Hey, thank you for the ideas, suggestions, and anecdotes with regards to ongoing childhood mystery ailments. Naturally, Riley seems perfectly fine today, excepting a brand NEW symptom: a husky, scratchy voice that sounds like the IT’S LINDSAY voiceover on The Soup.

I’m considering whether to visit the pediatrician today, or go on Monday when it’s theoretically possible they’ll have some flu vaccinations available, which they are not scheduling but if you happen to be there for unrelated reasons they might give your kid a shot.

*holds head, rocks back and forth in the corner, eats fistful of dog hair*

Speaking of the flu, JB’s brother called last night to tell JB he’d driven himself to the hospital with a 104 degree fever, got diagnosed with H1N1, and was sent home with Tamiflu.

There are a few things that seem notable to me about this, like how he actually got diagnosed and even got medication, despite being an otherwise perfectly healthy adult (I thought they were only giving out Tamiflu for high risk people?). I wonder just how much treatment fluctuation there is between different locations, like whether it’s easier to get care in a small city where Joe lives as opposed to our crowded Seattle-area population.

But I’m particularly struck by the fact that he actually got in the car and headed to the emergency room to have himself checked out. If it were me, I know exactly what I would have done: I would have laid on the couch boiling in my own juices, while pecking on my phone in order to complain on TWITTER about how I was probably dying and wasn’t that just my luck.

There’s a lesson here, I think, but it’s, like, really hard to stop moping about all my PROBLEMS long enough to ponder what it might be.

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Lo
Lo
12 years ago

Something about life being a series of events, and whether they are problems is a matter of your own perception?

I dunno, it all makes sense when I’m happy and my therapist is talking, but it’s kind of hard to look for lessons when you’re in the middle of chaos. That you even think there might be a lesson is pretty impressive.

Shana
Shana
12 years ago

I just left a big long post and when I submitted it was gone. UGH. I guess my comment was too long, and with links.

Angella
12 years ago

Up here in the Great White North, at the first sign of ANY flu we are to go to the doctor & get the prescription for Tamaflu (A girlfriend came down with H1N1 this week and is on the mend.)

Also. The cost is covered by our medical system. Move to Canada, yo.

theGoriWife
12 years ago

My kid got diagnosed with the Pig Aids two weeks ago. We’re in state that’s for lovers. He was given a Tamiflu prescription, my husband who was feeling sick went to the Dr. the next day and got a Tamiflu prescription – and one for me too. I’d told him to ask, since we were all going to be stuck in the house together, and the Dr. didn’t ask a second question before writing me an Rx. My freaking parents who were visiting for the week called their Dr. in FL and he called two Rx into a local pharmacy, even though they had no symptoms – totally prophylactic. Then a week later, during a discussion about vaccine (no thanks, we don’t need it now!) I heard somebody talking about how Tamiflu is scarce…I’m not saying it’s not, but my personal experience has run to the contrary.

Jen @ lifelove'n'wine
12 years ago

I can’t believe how hard it is to get the shot for H1N1. I’m not planning on getting it myself, but my boss’s son is in his early 20s and has muscular dystrophy. He is very high risk and any sickness or infection could end his life. Yet no one around here (doctors, clinics, etc) can tell her where or when she can expect to get him a shot. Nice.

Korinna
12 years ago

Around here it’s dodgy at best. If you think you have the H1N1, most doctors seem to be responding with, “Yeah, we trust you. How about you stay home and not infect the rest of us by coming to our office.”

Flu vaccines are nil. H1N1 vaccines were made available only through the health department by appointment only on three Saturdays in Nov. It took me six hours of constant redialing to get through and snag two appts for me (knocked up) and the Little Man (17 mos).

Also, how do you drive with a 104 temp? Aren’t motor skills, like, defunct by that temp?

jonniker
12 years ago

They’re handing out Tamiflu like candy around here, but that’s probably because it’s the smallest town in the history of small towns and even WE don’t have enough resources to get all of our kids the damn vaccine.

My friend is married to a DOCTOR. As in MARRIED. To a LOCAL DOCTOR. And she still had to move heaven and earth to get her high-risk, asthmatic, febrile-seizure-prone son vaccinated even halfway. I had to call every day, twice a day, calling out the receptionists as liars and ensuring that I’ve got a black mark in my daughter’s chart. It’s ridonkulous, right? Shmeh.

jen
jen
12 years ago

I don’t know what the deal is with Tamiflu. I called in the other day because the kiddo was running a temp and called to see if I could get a script, just in case. And the nurse said even if they thought he did have the flu, he wouldn’t get the script because he wasn’t high risk. I guess being little doesn’t count around here.

