The Swine Flu and Me  

Posted by Heidi in

Hey, I’m feeling funny! Just not my usual kind of funny. This swine flu thing has me feeling funny in my stomach. Even my Abraham Darby roses seem to be feeling a bit glum but I think that might have something to do with not getting enough water while I was in Utah. I don't think water will help what is getting me in the gut. I think they call it “anxiety”. But, hey! What do I have to be worried about?
My husband works in a school full of kids with relatives who might or might not be driving up from Mexico to flee the flu this very moment or could even have been here for some time. But so what?
The fact that the elementary school down the street from where he teaches was closed down yesterday due to the flu is nothing to get my panties in a bunch. Right?
I keep telling myself that the sore throat, headache, lethargy and fatigue I’m experiencing are all due to my being out of town, not getting enough sleep and whooping it up with serious drugs (also known as wheat and sugar). Plus, my fibro always acts up a few days before it rains (it hits here tomorrow.) (The rain, not the flu. It's already here in my county.) Oh, and I was in not one but TWO international airports on Monday. Nothing to worry about. Everything is going to be okay.

Yet, I can’t get that image out of my mind. The one I witnessed as I was riding along the moving catwalk in the Salt Lake airport just moments before I learned of the swine flu epidemic from the TV set up at my gate. The one of a woman weeping and running, her long, black hair streaming out behind her as she cried, “Mama mia!” The one of “Mama”, clearly a recent arrival, pulling her suitcase behind her, her black eyes filled with tears.

Then another image crowds my mind. The one of the Little Guy back when he was three and became severely dehydrated from just the regular-ol’-flu and had to be hospitalized. Twice.
I think of him up on the stage for The Three Piggy Opera, swinging those hips and shaking that finger saying, “No way! No way! No-oh-oh, way! Not by the hair of my chinny chin-chin!”

If only it were that simple.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at Thursday, April 30, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

39 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Oh sheesh! Dehydration is scary.

IMHO this is a good excuse to drink as much diet coke as you want.

April 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I'm sure you're fine! It's probably just regular old cancer or something.

But honestly, a ton of people die a year from the regular flu! I think this will be the next Y2K. But again, if I do actually get it, feel free to mock me.

April 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Ack! No! I know you're kidding, Randi, but just FYI, it takes all the fluid in a drink like that just to wash it out of your system plus it doesn't even have sugar to give it any redeeming value. If someone is in danger of dehydration, please drink water or gatorade or something that has electrolytes in it. My kid would refuse to drink when he was nauseated. The diarrhea got to the point where it would just run down his legs like wet cement and puddle in his shoes. Not a fun thing at all. Last night I sat him down and made him promise that if he were ever to get sick, that he would do exactly what I tell him to whether he feels like it or not. Yep, I'm scared.

April 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Kristina, you make me laugh! That just tells you how good regular old cancer is sounding to me right about now.

April 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

I know that many people speculate about "what's in the water" in Utah - but really - it's safe to drink... at least it is if you've left your hubby behind in California :)

I hate the flu - there's always the fluish kids - but we had a bout of the REAL flu last year and I was shocked... that's what sick is!

April 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

If my husband worked at the school I would be worried too. I feel like a ninny for being so nervous about the whole thing. I keep hearing that it's no different from any other flu, but somehow that isn't making me feel any better.

April 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

I'm prayin' for ya Heids! You take care you and the little guy too! (Well, ALL of your family!)

April 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

My third daughter got pneumonia last year during a flu epidemic. The emergency room was so crazy busy that they almost didn't catch it (they actually sent us home, then called the next morning to tell us they had finally caught it on the x-ray). Flu epidemics are scary, but so far it looks like the cases up here haven't really been too serious.

April 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

There's a little boy in my Spec ed class that gets home Monday from a warm and relaxing vacay in Mexico. We may call his mother Monday night and ask if he can stay home for a few more days. Sheesh!

A self-imposed quarantine with the loved ones sounds pretty good.

Hope you feel better soon.

April 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Yikes-I hope you are okay! Along with the rest of your family.

April 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Oh! Poor Heidi. Greg is sick and has had the thought that he met three Americans on Sunday who had been flying internationally. . . (although you will surely not appreciate the joke he pulled on his accountant. Sorry!)

I hope you get feeling better and I'm sure you'll be okay. Please keep us well posted, Heidi.

