My Family’s H1N1 (Swine Flu) Adventure

(from a social network perspective)

My family of six and I recently dealt with and survived a full on “smackdown” with the swine flu.  So for anyone out there who may be panicking, getting H1N1 doesn’t mean you necessarily die.  While it IS the nastiest flu ever to hit our family, it didn’t last forever, although we’re still actively dusting off some of its lingering effects.

It began with our 4YO (our youngest) on a Sunday .  We’d been out as a family, running errands, buying groceries, etc. and we were out far later than we’d been on previous outings.  During the last hour or so she seemed very tired and clearly was ready to get home and go to bed.  She bravely trudged on and, in retrospect, complained very little for someone on the verge of having a major flu incident and acting as the Typhoid Mary for our family.  (Okay, given how quickly the others got it they *may* all had the same initial exposure source.)

As it happened, we had been informed not long before this that a child from my the drama class my three oldest attend had been positively diagnosed with H1N1.  We were advised we should watch for signs.

We found them.

So over the course of the next few days all four of the kids and my wife fell ill.  I stayed home from work and took over care that Thursday after the outbreak.  I began tweeting and posting on facebook about it to keep my spirits up and to let my friends and family know we were still alive and kicking (and coughing . . . and fevering . . . )

So for your reading pleasure, here is a slightly redacted (and spell-checked) window into our H1N1 saga, as seen by my social media network. (I’ve intentionally left out the comments of others because after all they wrote them to me, not you.)


October 7th ********************************************

9:48 PM

Up…down…up…down; The fevers & fever holders at my house. ‘Tis the season! {ugh}
11:01 PM
Thanks! I’ll need it. My wife just scored a 101 so I’ll be playing “Mr. Mom” tomorrow for anyone left standing.

October 8th *******************************************

1:45 AM

My wife’s scored a mere 101 on the family fever charts tonight putting her in third place behind my 10YO who’s currently peaking at a modest 102.4, yet still trailing my 4YO, who hung on to her lead holding in the 103s for two days in a row. It’s a tight race, but not all the runners have suited up yet. Shouldn’t be long now!
9:41 AM
9:30am and still no one stirs at my house, not even the dog. Is it the flu or an alien abduction?
10:29 AM
My advice is that everyone should stay away. As it happens, someone in the kids’ drama class recently turned up with a confirmed case of swine flu. My guess is we’re on the slow train through pigville and there’s plenty of room for unwary and unlucky passengers. Thanks for the good wishes!
1:00 PM
So far I’m still good to drive the train. We’ll see how long that lasts. I just wish the track was going in a different direction. Thanks!
5:05 PM
My 6YO has just moved into second place scoring an impressive 102.2! My 4YO, showing good form, has conked out on the living room floor while my 10YO has vanished upstairs to his room to sleep.
5:30 PM
I’m busy making tuna melts and tomato soup for six. #flufood
10:00 PM
It’s never good when the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. In this case, the pig train.
{…my cheeks aren’t hot…my cheeks aren’t hot…my cheeks aren’t hot…} Oh no, is that the pig whistle???
Stay tuned!

