Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anti-Fever Fervor

I'm not sure how to categorize my level of concern regarding H1N1.* Most mornings, I am concerned enough to call for the few vaccination time slots that our pediatrician's office offers each day even though it is a seemingly futile process of redial, busy signal, redial, two rings that trigger hope followed by a automatic message about all circuits being busy, redial, busy, and on and on.

I am not yet so concerned that I have taken the boys and I to one of Chicago's free vaccine clinics. I can't make the two clinic days during the week due to teaching and have been assuming that the ones on Saturdays are a hot, crowded mess. Plus, I am not that familiar with the neighborhoods where the clinics are held. Also, I am not clear on what kind of vaccine they have. If it's only the mist, Little Bit is too little and Bub had his seasonal flu mist too recently to get the H1N1 mist.

My ob's office has it but they're only giving it to third trimester patients right now. I call and check in there every three days or so for me.

One of my precautions is to use hand sanitizer around the house and pretty much every time we get in and out of the car . . . before and after school, the grocery store, music class, etc. Another precaution is to avoid unnecessary outings that may expose us to unwanted germs (no Target Cafe just to kill time, no Children's Museum even though Bub keeps asking, no McDonalds Playplace, none of the places where you pay to play). Music class (only seven people involved), swim lessons (doesn't chlorine kill everything?), grocery shopping, and preschool are still on our agenda. I'm not saying no to play dates, but I have not been doing much to arrange any. Am I being too paranoid? Not enough? I have no idea.

My other precaution is to get out the "butt gasoline" (Bub's phrase for vaseline) and take the boys' temperatures every time I have the slightest concern that one of them may have a fever. Though we have been fever free so far, I think I may be overdoing it on the temperature taking.

Please see the photo of Bub below. I was able to take the picture because Little Bit and I were invited to attend the last thirty minutes of his preschool Halloween party. We watched Bub make his craft, do the Monster Mash on the colored carpet for a couple of seconds, and then leave the dance party to become absorbed in the Pet Hospital set-up in the creative play corner of the room.

What was he doing in the Pet Hospital? Taking the rectal temperature of a teddy bear, of course. Note his precision and enthusiasm.


What precautions are you taking for H1N1? Do you think I am overdoing it? Or, do you think I should get my butt in line for the Chicago vaccine clinic? Please share in the comments.

Also, remember that I am participating in National Blog Posting Month and posting every day in November. Please keep checking back!





*I thought we were supposed to call the virus H1N1 now, but I am hearing it called swine flu more and more now. Did something change?

13 comments:

LAP said...

I'm too busy soaking in the "butt gasoline" and rectal temperature taking of the stuffed animal to fully comment on H1N1. I'd like the vaccine for my family(especially because I heard it takes 3 weeks to become effective?) and I am not confident we can avoid it for that long. But, out of my control so we're just taking many of the same precautions you are, except that on the couple of occasions I've taken their temperatures to verify no fever, I go the wimpy ear thermometer route...

Nap Warden said...

I have never washed my hands so much in my life!

I got the vaccination for the kiddos. I'll get it for me when they allow us to. What else can you do?

msh said...

that might be the best picture of a child i have ever seen.

and as for the flu, josie and i got it a clinic in only 40 minutes, and eli's going to get it at school--but i'm pretty sure that by the time the vaccine gets to the school, everyone there will have already had the swine flu--it's insanity there. but so far, mr. immunity seems to have avoided it. (though a single cough today did flare up a bit of paranoia). i like to think that i'm getting better and better at talking myself out of paranoia. i've been a parent for almost 6 years, so maybe by the time they're in college i'll be able to sleep through the night. maybe.

Sarah D said...

No, I don't think you're being paranoid, I am doing the same things you're doing, too.
I was unsure about the vaccine at first, I think the media is putting a lot of bad info out there. My mom's good friend is the head of infectious disease control at Children's and she gave me the straight deal and I now want to get it for Lily if I can find somewhere to get it.
I've also been avoiding places that I would usually be taking her, like the Children's Museum, the playroom at the gym, etc, b.c I feel like its germ city at these places right now. Is that taking it too far? I don't know. I just don't want her to get sick if I can help it!!!!!