April 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Oh my! I really, really, really, really hope it's not the flu. We've done the hospital thing with my middle one. It was scary and they told us he would have had serious problems if we waited to long (yes, death is a serious problem).

Drink lots, sleep lots, and hopefully things will get back to normal soon!

April 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I had to brush a tear away, just for you and your fam. Man, I think this is the topic of the day. Why were we all so scared about some stupid birds causing avian flu. Really, we should have thought ahead and realized that the filthy pigs would be the ones to get us. I'm going with Kristina on this one, let's all blame Mario Lopez for this one, and hope for cancer instead.

April 30, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Julie, you made me LOL. Stake the pigs! Carolyn--it IS scary, isn't it? Lisa--I totally wanna hear the joke! Email me! Barb--thanks! Kaz--Ah, Yeah! I think I would call his mom and ask her to keep him home. It's not like we haven't been asked to keep our Big Guy home from special ed class and for far less reason. Pam--that's what really scares me--the over crowded emergency rooms. Yikes! Laura--thanks sweetie! Sue--well, it IS different from other flus in that we have no immunity against it. No human has ever had it before now so lots of people will get it and the more that do, the worse things can get for those who are vulnerable, such as the aged, the young and the kids like my Little Guy. T--ha ha about the water! I guess I'm glad he stayed home. But, yes, I had the flu a year ago and I had to go to the emergency room, too!

April 30, 2009 at 11:10 AM

This is not related to this post, but I just wanted to say that the dress you LURVE was actually made out of upholstery material. So it's very possible that your pillows could have been made of the exact same material. My husband joked all night that his grandmother had a couch made out it.

April 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM

I really hope it's nothing, they have shut down one school here in chicago too.... scary times, but I still ate bacon last night LOL


April 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM

I was at my doctor's office yesterday (completely un-flu-related) and the receptionist was explaining YET AGAIN that the biggest difference in swine flu/regular flu (symptom wise) is that with the regular flu you wake up thinking you MIGHT be able to make it to work... but with the swine flu you KNOW there's no way you're going to make it... you'd be lucky to stay upright all the way to the bathroom.

April 30, 2009 at 11:14 AM

did you know that Egypt ordered the slaughter of every pig in Egypt?
Just an FYI moment...
Although my sister pointed out that since it's being passed along via humans now... she's just glad they haven't ordered the slaughter of all the humans in Egypt - or maybe they haven't thought really hard into this yet...

April 30, 2009 at 11:22 AM

It's that part of your life that you can't control that is the scariest. You're a lot closer to the front so more concerned, and rightly so, than I am. But I have just been thinking lately. At first I wasn't really worried because I figured we would be fine. We don't travel a lot. We don't spend a lot of time with people who do travel a lot. And we don't know anyone who has been in Mexico in the last six months. Except. . . my daughter goes to school. And who knows where her friends have been? Who they have been hanging around? What if one of them went to Mexico to visit their grandparents. . . And so it goes and I have to let my children out into the world and hope they stay safe.

I hope you all stay safe. I'll be praying for you.

April 30, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I was going to say something funny and then I read Kristina P.'s comment. hahahahahaha Oh that girl is crazy.

I hope you're feeling better soooooon.

April 30, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I hope you just have vacation hangover and fibro fun. No flu - swine or otherwise.

And if laughter really is the best medicine...follow Kristina P. around the internet, she's spreading all kinds of sunshine around today! (her comment on youngbloods4ever is so good!)

Be well my friend! And your family too!

April 30, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better! It'll be okay, I promise!

April 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Oh dear, Heidi, try not to think of it. POSITIVE thinking ---generate good health Karma, drive all evil flu possibilites OUT of your mind. You are OK --- besides, it is really uncomfortable when your panties are in a bunch.

April 30, 2009 at 12:53 PM

The name swine flu bugs me. My friend here is really nervous about this new bug. I figure, GOD hasn't killed me yet....I'll live untill he does.

April 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Oh, man, you're like a prime target, huh? I feel some anxiety about it too, and my husband doesn't work in a school, and it's not in our county...yet. But we shall get through! No bugs!

April 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Take care Heidi. At least it is not a time to panic. saying this with my fingers crossed :)

Love the flowers. Those are just beautiful.

April 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM

My kids just got home from school with a full page note telling us that they are not currently worried about the swine flu...

ummm... thanks, I think.

