Sunday, October 11, 2009

My rant!

Yeah I'll probably piss some people off, so if you are easily offended, stop reading now.

I'm seriously annoyed with the overly dramatic reactions to the whole H1N1 thing. People react based on what they see in the media and unfortunately the media is doing a damned good job of scaring people. H1N1 is NOT more dangerous than any other illness you come in contact with on any other day, week, month, year, or decade. Yes, people are dying, yes that sucks. But they die ALL. THE. TIME. from the regular flu and no one makes a fuss. So what's different about this flu? Nothing. It's something new for the media to report on and it will be months before the novelty wears off. They'll stop reporting on it in a little while and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, even though it will still be going around, though maybe not as quickly. And then next year it will make it's rounds again, only people will think it's old news and not freak out. Same damn flu, only people will finally realize the world isn't coming to an end.

So here's the scoop. It is VERY rare for a healthy person to die from this flu, just like any other flu. CDC chart about pediatric deaths Notice off to the right...most of the kids had SERIOUS health issues. They didn't die from the flu. They died because their body was already compromised and failed to handle an illness that they would have otherwise been able to sail through unscathed. So where am I going with this rant? You got it....Charlie might have a very difficult time with this flu. She might even die. Hell, she might die tonight from the pneumonia she developed after her cold last week. What bothers me is everyone with the perfect, healthy children are FREAKING OUT going, "Oh poor us, what do we do, what do we do?! I can't stand the thought of my child having to go into the hospital! And I'll just wash our hands 50 times a day...yup that'll do it...wash our hands 50 times a day and maybe get that new shot. We'll be fine, we'll be fine. But what if the shot doesn't work! Oh no! What will we do then!? I heard that a kid at the elementary up the street DIED the other day! What if that's my kid? OMG we're all gonna die!"

This is what ya'll sound like to me. Please EDUCATE yourself before freaking out. Don't use hand sanitizer until your hands crack and bleed. Yes...I've heard of people doing that. Don't stop breastfeeding because you are afraid of passing it through your milk. Yup, heard that one too. Those of you with healthy kids, quit your bitching and freaking, pick yourselves up and go on with your lives. Really. This is NOT the plague. This is an illness that is mild for the vast majority of healthy people. Freaking out over it is like a slap in the face to those of us who ACTUALLY have to deal with the real problems that develop with this flu. YOUR kid has a very small chance of even needing to see a doctor. MY kid could actually die. Yet, I don't freak out. Why is that? Because I realize that this is life. And life goes on. There will always be bigger and badder illnesses (especially if we keep trying to "boost" our immune systems with vaccines and use anti-bacterial soap on *everything*), but LIFE GOES ON. Wash your hands, keep your kids home from school if you must. Don't freak over a mild illness. Heaven forbid any of you ever actually have to deal with real medical problems.

Let the flaming begin. :-/

16 comments:

sarah said...

Amen! My kids are not even at risk, and I totally believe in what you said. I have not had a flu shot in like 5 years or more. My kids get the normal vaccines, that is it. it is slightly scary that it has killed several people in central ohio.

Shauna said...

Yes, but the regular flu kills lots of people in central ohio every year. No one ever bats an eye though because there's no novelty or hype in it. No one thinks it's scary because it's the "regular" flu. It's never even mentioned unless we're having a particularly bad season, and still, nothing like the H1N1 media coverage. I'm more scared of getting hit by a mack truck on the highway. ;-) We're much more likely to die from that, yet no one is quarantining themselves in their home to prevent getting in an accident. The whole thing is just surreal to me.

Anonymous said...

Shauna,

I TOTALLY Agree with you!!!!! I haven't even gotten the Reg Flu shot for my kids (not from lack of trying...but the Peds office is impossible to get one!). I got a letter from our Medicaid Waiver insisting that I get one, and that Medicaid will even pay for it. Who's gonna pay if she has medical complications FROM this NEW, UNTESTED vaccine???? You go girl!!!! :)

Colleen P2P

Sherrie Bee Bop said...

