November 3, 2009

Don't Eat the Pork, Reprise

Three weeks ago tomorrow, my oldest came home with a random fever. Three days and done. My doctor tells me this is what the swine flu looks like in a kid with a kick-ass immune system.

By Monday afternoon, my diva had spiked a raging fever, hovered there for days and days, and finally recovered the following Monday.

On Friday, the little guy got it. But because by then we had confirmation that we were dealing with H1N1, we had Tamiflu at the ready.

My au pair got sick on Saturday. I got sick on Monday.

All swine flu, right?

Nope.

Turns out, mine was some other virus doing a damn fine impression of the swine flu, most likely because it was the similar but much less scary seasonal flu. How do I know? Because today, after 24 hours in bed shivering, feverish, and too weak to lift my own damn head, I was diagnosed, at last, with the swine flu.

The good news? It's not pneumonia.

I think that's about it.

What sucks about this? Oh, so many things ...
  • I don't qualify for Tamiflu. My kids have all had the damn flu, so I'm no longer considered high risk. I get to suffer through this the hard way.
  • I can't concentrate enough to knit. Or read. Or write (which means this will need a lot of editing). Though I can type lying down, so the computer seems to be my new happy place. Hello, Facebook. ('Cause, you know, I don't spend enough time there as it is.)
  • I'm coughing. A lot. Anyone reading this who has also given birth to three children will know exactly why that's so awful.
  • I'm a single mom. A single mom with a phenomenal au pair and an unusually helpful nearly-ex-husband. But there are many times when it's still only me on call, and you don't get to turn that off just 'cause you're sick.
  • Two weeks battling two different flus mean I'm missing enormous amounts of work. All of which I'll have to make up. Can you say "relapse"? I can.
  • I'm likely going to have to cancel all my weekend plans. Remember that me time I keep talking about? Gone. But hey, at least now I'll have time to disinfect the house. Yay.
And the number one most sucky thing about this nasty flu?

I can't hug my kids.

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P.S. If you, too, are caught with your Tamiflu down and want a more natural approach to immunity boosting, try my friend's Stinky Soup (known to Yoga Journal as the Immune Booster Soup, which they published in December 2006).

I'll admit, I do make some changes so that it's not quite so stinky and I'll actually want to eat it.

Immune Booster Soup
4 c. mushroom or chicken broth
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 to 10 cloves garlic (to taste), crushed and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 to 8 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 to 3 T. grated ginger root (to taste)
3 T. chopped fresh parsley

Bring the broth, onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and ginger root to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low, covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Remove from heat. Add fresh lemon juice, parsley, and any remaining garlic.

Cover and steep for 5 minutes.

My version
Yesterday, I sauteed all the stinky bits in olive oil, thereby destroying most of their immune properties. I used an enormous amount of shiitake mushrooms. I forgot the carrot and had no parsley or fresh lemon, all of which would have been lovely. I added a package of Japanese noodles, a splash of lime juice, a little sesame oil and some soy sauce.

So in other words, I totally cheated.

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