And being asthmatic, I would like to the get the vax for myself and my child but I’m not in the high risk group according to our county’s health system (contrary to everything I read) and they only have one clinic scheduled, which basically means it won’t do the kiddo any good either.

It makes no sense how “they” are handling all of this crap this year.

Christina
12 years ago

Yes I agree on the randomness of the flu situation this year. The baby does not qualify for H1N1 and got lucky to have her 15 month appt on Wed. so they gave her the 1st half of the flu shot and then they said but she may not be able to get the 2nd half – wait a month and see what happens. My four year HA HA good luck is what they said about any and all shots but if I call and GET LUCKY (Their words not mind) then we could get him the flu shot/mist. Sweet Baby Jesus you need a special guide to get around the whole who gets shots and who does not in any given state, region, city, town, rural cow poke town… SO WEIRD.

I too would have sat on the couch bitching about my misery rather then going to the doctor. Men are strange beasts!

Faith
Faith
12 years ago

Glad Riley’s feeling better today, even if his voice has gone wonky. Sounds like just another complication of a pesky virus that doesn’t want to leave.

My take: You can bug the pediatrician if it makes you feel better and if you might get some flu shots out of it, but usually it just takes time for the human immune system to finally win the battle, especially when others in the house are catching it, mutating it, and giving it back to everyone else.

One suggestion: New toothbrushes for everyone. I’ve always wondered if our colds and flus live on them, just waiting to be reintroduced to us under the guise of good oral hygiene. Maybe that’s not true, but it’s an excuse to get a new toothbrush color, and hey, cheap thrill.

Shelly
12 years ago

Here in southern alberta, they are handing out Tamaflu like candy. We have a huge complex in our city (used for weddings/parties/auctions) that they have made into a huge make-shift doctors office. It even hasa pharmacy with drugs in boxes lined up against the wall. Apparently they are giving it out trying to stop it from spreading. Crazy.

HollyLynne
12 years ago

I think there is a huge difference in how people are being cared for and what people are being told state to state and city to city. I’m 4 months pregnant and keep hearing from my OB that I NEED AND ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE the vaccine, yet of course none is available, despite what CNN may be telling us about preggos getting vaccinated first.

I have a friend who is pregnant and was prescribed Tamiflu after merely having been exposed to someone with the virus. She refused the drugs and never got sick. Since Tamiflu is a class C medication, prescribing it to a pregnant woman after mere exposure with no symptoms present seems like FREAKOUT overkill to me.

Cassie
Cassie
12 years ago

My sister was diagnosed this morning with the Oinky Flu. When my mom asked her doctor if everyone in the house should be wearing masks he said we probably have all caught it and will be be sick by Sunday. Lovely. No Tamiflu though, just Tylenol and such.

On another note: Any time you get sick change your toothbrush AND toothpaste. :D
And change your mascara if you get pink eye.

M.A. from Mich
M.A. from Mich
12 years ago

Hey, Sundry – I woke up Monday morning with fever — it was 103.something. Since my family’s history is that we run hot, I wasn’t too worried — took 3 aspirin and went back to sleep (husband, meanwhile doing the WALL-E handwringing thing worry about my brain melting). I told him to give it some time and if it didn’t go down significantly I would go in.

When I woke up from a sweaty, acid dreamy-like “sleep”, my temp was down to 101.8. More aspirin, more tripping. By the end of the day my temp was normal and it has been since. The only symptom, other than the fever, was feeling, seriously, like I’d been dragged behind a car on a gravel road. (Picture Bernie Lomax “water skiing” but on a dirt road.) Yeah. Each day got a little better but for awhile just moving at ALL hurt like hell — even turning over in bed was very painful.

I finally went to the doc on Wed. – temp slightly elevated but everything else okay. The test was a Q-tip without any cotton rubbed around the inside of each nostril and I have to admit it kinda hurt! It was positive — everyone was very excited! I think I was their first. He sent me home with Tamaflu (for me and my husband) and instructions to sleep as much as I could and stay away from others (doncha just hate that?!)

So…. 5 sick days later… Other than feeling totally guilty for being off for so long when I really kinda felt okay, it was a nice break — and I needed it. Tamaflu, FYI, is EXPENSIVE and (at least my) insurance only covered 10 pills. He wrote the script for 30 — it would have cost me > $200 to get the other 20. Hello, what? No.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. Clearly I’m feeling better – I’m lonely!

Hope the rest of the Sundry Family escapes the bug… but as an adult, I will say it wasn’t terribly awful — I’ve had worse flus.

