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IMG00138This morning we went over to the public H1N1 clinic in Rutland to get vaccinations for the boys and Tom. It was less chaotic than expected. While we arrived to what appeared to be quite the line, it really wasn’t so bad we were out of there by 11:45. There were in fact two lines set up, one for adults and one for children. The children’s line was in fact, pretty short considering so many of the school clinics had been pushed off. That was, in fact, the reason that the boys were there. Their school clinic set for November 13th had been postponed into early December. Since all three boys reported that there were a lot  of their classmates who have been out with what is presumed to be the “flu”, it seemed better to try to get them vaccinated sooner rather than later, since later could become much, much later. The boys were off from school today for Veteran’s Day, so it seemed a logical opportunity. We arrived at about 9:30 for the 10 a.m. clinic. Everything went well except, poor Tim, the kid who fears needles the most had to have the injection twice. The nurse drew back blood with the first injection and had to do it all again. Poor kid, he has miserable luck.IMG00139

The good news is that my entire family is now vaccinated. The bad news is that it doesn’t include me. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your perspective) I am healthy and don’t qualify at this juncture for the vaccination. Our youngest boy, alarmed by the fact that I was the only one not getting a shot, asked me why I just didn’t tell them that I needed it too since we were there. I had to explain to him that I didn’t qualify. He responded that it wasn’t fair since I could get sick and the prospect of coming down with the swine flu frightens him. I explained to him that since he and his dad both have asthma, he knew that it was important for them to vaccinated, along with his brothers, ages 13 and 14. He nodded. I explained how unfair it would be if they couldn’t get their shots because someone ahead of us in line lied and said they fit into the high risk groups when in fact they didn’t and shots which would have otherwise gone to us, went to someone who really didn’t need it right now. He understood that it wouldn’t be fair to other people behind us to do that, and it would be lying. He got it. He didn’t like it, but he got it.

After all, the way I look at it, is I get to garner all the sympathy in the house if I get sick. All the attention will be mine, just mine since the rest of them are piggy proofed.

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Did you notice how there was a lull in what was reported in mainstream media about the H1N1 or Swine Flu in recent weeks? In the past few days, however, there has been a flurry of news articles related to the flu, approximations about possible scenarios with the flu in the United States and more information about the flu as it strikes around the world. There has been particular attention to the countries which are facing winter or just coming out of winter at this time of the year.

Perhaps I have been married to a paranoid man for too many years and it is beginning to rub off but I have to say that the recent news is rather scary. Projections from the US government are anticipating that approximately half of the population will contract the flu and 90,000 will die from it. Okay, that might seem horrific to some and not so bad to others. Perspective. What scares me is the information released today from the WHO which is touting that the flu is hitting those who are young or otherwise healthy and going directly into the lungs. This is counter to the demographic that traditional flu strikes. This scares me since I have a husband and a son who both suffer from asthma so they already have respiratory problems and a virus that is pretty much bee-lining for the lungs scares the crap out of me. The statistics released that most of those individuals are requiring intensive care unit attention in the hospitals in these countries is even scarier. ICU is reserved for the sickest of the sick. The ones that need the one-on-one monitoring that goes with the unit. This is very frightening to hear.

“Data continue to show that certain medical conditions increase the risk of severe and fatal illness. These include respiratory disease, notably asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and immunosuppression,” WHO said.

The figure of 90,000 US deaths is rather startling since it is more than double the national figures for deaths from regular seasonal flu. While certainly not the Black Death, the swine flu seems to be of concern, more than not.  The CDC was quick to maintain that the quote of 90,000 deaths was a worse case scenario projection…blah, blah, blah, but one has to wonder if the government was doing some backpaddling there to avoid hysteria.  Feedback?

Paranoia runs high in the Heffernan house. While I wasn’t quite so much the paranoia freak as the worry wort, living with Tom has changed that. The news that Google has taken such a great interest in the flu as to develop its own flu tracker was unusual news in my opinion, but the news on any given day is replete with warnings that the flu pandemic is coming. Is it just flu season paranoia? Something for the main stream media to grab hold of with its little teeth and beat to death? Well, yes, but more disturbing is the news that you can find from the little mom and pop papers, commentators and blogs which echo that something is coming….something big is coming.

Given the fact that the rest of the world from an economic perspective is in the shitter, wouldn’t it just be ripe to get sacked with a nice flu pandemic? Eliminate a good chunk of the world’s population and minimize some problems on the economic front…..oh wait, it’s not my job to be the resident paranoid, that’s Tom’s job. Sorry sweetie.

This article appeared in our local paper, The Rutland Herald and was in fact, quite disturbing.

 

State urges Vermonters to be prepared for pandemic
12:16 p.m. 
October 20, 2008 
COLCHESTER — The Vermont Department of Health is urging residents to prepare for what officials believe will be a worldwide flu pandemic by stocking their pantries.  

Public health officials say that during a flu pandemic families won’t be able to go to work, school or the store.

Health Commissioner Wendy Davis says people should buy things like dried foods that have a long shelf life.

In 1918, a worldwide flu pandemic killed millions of people.

Davis says it’s only a matter of time before another pandemic spreads across the world.

Burlington is one of nine communities around the country taking part in a pilot project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get ready for a pandemic.

This, coupled with a comment from a neighbor about a possible resurgence of the Spanish Flu from something she read from the CDC, put my fingers to the keyboard to find out more. And find out, I did. Several things, some of which were quite disconcerting. In New Jersey, a law was just passed mandating flu vaccines for children under 5 attending preschool or daycare. Mandating. That is a strong word as it relates to the flu vaccine. Makes me glad that I don’t live in NJ anymore. The CDC has in fact recommended flu vaccines for all children between 6 months and 18 years of age. Normal, healthy kids, not just children who are considered “high risk”, although I do have one of those. My youngest son, Tim has asthma and has gotten a flu shot for years. My other two boys, neither of whom suffer from any “high risk” conditions, have never gotten a flu shot.

Why? Why all of a sudden is this of utmost importance? The news is replete with articles from all over the country urging parents to get their perfectly healthy children vaccinated this year. While I am not the conspiracy type, I do have to admit that living with my adorable Mr. Paranoia for all these years does rub off on me. We went through childhood without a flu shot, my other non-high risk children for their 12 and 13 years have survived without a flu shot, so now why this sudden urge to vaccinate healthy children, coupled with this article? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? 

It certainly makes me wonder and give the whole thing a second thought, particularly in light of the fact that thermisol is found as a preservative in most flu vaccines. Okay, I admit that this makes me nervous. While years ago, call me stupid, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to the vaccines administered to my infants; age and experience have made me more cautious and much more protective. I am no longer willing to “turn my kids over” to the pediatrician’s wishes, especially in light of the fact that Tom and I have a nephew who is autistic. While I know the controversy surrounding thermisol in vaccines is inconclusive from a scientific point at best, I also know that I have a sister who believes in her heart of hearts that little Damian “was different” after he was given his MMR vaccine. A mother’s instinct is nothing to be messed with and that is enough to give me second thoughts.

Evilwife on the move

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