So hey, you know all that hemming and hawing I was doing over vaccinating my kids against H1N1? I think they already got it. Not the vaccination, mind you, which isn’t yet available, but the actual flu.

Dylan’s been dealing with a runny nose and cough for a while, and that morphed into a couple of barfing episodes on Monday. He was limp, feverish, and looked pink-eyed and terrible, then after a warm bath he seemed to completely rally—he was running around, eating, and he didn’t feel hot. Whew, I thought. Glad that’s over with! And with almost no sense of comedic foreboding, I put him to bed, along with Riley, who had just started complaining of a headache.

I don’t even know how to describe the events that eventually unfolded throughout the night, except to say that literally nothing in my four+ years of parenting had prepared me for what’s involved in caring for two children who are experiencing similar bodily misfortunes at the same time. They both ran high fevers (as tested by my lips-to-the-forehead method, which reports in three levels: Hmmm, Oh Dear, and Holy Fucking Shit), they both puked, they both required multiple baths and a truly epic and horrifying ongoing laundry cycle.

We ended up putting Riley in our room on a cot and until the combination of Motrin and Tylenol finally brought his fever down, he laid there shivering and moaning in a sort of half-sleep, which was . . . well, awful. Just awful and scary. Dylan woke up over and over and got weirdly chatty around 3 AM (“Horse?”) and oh man, the night just went on and on and on. Even when they were both sleeping, I wasn’t—I laid there for hours staring up at our dark bedroom ceiling listening for the kids while my heart whammed around in my chest like a bird in a chimney.

They both seem much better today, thank god. Runny noses and some lingering fever, but greatly improved.

After we’d all been up for a while this morning, I started thinking that if they didn’t have the flu, my decision on the vaccination was no longer a difficult one. Vaccinate away! Fill them with drugs! Stab them with needles until they look like porcupines! My god, anything to reduce the chances of another night like that, or worse.

I called the pediatrician’s office to see about making an appointment for getting them tested for H1N1, and you know what? They aren’t doing any testing. Unless you’re about to be hospitalized, doctors—at least around here—pretty much aren’t testing for the swine flu. “Not even to see if we need the vaccine or not?” I asked, and the nurse said they’re recommending everyone get the vaccine even if they suspect they had the flu.

So did they or do they still have swine flu? I think maybe they did, but there’s apparently no way to know for sure. But yeah, we’ll be getting those vaccinations. Even though, ironically, they may be totally unnecessary now.


66 Responses to “Hamthrax! Maybe.”

  1. Jennifer on October 7th, 2009 12:26 pm

    Linda- I don’t blame you for wanting the diagnosis. It’s nice just to know what you’re dealing with when your children are sick.

    As for the symptoms – they’re all over the place. Many people on this post have said that your boys probably didn’t have it because it didn’t last long enough, but that’s not necessarily true. My daughter started with a fever, sore throat, congestion, and headache last Tuesday night. Took her to the doctor on Wednesday morning where she was tested and confirmed H1N1, they gave her Tamiflu (another nice reason to get tested!), and she was fever-free and headache-free by Thursday morning when she woke up. So, just over 24 hours. She was one of the lucky ones with a mild case. And luckily, my 5-year-old and 14-month-old (who has asthma) didn’t come down with it. And we WILL be getting the vaccine when it’s available.

    Glad everyone’s feeling better!

  2. amy on October 7th, 2009 1:54 pm

    We’re on a waiting list for both the seasonal flu and the swine flu shots. It’s a bit irritating that my kids preschool keeps sending home reminders to get the shot when no one here has it in yet. In the meantime, I keep watching my 3 kids.

    Hope everyone is feeling better soon. Thanks to Kate for posting that info.. I have one friend (kid-less, I might add) that thinks I should be ashamed for vaccinating. It’s all I can do to grit my teeth and walk away.

  3. Sunshyn on October 7th, 2009 2:21 pm

    If you want them to test for H1N1 Titres, bust out your pocketbook and INSIST. They CAN. They just don’t WANT to. I don’t think your boys had H1N1. I think they had that little 36-hr. bug Bear just fought off Sunday and Monday. It looks like H1N1 but doesn’t last long enough. My house had the one that appears to be H1N1 for Easter, about a week before they went public with an outbreak. If COURSE no one tested us.

    They aren’t doing H1N1 swab tests NOW because they’d rather inflate the numbers by inputting all the data from all the flu bugs and other little ills we get and justifying all that vaccine they bought.

    The school is using fever only as a reporting mechanism. Can’t take the kid back to school until he’s had 24 hours no fever without fever reducing meds. Watch me LIE next time, because he was FINE yesterday and needed to be in school. What a wasted day, and to take him out of his program is a nightmare, because it takes days to get him back on track after a break of any kind.

