We’ve been Swined.
After our close brush with H1N1, we relaxed. We thought we’d escaped, we thought that our obsessive hand washing and use of sanitizer had worked. We were wrong. There’s no escaping germs in the slobbery illness haven of the toddler room. While we haven’t had the test to confirm that it’s the Swine and not the non-pig flu, all signs point to pig - confirmed exposure at daycare, a CDC survey that says one in five kids has had swine flu this month, bacon cravings..
First, the swine flu tackled Axel and gave him a fever and a bonus dose of boogers. It was the weirdest sickness – a fever of 102, super cranky, then spastic couch jumping and handstand attempts. Axel felt worse when he had an ear infection and when he had strep throat. He’s been disconcertingly cheerful. The sickness cycle has gone like this: fever, child curled up on the couch and a little extra weepiness, does of baby ibuprofen, happy toddler jumping up and down and madly giggling. It’s more exhausting to try to coerce a sick energetic kid to rest than it is to give a sick, tired kid extra cuddling, juice, and Elmo.
On Saturday, Axel was fully recovered, still spastic but without a fever, cough, or aches.
Then, it came for the baby.
Though I tried my best to keep the two of them separate and to get Axel to cover his mouth when he coughs, it didn’t work so well. Axel remembers to cover his mouth on his second cough – good, but not good enough to prevent the spray of germs from cough no. 1. He likes to lick his brother’s cheek the minute I turn my back. He also thinks that he should test out Jonas’ teething toys with his mouth – sort of like a food taster for a king, only by gnawing at a giraffe. I hosed down all the toys and the kids, but it seems I am no match for H1N1 combined with a toddler determined to kiss his brother.
It’s not treating Jonas as gently as it treated Axel. Jonas has developed a croupy cough, a concerning case of stridor while he cries, extended naps, and a sad little fat lip. He’s still nursing, smiling here and there, and slobbering on his hands and feet. He’s still OK, just a little sick, and now living in a world full of humidifiers on full blast, steam-filled bathrooms, and Kleenex attacks. I really hope that this is as bad as it gets, and that the story we tell our grandkids about the Great Swine Flu Epidemic of 2009 goes, “Yeah, we had it. It wasn’t really so bad.”
And now, I have to go – we need more supplies to fight off this flu beast.