28 September 2009

Swine Flu: Into the Viral Unknown

You'd have to be living under a rock in 2009 to not be aware of the latest plague to hit the earth. Earlier this year, everyone was freaking out about H1N1. It was new, it was scary, and youngish people were dying for no reason.

And of course, the Mommy-Tracked folks decided to move right to the heart of Texas, into the plague.

Summer was pretty calm. School was out. We were hermits, really, just unpacking in the triple-digit heat. We rarely left the house.

School started. Three weeks later, kids are dropping like flies from the flu. Mine included.

There is something so utterly frightening, something that works beyond your rational, scientifically trained mind, when you are facing an unknown. When my eldest came down with the flu (which we are pretty sure was H1N1, because the peds tell us that is the main virus ciruclating here), I was terrified.

Oh, sure, I tried not to show it. But I was pushing liquids and taking temps and checking the CDC website and the National Institutes of Health website and any other website that might, just might, have insight.

When her fever didn't break after day four, I was flipping out. Thank goodness for husbands with rational, cooler heads. He called the ped, we got a specific list of what to watch for that would result in an ER visit. Then, thankfully, her fever broke on day five.

Then our son got it. It ran the same course as hers did. It was a little less scary, just because we knew what to expect.

Then I got it. Again, not as scary. Knew what would happen to me. I was blissed out on Nyquil for days. I slept about 18 hours one day. I slept 15 the next.

So, I'm here to say: The swine flu isn't all that scary if you are healthy and have no risk factors. It's nothing to mess around with, and you should stay away from others, just to limit the spread. But, in my humble experience, I've had stomach viruses that laid me lower.

That said, I'm bleaching everything in sight and hoping my husband and my youngest avoid it.

10 September 2009


We all do it. You think you are doing the right thing, then later, hindsight is 20-20.

My poor husband has been doing this all year. He moved, we moved. It was the right thing to do for many reasons. But the fallout that our moving so far away from family and friends has been long-lasting.

Two of our kids still are struggling to find friends. Heck, I am, too. I miss my MO contingent who would happily go to lunch any time. I e-mail, FB and Twitter them, but it is NOT the same. Social networks are great, but your friends can't hug you online.

I'm still job hunting. The search is just wearing. It is a full-time job. I'm freelancing on top of that. Plus doing all the mom-stuff. Some days I just want to curl up and crawl under the covers and ignore the challenges that we still face.

Believe me, I'm grateful. We have a nice house, one that does not have termites or an RV parked next door. My husband's job is stable. My kids are healthy, and despite the lack of close friends, they are settling in well.

I try to focus on the good and not second-guess. But man, let me tell you, it is hard.