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Flu’s Blues

By Melissa McQuarrie

B480B7E8-4DA6-4754-B889-B2016CE2FA2FIt started with a few coughs and a sniffly nose. Within hours my son was shivering under a blanket on the couch. Body aches, headache, a raging fever that lasted for three days, and hacking, coughing and lots of whining followed. And that’s how the swine flu (excuse me, the H1N1 virus) arrived at our house last week.

When I was single, being sick wasn’t that big of a deal. Then I got married and had a baby and she came down with her first fever. “Does she feel warm to you?” I asked my husband, the worry already knotting my stomach. “Should I call the doctor?” I walked the floor with her while she fussed, my heart pounding as I imagined all kinds of life-threatening illnesses—virulent strep, meningitis, pneumonia, sinusitis gone to the brain. When I put her to bed I couldn’t sleep and checked on her every twenty minutes, wondering if a fever justified a middle-of-the-night phone call to the pediatrician (I found out it did not).

Since then I’ve nursed my children through a myriad of illnesses: ear infections, strep, colds (how many cold viruses is it possible to get in a lifetime? Surely we’ve had all of them), influenzas, stomach viruses, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, croup. And is there anything more terrifying than croup? Holding a baby who’s gasping for breath in a steam-filled bathroom in the middle of the night—now there’s a good time. I’ve walked the floor with sick children innumerable nights, trying to stem the rising tide of panic and counting the hours until 8:00 a.m. when the doctor’s office opened. And if I had a nickel for every time I’ve dragged a sick child to the doctor, only to be told, “It’s a virus. Give him fluids and make sure he gets plenty of rest,” I’d be able to single-handedly solve the nation’s health care crisis.

After my children started school, a new kind of dread seeped into my soul when a child would wake up sick as I realized I’d have to cancel all of my plans for the day, maybe for the week, maybe forever. That hair appointment I made three months ago? Canceled. Lunch with a friend? Canceled. A peaceful, TV-free afternoon, with just the sound of the dryer running and a couple of hours to write? All gone. Am I the only mother who has determinedly waved her child out the door to the bus stop even though he’s complaining of a tummy ache, only to sheepishly pick him up an hour later after he’s thrown up during the Pledge of Allegiance? And when one child gets sick, it’s only a matter of time before the rest fall like dominoes, and you end up spending the whole of December trapped in your house watching Barney, Disney movies, and Star Wars and dispensing doses of cold medicine and chicken noodle soup while the space under the Christmas tree remains bare and you realize you’ll have to do all of your Christmas shopping at 10:00 p.m.—on Dec. 23rd.

So I decided we’d get flu shots every winter, and, as you can imagine, my children were thrilled. There’s nothing I enjoy more than driving a car full of shrieking, hyperventilating children down to the local immunization clinic. Last year I dragged my hysterical ten-year-old out of the car while she clawed at the seat, then caught hold of the door handle. After I finally pried her fingers off of the door and carried her thrashing into Walgreens, the pharmacist informed me that they don’t administer shots to children under thirteen. I’ve never seen a child look so happy. Another year I had to wrestle down my thirteen-year-old son in the immunization clinic and practically sit on his chest while the amazed nurse tried to give him a shot; and while he was thrashing and fighting and trying to bite me, somehow he managed to karate kick my daughter in the upper arm—right where she’d just gotten her shot. For some reason, the nurse recognized us when we came back a year later.

And where is my husband in all this, you ask? Usually at work. Unless he’s sick, in which case he is in bed. We’re talking about the man who took the day off of work and went to bed after having two moles removed (okay, they were fatty cysts, but still). He actually insists that men get sicker than women do. Maybe that’s because when I’m sick I’m usually bravely soldiering on, folding laundry and making dinner in between coughing fits, taking care of sick kids while my head threatens to explode. Meanwhile, I find my husband in bed, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and sipping peppermint tea with honey, a cool cloth on his head and used Kleenex strewn all over the bed. That’s when I actually consider committing manslaughter.

Which goes to show that the only thing worse than having sick kids is having a sick husband.

Feel free to comment on any aspect of this post, including coping with sick children, having sick kids home from school, getting vaccinations, or whether you find sick husbands annoying. Oh, and if you have any home remedies or stories to share, please do.

