Sunday, October 25, 2009

swine flu, pt. 1

i noticed leon was a touch warm on friday morning. by the time we returned home, i checked his temperature. 102.8. he had also been dealing with a runny nose for the past week and a half (clear mucous). my mom called a pediatrician's office, and they suggested we drop by. i wasn't too worried because leon was playful and active as always. he was, however, napping more often that day, which is definitely out of the ordinary. i gave him 0.8 ml of tylenol and packed him in the car.

at the doctor's office, they checked his temperature along with other things. 99.6. the pediatrician then came into the room. the first thing out of her mouth was--there have been a lot of cases of swine flu with a high fever. my mom looked terrified. she asked whether a small fall two days ago had contributed to leon's fever. she also wondered whether he should be taking pedialyte for hydration. the pediatrician said no, which i could have told her without having to go to a doctor's office.

at this point, leon wasn't doing too bad except for his runny nose, sneezing, a low to medium fever, and a bit of coughing. all signs were pointing to a cold. the pediatrician, however, decided to bulldoze us into agreeing to two flu tests. one was in-house and would tell us whether or not he had influenza. the second, which had to be sent to a lab, would be more accurate and would determine whether he has H1N1. she said that of course the lab test would be more expensive, around $400, and would take 2-3 days. if the in-house test was positive, then the lab test would surely be positive. but if it were negative, there would still be a chance of a positive lab result. i didn't quite follow this logic, but i'm not a doctor or a logician.

i then asked what the point of a lab test would be if we needed to administer Tamiflu within 48 hours of symptoms. she said, well, we could still treat him, but yes, Tamiflu is more effective sooner rather than later. of course all i could think was, if he has swine flu, his condition is going to deteriorate before the 2-3 days are up.

my mom frowned and decided we should go ahead with both tests. i was more skeptical, but i also knew that leon's health insurance would cover everything except the $10 copay. i did, however, feel bad about contributing to the 'needless testing' that encumbers our health care system.

anyway, after two days of tylenol and many frustrating naps and sleepless nights, leon is doing much better. we're all going in next week for the H1N1 vaccine--if it's still available in our area. i'm not anti-vaccine, but i can't help but feel nervous. i'm not a fan of giving leon more shots than he needs, especially since he tends to have a bad reaction to them.

pt. 2--the vaccine and how it went.


melissa k w said...

oh no! how scary. i hope everything will be okay.

Catherine said...

Oh god, it is scary when your child gets what would once have been thought of as a common cold, but nowdays is possible swine flu. Audrey had a fever and was sleep a month or so ago, and I just kept thinking the same - if she had swine flu (and realistically I think it's quite unlikely) then she would be getting worse, which she wasn't. Turned out bright cheeks and a later body rash equated to a virus called 'slapped cheek'. Being a parent is more than a full-time job - I never worked this hard, or thought as much, as an employee! Hoping Leon comes back with a gold star on his flu test.

Stephanie said...

Ugh. I hate being bulldozed by doctors, and considering that we are all supposed to be on the alert about swine flu, you'd think they could develops a test that doesn't cost quite so much!


I hope the little man is feeling better. And good golly, I can't believe how big he is getting!