E... said...

Despite my paranoia and my precautions to try to maintain some control over something basically uncontrollable, I fear we are smack in the middle of the H1N1, or at least some other nasty virus. They got the vaccine, or at least step one of it a week ago. O. was at the doctor with the cough and fever on Friday, and N. is going today. I did what I could to keep them away from it, and am glad I did all that I could, (basically the same precautions you are taking) but it seems to be inescapable, really. Just hoping we can keep on top of N's breathing and get her through whatever it is that she has.

Actchy said...

I'm basically just rolling with life and praying we avoid it.

But just to incite more panic: aren't you supposed to take rectal temperature with a water-soluable lubricant? I was instructed not to use Butt Gasoline?

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Hmmmm. I do believe that I am an extreme minority in that I'm not worried about it. There isn't anything we can do to avoid the flu, really. Vaccines may work, but they don't always. At least not for the dozens of flu strains that are out there. Also, in our area, not all doctor offices are even TESTING for the H1N1. They're just ASSUMING you have it. So you may not even know if the vaccine you get ever even applies...

Anyway. Being safe is good, but try to not focus on it, hon. Your kids WILL get sick this winter. It's almost a given, right? MOST PEOPLE are ok with H1N1. MOST PEOPLE are ok with regular old flu. Like every sickness, there are extremes, but other than living in a bubble, there isn't much you can do to avoid it.

PITA said...

As a first grade teacher, I have convinced myself that I have some sort of immunity towards these sorts of things. I figure I am coughed, snotted, or sneezed on several times a day, so the germ exposure is definitely there. I sanitize myself and my materials faithfully, so I am not worrying about it to much. So here
s to hoping my "immunity" gets me through...

PS. Still smiling over the butt gasoline and the photo. Just priceless really.

PITA said...

As a first grade teacher, I have convinced myself that I have some sort of immunity towards these sorts of things. I figure I am coughed, snotted, or sneezed on several times a day, so the germ exposure is definitely there. I sanitize myself and my materials faithfully, so I am not worrying about it to much. So here
s to hoping my "immunity" gets me through...

PS. Still smiling over the butt gasoline and the photo. Just priceless really.

Anonymous said...

MEP I think you are taking great precautions... I am trying to keep things in focus but be careful not to take unnecessary risks. Michael got the vaccine... G and M are getting it tomorrow. I think that the media is making it a circus. Michael doesn't even want to go to preschool pickup anymore for fear of too many questions. Hope you are staying well. BDAVIN

CaraBee said...

I think I must be living in a bubble, because I know virtually no one that has had H1N1 and I feel like our risk is very low. Which is why I haven't gone out of my way to get the vaccine for myself or Sophie. When I took her in for her 2 yr appt, they didn't have any and didn't expect to get any until sometime mid-November, at which point I am supposed to do what you're doing, ie call every day until it shows up. Frankly, her ped didn't seem all that concerned about it. All of which makes me, the greatest under-reacter ever, think we're probably okay not getting it. Famous last words, right?

Butt gasoline is AWESOME. As is Bub taking the bear's rectal temperature. Which reminds me. Do you still take his temp that way? We've switched to the ear variety around here.

Regan said...

Pig flu is just the flu. Two years ago, it was shark attacks. Five years ago SARS! Ten years ago, terrorists. Ten years before that, ALAR! In the early 80s, Nuclear Armageddon. Prior to that: Global Cooling. Rachel Carson and DDT before I was born . . . And so on. Never underestimate the tendency of news people and government toward crisis.

160,000 annual deaths in US from lung cancer.
43,000 annual deaths from motor vehicle wrecks.
1,000 swine flu deaths "so far" according to CDC (they keep hoping).

cake said...

i am impressed that you manage to use take temperatures rectally. i never could get myself to do it, though i also find myself frustrated with the (fairly high quality, NTB) ear thermometer that we use.

Re: H1N1, my opinion? too paranoid.

 
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