About Melissa McQuarrie

(Advisory Board) grew up in Australia and California and now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband, four children, and their dog, Daisy. She served a mission in Peru and has a BA and MA in English from BYU. She loves reading, writing, and quiet afternoons. She does not love grocery shopping. Now that two of her children attend BYU and her youngest children are in high school and junior high, she is trying to adjust to this "emptying nest" stage and still wondering how it snuck up on her so fast.

43 thoughts on “Flu’s Blues”

  1. I love this post as my son came down with the flu two weeks ago and promptly contaminated everyone in our house. There I was considering the vaccinations and surprise there was no need!
    The first week I suffered through 4 days of fever while taking care of my sick children. Waking every four hours in the middle of the night to make sure they all got their medicine. While my husband slept through it all. Infact curled up on the very edge of the bed hoping he would not get whatever was causing me to cough uncontrollably for hours on end. He didn't even have an ounce of sympathy as I couldn't even get a hug because he was affraid of the germs.
    Week two all the kids are better and my husband comes down with a fever. The first day he lays comatose in bed and keeps asking Did you hurt all over? Did your teeth hurt? He spent the next three days watching television while I nursed him back to health! Checking his forehead, getting him medicine, making him herbal tea with honey!
    Mom's don't get sick days!

  2. RE: your fourth paragraph

    Sorry, but I only WISH I could be inconvenienced like that by children who are home sick. Instead, I work at the school where parents who don't want to make other daycare arrangements (including taking a day off work) to stay home and care for their kids send them to contaminate the rest of us. They get other kids (with similarly disposed parents) sick, me sick, and then I carry it home to my kids. And guess what? When I or my kids get sick, I could only dream of canceling hair appointments, free afternoons, or lunch with a friend. Instead, I have to take the day off work. I have a limited number of those for which I can get paid. If we happen to have an unfortunate successive illness where it hits us one after the other, I am soon paying my school district to pay a sub for days off, because my sick days are out.

    So boo hoo and bah humbug. PLEASE keep your sick kids home.

    [I know this post was a light-hearted attempt to start a timely discussion on sickness, and I am not mad at you, nor do I think you are a bad person (not even sure who wrote this post); I just wanted to emphasize that it is not that funny to send sick kids to school.]

  3. My husband is the same way; part of it is my fault, because I tend to be the type who is determined to white-knuckle it through illness and can't give up control. Plus he's rarely had a job yet with paid time off so that complicates things.

    My daughter had the flu last week and it lasted the entire week! I'm pretty sure it was the H1N1 since that's what's going around here. I'm six months pregnant and am paranoid that I'm going to get it now and that something awful will happen. Today I'm going to brave the health department because they're supposed to be getting more supplies. I just have my fingers and toes crossed that it won't be a total nightmare trying to get a shot. Last fall I got the flu and I was delirious with fever for two days so I don't want to go through that ever again.

  4. Have you tried staying in bed while you are sick and telling your husband it's his turn to make dinner? I don't know if it would work, but it might be worth a try.

  5. My oldest son came home from church sick with h1n1. My preschooler followed right behind him on Monday. I began to fear for my own health, which got me thinking about how moms never get a sick day, but dads get to come home from work, head for the bed and be nurtured. I decided to voice my complaint. It was good timing. It hit my nine year old on Tuesday and I woke up with it on Wednesday. My sweet husband, who knows how to take a hint, took vacation days to look after all of us. I got to have not just one, but three sick days! If I hadn't felt so crappy it would have been heaven. Even still, it was awfully nice.

    Every time I start thinking of what I wish my husband would do, or what I wish I could have happen, I will remember that sometimes, all you have to do is ask.

  6. I'm thinking this post is a parody. Thirteen year old kicking and screaming over a shot, husband who refuses to help care for his own children. Please tell me this is a joke.

