The flu that took us down

I don’t know for sure if it was the swine flu but I do know that it sucked. I don’t recall much of our weeks of flu but it hurts just thinking about it. At first I thought William’s allergies were flaring up. He had the usual symptoms, leaky nose, cough, sore throat. His lethargic behavior worried me a little and when he spiked a fever and complained of body aches, I knew he needed to see a doctor. But he never had the chance. Within twenty-four hours our entire family of five was incapacitated by fevers, cold symptoms and intestinal trauma. If anything could go wrong in our bodies, it did. It felt like an all out total-cellular rebellion. I slept through the first two days while my husband fought his symptoms and then we traded off. My usually spastic, hyper, crazy boys sprawled out on couch cushions strewn across the floor for a week and a half. We carried buckets in front of our faces, went through boxes of tissues, consumed copious amounts of ibuprofen and acetaminophen and cried. Sound dramatic? A day or two might have been a bummer but the way this bug hung on to our insides for weeks was maddening. For me, nothing hurt quite as bad as my complete inability to get my kids the medical help they needed. They shook under blankets, sweat it out on top of the covers, ached, vomited and coughed uncontrollably day after day. I was helpless, plagued with the same symptoms.

Weeks later we were up and around… pale and tired but getting around, but the cough hung on. With the onset of symptoms befalling our family around July 12th we were surprised to be barely well enough for a family reunion on the 25th. Allen’s brother and his wife braved the drive to St. George with us and the kids did well sucking on cough drops most of the way. Only one managed to cough ‘til he triggered his gag reflex… everywhere, which was almost more than my poor sister-in-law could handle. (It was pretty gross even for me. Thanks to Uncle Bart for saving the day!)

As talk of the H1N1 virus intensifies, I feel pretty safe. I can’t confirm we suffered from this particular virus but we usually test out every bug making the rounds before we pass it on to friends and family. Due to safety concerns over the vaccine, I think we’ll take our chances. As a precaution, I’ve stocked up on hand sanitizer cough drops, Gatorade and pain medicine. If another round is coming, we’ll be ready.


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