“Get your flu shots,” everyone kept telling us; “this flu season has been terrible,” all the news channels reported. Well, this week we all got a chance to experience the magical tour of flu land personally (except for my oldest son who somehow remained immune – thank God)! I must say that this is one story that the news outlets got right: THE FLU IS DREADFUL!
As an adult, I have gotten the flu more often when I actual receive the shot than when I don’t, so, other than when pregnant, I opt out. However, everyone else in the house is carefully vaccinated each year (see previous post on the fun that is trying to get 3 kids to get flu shots at one doctors visit). Apparently, this year’s flu virus wasn’t informed about their vaccinations though because this past weekend, after a fun birthday party for my nephew, my daughter started to feel a little warm. I gave her some Tylenol and sent her to bed and she didn’t complain (that should have been my first clue).
Later that night, the fever went really high and remained that way throughout the weekend and she also started coughing so first thing Monday morning we headed over to the doctor to get her checked out. Sure enough, it was the flu. Fantastic. So glad I had jumped on top of her at the pediatrician’s office a few months earlier so that she could have that shot that would supposedly protect her from this very thing. Ugh. She needed some serious drugs pronto.
I hadn’t slept all weekend because I was freaked out by her fever but I hadn’t started exhibiting any symptoms besides exhaustion (which, honestly, is not that uncommon in our house) and muscle aches. The doctor prescribed Tamiflu for me anyway because, in my role as caregiver, I probably had it/would get it also. Lovely.
The next day, I started coughing, my younger son started a fever and my husband got the chills. Oh the fun of having nearly an entire household fall in less than 24 hours, especially when half of the victims are parents who really can’t just lie down until they feel better when the little people are depending on them. So, the husband went to the doctor while I called our pediatrician and begged for drugs for my boys without having to be tortured by another trip to the office. As soon as they heard that my husband also had a verified case of the flu and that my 2-year-old had all of the same symptoms, our cups were running over with Tamiflu (sidenote, that junk is EXPENSIVE, even with insurance – no wonder everyone is getting ill!)
My husband and I tried to take turns resting while the kids were laying down and while one of us might be feeling slightly better at the time, but anyone with kids knows how this is much easier said than done. Luckily, our older son was fine and can handle himself so he escaped to school and then hid himself in his room doing his homework and playing basketball.
It’s now Thursday and my daughter will finally be able to go back to school tomorrow – she was missing it so badly that I contacted her teacher and got some work for her to do at home! Seriously, she was so desperate that she asked for homework! Poor baby. My husband also had to miss 3 days of work, which is unheard of for him.
None of us feel fantastic yet, but we’ve all been on the drugs and fever free now for the required amount of time to allow us back into the general population. Apparently coughing is both a sign of the illness and the road to recovery – so weird – so we’re still dealing with that, but no one else is susceptible to our germs. I’m not sure how my oldest survived this ordeal unscathed, but I’m glad he was spared! It’s so miserable watching the kids be sick, especially for so long (and especially when you can’t do anything about it and want to just sleep yourself!). At one point, my youngest, a usual whirlwind of energy, just said, “pwees” and held his arms out so I would hold him. He snuggled into my arms and looked up into my face (which probably looked like death warmed over due to lack of sleep) and murmured a tiny, “oh, dear,” before passing out in my lap. So pathetic to watch.
It’s time to hit the road
Jack flu and don’t you come back no more no more no more no more!!!! Here’s to a much healthier February!
**For the record, our car also had issues that required some expensive “medicine” this week (and a 3 1/2 hour visit to the mechanic where I sat wanting to puke on the “advisor” I was dealing with), so even our automobiles weren’t immune to the horrid flu! Good times!**