  7. First of all, Camille I loved that clip. I'll have to show it to my husband.
    ESO, I understand your pain. I imagine it would be very difficult to have child after child come to school sick. On the parents' end, because of strict attendance policies in our district (and this applies more to the high schools), our children are penalized if they miss too much school, so it is hard to know how long to keep a sick child home from school. If we kept our children home until they were no longer contagious with every illness, they would miss a lot of school. Sometimes I think I might as well send them to back to school as long as their fever has broken, since that is where they got sick in the first place and everyone else has undoubtedly already been exposed. I've definitely gotten more lenient over the years than I was with my oldest child, as I suspect most mothers have.
    April, I enjoyed your story–it sounded so familiar.
    JM and Katie, you have a very good point. Part of me thinks that my husband can't handle the house and kids as well as I can, so my martyr complex kicks in and I don't ask for his help. I need to work on this.

  8. Susan, yes, this piece is tongue-in-cheek and much of it is exaggerated. However, the then-thirteen-year-old actually did kick his sister in the arm while he was getting a shot because he was thrashing around. He's not proud of this, mind you.

  9. I saw a sick kid at the school the other day – he looked totally miserable. His mom came into the office, seriously ticked off, and told the secretary he wasn't sick, probably just faking it, and then left him there! So, you're right ESO, I know I feel totally inconvenienced when the kids ruin all the crazy plans I have every day, but it's about a million times better than leaving them at school! I'm sure that's what Melissa meant, too.

    And I absolutely love "Mancold".

    The thing I hate the most is when the puke's hit the house, but only come one person at a time, spread out over three or four weeks. We spent most of September with one person throwing up at a time. It was ok enough to deal with until the baby (three years old) got it. He's the one that can't make it to the toilet. It was the momentous capstone to a month of puking, finished off with two days of a three year old puking on every delicate surface.

    But, what can ya do? We just laughed (or tried to) as we scrubbed carpets and couches.

    I've heard from a couple of sources that it's a good idea to gargle with salt water am and pm. It'll help keep the flu from settling in. Don't know if it really works or not, but can't hurt to try, eh?

  10. I'm one of the lucky ones who has an extremely helpful husband. But I have to say, in agreeing with Melissa, that our school district has a crazy strict attendance policy. If my kids are absent more than 7 days without doctors excuses, the parents get pulled into a meeting with the school counselor and Child Services Dept. to find out why we are such slacker parents. Never mind that I am keeping my child home who is too sick to be at school, but not sick enough to see a doctor. And never mind that they all get A's, are well fed, well groomed, and have no behavior problems. I MUST be a slacker parent because I kept them home sick. I have gotten notices about this twice (one time two different years), and I am lucky enough to have a pediatrician who believes me when I say my kids were sick and will write excuse notices for me. But the whole thing really bothers me.

    (Off my soapbox!)

  11. Last month I visited my sister in California, and within five minutes of arriving, my 18-month daughter puked all over the place. Seriously, it was all over the bed, the carpet, the bathroom, the sink, the toilet, the walls– it was quite the sight to behold. Luckily, she only threw up because I had given her too much milk (trying to keep her calm on the plane), so it was like I had forced her to compete in the gallon challenge. But my sister's first thought, when she saw the vomit, was absolute dread in knowing that, as a mother of four, vomit was just a part of her life. She felt sheer terror knowing that her children would throw up again and again and again. I was very glad we didn't bring any contagious vomiting to my poor sister's house.

  12. Oh, I just emailed a friend last night saying my empathy for my kids is waning now that we are in week two of sick kids home from school. I just want a few hours ALONE in my house. PLEASE! Plus, I'm sick for the second time this month, meaning I've had exactly two- count them- two days of feeling good this entire month. Last night I asked my husband for a favor: "Could you get me a drink… and then kill me?"

    He did get me the drink, and clean the house, and take care of dinner, and put the kids to bed, and rub my feet. Guess I can't complain too much. Oh wait, yes I can.

    And, yes, I have sent kids to school complaining of sickness only to pick them up later with vomit on the clothes and "I told you so" on the lips. But hey, at least I got the dishes done and laundry started in peace.

    I feel your pain Melissa. I fear I may lose my mind before the winter officially begins. Is there a Dr. Kevorkian in the house?

