A Little Influenza A, A Little Influenza B

Last Sunday Zoe had a fever. It wasn’t awful, but we kept her home from a birthday party that afternoon. She said she had a headache and her tummy hurt a little. After some motrin she was feeling much better, and she was running around, playing with the boys. We had a Tet dinner planned that night with some other local families who have children from Vietnam. We almost went since she seemed to be better, but ultimately decided we didn’t want to risk getting any of the other kids sick.

The rest of Sunday and Monday were pretty much the same. When the motrin wore off, her fever went up and she seemed a little bit sick. When the motrin kicked in, she was fine again. We told her she could sleep in our room Monday night, but she seemed *totally* fine by bedtime. We let her stay so it would be easier for me to give her motrin in the middle of the night, but I told her she needed to settle down and at least *pretend* to be sick. I thought we would send her to school on Tuesday, but again she woke up with a fever. I had to work, but Christian’s mom said Zoe could stay with her, so we kept her home.

I called a few hours later to check on her and, of course, Karen said she seemed fine. I decided to call the doctor, just in case, to see if I should bring her in. The nurse said it would be best to get her tested for the flu, so I called Karen back to tell her. Karen was relieved, because in the 30 minutes or so it had taken me to get in touch with a nurse and schedule the appointment (and the motrin wore off), things had gone downhill quickly.

By the time I met Karen to get Zoe, she was really warm and she was lethargic. I called Christian to say I was taking her to the doctor. Christian, who had seem her the night before when she didn’t seem sick at all and that morning when she seemed pretty OK was like, “Whatever. She doesn’t have the flu.” I still didn’t think it was the flu either, but I knew she was much sicker.

By the time we got to the doctor, she could barely walk and her fever was 104. The nurse did the swab and then poked her head back in the room almost immediately. Zoe had already tested positive for Influenza Strain A, and there were still eight minutes left in the test.

She was miserable. She was crying and sweaty

The next couple of days weren’t terrible. I was pretty tired because I set my alarm for every four hours at night so I could alternate Tylenol and motrin, but she was OK as long as we kept her fever down. She also developed a cough and stuffy nose, but it wasn’t awful.

Here’s my sweaty, sick, little flu-girl:


I was really worried about the boys getting it, but they seemed OK. Noah wasn’t sick at all. Colin had a stuffy nose Thursday and Friday, but no fever, so I sent him to school.

Friday after school, he said, “Mommy, can I snuggle with you?” and climbed in my lap. About a minute later I noticed that he kept messing with his left ear. I asked him if it hurt and he said, “It just itches.”

Afraid that he had an ear infection, I called the doctor. Miraculously, they were able to get us in before they closed for the weekend. His left ear, the one that “itched,” had a small amount of fluid in it. The right one, which he had not complained about all, was about to burst. They also decided to test him for the flu and he was, of course, positive.

The nurse gave me kind of a funny look though, and said, “Didn’t Zoe test positive for B?”

I told her that was correct, and she said, “Weird. He tested positive for A.”

This means that they did not get it from each other. They were each exposed, separately, to two diferent strains of flu. What are the odds of that happening? Surely they can’t be very high. I guess we’re just lucky. Maybe we should play the lottery.

So, now it was Colin’s turn to sleep in our room. Here’s my poor little flu-boy:


Wouldn’t it be awesome now if Zoe gave Colin B, Colin gave Zoe A, and they gave Noah A and B? Yeah, that would be fun.

In other news, Colin does the reverse-Al-Bundy when he sleeps:


1 thought on “A Little Influenza A, A Little Influenza B

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