Good luck!

Lesley
Lesley
12 years ago

Clearly, JB’s brother is not and will never be the whiny Man Cold Guy.

Liz
Liz
12 years ago

The hospital where I work sent out their 5th version of “how to deal with flu patients” algorithm today. I’ve just thrown up my hands. At least I know that that the infectious disease folks are changing it in response to the epidemiological trends (less flu than expected means that testing will be more useful because not everyone will be positive, so they are now encouraging us to test people where before they were not). On the other hand, private offices (I work in a large medical center) can do whatever they think is appropriate, which has a lot of variation. Sigh.

Courtney in FL
Courtney in FL
12 years ago

Here in central FL I had no trouble getting the H1N1 shot for me or my son. His pediatrician had a waiting list and would call when it was your turn. For my shot I ran into a Centra Care type place, paid $20 and was out 10 minutes later. I’m sorry to hear it is not as easy in other parts of the country. Hope you have a break in the sick bugs soon.

Michelle
Michelle
12 years ago

This is when I LOVE having Kaiser. We have all been vaccinated for H1N1 for weeks. My 3 year old gets her second round of flu mist next week. I have a four month old though, so that made us priority.

I am just hoping the rest of the adults in my extended family will be able to be vaccinated before they arrive for Christmas (with time for it to kick in), so that they don’t infect the little one.

Kim
Kim
12 years ago

So, I am here in Seattle and pregnant. First my OB didn’t have any vaccines, but they had a list of county health centers that had it, so I ended up being able to get my shot out in Kent. I didn’t even have to wait in a long line or anything. So, anyway, I guess my suggestion is that you might try calling Seattle County Health everyday to see if they’ve gotten another shipment. Not convenient, but you might have better luck that way than with you pediatrician.
Also, I’m a dentist and I agree with the toothbrush suggestion. Since they are getting sick so often though, maybe try putting them in the dishwasher so you don’t have to keep buying new ones every time you turn around.

Swistle
12 years ago

The “eating fistful of dog hair” concept is like totally worth Dylan’s whole EXISTENCE.

Shawna
Shawna
12 years ago

We all got vaccinated because my son is high risk and allergic to egg and there is no egg-free vaccine coming to Canada. BUT I just got a call and they’re doing a special clinic for egg-allergic children where a doctor is present to monitor them and they get the dose broken up into, like 4 shots or something. 4 SHOTS! Poor little man. But the flu would be far, far worse for him.

Gaby
Gaby
12 years ago

Well, see, what you need to do is get a job on Wall Street, they get EVERYTHING! *snort*

Hope your house of disease is on the mend.

Jennifer
Jennifer
12 years ago

I’ve wondered the same thing about regional availability of vaccines etc. I’ve looked all over the place in the Seattle area for both H1N1 and regular seasonal flu vaccine and no luck. We’re going to Colorado next week and my pulmonologist out there says there’s plenty of seasonal vaccine so I’ll be getting that at least.

Also, I had a fever of 101F a few weeks ago and I couldn’t MOVE or even stay awake for more than a few minutes. Very impressed that Joe could drive with 104 fever!

Jamie
12 years ago

My 4 year old w/ asthma had a fever/cough/sniffle thing going, I called and had an rx for Tamiflu called into the pharmacy immediately, no questions asked, the bad news is, my son wouldn’t take it and just threw up the 2 does I tried to give him, then, 2 days later, he was fine anyway…so oh well I guess. We finally were able to get him, our 17 mo old and my husband H1N1 shots because they’re all considered high risk (asthma in the kids and asthma + kidney disease for the hubby) but I was out of luck, even though I stood in line TWICE (once with baby and hubby and once with 4 yr old) I still couldn’t get one. Damn me and my health!

Gwen
12 years ago

I’ve known a ton of people who have had the flu (almost certainly H1N1) in Philadelphia, and not one has been offered Tamiflu. I don’t even know anyone who can confirm they had H1N1, because it’s expensive to test for, so doctors aren’t doing it.

On a semi-related note, when people say their cities are “handing out Tamiflu like candy”… where is this magical place where people hand out candy to anyone who asks? I want to go to there.

Shin Ae
12 years ago

I live in a small town near a (very) small city in the Mid-Atlantic and just heard less than five minutes ago from one of the moms at my kids’ school. She took her child to the ER with a 104 temp and breathing problems. No test, no Tamiflu. They said they’re only giving it to high-risk people. Observed and sent home.

biscuit
biscuit
12 years ago

LMFAO @ “it’s Lindsay” reference!!! makes me laugh every time. . .

this flu season sucks a bag of syphilis donkey dongs.

willikat
12 years ago

Oh my god, your health travails suck, but I laughed hard, twice: once at eating the fistful of dog hair, and then again at the It’s Lindsay! reference.