  13. in response to your question about suggestions, i offer the following:

    do some reading on the effects of vitamin D and it's role in immunity and prevention of illness even if you're exposed. i can't find the study i read a couple weeks ago, but in it, hospital workers involved were all exposed to and had the H1n1 virus in them, but there were a few hundred who had been taking Vitamin D supplements, and not one of them got sick…even though they all had the virus in their systems upon testing. whereas there were numerous workers weren't taking the Vit D who actually got sick. there is a lot of buzz about this right now, but you can do your own research.

    nasal irrigation. you could go buy yourself a neti pot if you want, but that first link has information about it, and a simple recipe which we've used for years.

    in addition to the obvious hand washing, carry hand sanitizer and use it often.

    keep your hands off your face at all costs.

    adopt the japanese custom of bowing to people vs. shaking hands 😉

    stay home and keep any infected family members home. it's the golden rule thing.

    best of health to you! ♥

  14. Great post Melissa! I can sure relate, especially after this past two weeks. Our house is finally H1N1 free!

    If my child is out more than 3 days, they have to have a doctor's note, or they can't even come back to school. Crazy!

    If I had a nickel (and my co-pay back) for all those doctor's visits that just patted me on the back, and sent me on my merry way!

    This is the first year we did the flu shot. My ped. talked me into it. We went through the drive-thru clinic, opened the car door, and rolled up our sleeves. Only my eleven-year-old is afraid of needles. I mean pass-out-on-the-floor afraid, vomit afraid. So it is a little traumatic for him. But it beats missing a week of school and having 3 days to catch up (which he has to do now after the swine flu)

    ESO, Once I was in the office and a step-mother came since the mom and dad would no answer their phones for an hour and tried to talk her child into staying at school after he vomited! The secretary was furious."He can't stay!" she said. The step mother was really put out, it ruined her getting-her-nails-done plans.

    My husband rarely gets sick, but when he does, there sure is a lot of moaning and groaning (Mancold is so fitting. But he has to put up with my migraines, so can't complain.

  15. Do you know how lonely I feel when I'm sick? I wish I had someone to take care of me or be sick with me or something . . .

    Last Monday, I had a horrible migraine and I just wished someone would walk me to the tram and go with me to the doctor. But no. I dragged myself there and back and suffered alone. It's a horrible feeling.

  16. I knew something was wrong when I woke up yesterday and my husband was still passed out cold in bed. He had been feeling 'really tired' on Sunday but he has thyroid issues and that's a common complaint.

    I went downstairs to make breakfast for the kids when the phone starts ringing. I look over at the caller ID only to see my husband's cell phone number. He was calling me to talk to him from upstairs! I didn't answer because I was up to my elbows in food (I have a son on a medical diet whose food has to be weighed on a scale for every meal…it's time consuming). So he called again and again until I picked up the phone. And then he doesn't actually ask me for anything…he whines! "Is there any food in the house?" "I need something." I mean really, it's worse than a small child. And I told him that. I also let him know that when he wants something from me, he can ask for what he wants but I won't do anything if he whines.

    My kids are in year-round school and they are off-track right now, so I've already had them home for the past 10 days and was trying not to pull my hair out. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband with all my heart, and he does A LOT for me and our family. But there is nothing worse than when he is sick (and he wasn't even "sick", just tired).

    Sunny: I love the "can you get me a drink and then kill me"–too funny. My husband sounds a lot like yours. He will take good care of me and do all those wonderful things when I am sick. I just hate it that he turns into a 3 year old when he's not feeling well.

    Sorry. Rant over.

  17. I was just thinking about this today. My family is usually very healthy, thankfully. I can't remember the last time we were hit with a stomach bug. We don't usually get much of the flu either, but then DH and the children get flu shots annually (when there is availability)–just colds and ear infections. When someone besides me is sick, though, there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. My mom explained the following to me once when I was complaining that there are no sick days for mothers. She said that unless you lie down on your bed (couches and chairs don't count) and refuse to move or even get dressed, no one in your family actually believes that you are sick. But that is oh so difficult to do. If DH is sick and stays home (I won't coddle him other than allow him to lie in bed and moan quietly), he gets someone to cover hearings, fill in on meetings and other responsibilities. If I am sick and actually allow myself to stay in bed, I get out of nothing. All the mess and mayhem of motherhood just waits for me, building up and getting more awful. A substitute mother service would be so wonderful–just think, someone to take carpool, care for the toddler, pick up groceries and cook, keep the home running smoothly so you can just be sick and get better.

