and out of consciousness for 15 hours, I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or hallucinating I was a gorgeous 18 year old Japanese girl. Now that I'm back to reality I'm still deciding whether I'm disappointed because I don't speak fluent Japanese or that I'm not 18 and hot. But I am hot, well, temperature wise.

It's been a rough week or so, my daughter was hit hard with the flu and with multiple bacterial infections that had my husband and I in state of borderline panic. It's pretty lousy to have a kid so sick she's delirious and grabbing fearfully at the pattern on her bed covers. Thankfully she's getting much better and our worst fears didn't materialize. My heart truly goes out to all parents who have to deal with seriously ill children and those with chronic conditions. You deserve every ounce of support from the rest of us.

Because of this #@$%*&@ flu, the controversy regarding vaccinations has reemerged in the media spotlight. There is almost religious like fervor against vaccination that is based IMHO on too much access to information that may have no scientific credibility. A great article from WIRED on the issue. In this information heavy age, we all act like pseudo experts and every issue and concern becomes not more enlightening, but confusing, the more we read.

I just gave my other daughter tamiflu, the anti-viral drug when she began getting sick yesterday. It's free with a prescription to everyone in Canada. I read everything I could, debated whether it was necessary or even a good thing to administer. In the pre-internet age I would have asked the doctor questions but would have given the drug with a clear conscience and without the internal debate. I'm glad information is easily accessible and I believe I've learned somewhat the ability to discern credible research from pure opinion, but in the end, all this knowledge is not a comforting thing.

Now, away from all this seriousness onto silly or at least absurd. Having to deal with about 6 weeks of some sort of infectious thing in this house and becoming paranoid I may not be real, but a fictional character in a Frank McCourt novel, I am ready to be through with battling the microscopic world. Halloween is a week away and hopefully everyone will be well enough to participate in my favourite holiday. In deciding costumes I know for damn sure my kids won't be making the Swine Flu Virus Halloween Costume. From the article:
"For children who don't know what to "be" for Halloween, a flu-themed homemade costume might be just what the doctor ordered. After all, a flu virus is invisible (so nobody really knows what it looks like). It's contagious. So, it's just weird enough that kids can have fun imagining it. Meanwhile, parents and teachers can seize the moment to teach about good hand hygiene and flu prevention, without seeming preachy."

That's just f***ed.


andrea pratt said...

No way! Do you really? I am wafting as many good vibes of the robust immune system variety your way as I can. (I'm wondering now if that's what Greg had.) Very scary to watch your child of course but then to get it, too? ZOMG. Would you like chicken soup? Can I come over and wait on you hand and foot? Tell you jokes? Hold the bedpan? (Or was that deadpan?) Seriously, I don't know what I can do but just name it.

Ellen said...

thanks, actually just that bit of sympathy helps. Didn't feel like being a whiner on FB, (so did it in this more public forum, meh).
Now I can be a pseudo scientific and say yes, it probably is most certainly what Greg had. There is no seasonal flu bug circulating around here right now (it's too early) so if you have all the flu, not cold, symptoms, it's probably H1N1. My oldest tested positive, but they stopped testing, because almost all test have come back positive. It came be really mild in some people, so I wouldn't worry. Because our oldest had strep and staph infections I opted for the Tamiflu (and for youngest as well)and am getting better quickly, hubby didn't, he needs nursing :(

Angela Wales Rockett said...

I hope you and your family get well very soon.

And now for a rant - They prescribed Tamiflu to my husband too, even though they weren't positive it was H1N1. In the States, WITH insurance, it cost us $65.00! I've heard that those without insurance have to pay about $400.00!! I am so on board with Canada's health care system.

Ellen said...

Angela, that's maddening. Health care reform is such a no brainer to me. Why the holdup? Is the protest more about cost or is the power of wacko right wingers and their ridiculous fear of a Marxist America delaying the process?

Angela Wales Rockett said...

Definitely the latter. And of course the insurance companies don't want to give up all that sweet money they have coming in. It is soooo frustrating.

self taught artist said...

so how do people know if they have the swine flu vs just the flu?
sorry to hear about your daughter, i once hallucinated when i had a high temp. as a child (woke my mom up saying a woman with a gun was in the house and scared her shitless)
be well over there!!!!!

Melody said...

Poor you...if I lived closer I would come over with some homemade vegetable soup (my chicken soup sucks) and a few good flicks. My oldest is home today and we do think it's the swine flu. So far pretty mild but still scary as most of her school is sick. Everyone in this house has had something over the last month except for me....don't know why ...must be those Cold F/X I've been popping twice a day. Thinking of you and a healthy recovery for everyone there.

Kim Hambric said...

Ellen, Sorry you have had such a crappy month. Then the swine flu! Arrgh! Hope you are all on your way to getting better (or perhaps you have all recovered by now).

There's definitely a lot of vaccine fear around here. I can't deal with flu shots since I had guillain-barre syndrome 3 years ago after a flu shot. My daughter will be vaccinated as soon as the swine flu vaccine becomes available. Looks like it might be a while.

I feel like we're playing flu Russian Roulette here.

Ellen said...

Paula, around here if you're feeling flu-ish and have a flu it's almost certainly H1N1. The Southern states started their H1N1 earlier and now are into regular flu season (by what I've read). Nothing to worry about really. High fever is scary, but your gun story made me laugh.

Mel: All of my sisters are Cold F/X's user/believers. I have a bottle, I took it once, which I suppose makes it completely useless. I'll going to try again properly now after having dealt with this infection. Hope your family is on the mend now too!

Kim: How awful to have gotten guillain-barre syndrome. Poor you. Vaccinations for the general public will be available here mid November, which kind of makes them a bit of a farce, since H1N1 has already swept through the country.

dinahmow said...

Oh, rats! Blogger must have lost my comment before my landline caved in.
I was being you're probably more in need of gourmet sustenance!Bit far for me to pop 'round with a hamper of goodies. Sorry!
Nephew in London (UK) came home from work with flu symptoms and his mom diagnosed swine fly via an on-line questionnaire, then down-loaded a Tamiflu script and went to the pharmacist. All because the kid was forbidden to go anywhere near a doctor's office or hospital with his germs!
get better soon, all of you.

Ellen said...

Dinah, thanks for the sympathy, we're all better now. i hope you nephew feels better soon too, but it does burn me the paranoia in some ways. I openly say I had H1N1 and people back away from me, even though they were sick with flu a week ago. I tell them it was almost certainly H1N1 too, yet they remain unconvinced. The cases are under reported in the media simply because they've stopped testing and counting, yet there is already some stigma to having it. Grrrr.