Swine Flu: A CafeMom Fears Her Kids May Have It

Cynthia Dermody
Toddlers & Preschoolers
19

swine fluThe swine flu news is scary enough on its own -- and today reports that a Mexican 2 year old is the first victim in the U.S. So troubling, especially for toddler moms.

But just imagine the panic you'd feel if your toddlers were sick with flu-like symptoms this very moment.

CafeMom LoveMyMonkies, who has four kids ages 3, 5, 7 and 11, is worried that the swine flu is sweeping through her home. The kids' doctor can't say one way or another, but isn't taking the possibility seriously enough in light of all the facts, says LoveMyMonkies.

"I'm not sure if we have it, but based on the symptoms I would say we do," LoveMyMonkies says. "Right before I got sick, I had a lady from Mexico here cleaning my house, though I am not sure when she was in Mexico last.

"We've also been to San Antonio several times in the past month, because all the good stores and restaurants are there."

LoveMy and I chatted today about what's going on in her home:

When did everyone get sick?

The two little ones have been coughing and running fever, and the two big ones had it a few weeks ago and are over it now. I have been sick for about a month. It started out with flu-like symptoms -- sore throat, fever, and diarrhea. It got to the point that I was having trouble breathing, so I went to the ER and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

So you took your kids to the doctor. What did he say about it? Could it be swine flu?

The doctor did not say what the kids actually have, just that they don't appear to have any ear infections or swollen glands. He said it is probably just a cold and that if the fever doesn't go away by the end of the week to bring them back. As for treatment, he said to give them Motrin for fever and cough medicine for their throats.

With everything that's going on, wasn't he at all concerned?

He didn't act that way, even when I told him that there was a person in my home from Mexico right before I got sick. I am very concerned because this community is predominantly Hispanic and a lot of people come and go from Mexico all the time. There is even a girl in my daughter's class that was in Mexico over Easter break.

What symptoms did he say to watch for, if any?

He didn't tell me to watch for any symptoms at all, just that if the fever persisted to bring them back.

Why do you think he wasn't taking the situation seriously?

I understand that people overreact, and maybe that's what I'm doing, but we are sick and have been around someone from Mexico. I think that they should at least test for it to be safe. I read somewhere that treatment in the first 24 to 48 hours is the best, so why should I have to wait until the end of the week? It is very frustrating.

How are you and your family spending your days?

My oldest ones are in school. I kept my 5 year old out, and will send him back when he is fever free. I am in the middle of moving, so I have been out and about this week. When I was running fever I stayed in bed. I have not taken the kids into any public place other than school.

Do you feel this situation is under control?

I am becoming more and more scared daily. I'm not sure if it is the media hype, or now knowing that a little baby has died in the U.S., but I feel like this is going to cause a lot of sickness and death.

I do not feel like the government can control it, especially because there is no vaccine. If it spreads as quickly as it has been, a lot of people might die before they can get it under control.

++ Do you feel LoveMyMonkies' doctor acted reasonably? Is all the media hype causing undo panic over the swine flu? What would you have said to your kids' doctor in this situation?

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