Regina
Regina
12 years ago

Keep an eye on Riley and the froggy throat – my 4 year old son had that last wed (after a couple of whiny-various-cold-symptom weeks).

We didn’t think anything of it until his temp spiked and his breathing became laboured really quickly after we put him to bed. We took him to emerg and he was treated for croup (which apparently usually happens because of the flu – but nobody tested or mentioned H1N1 even after I asked about it).

My good Dr friend said that they are only testing for H1N1 with critical cases or death and pretty much just assuming anyone else with flu symptoms right now has it. Also she said with little ones you want to bring them in for early care with things like troubled breathing – even if they are just observed for a while as they “go down quick” being so small.

We live in Victoria, BC – just for reference – and we can’t get the vaccinations for our kids right now either.

Jenny
Jenny
12 years ago

Hi Linda –
Our PCP called in Tamiflu Rx for my husband & me as soon as my son was diagnosed with H1N1. We still received two, $20 bills from his office for calling in the prescriptions, but at least we didn’t have to go into his office OR just wait for the flu to get us.

The only Tamiflu trouble we ran into was getting it in liquid form for our 5 year old. Our regular pharmcy didn’t have it so we had to go to CVS.

Do you have a Pediatric Evening Clinic you could go to? It was soooo difficult to get into our regular pediatricians with all the flu that we just ran Henry up to the evening clinic. They have that process nailed – we were there before they opened and walked out 30 minutes later with the rapid flu test results, the Rx for Tamiflu, and his school excuse!

Kami Lewis Levin
12 years ago

A friend of mine who lives in Kingston, (right outside of Seattle, apparently?) was just slapped with H1N1. And so were her 3 girls under ages 1-4. Her description of the whole thing was pretty fucking awesome. Kind of across between Outbreak and Sponge Bob. Sucks.

Bachelor Girl
12 years ago

“I would have laid on the couch boiling in my own juices, while pecking on my phone in order to complain on TWITTER about how I was probably dying and wasn’t that just my luck.”

Yeah, me too. This post made me realize that I might have just a teensy-weensy bit of a problem. A couple weeks ago, I had the flu, and it never even occurred to me to go to the doctor because, like, the people who read my blog would TELL me if I was dying, right?

erin
12 years ago

Not to add fuel to the fire, but my brother got H1N1, confirmed by the test. He is a pediatrician, and was seeing 50-90 sick kids PER DAY. Plus he has a pregnant wife and 2-year-old at home. His own doctor would not prescribe Tamiflu. Um? WHAT? Health care worker, pregnant wife, young child? Nope.

He’s FINE, of course. Just probably added a few days to his misery. But still.

Melis
Melis
12 years ago

The thing about Tamiflu (coming from the woman who took her last dose this morning after getting hit with the flu TWICE in a 45 day period) is that unless you are diagnosed early-and I do mean within the first 24 hours of being symptomatic-it’s not going to do much for you.

H1N1 sucks. M.A. nailed it as far as description of what it feels like-mine was the exact same way. My own doctor said “they” weren’t even testing for it unless you are hospitalized. When round two hit me I called right away, explained I’d been diagnosed the last week of September and was feeling the same way again. Within an hour I had a note for work to keep me home all week and a script. Keep in mind you CAN GET IT MORE THAN ONCE. All the more reason to encourage hand washing and replacing toothbrushes and spraying surfaces with Lysol or that Clorox most surfaces stuff.

Sarah
12 years ago

LOL! I would have laid on my couch w/ my laptop (or in my bed w/ my laptop) about how I was DYING. Must be us…*G*

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
12 years ago

There has been a series of viruses (virii?) going around the elementary school in Sacramento, CA. Plus the H1N1 the states were told to stop testing for (by the CDC). I’m shocked anyone can actually get a test run, actually! And I’ve heard H1N1 has become tamiflu-resistant, and that tamiflu is contraindicated in children. Just my take on it. Anyway, there is a bunch of shit going around, and Riley is probably catching each virus serially. You may be immune, or partially immune. Or not. Good luck!

Marna
12 years ago

I know here in Oregon while my OWN family doctor would NOT give us tamiflu (He said it was reserved for those who were hospitalized — which I promptly said bullshit). I called my OGBYN who gladly rx’d both me and my spouse Tamiflu. He said we should not have to suffer anymore than we were.

