Friday, November 6, 2009

The Flu

On Tuesday I started to feel my head thicken with snot and my throat get sore. Bollocks! I chugged juice, loaded up on Vit C and saw my accupuncturist who gave me herbs and a needle treatment supposed to help boost my immune system so I wouldn't get sick.

On Wednesday I was feeling worse, but I thought it was just a cold. On Thursday I was on the couch watching old movies and drinking gallons of tea, realizing that this was a FLU, and probably THE flu, because that's the only one going around right now. I had to cancel my trip to the California Orientation and Mobility Specialists Conference in Monterey this weekend and instead will be taking the "tea and movies cure" for the next several days.

So far, Queen Teen doesn't show any signs of catching the flu, but I'm really nervous that I've exposed her to something that could make her extremely sick. Curses to college! I probably got this bug on campus because universities are thick with exotic germs and people from all over the world sneezing on each other while sharing drinks and swapping spit. It was just a matter of time before some 20 year old girl with a sick boyfriend living in the dorms coughed in my general direction.

I went to the CDC website to see what the latest guidelines are for dealing with the H1N1 virus and found the page about caring for a sick person at home. Who the hell made up these rules? They are completely unrealistic for a family, especially a mom. Keep the person isolated. Have them use a separate bathroom from others. Wear gloves and a face mask when caring for the sick person. Right.

First of all, I'm the primary caregiver of a person with a disability. My daughter needs assistance with daily living tasks, like eating and dressing, so "avoiding close contact" is impossible. And secondly, a face mask is impossible because my daughter has a hearing problem and is a lip reader. If I could evacuate her somewhere away from me I would, but we don't have any family near by. All I can do is try not to breath on her and wash my hands a lot (which I'm doing so much my skin is cracking).

And if it was reversed, if Queen Teen was the sick person instead of me, the rules still wouldn't work for us. I must be in close contact, I still couldn't wear a mask, and we only have one bathroom. Like most guidelines created by agencies, the rules were created as a "best-practice" with zero thought into reality. Parents must care for their children, period, regardless of their own health or whether or not they wear a face mask. A sick child needs hugs as well as medicine. And sick moms need rest.

Thankfully today I feel better than yesterday, so I hope I'm on the mend. I'll make some more tea, watch a few more movies, and try to take a nap before Queen Teen gets home from school. I need to be strong for when Queen Teen comes down with the flu, because eventually she will. I'm guessing by Sunday, Monday at the latest.

I really, really hope I'm wrong.


Elizabeth said...

I'm glad that you're feeling better --it's good to hear that someone is treating themselves with herbs and such. I'm so interested in your Orientation and Mobility Specialist Program and wonder if you'd email when you're feeling better.

Mother of Chaos said...

GAH! I'm so sorry to hear you got sick. Those rules are so...annoying, actually. So not-real-world. Even with my typically-developing kids, I can't follow them. Shoot, even with Eldest at 11, there comes a point where her need for physical comfort is more important to me than the rules around minimizing physical contact to avoid contamination.

Besides. I HATE masks. I have to wear one while I'm mixing dye to avoid lung problems, and I'm always hurrying to get the stuff in suspension so I can take the blasted thing OFF.

Hang in there!!