Confessions Of A Paranoid Pessimist  

Posted by Heidi

It’s looking like, when it comes to my little town, the Ashworth family could become ground zero for the swine flu. It’s not a comfortable thought (it's okay--being infamous is fun!). The Spouse teaches at a school several towns over that is richly populated with students who travel to and from Mexico on a regular basis. It was just a matter of time before a student came down with this new/old (depends on whom you’re talking to) flu. Sure enough, there was one confirmed case of it yesterday, leading the Board of Health to close the school for two weeks. As the school is at least ten miles away and our town is populated by those who do not regularly travel to and from Mexico, I feel like our home is a potential den of vibrant germs just waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting community.

I am as concerned about contracting the flu here in our house (we’ll know for sure in 7-10 days. Woo hoo!) as I am about sharing it with others. A few years ago, my Little Guy was hospitalized with dehydration after the flu, not once, but twice. The other day I made him swear on a stack of holy bibles (we don’t keep the unholy kind around) that if he should get sick, he WILL do as I ask (as in---EAT! DRINK!) whether he feels like it or not. He gravely agreed (no pun intended).

There is plenty of conflicting information out there as to what we should expect. I hope that those who are taking a very optimistic view of this situation are 100% correct. Meanwhile, if I seem a bit paranoid about a flu that might or might not be new, to which we might or might not have immunities, that might or might not spread like wildfire, that might or might not sicken and possibly kill lots of people (some of whom could potentially get it from us—eep!) I’m sorry, but it’s just not something I feel optimistic about.

So flu me.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at Saturday, May 02, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

41 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Did you just say so flu me? Did you? Because that is very funny for a paranoid pessimist. Just so you know.

I love you. Fluids. Rest. Good movie rentals. It helps even going into the flu.

May 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

I beat out Kristina? How'd that happen?

May 2, 2009 at 2:04 PM

So flu me. hee hee hee. Love it!

Our school is taking extra precautions like making the kids wash hands a billion times and use hand sanitizer. My little girl came home smelling like a hospital the other day. It was lovely.

May 2, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Sorry about your paranoid pessimism. It is hard to find the balance between responsible caution and paranoia. Here, in Park City, they have closed some schools, but nothing yet in Happy Valley. Oink.

May 2, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I'm crossing my fingers for you, Heids. (You're hilarious, by the way.)

My dudes' teacher scared the crap out of them with precautions for the swine flu. They came home telling me that they'll die if they get it so can they please wash their hands a lot? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad their teacher is advocating the washing of hands and all but the death thing was a little too much. Wish us luck that we'll get through it without too much paranoia at our house too.

May 2, 2009 at 2:23 PM

The "So flu me" was pretty good, but the "(no pun intended)" after the "He gravely agreed." is what made me say, "Oh my gosh." As in scary and funny. You struck a fine balance here, Heidi. Congrats. :)

Rest and get better. I'm sure you will. I'm also sure you'll keep keeping us posted, and for that I'm grateful

May 2, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Jami--yes, it's good to know I haven't lost my sense of humor. That does make me feel better--thank you! Carolyn, can you believe I had to contact Little Guy's teacher and ask her to pls allow my son to wash his hands before he eats? People have been way more casual about it out here than in Utah from what I can tell. It should really be the opposite considering . . . Kazzy--thank you for pointing out that it's hard. It feels hard to me, that's for sure! Laura--I guess I can be glad for that reason that people have been more in denial here in California. Even my own husband was shocked when his school was closed down. Weird. Lisa--thank you (all of you) for appreciating my dark humor. I tried really hard to express myself while not spreading my paranoia and being humorous at the same time. You guys make me feel like I succeeded. Yippee! Now we are going to watch a Simpsons marathon (after a last run for toilet paper and other important items, we are putting ourselves into self imposed quarantine for a while--we don't want to be the ones who spread this all over church, etc.)

May 2, 2009 at 2:59 PM

I agree with Lisa - fine balance here. Sometimes you have to laugh to stay sane, methinks.

May 2, 2009 at 3:16 PM

I've been thinking though, if you were going to catch this flu, wouldn't it be better to catch it in the early stages. Before the pandemic hits, when you can still get LOTS of special attention in the hospital?