    I have never knowingly sent a child to school sick. I have a friend with a CF child and she cowers in fear each winter because every sniffle you send to school with your "just a little sick" child could kill her immune challenged boy. I guess that's just not something I want to be responsible for adding to–at all.

    My children are also very vaccine averse. My 8 year old once got so hysterical that the nurse couldn't get the needle out of his arm–he had tensed his muscles that severely! My ten year old is currently agonizing over the shots she will get next month. It's going to be a lovely winter, isn't it?

  18. Shelby, lol.
    Sunny, I feel your pain.
    Ginger, yes! What is wrong with school districts? In our district we've tried as parents to get the attendance policy changed, to no avail. It's ridiculous.
    Justine and Courtney, there's nothing that strikes more terror into my soul than those three little words: "My tummy hurts." I hate, hate, hate the stomach flu.
    Marintha, I can relate to everything you said.
    Blue, I, too, have heard about the Vitamin D thing. I'm going to check it out. Something that we use in my house is Airborne—I find it really helps me fight off colds when my kids bring them home. And we do the nasal irrigation thing—it helps keep colds from turning into sinus infections.
    Kathryn P., that marriage you described does sound like an odd match. I'm glad the couple worked it out.
    And Michelle Glauser, I sympathize. I remember being single and having no one to sympathize with me or take care of me. It felt lonely, indeed.
    Thanks for all your comments, ladies!

  19. Vaccines scare me. A lot.

    One of my Mom's cousins contracted a brain fever hours after a routine vaccination. She died a few days later.

    When something like that happens in your family…you do a little research. You find all the information that your pediatrician doesn't give you.

    For the most part it's not quaky ex-doctors who rant about toxins and mercury, it's thousands and thousands of parents who lose their children and then are ignored–or paid off, if they're lucky.

    By the time I had my first child I was quite impressed with the information my pediatrician gave me. The first side of the page had information on Hep B and the reverse side had 4 paragraphs about side effects, death, and the government compensation program should my child be harmed by the vaccine.
    That was enough for me not to have my child receive Hep B. Besides the fact that the front of the page of the information sheet said that the only ways of contracting the disease were: being accidentally stuck by an infected needle, male to male sex, and being born to an infected mother. Being positive that I do not have Hep B, and the others were out of the question, I saw no reason to inoculate my baby.

    I asked my pediatrician about our decision later. While he still thought all babies should receive the shot, he understood why I didn't do it. And guess what he told me?
    He said that while I am lucky to be in a monotanous relationship, it's not common anymore. He has married patients (pregnant!!!) who sleep with multiple partners and contract the disease, even in the third trimester. So, they give it to all babies…basically to protect the infant in case mommy isn't being honest.

    Doesn't that make you feel sick?

    It made me feel sick.

    All I can say is, since then, I've research EVERY vaccine recommended for my children. They don't get all of them.

    Sorry to make this all about vaccines, but it was part of the question. And someone has to put out information, you know, besides the people involved in the billion dollar a year industry.

    I found some interesting sites here:


    Even if you don't agree with me…please make informed decisions.

  20. We were sick twice this summer, once with the typical flu and later with H1N1. In comparison, the regular flu was worse but still not that bad. We don't vaccinate and I try to keep my opinions to myself about it, but the H1N1 vaccine scares me enough to speak out a bit more. It is so relatively untested and yes, with the live atenuated strain it can cause a potential epidemic itself. I think the government is hedging it's bets on the whole thing, but they are all too monetarily influenced to have a trusted perspective if you ask me. Do your research, but don't stop with the CDC! Find sources that don't benefit financially from what they tell you and aren't prone to fear mongering.

    As for the Hep B vaccine, when I questioned my pediatrician why they don't just vaccinate babies whose mothers tested positive, similar to #22, she told me that the real reason they vaccinate across the board was to catch the children of the migrant populations that may not see a doctor in their teenage years when they would actually be at risk! Seriously! They risk our infants for nothing and scare us into not questioning it!

    Anyhoo, that's my two bits, but I agree with Blue's recommendations. I've had a lot of success with a Neti pot and haven't been seriously ill in years. Also, be careful with what you read about Vitamin D as well and get well rounded information. It can be just as dangerous to your health to overdose on a supplement of Vitamin D (which is not hard to do) and you need to have the D3 cholecalciferol form for it to be safe and effective. But, as always, natural is best and if you live in the southern states, sun exposure at optimal times of the day when the UVB rays are higher than the UVA, is a great thing you can do for your immune system.

