Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
The Flu or not the Flu, THAT is the Question
"They say this is the worst flu season EVER!" First of all, who are "they" and second of all, how do "they" know? You can't turn on the news or have a conversation with someone without the "scary flu" coming up. I know all about it - the flu attacked my house - I think. On Tuesday January 8th, my almost nine year old daughter complained about her throat and that she was tired, so she put herself to bed at 6:30, fully dressed. She slept through the night and woke up Wednesday with 103 fever. I figured it was a quick virus, I was wrong.
When she still had a fever on Thursday and wasn't really eating, I took her to the doctor. The strep test was negative, ears and lungs were clear so they said it was a virus... all you can do is give fluids and rest. Friday - still high fever, Saturday - still high fever, by Sunday when her fever hit close to 105, I panicked. Her doctor said it sounds like the flu. (Yes- she did have the flu vaccine - the mist, not the shot - but does that matter?) I felt so bad for her, the poor thing, I was giving her Tylenol and Motrin to keep her fever on the low side and keep her more comfortable. It was too late to give Tamiflu (only effective within first 72 hours of symptoms) and there are side effects such as vomiting and aggressive behavior in some patience which made me nervous anyway.
I took her back to the doctor on Tuesday (since her fever was still 102 and it was day # 7 with fever!!) and luckily her lungs were still clear and there wasn't any secondary infection. That is what can be so frightening, especially with young kids and the elderly. It may not be the "scary flu" itself, but when you have the flu, your immune system is weak so you are susceptible to other infections like pneumonia and other dangerous invaders. Thank goodness she was fever free by Wednesday and finally went back to school on Thursday.
Looking back, my son had a "virus" with 7 days of fever and a terrible cough in mid-December... could it have been the flu? Did my daughter actually have the flu? It does feel like a lot of people are sick, but do they all have the flu? We may never know, but what I do know is that getting the vaccine should lessen your chances, making sure your kids wash their hands a lot and using lots of hand sanitizer can all help you stay well. I am a big fan of Lysol spray and wipes, any suggestions on what you use to stay healthy?
Good luck to everyone and I hope nobody gets attacked by "The Scary Flu!"