May 2, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Yes, I agree with all: Way to keep the humor strong even when paranoia is attempting to take over.

Now, just what will you know in 7-10 days? Did a sample from your house get sent to the CDC or whomever it is they are sending samples to?

May 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM

I wish I had some comforting positive advice for you. But all my great ideas flu away (ok, that wasn't as clever as your flue me)
This is crazy for sure---Park City confirmed a case in their school district and my hubby teaches school too -----------Just say over and over and over --like a chant, and if you smoke some drift wood I bet it would help too--WE WILL NOT GET THE FLU, WE WILL NOT GET THE FLU.

May 2, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Oh good grief. I'm SO sorry you have to worry about this!!!
keep us posted, though.

May 2, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Kim--that's actually the motto of my life--laugh and live, cry and die. (I've had lots to laugh and live about) Heatherlyn--TOTALLY. It is hard to know what to do. I would rather not get it at all as I have practically no immune system and every time I get sick, I just get sicker and sicker. I was in the hospital with complications of flu last year and the Big Guy doesn't do well when I'm not doing well. It could be even worse in the fall OR there could be a vaccine. Hard to know what to think. Lara--that's the incubation period. If my husband got it at school/work, it could take that long for symptoms to show up. Wendy--he still has to go to work but doens't have to deal with student behavior problems so he is actually pretty stoked about the whole ting. Randi--thanks! I will!

May 2, 2009 at 4:15 PM

My motto: Crisis + Time = Humor
Mostly we skip the time part so really it's Crisis = Humor.

Come back to Utah...we may be paranoid, but we've got mad supplies of chocolate and we constantly wash our hands!

May 2, 2009 at 4:29 PM

You know you wrote this whole post so you could use the "so flu me"!! Hahaha I loved it! I'm sorry you're right in the middle of this, I'll be thinking and praying for you guys! :)

May 2, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Good luck in dodging the virus. I am optimistic for you. We have it here in our town as well. Lots of agriculture workers here. But I am not going to "hog" all the sanitizer either. There is none anyways.

I say this is a great time to "pig" out and eat your cares away.

Good luck Heidi.

May 2, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Jami beat me because I was at another lunch with some bloggers, and finally met Motherboard. Muuwwwaaaahhhh!

And I think that I might be TOO optimistic.

May 2, 2009 at 5:39 PM


(but don't tell anyone that I'm paranoid too.)

May 2, 2009 at 6:15 PM

see - while MY teachers are just over-reacting yours are just fine - really.

Frankly I'd love to have the next two weeks off (there's only 3 weeks left of school anyway) but I really hope that your place doesn't become ground zero for the neighborhood.

Fluids, fluids, fluids - we had a little dehydration issue last summer too - Middle Son passed out/seized twice before I had to say "I don't care if you're worried about throwing it back up - you MUST drink water!"

May 2, 2009 at 6:38 PM

So flu me! (Knock on wood). hee hee Good one.

You're so lucky you might get a free pass to stay home from church! ;)

J/K Miss Heidi. STAY healthy!

May 2, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Well it will definitely be okay because you have been worrying about it. I'm not just paranoid - I'm also superstitious.

But seriously - I'm sure it will be fine!

May 2, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I'm so sorry! We are not as concerned about swine flu in particular around here, but we just decided that we are not going to church tomorrow so as to keep the whole ward healthy.

May 2, 2009 at 7:38 PM

I hope you never see a case of this awful flu, even if it means you can never again say "so flu me"! That was priceless...I might steal it (giving you full credit of course!)
Have a wonderful weekend...stay well....heeheehee*snort* oops!

May 2, 2009 at 7:41 PM

I love your "no pun intended" line. Hilarious.

But I can certainly see why you are scared! I'll send a little prayer your way.

P.S. Good idea, not keeping any unholy Bibles around.

May 2, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Well, I guess on the optimistic side of things, according to NPR and the BBC, Mexico is revising its estimate of victims DOWN today and the World Health Organization is saying that it's proving easy to contain.

So I think you were smart to get the promise out of your little dude and you're smart to be watchful and aware. But don't get to stressed because that makes you more susceptible to the very thing you're stressing about: flu!

