Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Battle With Swine Flu

The reality of how bad this flu season was did not hit me until a little over a month ago when I visited a school that I service. There were teams of kids packed in the Nurse’s office…most with fevers above 102. The nurse wore a face mask through which she said to me “Make sure you put your clothes in the washing machine as soon as you get home!” Despite this, I was pretty secure that the ominous virus spoken of in the news would not personally affect me. And if it did it would not be a big deal. After all, it’s just the flu….right?

Well, the school year was well underway, and my kids managed to make it through with just a few sniffles and coughs (nothing out of the norm). That is, until this past weekend. It was Halloween, and like all other children, my son and daughter were looking forward to going door-to-door in their cute outfits…him as a Ninja and she as a little witch. It rained off and on all day in the metro Atlanta area, and it was rather cold. Nonetheless, there was nothing I could say to convince the kids that it wasn’t necessary to go out in the miserable weather. So, off they went with my husband as I stayed home to give out handfuls of miniature chocolate bars to the neighborhood kids.

The next morning, my son began complaining of a slight sore throat. I figured it was because he had been out in the cold the night before. So I gave him some Motrin and called it a day. However, in the middle of the night, he stumbled into our master bedroom gasping. “I…c-c-c-can’t b-b-breathe…!” he struggled to say as he held his hands around his neck. I could hear him trying to force air through his airtight esophagus. In an instant, we hopped up and gave him a nebulizer treatment. Yet, after wards he could only breathe slightly better. Two minutes later, he and I were Emergency Room bound. After waiting four hours to be seen, the doctor spent only 30 seconds with us. His only advice was that he was not to participate in P.E. class for a week. Well… mommy had better advice…let’s stay home to monitor things for a couple days. I worked from home both Monday and Tuesday while he recuperated. Although he had a cough, I felt he was good enough to return to school on Wednesday.

Here’s the timeline of how things progressed on that day:

6:00 a.m.—He got dressed for school.

7:15 a.m.—I drop him off at school.

11:30 a.m.— The School Nurse calls and says he has a sore throat and she wants my permission to give him a cough drop.

12:30 p.m.—I go to school to sign my son out early to go see his pediatrician (My mommy intuition was going wild!)

1:00 p.m.—We arrive at doctor’s office and sign in.

4:00 p.m.—Still waiting in the waiting room after three hours, my son begins to appear sluggish and faint. He rests his head on my lap and closes his eyes.

4:30 p.m.—His name is finally called and we go to a patient examination room to explain to the nurse his symptoms.

4:45 p.m.—My son lies down on the examination table as we wait for the doctor to appear. He
complains that he is extremely cold, and begins to shiver vigorously. He then falls deeply asleep. Still shivering, his mouth is open and his breath is shallow…he begins to drool all over the paper sheet.

5:00 p.m.—His doctor walks in. Although normally polished and poised, she drops the clipboard to her side and exclaimed “Oh my God…What’s wrong?” We both wake him up so that she could examine him (ie. Take his temp, listen to his heart and lungs). She informs me that his fever is at 104.1. A few tests later…she says that my little knuckle-head had the flu…Swine flu.

5:30 p.m.—Prescription in hand, I head over to a Mom and Pop pharmacy. They’re the only one’s with a supply of Tamiflu (the only medication given to treat his flu). The pharmacy does not accept insurance for this medication, and the cost is $200!

They could have charged $2,000 and I would have bought it because this is just how miserable my baby looked. After a few days of a horrible cough and sore throat, and extreme lethargy, I could begin to see a glimmer of my son’s personality emerge. That’s when I was sure that he was going to be alright. So right now I can say with confidence….Borders family 1…..Swine Flu zilch!

Happy Parenting,

1 comment:

  1. Amen! So glad your son feels better!!!! Love the picture of you & him together ~ He's adorable! :)

    God bless, Rhonda*