    AND lastly, I think we should all try to spread Howie Mandel's quirky substitute for a handshake – the germ fist tap.

  21. We all recently had the illnesses here too and no, I did not get any time off for my sickness, no "nurturing" provided to me. Ah well. It's what I signed up for, to be honest. But the comment I felt compelled to make is that our elementary school's attendance policy is almost exactly the opposite of most: if the child sneezes or coughs, they get sent home and can't return without a doctor's note saying they are not contagious! I saw the warning signs that my girl was getting sick and never sent her in for two whole weeks, and when I did send her back I made sure to medicate her so that she didn't cough. None of us ever had fever with our other symptoms, so how contagious we were is debatable…

  22. Loved the "Man Cold!"

    "Mother Cold" would involve a woman, hacking and coughing, dragging herself around, desperately trying to do everything she normally does even though she's sure she's dying, while life goes on around her. I can totally picture her moving in slow motion while everyone else is racing around, calling "Mom!"

    H1N1 hit our place a couple of weeks ago — took Little Pigs #1 & #2 to the doctor, and she said QUARANTINE THEM!

    So we built them their own little house of sticks, and slide food under the door, while hand-sanitizing furiously.

    And, knock on wood, no one else has come down with it, thank goodness!

    I do have a bone to pick with the school system — where is the mercy?!!! Teachers need to scale back assignments when kids are obviously staying home to recover from a major illness!

    I saw a fourth grader, barely recovered from the flu and back in school, burst into tears — "If you knew me, you'd know how much I hate to be behind!"

    "Blessed are the merciful!"

    My heart aches for the parents who send their kids to school sick — I understand the hardship, but we could stop this thing cold if people just stayed home and got well!!!!!!!

  23. muh-ha-ha! this whole being a mother who is sick and being a father who is sick… it just makes me laugh. (except when i'm the mother who is sick holding down the fort, while my adorable husband who is sick is cozy and sleeping.) It's still funny, though, and I love how you described it.

  24. #22, despite the serious nature of your subject I got a little chuckle from your post. I think you meant "MONOGAMOUS" marriages, even the best marriages are "MONOTANOUS" from time to time! It is certainly monotanous to care for a sick family! When 2 of us got "pig fever" last summer our neighborhood freaked out. Even had someone stop by our house and "confront" us about daring to come to church even tho only 2/7 were sick and had been fever free for several days. My husband was very diplomatic and offered her the doctors fone number if she was still concerned. We felt like lepers, my older (no sign of illness) kids even got sent home from a temple visit because people were "concerned" hard to know what to do, are we to the point if staying home because someone might get sick? Who would teach primary haha. Someone is always potentially ill.

  25. Ah, being sick. Being in college makes it even harder–even though the professors have been asked to be very accommodating with students who are ill, it's next to impossible to miss more than one class period without getting horribly behind. Thus, I think most students are having a hard time making themselves stay home in spite of the fliers all around school warning people to stay home and quarantine themselves if they have the slightest signs of the flu. Let the epidemic begin!

  26. I got H1N1 from my uncle. He has health problems and is lucky to be alive, Me and my son (16 months) were fine and got better without problem. However, he got better faster because I've been trying to build his immune system. (ie I only notice he's eating dirt or shoes after it's too late. 🙂 )

    It seems like every time I decide that I'm going to get a flu shot, I get the flu before the shot can be received. Once I was at the student health center signing in the university employees and their families to get their flu shots. I was supposed to get a free one, but ended up getting the real thing instead while I was there. Fun times.

    And when I'm sick I'm usually really sick and I send the child to the grandparents' house and tell my husband if he wants to eat he better make something. Luckily he knows to clean up after, too. But I hate when he's sick. Any little thing and it's like his world is crumbling around him. lol

  27. One of our friends recommends oscillococcinum (www.oscillo.com), a homeopathic flu remedy. Apparently much of the world outside the US uses it. It knocked a fever out of me fast when I felt like I was coming down with something.

