Well, it has been an eventful two weeks to say the least and I am so glad I think I am seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. It all started two weeks ago when I had chills, aches, and a high fever one day. I took care of the kids all day during it and just toughed it out. I went to bed really early with some tylenol p.m. and woke up with no fever and feeling much better. However, poor Mary had no milk from her mommy. Whenever, I am sick it tends to wipe out my milk supply. So I tried to feed her and it just wasn't enough. I tried so many different types of bottles, formula, etc.. I even had a friend try and give her a bottle with no success. She basically didn't eat for 7 hours. She knows what she wants that is for sure. I take her to the doctor to make sure nothing is wrong with her. The nurses try to give her a bottle with no luck. Mike just so happened to have a very busy day and leaders meeting so he could not help. We get home from the dr. and I send Ellie and Anna next door for an hour so I could try and feed her in peace. It works and I start a vitamin to help with the supply and it is all much better! It was such a scary day for me that I totally forgot about being sick. I am convinced I had a mild case of the swine flu that day and just couldn't really be sick so I just dealt with it. I go on a girls weekend that weekend and still feel kind of out of it, but had a great time. It is also intresting that none of those girls got the swine from me that weekend :)
I get home on Sunday and by Tuesday evening Mike comes home from community group and has chills, aches, fever etc... He is way worse off than I was and I tell him to go to the doctor to get a swine test. It was positive and they put him on tamiflu. He can now not go to work for 7 days and just feels awful. He was sick till Saturday and pretty much just stayed in his room.
On Friday, I see that Mary has watery eyes, red cheeks, and feels warm. Her temperature was 101.5 so off to the doctor we go. They do a test on her and it is positive. The dr. was very concerned because she is 3 months old. He tells me all the warning signs of when I would need to take her to the hospital. The main thing is that she needs to stay hydrated and avoid major congestion. It also was a little scary when I asked the doctor how old is youngest confirmed case was this year and he replied he'd seen one 11 month old, but Mary was the youngest so far.
She cannot be given tamiflu unless her fever continues for more than 3 days.
Saturday, she does not have a fever, but is incredibly fussy. She didn't want to eat or sleep which was a little scary. She was starting to resist nursing so I take her the ER on Saturday night along with tons of other flu patients. We get there and she is smiling wouldn't you know? We see a nurse in triage and I decide she is fine rather than waiting for countless hours.
Sunday, she is great and starting to see more like herself. Mike is also feeling better by this point. We decide to get out of the house and went to "Big Shucks" our favorite local catfish place. We sit on the patio for all the germaphobes out there! We are the only people on the patio at the time. Ellie and Anna are still abounding with energy and no symptoms. I am so glad that I've already had it cause if we we would have both been sick it would have been really rough.
Monday morning comes and Anna is sitting on the couch. She comes to me with vomit all over her. She is not warm, but I can tell she is a little congested. I had to take Mary back to the doctor for a follow-up visit. Also, her fever has returned along with the watery eyes etc... I'm beginning to get a little discouraged cause she was doing so much better. I figure I might as well get Anna tested as well. We get to the Dr. and we now have a "special" waiting area since they know we have the flu. Anna vomits in the waiting area and poor Mary is not feeling well. Dr. Morchower sees me and says "Oh Gosh". It was like he knew instantly what was about to occur.
He gives me a prescription for Mary of tamiflu and Anna tests positive. We head to the pharmacy with 3 prescriptions cause he goes ahead and puts Ellie on tamiflu as well as a preventative. You have to go to a compounding pharmacy to get liquid tamiflu cause they don't make it except for in pill form. We have a compounding pharmacy really close to our house so it worked out well during all of this ordeal. I give all three girls their meds and at this point Anna feels awful. Her fever is 102.7. She sleeps for 4 hours that afternoon.
I lay down with Ellie and she is a wreck. She is so upset that everyone is sick and that she can't do anything like Preschool, church, playgroup etc... I ask Ellie if she wants to do somehting fun with mommy that night and she says in this super sad voice "you take me to the pumpkin patch"? I took her to dinner that night and to do some errands. We saved the pumpkin patch for when Anna could go as well. They all take a long nap which was glorious!
Mike watches Anna and Mary that night. After, two doses of tamiflu Anna and Mary are doing great! It worked almost instantly. Anna no longer had a fever and was running around. Her swine flu ordeal lasted all of 5 hours. Mary is also doing great.
Ellie has still not gotten it and I think she is in the clear. She's been such a trooper during all of the boredom in spite of not knowing what was really going on. Here's a few things I've learned during this whole ordeal in no particular order.
* I am so glad that our pediatrician is 5 minutes away from our house and how important it is to really like and trust your doctor. He was amazing and told me to call with any questions over the weekend. He also really monitored Mary by seeing her 3 different times just to check her out.
* I've learned that for the most part the body is very resiliant and it is pretty difficult to catch the flu in most cases. Of course, it was easy when we all live together every day. However, no one at my girls weekend caught it and no one in our community group got it even though Mike and I both were contgious when we were around them.
* I am so glad that I am breastfeeding Mary. The Doctor kept reiterating how important it was for her immune system and it was the best thing I could do for her. So even though she's yet to take a bottle and it has been 4 long months of nursing her exclusively I know God had a plan for it.
* I've learned to not live in fear. There was only one point where Mike and I were pretty scared for Mary, but he told me we have to give her up and know that God has ordained her days.
* I learned that having sickness in a family for even 2 weeks is stressful. There was no one who could help us cause they would get it and it was pretty hard to not have any family in town.
* I will not stop my life. My kids will be back in the church nursery and at preschool. Of course, they are immune now except for Ellie, but she must have quite the immune system. I realized how much I missed community and friends. I cannot determine when or where they will get sickness from, but just have to trust that we can handle whatever comes our way.
* I learned that the swine flu was not that bad at all in our situation. I can see how it could get bad really fast especially if you had a cold prior to getting it to where it really went to your lungs.
*One thing that was really a bummer was that it was staggered in our situation. I kept Ellie and Anna home from preschool and church for almost 2 full preschool weeks even though they were not sick just to make sure they didn't carry any of the flu back to school. The Dr. kept telling me if they don't have a fever and are not positive for the test then send them. I just couldn't risk it for other people. Anna will get to go back next Tuesday and Ellie went back today. She was so excited and did great!
* I learned more about compassion. I had one friend who called every day during the whole time we were confined to the house. I knew no one could come see us, but just to have someone to talk to was so encouraging each day. We also had a sweet friend bring us dinner that was so yummy. I was capable of cooking, but just to have a little break and for someone to think of you was really sweet! I want to be more like that with others.
All in all I'm glad it is over and that normal life can resume on Sunday, but we did learn alot through it all. God was so faithful to us and answered many people's prayers to keep sweet Mary healthy. Thanks for all your prayers! Hoping for a healthy rest of the year!