As I write this, I’m sitting in the waiting room of our local clinic desperately trying not to breath. I can almost see the clouds of germs swarming through the air, waiting to attack me. There are two kids sitting with masks covering the lower portion of their faces. I might be safe from them…it’s the other three kids slumped in their chairs with miserable, glazed-over expressions and no face masks that worry me.
When KT climbed in bed with me in the wee hours of the morning, burning up and nearly in tears, I vaguely wondered if she had managed to catch the dreaded H1N1 virus. Other than feeling horrible and running a fever, she seemed to be doing OK as long as I was close by. We spent a good portion of the day talking to the cats and watching old movies together. (please tell me that’s not how Crazy Cat Ladies get started!)
When Mimi came home from school later that afternoon, she told me that she had a horrible headache. Further conversation revealed that she had endured several dizzy spells throughout the day. It took about two minutes for me to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment. I explained to the receptionist that Mimi had bonked heads with another girl the day before and was woozy enough to be helped off the soccer field and taken out of the game. (Who knew that someone had a harder head than our girl?)
The receptionist at the doctor’s office apologized as she told me that they were booked solid for the rest of the day and most of the next day. She explained that they were swamped with flu victims. Then she asked me if I would like to bring Mimi in the next morning at 8 AM. I accepted the appointment while wondering to myself if I should plan on taking Mimi to the Urgent Care or the ER. I had said goodbye to the receptionist and was about the hang up when she suddenly asked me to wait a moment so that she could transfer me to the Triage Nurse…just to be safe. Once the Triage Nurse realized that we were dealing with a head injury, she told me that she could squeeze us in if we could get there within the next fifteen minutes. By some miracle we managed to make it there in the nick of time.
We ended up sitting in that waiting room, trying to avoid all the germs for nearly an hour before we were called in. Mimi was examined and diagnosed as having “minor head trauma” (Yay, no concussion!). Then the nurse told us that they had some of the highly sought after Swine Flu vaccine and asked if we would like it. Mimi immediately declared that she would rather suffer through two weeks of the worst flu imaginable, rather than a ten second shot in the arm. She absolutely refused to have the vaccine even after I pointed out how miserable her sister was and how awful all those kids in the waiting room looked. Obviously Mimi had forgotten who she was dealing with. I had to laugh when the nurse offered her a lollipop and a sticker for being such a good sport for getting her shots. (No, I would never tease her about the fact that those rewards are usually reserved for the under-ten set!)
On the way out the door I accepted that 8:00 am appointment for KT. According to our doctor, Tamiflu really is effective in shortening the length of flu symptoms.
I can only hope that the waiting room is empty that early in the morning…