So it varies from doctor to doctor.

I am sure you have thought about this but you know your son sounds like he may have some sort of allergy. Allergies present in different ways, flu symptoms, virus type symptoms.

When you go back to your own pediatrician just tell him you cannot and will not continue like this as your child is clearly suffering and you now want referrals or you will have no other choice than to get out the masks and rattles.

Mary
Mary
12 years ago

I got the shot only because of good timing. My midwife had just gotten in, like, 5 shots the day of my last appointment. The hospital where I’ll be delivering also shut down all visitations to the L&D/baby units to try to reduce spreading, so my own mom won’t be able to visit us and meet her grandbaby till we’re out of the hospital (which will be, like, 5 minutes after delivery if I have my way). It’s scary stuff. This little kiddo’s going to be out among the oxygen-breathers soon and I feel like I’m going to have to quarantine her in the house.

Julie
Julie
12 years ago

I have been following you on Twitter for awhile and just realized that you have a blog. I am so excited! Considering spiking the baby’s bottle with some bourbon tonight so I can read through the archives before her dad gets home from work. Yayyyyyyy!

beach
beach
12 years ago

……seriously …its the freaking flu. wtf….every year the flu is here yet the swine flu is gonna kill us all????…..seriously…take your vitamins, take care of yourself , wash your hands. All tamiflu does is shorten the duration and has to be taken at a certain time…Man up people….

beach
beach
12 years ago

oh btw …I work in healthcare……..in case your ready to diss me…..

becky
12 years ago

My son had the H1N1 for a week or so. It sucked, but luckily nobody else around here (including the baby with respiratory risks) got it. My sympathies go out to anyone dealing with it in their house!!

The research I’ve read is iffy on the whole Tamiflu thing–in otherwise healthy (i.e., non-high risk) kids, it seems to be reducing the length of the flu by only about a day or so. So I am actually more sympathetic than I was before to the decision not to hand out Tamiflu to everyone…the more the virus is exposed to Tamiflu, the more likely resistant strains are to emerge. That would not be so good.

Sundry
Sundry
12 years ago

Beach, as someone whose household has been plagued with illness like never before over the last SIX WEEKS AND COUNTING . . . I’ll man up when you take over the 12-5 AM shift, mmmkay?

PS: WE DO TAKE VITAMINS AND WASH OUR HANDS OMFG.

beach
beach
12 years ago

wow….I i hear ya…you have been thru the shit mill and back….and I seriously feel so bad for you….regarding sickness wise and toddlerville….I guess I just am oppossed to thinking getting a vaccine is going to cure it all….which is what I got from your last post, but maybe I was wrong….anyway…hope you get some respite…am personally just sick to fucking death of the whole “vaccine is the end all cure bullshit” to it all…..sorry I pushed a button..

beach
beach
12 years ago

seriously my kids whole football team is out sick with the flu…..and he is 17….Ive been dealing with the flu and kids for fucking YEARS!!!!,,,,man up….

jessica fantastica
jessica fantastica
12 years ago

I came down with H1N1 on a Saturday. I went to a normal Dr’s office on the following Monday. He gave me Tamiflu and I was ok to go back to work on Wednesday. What you should learn from this is to GO TO THE DOCTOR if you are sick. Hey it took me 30 years to learn that!

jessica fantastica
jessica fantastica
12 years ago

By the way, I hadn’t read any previous comments before I said my stuff, and I realized I might have sounded a little shouty. I promise, I’m not shouty at all. I mean, yes I did shout, but it was a nice shout. Promise! :)

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

In my neck of the woods the doctor’s are giving tamiflu out to everyone with confirmed cases of H1N1 as well as people who have all the symptoms of H1N1 but have not had it officially confirmed. Since you have to go to the hospital in order to get diagnosed, you risk being exposed to even more germs floating around in the air, so even if you didn’t head to the hospital with the swine flu, you certainly could end up leaving with it. I guess the doctor’s figure better to be safe than sorry…

Rhi
Rhi
12 years ago

Took our 2 year old into Seattle Children’s ER two weeks ago for a cold-induced asthma situation.

First thing they did was stuff a tube up his nose, suck out the snot and test for H1N1. They said it’s running rampant and that half the people sitting in the waiting room were probably there for that reason. We didn’t have it luckily, but they also didn’t have the vaccine. Our regular Ped. is associated with UW and they don’t have any either. WTH?! Two ENTIRE medical centers have no access for their high risk patients? Lame.

Shana
Shana
12 years ago

2 comments I wasted my time on, and they did not show. Am I doing something wrong?