Friday, February 20, 2009

Fighting the Flu...and the 4 year old flu bomb

Nicholas and I have both been sick with the flu. Yes, we both got the vaccine in the fall but we both got sick with the flu. Rachel is too young for the flu vaccine and Stuart never got around to getting it but they are both healthly and well. Crazy stuff, huh!

I don't think I had ever had the flu. It was pretty miserable. What made it worse for me though was simply trying to keep Rachel from catching it. I was really worried about how her little nearly four month old body would be able to handle it. So I did what any normal obsessive-compulsive worried mom would do - I washed my hands a squillion times a day, put hand sanitizer in every room of the house, changed my shirt at least three times a day, and I wiped down door handles, faucet handles, and light switches with Clorox wipes at least twice a day. Since Rachel still won't take a bottle, I was stuck nursing her for every feeding which meant trying not to breathe, cough, or sneeze on her for the 20 or so minutes that I was holding her for feedings. Not easy to do as sick as I was. Sadly, she had to spend a lot of the last few days alone in her crib or swing because holding her or talking to her much was just too risky for her health.

What was most risky was the walking 4 year old flu bomb. Nicholas does not have the same obsessive-compulsive fear of the flu germ that I have. Yes, he understands that he needs to cover his mouth with his sneezes or coughs and that he needs to wash his hands. But he just doesn't get how easily germs are spread. One time I was feeding Rachel while she lay on her Boppy pillow. Nicholas comes into room coughing into his elbow. Then he comes over to us and climbs up behind where I'm sitting and wraps his arms around me. I just know that his germ infested elbow is rubbing up to my shoulder where Rachel will have her head in a few minutes when I burp her. I kindly asked him to go wash his hands and then to stay out of Rachel's room until I'm finished but I'm secretly screaming inside saying, "Don't touch me! Don't touch the crib! Don't touch the Boppy pillow! Stop coughing! Don't breathe on Rachel! Just don't talk to Rachel! No! Don't touch that! Ok, just leave the room for now! Just go!" So I watch him as he walks into the bathroom and washes his hands. He dries them on the hand towel...and then he wipes his runny nose on the hand towel and walks out! Eww! If I hadn't seen it happen, Stuart or I would have surely dried our clean hands on that flu-infested towel and then picked up Rachel with our flu hands. This was just one incident but you can imagine that similiar scenes like this played out day after day. It was a bit stressful for me. Thank goodness we are both over the flu and things are back to normal around here. Well, at least as normal as they can be around this place!

2 comments:

  1. Oh no!! I was talking to Vanessa Hickey at the PTA Valentine's Party and she said that there are two strains of the flu going around this year & that the vaccine only protects against 1 strain. Not sure if that's the case for you guys, but it might explain why you got sick even though you got the shot!

    I hope that Rachel stays healthy...hopefully with the b*feeding antibodies she's getting from you she'll stay healthy :)

    ReplyDelete