There is a lot of talk about pigs around our house lately. Specifically the H1N1 type. Emma was diagnosed with the flu yesterday, and according to the Doctor (although we didn't have it confirmed through a test) it is the swine flu, since the seasonal flu hasn't shown up yet. Noah also had a low fever and similar symptoms to Emma's so the Dr. said he likely has it as well.
Basically I chose not to have the test done since it wouldn't affect treatment. There is a limited amount (of course - why can't we ever get the amount right?) of medication to treat the flu with, so only people under age 2, or with immune disorders can get treatment. And you also have to catch it in the first 48 hours. Well it had been about 52 hours since Noah's symptoms had shown up, which meant no treatment for him, either. The exception of course is if their symptoms become life-threatening, then they can get on the list for treatment. Ugh.
So we've been keeping the kids hydrated and trying to control fevers with Tylenol. And things were going pretty well. Then, at 3:30AM Emma came into our room, saying she didn't feel well. She was all flush, hot (103.3), coughing a croup-y cough, and having trouble breathing.
We talked to a nurse hotline, answered many questions, and waited for their recommendation. Finally they told us to take Emma to the ER, but first give her a 10-minute steam bath to loosen her up for the car ride.
During that 10-minutes a local Doctor called us back, and in a nutshell recommended we give Emma a fever reducer and check her again in 30 minutes. If her condition hadn't changed, take her in immediately. Otherwise, take her in first thing in the morning.
So we tucked Emma in next to our bed, prayed over her and set the alarm for a half hour. I stayed awake, listening to her breathe. And amazingly, she didn't cough or struggle to breathe that whole time. When I re-checked her temp at the end of the 1/2 hour, it was down to 101.9. So we went to sleep with the plan of seeing our Pediatrician first-thing.
When Emma woke up, I touched her forehead and it was cool. She sat up, said she was feeling fine, and when I took her temp it was a blessed 99.0. Praise the Lord! We ended up not having to see the Dr. at all, and are resting at home, praying that her temp stays below 100 all day. If so, Emma can go back to school tomorrow. As for the little boys, they are also seeming fine today, other than occasional coughs.
I've been reading a lot about swine flu in the last 24 hours. I also know at least a dozen people who have/had it in the last week or so. I've learned that it's really nothing to be fearful of. I mean, people need to be vigilant about protecting themselves by washing their hands frequently and staying away from anyone with a fever. And people with fevers need to be honest and just stay home until they're fever-free for 24 hours. Just those simple things can help keep people protected.