Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I've learned about H1n1

Melanie is still coughing a bit from her bout with H1n1. Her appetite is slowly improving, but she still is needing more sleep than usual. She is on antibiotics for the secondary sinus infection that she developed, but she is fine.

As are all her friends who have had it.

And so is her sister who only developed a cough, no fever, but according the pediatrician it doesn't matter. She had it too.

We've had worse. . .much worse.

I understand where the worry comes from. It's an unpredictable illness. Some get it so mildly that the parents never even consider H1n1 to be a possibility. . .sending them to school everyday, spreading the germs throughout. Some had it already awhile ago and are only now realizing that was what it probably was. Others get a severe reaction, resulting in pneumonia, dehydration and hospitalization. The fear and worry is the uncertainty where your child will fall when or if he/she does get it.

And then there is the median group. Those who have a sore throat, cough and fever that can reach 103 and 104 lasting 3, 4 or 5 days, but are able to fight it on their own. Some of them will develop the sinus infection or pneumonia after, but not all.

Melanie had a slight cough for 2 days, then a slight headache and sore throat for 2 days, then muscle aches and a low grade fever for another day before the full onset of high fever and symptoms. Her fever hit 104 and only came down 2 degrees with Motrin, then hit the 104 mark again within a few hours. Cold, wet washcloths and Tylenol did the trick to keep in manageable until Motrin could be given again. The high fever lasted 2 days, then a low grade fever for another day, then she seemed better except still so tired. But after a day of no fever, it spiked again, the coughing, running nose (yes you can get a runny nose with H1n1!!) and fatigue became worse and off to the doctor we went.

"Yes, it was H1n1. And now it's developed into a sinus infection. But thankfully no pneumonia yet."

"No, we're not going to swab. . .swabbing is painful and invasive and her symptoms are an exact match to everyone else we've swabbed. They have all come back positive for H1n1 and there is no other flu out there right now."

"Yes, your other daughter most likely had it as well. Hopefully she'll continue to fight off the worsening symptoms. Just keep an eye on her."

So for those of you whose kids have similar symptoms but think it's just a cold or something else, think again. They've got it, it's not that bad and be thankful that it isn't developing into something worse.

And we will keep plugging along, hoping the antibiotics wipe it out and we have seen the last of it in our house.

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