First let me say a big thank you to my blogland friends who so contacted me during this time. It is a huge blessing to have folks praying and thinking about you when a hard time hits.
Now, here's what I've learned during our 3 bouts (husband, son and daughter, one daughter and I have not had it) with the H1N1 virus at my house. It's not over yet but we seem to be on the back end.
1- What can you do now? Drink lots of fluids...not just lots but lots more. Gatorade is your new best friend. For some reason this strain of flu dehydrates a body very quickly. With my 15 year old son, we stayed on top of it like crazy but he would still wake up in the morning asking for water. Drink. With my little one....well, you'll see at the end.
2- What's the fuss? It's not as bad as the media makes it out to be. Yes, it can be very life threatening but we're finding that it has a fairly short lifespan...4-5 days plus a lingering cough that is fairly easy to deal with. The folks that suffer the most are the ones who are compromised in some way already, such as someone having asthma or general poor immune systems. Did I say drink lots of fluids?
3-Managing: Dayquil / Nyquil are as good as manna from heaven. This made all the difference for my teenage son. He actually had it twice. That has been the pattern for some folks...to have it twice in the space of 4 weeks or so. The first time we just used ibuprofen. The second time he had more severe symptoms but dealt with it better. Of course, always ask a health care professional about this.
4- How does it start? Headache and sore throat. Then you are slammed in the bed hard for 3-4 days with fever. The first day is worse with each day gets a little better. Drink fluids.
5- Why is it such a scare? Because it's a new strain of flu and no one has antibodies built up to fight it, thus, lots of folks will get it. The doctor and hospital both told me that they are not testing anymore for this particular strain because they already know that's what it is. Why? Because the regular flu cannot survive at the outside temperatures. Regular flu season doesn't start until November when the temperatures drop. The CDC has to confirm all the cases and by the time all the testing is sent and completed, you're over it by then! BTW, our children's hospital has 50 emergency room beds but had 92 cases, in one day.
6- Prevention: A very wise home school mom told me that she started her family on Vitamin C, morning and evening until they developed diarrhea. That would take about 2 weeks. They had all had the headache and sore throat but no one was in a non-functioning mode. I'm saying the vitamin c works pretty well. 4 kids.
7- What happens if you don't drink fluids? You start throwing up. Go immediately to the ER and get help. Here's baby girl in the ER getting her fluids after waking up at 4:00a.m. with the throw ups. She was non responsive; the only thing coming out of her mouth in a whisper was, "Mama, Mama, Mama" Over and over again. It was a heartbreaker to say the least and very scary.
Notice the Gatorade box in the corner in the picture at the top...even the hospitals are giving it out.
The IV was no fun but I'm grateful for modern medicine!
She got a bag of just good old fluids and then a half a bag of glucose.
My final piece of advice...drink fluids now and lather your hands for a full 26 seconds at least 5 times a day. One more...don't use your hands to open public doors...use an elbow or back into it. One more, elevator buttons, use your knuckle not the tip of your finger. Keyboards, keep a can of Lysol handy.
Do you have any good tips for preventing or managing the flu? Add them here!
Thanks and stay well,
on Monday, September 28, 2009