Our Family’s Brush with Swine Flu

Read how one family lived with Swine Flu.
“Most of our family came down with Swine Flu at the end of June after our eldest 16 year-old daughter went away for a week long EFY youth program at a local college. While there, she began to feel ill with headaches, low fever and cold-type symptoms. When she got home on Saturday morning, she felt really cruddy and slept for 2 days. We weren’t sure if “she had played so hard she needed to catch up” or if she was coming down with something, or a combination of everything plus allergies!
“By Sunday evening, I started feeling heavy in the chest and went to bed early. Monday, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was so tired and just needed to sleep; lots of achiness and especially a headache. That evening, I started a low-grade fever and assumed we were getting a summer cold. On Tuesday, my husband and 13 year-old daughter, both came down with the same type of symptoms – tiredness, fatigue, and fever. This daughter has Type 1 diabetes and regulating her blood sugars is often difficult during illness. By Wednesday evening, she was having a hard time swallowing so I decided to take her to the doctor thinking she had something like strep throat.
“When we arrived at the doctor’s office, they thought she had strep throat too. But when the culture came back negative, they swabbed her for Influenza. Yep! It came back positive. So we discussed our previous few days with the doctor and how we were passing it around quickly. She said, “Swine flu passes like a normal flu, but is much more highly contagious.” We were asked to isolate ourselves until all of the symptoms were gone. She also explained that unless you have the symptoms, you aren’t contagious. So theoretically, the other kids who weren’t showing symptoms didn’t have it yet. As a precaution, the doctor gave us Tamiflu for our two boys (one of which is also diabetic) as a precaution to help prevent them from getting Swine Flu.
“That night, we started both boys on the Tamiflu. Our youngest son showed a fever that evening and part of the next day, but that was all either of the boys experienced. Our diabetic son never even got tired. We had a mild case of the swine flu, because after about 5 days, we were feeling better. We had to let it run through everyone. After about 10 days, there were no more symptoms.
“I think the hardest part for us was the pure isolation from others. We Facebooked, emailed and called people, but other than the few unfortunates who got to come to our Swine Flu parties, we didn’t get to go anywhere for about 10 days, because we waited for EVERYONE to be clear of symptoms. Luckily my husband was able to work from home, so except for the 2 days he couldn’t get out of bed, he didn’t have to take sick leave from work. Luckily we have a good supply of DVDs because we watched a lot of movies, played games, got out home movies and had some fun times as a family. We did get stir crazy though, especially the little boys. They’d play WII just to burn off energy since they weren’t sick!
“If I had to pin point one thing that I think really helped me, besides lots of sleep, was a health food product called Body Balance. It’s a liquid food supplement which is made from Sea Vegetables and Aloe Vera. I drank a lot of that and I had more energy and seemed to bounce back rather quickly. My youngest daughter wouldn’t drink any and her symptoms lasted the longest in our family.
“We keep lots of stuff in the freezer and pantry so we could cook full meals all the time. If people aren’t “scratch” cooks, I’d have soups on hand (broth based, not creamed base because of the phlegm that comes with the flu), fruits, veggies and fun stuff for when you are at home and no one wants to associate with you. It makes it not so bad.
“As an elementary school teacher, I don’t think the average case of the Swine Flu is anything more than the regular flu. Teaching our families to cover their mouths when coughing, wash their hands often, brush teeth frequently, and keep our surroundings disinfected, is our best approach to limiting the spread of Swine Flu.
“Lastly, don’t forget charity when you or someone else has Swine Flu or any other illness. Dropping off a treat or meal isn’t any more dangerous than going to the local grocery store and touching a shopping cart, handling money, or sending our kids to school where all the variables are unknown. You don’t get Swine Flu because you are dirty!
L Johnson – Utah
Some of the things we have learned:· Wash your hands often (Make sure you sanitize door knobs, toilet handles, etc. often. The cost of a can of disinfectant is cheaper than spreading it around. This applies to all cold and flu season.)
· Brush your teeth every 2-3 hours (bacteria in the mouth can spread germs and magnify the communicable diseases)
· Be prepared to provide your own meals. People are really FREAKED out when they hear Swine Flu. NO ONE brought us in food. This is where our food storage came in handy. We made all our regular favorites and more. We made parties of our isolation period. In fact, on two different nights, we had friends or family that had Swine Flu diagnosed at their house come over for Swine Flu parties. I’m sure our neighbors were really confused!
· Have cold and flu treatments and other required medications on hand (popsicles, juice, medications, etc.) For us, we had to make sure we had our diabetic supplies on hand. We’ve got a great doctor that helps us get at least an extra month or two of supplies so we always have enough on hand. Saved us here!
· Many people had similar symptoms in our neighborhood, but never went to a doctor. So in reality, you don’t know if you have it or not, unless you get an influenza test. We probably wouldn’t have gone in if it hadn’t been for our daughter with diabetes because of the complications that can arise.
· Swine flu doesn’t HAVE to be serious, but can quickly turn serious without proper attention, especially if you have a predisposition to chronic illness, lung problems, etc.
· Get lots of sleep and lots of fluids.
· If you START to show the symptoms, Tamiflu can cut the effects and time sick, but only within the first 24 hours, or so they say.
Symptoms to look out for:· Headache
· Fever
· Chills
· Body aches
· Fatigue and complete inability to get out of bed
· For some people – intestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting
· Sore throat
· May have a cough because of nasal discharge

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