The winter of 2019-2020 has proven to be a rather difficult one, and I am not talking about the amount of snow that we’ve gotten or how cold the temperatures dropped. No, I’m talking about illnesses.
Beginning in October 2019, with our oldest attention preschool for the first time, the trouble began. First one sniffle, then another. Missed school days, and even worse, missed working days by me. When there are three kids at home, even if just one of them is sick, it becomes all hands on deck as my husband and I quickly learned. One of those kids still being under one complicated matters a little further.
After the first sniffles, the stomach bug hit. Thankfully, this season, it only hit me and our youngest little man who at half a year old, threw up more times than we cared to count. Miraculously, the problem resolved itself without further intervention on the part of a doctor or Pedialyte, for that matter, which he never took a liking to.
Dutifully, we made sure that our three boys were provided with the flu shot. And I do mean shot. Now, I know that there was a version of this vaccine developed that does not require a shot, but our two oldest informed us that a shot it was. To say that their pediatrician was surprised to hear they wanted a shot was an understatement. But, we all obliged and gave them the shot which they took like champs!
Fast forward, to the beginning of February 2020, a trying time for our family. On the second Saturday of the month, our oldest began to run a small fever, which mostly resolved itself during the day and spiked at night. With the fever remaining by Sunday night, we figured that he’d stay home on Monday and recuperate.
Oh, how wrong we were.
Monday came as it normally does, but to say that I hate Monday’s didn’t begin to cover the feeling for that particular day. I woke up knowing that I was sick, but hoped that it would be a one day bug and I’d resume regular life Tuesday. That is until my husband came running into our bedroom that our boy is spiking a fever of 106! Of course, my poor husband is stuck with a wife that only checks body temperature in Celsius and he’s forced to convert to make sense of it all. So, in reality, he’s screaming that our boy has a fever of 41.5 Celsius!
I sprang out of bed quicker than I thought possible for someone as sick as I felt, but off to our boy I went. He was lying on the couch, not wanting to move, saying that everything hurt and he was tired. I started off with a dose of Tylenol and cold compresses as my husband packed him for the ER.
A couple of hours later, come to find out that he tested positive for the Influenza A virus and Strep Throat. Horrible! Two antibiotics were prescribed for the week, which was one of the most trying times of our lives. Mind you, this is the same boy that went through brain surgery like it was no big deal, but who made us call every family member that we could that week for a 1-2-3 countdown to take his meds. Twice a day!
On Tuesday, I was diagnosed with the Influenza A, and by Friday, our middle boy was as well. We speculate, based on his fever and overall crappy feeling, that my husband must have had some type of flu as well, though he decided not to go to the doctor. All in all, the only person that got away unscathed was the youngest baby and my mom who came to help take me to the doctor.
The reason that I am telling you all this is two-fold.
First, because I have read countless posts, articles, and blogs on whether to vaccinate or not. Though clearly in some way, the vaccine that we received this year fell short of expectations, it did work on our youngest, the one with the least developed immune system, and kept him out of harm’s way. So, I will stick with it; I will make sure to vaccinate every year. Even if it doesn’t fully protect against every possible flu virus out there, it does work as my youngest was my living proof. I couldn’t even imagine how bad it could have gotten if he wasn’t vaccinated and the virus spread to him.
Second, I say this to parents who are always on the fence about whether to send your kids to school. If you are on the fence, it means that something is causing you to be concerned. Whether your child has had the sniffles or fever, if you are unsure if they’re contagious, please keep them home. Since our boy started preschool it has been a nonstop battle against some type of germ that keeps making us sick. We are all aware that kids aren’t the best at keeping their germs to themselves, so we have to make sure as parents we help them out!