    My sil and I were laughing a sad laugh about the long lines of families waiting in the rain to get their h1n1 immunization today. How many of those kids are more likely to get sick now that they've been chilled to the bone? Especially if they're getting a live virus?

    I'm not completely anti vacc., but the one year I had the flu vaccination was the year I got the worst case of flu I've ever had. One year old got the vaccine last year and didn't get sick. I'll probaly not vaccinate him this year and take my chances. Maybe. I can't decide.

  28. I've enjoyed reading all of your comments! I actually grew up in a home in which vaccinations were taboo. So I had every childhood illness, including measles and mumps. I've chosen to vaccinate my children and am grateful that I haven't had to nurse them through some of the tougher illnesses. We get flu shots every year and we've remained pretty much flu-free, thank goodness. Except for last week.

    Kyliemm, I hated being sick in college—it's really hard when you miss more than one class period to keep up with the work! Use hand sanitizer!

  29. How about sick kids AND a sick husband? Too terrible to imagine!! This past week, thankfully he was out of town when we were all down with the flu. It was quite pleasant… jk

  30. My brave DH was the sacrificial lamb for our family, and went in for the "swab your brain" flu test on behalf of everyone, because hey, we're family. We share.

    He knows I have a limited sickness compassion window for anyone over about five, so he doesn't abuse the sympathy and pampering all sickies get around here. But, he also knows that if I'm laying in bed and it's daytime, I'm really, really, really wanting to die–and then he kicks into Big Dad Mode, and rallies the troops. He also cleans everything with bleach.

    On vaccines: my family has the nasty reactions to them, so we're very, very, very sparse and spread out, and for things like flu, usually don't get them. But, like a poster above, we did a lot of reading and research, and talked with a lot of people before committing to an unvaccinated family. It means we're committing to always having one parent home full time, and some periods of self-quarantine, and all that goes with it. So far, the only thing we've not avoided has been flu, and even that's an every-four-years sort of thing.

    Right now, we're doing pretty well; I'm recovering, DH is fighting it but still at work, oldest has a cough but feels fine otherwise, DS is recovered and may die if he doesn't quit picking on his little sisters, one little girl is getting better, and the other seems to have only a light case. My elbows hurt from holding children for the past week.

  31. Love Man Cold.

    Hate being sick–and I am always sick the most often.

    And because I've seen first-hand the devastating effects of polio and mumps, I say yes to the tried and true vaccines (but not all at once). That said, I don't rush out to get new ones. But I do get a flu shot every year after being hospitalized with double pneumonia the last time I had the actual flu.

    Hope you have a healthy winter!

  32. I was going to suggest looking for "man cold" on youtube, but I see Camille has already mentioned it.

    I actually posted today about standing in line for FIVE HOURS to get the H1N1 vaccine yesterday. I live in Utah County, where there are more pregnant women per capita than any other county ANYWHERE, so the line was long. And I'm one of those pregnant women, so I did what I had to do.

  33. wonder woman, I can't imagine waiting in line for 5 hours to get a shot! One of my neighbors and her children were there yesterday too. I hope you have a healthy winter!

  34. I LOVED this post! It was hilarious! (And a nice break from the "How-much-stuff-can-I-rationalize?" themes that have been posted lately). What a great description of trying to get kids vaccinated. Having just waited in a 3 hour line for the H1N1 vaccine a couple weeks ago, I could defiantly relate.

    "Mancold" was awesome, too. I guess some behaviors cross many cultures. 🙂

  35. Wonder Woman, Just got more info from my neighbor last night about waiting in that line and she said she stood in that line for 5 hours as well. She said they were chilled and exhausted after waiting for hours in line in the parking garage. Unbelievable!

    Merry Michelle, I had to laugh at your Freudian slip. Although I'm sure you could *definitely* relate to standing in line for hours for a shot, you probably did feel *defiant* about it as well. 🙂

  36. I am pretty sure both of my girls had the H1N1 this month. I love the keeping them out of school, they are crazy here in Texas about attendance. My 5th grader had to take a math test on her first chapter the day she got back, you know, after having 103 temp for several days….she got an 86 on the quiz over the chapter and then a 55 on the test. We had to have a chat with her teacher about getting a retake. I am just grateful this flu strain showed up a year after we stopped taking chemo. We would've had to just take our youngest out of school for the year.


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