October 9th *******************************************

12:51 AM
And last but not least my 12YO has finally landed on the boards with a modest 100.8. Not a bad showing, but given how long this race is running she’s got plenty of time to gain ground.
11:15 AM
My 12YO has now taken the lead with 102.6, while my 10YO and 4YO seem to have mostly dropped out of the race. (Quitters!) We’ve not bothered tracking my wife’s score anymore as she’s been pretty much flattened by the pig train. My 6YO, in a last ditch effort to improve her ranking, raised the bar on the rest a bit by spending the morning, white as a sheet, bent over the toilet! A minor stats correction: my 4YO reportedly peaked at 104.6 so based on a judge’s ruling this officially puts her on record as our high scorer. I’d say this race is only half-over so there’s plenty of scoring room for those still in it and for (don’t write it!) me. {gulp}
11:43 AM
Just keep sending me that “healthy mojo” you tweeted about! It’s certainly seems to he keeping my pigs@bay! Thanks!
11:53 AM
The family is now all resting and watching Dr. Dolittle (1967 with Rex Harrison we picked up from the library). I’d LOVE to be watching with them, but a mandatory meeting at work has keep me on-line since 10am so now I get to go clean up breakfast, start the laundry, blah, blah, blah. Sorry…no pity party here! 🙂
I’m off to care for others!
12:31 PM
Spent 2 days caring for 5 people with pig flu and now I can’t find the digital thermometer. Calgon take me away! #pigflu
12:41 PM
Found backup digital thermometer (NOT the rectal one)! {12YO breathes sigh of relief} Still 102 though… 🙁 #pigflu
12:51 PM
Product makers I wish I’d invested in two weeks ago; Puffs Plus /w lotion & ANYBODY who makes thermometer probe covers.
4:54 PM
Quick sick check before starting dinner. My 12YO’s down to 101.6, but my 6YO has reclaimed the lead at 102. My 10YO has no fever, but he’s coughing his head off. My wife’s been asleep all day. Just checked on my 4YO, who still crashed from quiet time, and see she’s wet the bed in her sleep. (Too much good-for-the-sick hot tea I guess) Looks like I’ll be doing a quick bath and bed strip before making supper! {sheesh}
“Time to make the doughnuts…”
9:43 PM
Last sick update. Fevers appear to have all mostly broken. Appetites are mostly back. Now we’ve moved into the bronchial portion of this pig paradise. Thanks for all who posted, or even thought about it. 🙂
Unless I still end up with it I think we’re on the slow, but much more manageable upswing. ’nuff said . . . Thanks!

October 10th *******************************************

10:36 AM

My wife is still flattened (in bed) sweating and fevering {she’s been up and down though}. My 12YO is flattish (in bed), but feverless after drenching her bed in sweat last night. My 6YO is lightly fevering, but acting fine. My 4YO’s fever broke four days ago when she drenched her bed and she seems back to normal. My 10YO’s cough is much better day. His fever broke three days ago. I’m still clear {somebody has to be!}.
This is the nastiest, dizziest, sweatiest-fever-breaking flu I’ve ever seen! I’m SOO glad it’s the weekend.

12:13 PM

Still healthy caring for sick family. The CDC should make a vaccine from my blood, sweat & tears! #pigflu #flufree
1:42 PM
Hmm. Tried to sound emphatic with last tweet; sounded disgruntled instead. No worries. Glad the #pigflu train has nearly passed. 😉
8:02 PM
Another day spent lovingly caring for sick family. Would love to relax by watching a movie where stuff blows up. #pigflu

October 11th *******************************************

9:12 AM
Possible personal premiere of pernicious porcine pollution has permeated my previously positive posting pabulum. #pigflu.
9:12 AM
I awoke this morning with the first potential signs of “IT” (see my previous, most heavily commented fb post, or my Twitter feed ‘JReaHedrick‘ for more on family flu care) . . . {sigh} . . . Be merciful pig gods for I served you unfaithfully. I have defamed your porcine power and deserve your wrath. {am i hallucinating already???}
3:00 PM
More family sick time? All six of us now convalescing on the couch watching Beauty & the Beast. 🙂 #pigflu
6:57 PM
Days of preparing meals for sick family, tonight my wife says ‘Everything tastes like flu”. #pigflu

October 12th *******************************************

8:34 AM

I’ve got “IT” and it’s the nastiest flu we’ve ever had! NOTE: Rambling sick post warning…continue at your own risk! . . . I’m currently too dizzy to safely walk the house (let alone drive) and other symptoms are mounting up. I’m glad I got the rest of the family through the worst of this, but it’s a particularly bad time for me to be away from work. I’m posting now because if the trend follows I’ll feel too sick to do anything in a couple hours. {violins softly playing a mournful dirge in the background} Going back to bed now to stare at the ceiling and pray for a merciful death. Stay well.

11:42 AM

Thanks. Sadly, my wife’s just taken another turn so I’m preparing for active duty again. It’s hit her so hard, I feel terrible for her. Here’s hoping I don’t get worse so she can rest and get better.
12:37 PM
Kids are upstairs auditioning stuffed animals for Broadway shows. Such imagination! SOO glad they’re feeling better. #pigflu

October 13th *******************************************

3:29 PM
Reports of my perishing by pig pollution were apparently exaggerated…by me! I got off with a mild case. I’m back @work having spent Monday mostly on my back (no fever). Folks @home are slowly getting back to normal. The worst is definitely over. Thanks to all who took time to post. And big phat healthy mojo to you all. If you DO get it, hang on; a few days of porcine purgatory and it’s all over…the flu that is. 😉
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