    You’re probably safe to vaccinate Riley, but Dylan, I wouldn’t. If you must, ask to see the package insert and read the ingredients. You don’t want to see “thimerosol” or anything that looks like “aluminum.” In fact, do that, anyway, and then make your doctor sign a waiver of liability assuring the safety of that vaccine. Email me offline, and I will send you a form. No AAP member in his or her right mind will sign this form, I promise.

    Also interesting that the first vaccines are nasal mist, which have been proven to cause the patient to shed live attenuated virus for up to three weeks after administration. Great, you vaccinate your family, teacher, health pro, etc., and WE get your flu anyway.

    I don’t know how to make a tinyurl, but here is a recent article published by Age of Autism regarding autism and statistics that breaks it down by age and how much thimerosol was in vaccines at the time by child’s age. Not that thimerosol is the only possible culprit, you understand…

    If I can save ONE kid from autism, I will be thrilled. So I keep getting on my soapbox, no matter how crazy the mainstream makes me (and one in 100 kids’ parents) out to be.

  4. victoria on October 7th, 2009 2:57 pm

    Linda, if deciding whether to get the vaccination isn’t the issue, when why do you need to know whether they have (or had) swine flu?

  5. sundry on October 7th, 2009 3:11 pm

    Victoria: I’m . . . baffled at your line of questioning. I truly don’t think I can add anything that will make myself more clear to you.

  6. Boy Crazy on October 7th, 2009 4:32 pm

    My 3 boys (6, 3, and 10 mo) all had H1N1 this week, too. They didn’t test for it though – the doc here said they’re not testing because it’s what everyone has right now. Anyway, it was a rough week but they all came through it just fine. Hopefully you guys are done for the season, too!

  7. victoria on October 7th, 2009 4:48 pm


    Knowing whether it was H1N1 wouldn’t change anything now, would it?

    So why do you care?

  8. victoria on October 7th, 2009 4:57 pm

    Oh, wait, you were assuming I understood there’s a risk to getting a vaccination for this.

    Sorry. I didn’t get that. (I have no opinion on that topic — I didn’t understand it was the backdrop to the conversation.)

  9. victoria on October 7th, 2009 5:03 pm

    OK, sorry, now I realize that you probably posted on this topic earlier AND I FORGOT so it is totally my bad. I am sorry! Linda, I cherish your words like the pearls they are and if I weren’t so frazzled I wouldn’t have forgotten.

  10. sundry on October 7th, 2009 5:19 pm

    No worries. : ) I should say that at this point, totally aside from the vaccination thing, I wish I had a diagnosis just . . . you know, to know. I thought Riley was fine this morning and sent him to school, then had to pick him up because he was feverish and barfing again. I would somehow just feel better if I KNEW if it were flu or not. (We’ll go to the doctor if it doesn’t clear up, obvs.)

  11. spacegeek on October 8th, 2009 8:46 am

    My DH is an ER doc. He says that the H1N1 is *all over the place* right now (and he showers and dumps his clothes in the washing machine as soon as he gets home.)

    Last night I commented that the “cold” the girls and I have had has lasted 12 days, which is unusual for us. He casually replied, “yeah, it might be swine flu, because that has been lasting 2 weeks.” Uh, say what?! I was surprised, but since we’ve managed with tylenol and OTC meds, I suppose we should be grateful.

    Still planning to vaccinate everyone though.

  12. Sunshyn on October 8th, 2009 12:56 pm

    Well, you definitely DON’T vaccinate sick kids. More on autism numbers and thimerosol/vaccines/flu vaccines:

  13. Elizabeth on October 13th, 2009 2:26 pm

    Sorry to hear about your flu/vomit-fest and I’m glad everyone seems to be okay now. Oddly enough, the thing that stuck out to me on this post was your method of checking for fever. That’s what we use on our daughter and we’re able to guess her temp fairly accurately. We confirm with a thermometer, but still. Most other parents we’ve told about this method just look at us funny. So nice to see/read someone who uses that method too!

  14. Shin Ae on October 15th, 2009 7:03 am

    Hi! I found your blog through jonniker. So sorry you had to go through all that. It’s the pits. I wanted to let you know that I’ve been doing my best to keep up with H1N1 developments and I have read that if people’s immune response wasn’t strong enough when they had H1N1 they are actually getting it again. So, even if your kids had it (it seems like it is very questionable), you would do well to vaccinate since you seem to be willing to do so.

  15. Shin Ae on October 15th, 2009 7:07 am

    Just to be clear: obviously everyone who didn’t get a bad case of H1N1 isn’t getting it again. It seems that it is happening to some, though.

  16. mx5b porn video 1c9j on July 2nd, 2011 12:13 am

    Hamthrax maybe.. May I repost it? :)

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