Friday, October 9, 2009

Who Needs the Flu Vaccine?

I've had "get flu vaccines" on my To Do list for the past several weeks. As with most time-consuming things on my list, it kept getting transferred week after week. Who has time to bring four kids to the pediatrician's office, listen to them cry, scream, whimper or bite their lip to avoid crying, screaming and whimper, then sit in the waiting room full of real-live-germs for 20 minutes to make sure no one has an allergic reaction? As luck would have it, we decided to contract the swine flu and pass it around our family in lieu of getting vaccines (insert sarcastic tone HERE).

Last Friday, Curt left for a man's weekend in Wisconsin and Minnesota to do all the things that refresh and invigorate him. He spent time with his best friend BJ, duck hunted with his brothers, Dad, and uncles in beautiful Wisconsin, and spent time with his whole family of origin in Minnesota at the home he grew up in. He even got to go to the Packers/Vikings game at the Dome. Talk about packing as much fun as possible into four days.

While he was gone, we muddled through daily life. If it could go wrong, it did. We survived bad attitudes and behavior (from both Mommy and kiddos), puncture wounds from our fence, spilled water that warped my wood floors, temper tantrums at bed time, homework for hours on end, etc. etc. We were THRILLED to pick up Curt from the airport on Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday evening, little Poogie had a fever.

Wednesday morning her fever was 102.5 and in twenty minutes increased to 103.4F before I could give her Advil. I called the doctor just to ask what precautions we should take since the over-hyped swine flu is going around. I was surprised at how my conversation with the nurse went. She told me the seasonal flu is not circulating yet and that really high fever, sore throat and cough matched up with swine flu symptoms. They weren't swabbing any non-hospitalized patients but since Paige had matching swine flu symptoms, they were giving her an unofficial diagnosis of swine flu. Nothing you can do to prevent it spreading. We cleared our entire weekend, which was packed with fun activities, reshuffled appointments, cancelled book club and play dates much to the protest of our kids, and got a lot of people praying. Poor Paigey - her temperature on Wednesday night hit 105.8F! I've never had a kid with a fever that high. It was pretty scary as a parent to see your child so miserable, but she pulled through and improved dramatically from that point.

I thought yesterday that the rest of us may escape the plague, but by last night Grant was down with a fever and sore throat and Curt was feeling cruddy. By 5 a.m. this morning, Curt had the fever and body aches. By 6:30 a.m., Katie had the fever, cough and sore throat. Alli woke up with a cough and her fever started by 8:30, exactly thirty minutes before I predicted. Which leaves me as the sole family member still standing. My throat started hurting yesterday and the body aches are coming on right now, but maybe that I can ward it off with positive thinking... (more sarcasm)

I've actually never had my entire family out sick simultaneously. We have a chart going with each person's name, temperature and medication dose to keep it all straight, and Curt and I, who can laugh about anything, have been forecasting how long it will be before I spike a fever. I think I'll go cross "Get Flu Vaccine" off my list while I still feel like doing it!

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