Should anyone out there be wondering, “Hmmm, should I get the swine flu vaccine?” let me just say one thing:
YES. DO IT. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Otherwise, you may end up like my generally healthy 35-year-old husband, who we’re pretty sure has H1N1. (He’s been exposed at work.) He has been in bed with fevers of 102 (and occasionally higher) for five straight days. It has been awful. He has been miserable, just wretchedly miserable. Neither of us can recall him ever being this sick…and maybe he hasn’t ever been this sick before. I’m hoping to score a same-day appointment tomorrow at the doctor to have him evaluated, because now I’m starting to get all worried about him developing pneumonia.
My son and I are both taking Tamiflu in the hopes of warding off the illness, since we are both high-risk cases (William has asthma, and I am pregnant). But now I am pining for vaccines for us. Neither of us can take the H1N1 FluMist version of the vaccine, or we’d have already done it. Earlier this fall, I had toyed with the idea of signing up for a national clinical trial for pregnant women to receive the H1N1 vaccine in injection form before deciding against it. I figured, “Oh, I’ll just wait ’til the injection is widely available. It’ll only be another month or so. I can wait. Isn’t that what all this Purell is for?” Then David got sick. And the scales fell from my eyes. And I read up on the vaccine for pregnant women on the CDC’s website (Pregnant Women and the Flu). I just don’t want to take any more chances at this point, not after having seen H1N1 up close and especially not in my condition. I’m going to call my OB tomorrow to discuss enrolling in the trial so I can go ahead and get vaccinated. Even the thought of being as sick as my husband AND being pregnant (and oh yes, still having some sickness associated with pregnancy) just makes me want to cry. Loudly.
As for my son, well…I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to wait ’til the injections are available here in Nashville. And be crazy-vigilant about hand-washing and hand sanitizer use in the meantime. I’m nervous, but I don’t know what else I can do. Hope and pray, I suppose. Try to keep him away from his father as much as possible.
What effect has this whole experience had on my work, you might ask? Well, I had to turn down an assignment on Friday because I simply did not have the time and energy to work on it. It killed me to do it, too, because it was from one of my favorite clients and it focused on a topic that really interests me. But I was just done. I couldn’t do any more than I was already doing. Caring for a delirious sick husband and an active three-year-old while maintaining a regular workload and also doing some volunteer work and church projects was just enough.
Hopefully we’ll move beyond this soon. As for the rest of you, if you’re in the prime H1N1 target demographics, go take a bath in Purell and then think about where you can get an H1N1 vaccine.