Maybe I need to keep them home for a few "mental health days" - which is what we called ditching in my family.

April 30, 2009 at 2:45 PM

I have to confess that while I hate giving in to the panic, I'm very worried for all my friends living near outbreaks. =(

April 30, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Melissa--that is so funny! I think my pillows were by Waverly. Stacey--I think bacon is safe to eat. :) T--since I'm making it to the bathroom just fine, I think I'm good for now. Abra--that is hysterical! So funny! Rachel--I agree, it is the total lack of control that has me most bugged. Crash--she is truly funny, isn't she? Val--I know, huh? Melinda and Wendy--thanks (and no doubt about the panties!) Kelline--very good point! Jenna--here's keeping my fingers crossed. Jan--thank you! THey are making the whole room smell, they are so beautiful! T--it sounds like you don't have to worry about it there just now. Kim--thanks, friend!

April 30, 2009 at 3:47 PM

I'm a bit paranoid too. But I'm going to pretend that I'm not. Especially because the first case in MN is one hour from me and VERY near my hometown. ACK!

April 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Man, I hope you don't have the SF! Mr.4444 will be flying next week and is seriously thinking about picking up some masks!

April 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

lol I vlogged about swine flu - my DD has had a fever for two days, I'm sure it isn't flu but it is hard not to be paranoid!

April 30, 2009 at 9:34 PM

I know... I get paranoid like that! :) So sad I missed your party Heidi... I had to fly out Friday night to get back in time for my thingy... But I wished I could've made it! :)

I'm going to do a review on your excellent book in a few days!!! I love Sir Anthony! :)

April 30, 2009 at 9:39 PM

The roses are gorgeous.

And I'm not worried about the swine flu because I think the regular flu is a much bigger deal and that's treatable. I think since everyone knows about swine flu now, anyone who gets it at this point can get early and effective treatment.

Which is my way of saying, don't worry. You'll be fine. Just watch for respiratory stuff and go to the doctor right away.

But you won't need to. I promise. I'll send you Swedish fish if I'm lying.

May 1, 2009 at 12:10 AM

I am pretty sure we'll be exposed what with our high numbers of Mexican vacationers in the neighborhood and school. But we rarely get flu, so I'm crossing my fingers for our family's immune systems holding up.

More than anything I worry about the kids getting all scared. I must admit to encouraging hand-washing even more than I normally do though. I keep saying to myself, "It's just the flu. It will be fine." If the kids begin to get tense, I'll try the same line on them.

I got ridiculously worried about anthrax back in 2001 and that turned out a much smaller deal than was being reported. I think/hope swine flu will be too.

[I'd like to thank you, btw, for getting the "no way" song going in my head again. Catchy little tune, isn't it?]

May 1, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Oh dear!! All the schools around me have been closed due to the swine flu! But I agree with a past commenter... thousands of people die every year from the regular ol' flu and now we've only really had one toddler die due to the swine flu so.....

but if you feel so inclined you can always get a swine flu mask!! They are popping up everywhere (apparently) and they are... gasp... fashionable!! Haha. I blogged about ti today :) I think it's pretty dang funny!

May 1, 2009 at 9:26 AM

There is one possible case a few counties from us, and I'm still slightly panicked! I'm thankful I homeschool, but we pick up everything from church and Walmart. I think I want to go live in a remote area for several months!

Stay safe!

May 1, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Heather--so sorry to spread my paranoia around. Barb--paranoid me thinks it's a very good idea! Fiona--esp with me around! Shelle--I can't wait! I love that you love Sir A! (I do too.) (Sorta.) (Secretly.) Melanie--get the Swedish fish ready b/c I almost died of the regular flu a year ago. (I have no immune system, people!) Jami--my sincere apologies about the No Way song! Yikes! You clicked on the link, didn't you? You're so good to me! Megs--I totally want the "oink" one! Rebecca--in light of our vulernabilities here at our house, we are seriously considering skipping church on Sunday. I swear I think my husband is a carrier of everything. He never gets sick, just the rest of us (mainly me) do. He could infect the whole congregation!!

May 1, 2009 at 11:06 AM

We had to cancel Elizabeth's birthday party because we were having it in Pittsburg. I didn't want to be the lady who had a party where a highly infectious flu was passed and then be blamed because everyone had to be quarantined for a week.

May 1, 2009 at 1:23 PM

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