H1N1 that is.
Or Swine Flu.
Whatever you want to call it. (I've checked several sources and they are both, in fact, different names for the same virus).
It started with me last Tuesday. I had just come in from my usual day of hell. Work, music classes, soccer pick ups and a short run to make me feel human. I noticed a tickle in my throat. I swallowed once and it was like fire. By 9pm, I ached all over. I whined all Wednesday, my usual day off and by 6pm was flattened on the couch.
I've barely left the house since.
Since that first day, all four of my kids have taken that same sudden downward spiral. They've been fine one minute (and I mean, jumping off the couch). Then an hour later, moaning and coughing and saying they've never been this sick. The only time I've seen Alex fall asleep in the middle of the day has been when he had Kawasaki disease. Last night John texted me from the hospital saying Alex had fallen asleep on him on the way in.
I wish I had some wisdom for you. Something to say to you. "This is what you should do" or "This is why I did this". But I can't. I think we got bullshit lucky taking Erin in to the doctor when we did. It seems when one doctor hears that a colleague gave you Tamiflu, they follow suit without question. We've had two well known doctors, who know their stuff, tell us that even without testing us that we have H1N1.
This virus is no joke. We have never been this ill. I have now missed four days of work and I will be missing four more. I'm not sure what of those hours I will get paid for (I have set guaranteed hours and extra hours I pick up every week). My kids will miss a week or more of school.
Two weeks ago I was on the fence about the vaccine. Those of you who know me know how I approach vaccines. You know which ones I do and which ones I don't and you know why. I have no medical education to speak of (except for Google Med School of course), but I know this - I would undoubtedly get the vaccine now. Same goes for the seasonal flu shot. We will be lining up with our sleeves up.
My heart is aching for families who have lost. You can tell yourself "It's just a few people", but what if it was your people? It may seem like hype, and yes a lot of it is, but it's very real in this house. My eyes are dark with worry, my sleep fitful and full of nightmares. I see my kids labouring to stay awake and I know, without a doubt, that I would do anything to keep them safe.