Now that we have experienced H1N1 with Nick, I have some tips to share. Many of the people I have talked to, who have also had children with H1N1, have had similar experiences. So here is my guide to recognizing swine flu:
It comes on fast. I spent the day with Nick and he was fine. At dinner he spiked a fever and by six-eight hours later, he was the worst he would get.
Chills. Fever. Chills. Fever. Repeat. Repeat.
Headache. (Though Nick doesn’t vocalize pain, so I don’t know if he had one or not. But many children have complained of headaches.) (And I, of course, have had sympathetic headaches for three days. Yay.)
Our plan of attack involved more doses of Motrin and Tylenol than I care to admit. We rotated between the two every three hours. One was not enough to knock down the fever most times. With both in his system, he managed much better.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Dehydration causes temperature to rise. Being hydrated can help the body regulate temperature.
I will admit after 24 hours, Nick was doing much better. I thought he may have had a 24-hour virus and not the flu at all. And then the chills came back. I realized that figuring out what to call it wasn’t as important as watching for symptoms.
We went to the doctor and had the flu swab done. Did you know it’s not very reliable? It can miss 4 out of 10 cases. That’s a 40% error rate. Our doctor told us if it’s positive, you know it’s the flu. But if it’s negative, you don’t know that it’s not the flu. Not very helpful when you are one of the ones who get a negative.
We started Tamiflu less than 24 hours into it. It would have been 16 hours into it, except the pharmacy had to compound it, which took an extra four hours. I have heard Tamiflu is pretty horrible tasting. Luckily both of my children take medicine fairly well. Tamiflu with a drink chaser seems to work the best for us. (Maggie is allergic to Tamiflu, so with any luck, she will somehow dodge this bullet.)
Overall, the highest of high fevers was scary as shit. Other than that and listening for cough and/or respiratory issues, it’s not been too bad. At least there was no puking.
And now to close on the most boring post ever, I really need to get out of the house. I’m actually starting to clean. That is a scary thing.