Now that I’m a survivor, I prefer to call the disease H1N1 because really, of all the nasty names you can come up with for a disease, throwing the word swine in front of it really trumps anything. I mean really, oh you have measles, mumps, gonorrhea (ok now that’s pretty nasty)?? Oh, well I have SWINE flu. You know, it originated with pigs. And to top it off, I just read that it not only has pig genes but bird genes, along with human genes making it a "quadruple reassortant." So really, I have the pig, dirty bird flu. Eeewwww.
Obviously, I did not heed the CDC’s warning to get myself vaccinated. I debated whether or not to. Given more time, I may have even been convinced, but saying you’ll be vaccinated and actually doing it is a different story when the vaccine seems nowhere to be found. Really, I don’t know a single person in my area who has actually received the shot. Chances are you’ve already had this pesky little flu or will get it sometime in the future, so to help you better prepare, let me share with you what it’s like. I’m sure you’re dying to know.
After returning from a run a few nights ago, I complained to Matt of discomfort in my chest, which we attributed to running in the cold. I mean, it had dipped into the sixties. Other than that I felt fine, went to bed and awoke the next morning to meet a friend at the gym. I felt a little weird when I woke up but figured exercise would do me good. The closer I got to the gym the worse I felt, and had to text my friend that I wouldn’t be coming and call my mother-in-law to see if she could take Emma while I slept this off. I was overcome with nausea and was sure it was just pregnancy hormones finally catching up with me. I dropped Emma off, went straight to sleep, and woke up throwing up and miserable. I couldn’t stop coughing (and puking) and suddenly my body was aching and I had awful chills (even though it was 80 degrees in my house). I threw on a sweatshirt and blankets and fell back asleep. Emma came back home to nap, as I fell back asleep and realized that this probably was a little more than just pregnancy hormones. I gave the doctor a call, and my symptoms and pregnant state gave me a free pass to an appointment (turns out they’re diagnosing most people over the phone). That evening when Emma awoke from her nap I was almost in tears at the thought of taking care of her feeling like this. Thankfully my mother-in-law is just a few minutes down the road and was able to take her (and still has her might I add). I slept most of the evening away and went to bed early. The next morning I felt quite a bit better and was off to the doctor. I was directed by my mom and pharmaceutical rep friend to demand a swab test, but thankfully they gave it to me willingly. So, my nose was violated with two long swabs, and I was told that even if the test comes back negative it doesn’t mean I don’t have the flu because it only shows up 50% of the time.
I went back to sleep and awoke from my slumber to find out that I indeed did have the dreaded swine flu. Gross. I headed to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for Tamiflu (after reading about it on the Internet and calling my OB for more confirmation that it was safe). By this time I was starting to feel pretty bad again, so I was thankful to get my meds from the nice pharmacist who also assured me that the CDC recommends that all swine-flued pregnant women take Tamiflu. Ok then. I took my pill and headed back to bed only to wake up an hour later to an awful afternoon of yacking my guts out. I went back to the pharmacy with the anti-nausea prescription that the doc had prescribed me but didn’t think I needed and proceeded to repeatedly vomit at the nice pharmacist's window. Embarrassing? I’d say so.
So, now I’m on day three and think I’m on my way back to the land of the living. I still get achy and tired and have coughing fits here and there, but the nausea/vomiting has subsided. I’ve been slowly trying to disinfect the house before Emma comes back home and sleeping a lot still. I woke up from an afternoon nap wanting food other than crackers or chicken noodle soup for the first time. A cold chocolate shake sounded so good, so I threw on a bra and headed out with my greasy hair to grab one. Unfortunately, I came home bawling because it didn’t taste good at all and fell asleep on the couch to my husband’s understandable confusion. After I woke up we headed over to his parents' house to pick up some soup, and I gazed in the window from the back porch to watch Em play. Turns out she’s doing fine without me. Tomorrow I think I’ll be ready and hopefully de-germed enough to pick up my daughter. Though now Matt is complaining of not feeling good. Ehhh, so it goes.