I must go. I have a sudden hankering for an unholy Bible. Funny phrase.

May 2, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Val--isn't that what Marie Osmond says? I think I actually blogged about that once--tee hee. Melinda, honestly, it didn't come to me until just before I typed it. I rewrote most of what came before it but the "so flu me" was totally off the top of my head. :)Jan, I most heartily agree. Part of my preparations for a possible quarantine was to buy lots of goodies in case we can't get out to buy any. Yay! Kristina-you got to meet Motherboard!?!?!? She didn't come to MY party even tho I invited her. NOW I'm REALLY feeling paranoid! Heather--I'm sure you're right (your secret is safe with me!) T--they are so stubborn aren't they? Crash--we are totally staying home. I know plenty of moms who would be mad as hornets & it would be so easy to trace it back to us. Kate--me too! I think it's very helpful in avoiding disaster. :) Rachel--good plan! Lilly--well, yes, the full credit would be appreciated (just kidding!) (It's not THAT great!) Erin--you're such a card (and thanks for the prayers!)

May 2, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Melanie--I want to feel better about things but I suspect Mexico is just spinning things in an attempt to save their economy. I'm such a pessimist!

May 2, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Please tell me I did not quote Marie Osmond!!!

I actually heard it about 25 - 30 years ago at an Education Week in San Diego!!

There were 3 main phrases this man wanted us to remember...
1. Crisis + Time = Humor
2. Love is what we've been through together.
3. Make a promise, keep a promise.

See, sometimes I do pay attention to talks!! (or at least I used to!)

May 2, 2009 at 9:11 PM

I feel like you just invented the bumper sticker quote of the year. You seriously should market that little witticism and make millions of dollars so you can afford to take yourself to a relaxing, therapeutic recovery spa -- in Switzerland -- to get over this darn flu. Good luck!

May 2, 2009 at 9:19 PM

Val--clearly Marie attended the same Education Week (or heard the same speaker). Whatever, it's very true, isn't it? I should know. Sue--you are so sweet! Do ya think I should go out and get it copyrighted? (JK)

May 2, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Odds of getting struck by lightning: 1 in 700,000. Odds of getting swine flu: 1 in 1.879 million. That's kind of how I look at it... although, I can totally understand your concern afterall... you're closer to Mexico than I...

May 2, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Good thing you've done research on quarantines. Are you guys going to perform some Shakespeare?

Hope the precautions are just that and that you actually haven't been flued.

Have you put your name on the prayer roll?

May 2, 2009 at 11:34 PM

I hope your family is spared from this illness! Two weeks off school is going to be interesting any way...

May 3, 2009 at 6:02 AM

Hey there kiddo, The best thing to do is try to increase your immune system and one awesome way of doing that is with Vitamin D3. Remember, I think we spoke of it on your recent visit. It really does help and you can get the higher doses right there in your little neck of the woods. Try I am hopeful that there will be no need for it at your house, but you nevah know.

May 3, 2009 at 7:24 AM

Abra--that's a good point--but someone at my husband's place of employment has it so that does bring it quite a bit closer to home. Pam-OMGOSH! I haven't even thought once of the quarantine in Miss D! How funny! Heidi--the schools my kids go to are still open . . so far . . .Roxanne--you are so right! And I was totally planning on getting some when I was there. Thanks so much for the reminder!

May 3, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Here's to staying healthy!!

May 3, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Oh, I sure hope you will be okay. It doesn't seem to be too serious here in the USA so hopefully that will continue to be the case. I have a nephew in Mexico City we haven't heard from in two weeks, but I am sure if he were ill, we would have gotten that news.

Best of luck!

May 3, 2009 at 6:41 PM

I'll just pray lots of prayers your direction, okay?

May 4, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Stay safe and healthy, my friend...and washing your hands - ALOT!

May 4, 2009 at 8:45 AM

I hope this crazy flu passes your sweet family by!

May 4, 2009 at 10:17 AM

They just came out with a way to prevent the swine flu. Apparently you have to eat Krispy Cremes in your undies - I'll think you'll be just swine! I mean fine!

May 4, 2009 at 11:54 AM

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