Yay media! I totally agree with you! This is like what we were talking about a while back... when people with no major, huge, devastating issues think the tiniest little mishap means the sky is falling! "My baby broke his arm. He could have died!" Dude, it sucks your kid's arm is broken, but he's still perfectly healthy and will live to see another day so suck it up and get over yourself. I assure your my problems are worse than your offspring's freaking fracture.

I've been a little more cautious and worried than normal, simply because my immune system is not up to par with what it used to be or should be, but I'm just more aware of my surroundings and take a few extra precautions. Knock on wood, with my lack of rest, high stress level, interaction with lots of people daily and low immune system, I have yet to even catch a cold.

sarah said...

shauna,

you are totally right. People DO die from regular stuff all the time. It just hits a little closer to home when you see it on the news. I generally do not panic though.

@Sherri- you are totally right. Even when my son had a spiral fracture of his thigh, and was in a spica cast, I was very calm. I knew it could have been much worse. It kind of confused me when people thought it was horrible. I mean, it WAS bad, but it could have been worse...

Mir said...

I am here in GA and have friends at the CDC, and they're worried. The media is blowing it out of proportion, because that's what sells news, but it's not a normal flu. It's going to hit a huge percentage of the population (on top of the regular flu percentages) and it's going to overload hospitals and doctors. My friends aren't even really worried about that - they're afraid that it follows the same pattern as the Spanish flu, and they're worried it's going to mutate.

We have been hit personally by this flu. An online friend lost her very fragile son to it in July. It was hard, really hard. He had been through so much in his three years and this was just too much for him.

But more personally, my girls caught it last week. It wasn't bad for our baby, but our 8yo was hit hard. She's got the best immune system of any kid I've ever met. This was her third fever in three years, and the fourth time she's missed school for non-stomach bug related illnesses in over three years. Amazing, right?

Her first night, she had a seizure. It might be something that parents with ill children are used to, but for my child, it was very scary. She was unresponsive for over 20 minutes, twitchy, and her fever dropped to 95.3. We were thisclose to calling an ambulance. We've never called an ambulance, ever, and we are extremely reasonable parents when it comes to going to the hospital - as in, we have been twice (with 3 kids and 8 years under our belts).

She's had the flu 3 times before in her life, this was her fourth. She's never had a seizure. Our peed called us back immediately, at midnight, and had we not been able to get her temp over 96, we would have been on our way to the ER.

I've since found out that seizures have been common in healthy older kids with H1N1, but they don't know why.

So while I understand your rant, I also don't. Maybe it's because my perspective is different, having all healthy kids. But what might be a small deal for you and Charlie is a big deal for other children and their parents, even if it's not death.

I'm very scared for fragile children like Charlie because we've lost Noah already. I'm not scared of death for my children, but I was not anxious for them to catch this and be the most ill they've been in their lives either.

swgoats said...

Joe ran a fever the other night - first time since birth - it went down rapidly after a dose of "Old Indian Syrup for Kids for Winter Health" (bunch of herbs including Echinecea). We don't put any stock in flu vaxes, but to each his own.

My beef isn't so much the talk, but the idiots who don't know to keep their kids home when they are sick. They had to send around a paper at therapy the other day, because one mom brought her kid in with an H1N1 diagnosis saying "everyone at school has it, so everyone is just going to school anyway." I guess it must be pretty mild for most - but even so, how stupid can you be. Showing up at a therapy office, where there are potentially fragile children. Stay home when you are sick people!

Concerning the previous comment, I have to say if my kid had a seizure that lasted 20 min, I would have been at the hospital. My CP kid has seizures, every day, but never one that last that long. My oldest had a febrile seizure at 2 - we dropped her in a bath of cool water and it was over quick and she was alert and responsive. Scared the pants off me, but she was ok. Some folks let fevers ride as long as they are not too high, but after our experience, I am much quicker to give Tylenol. I'm not posting this to criticize, just to share my 2 cents as a mom who has dealt with seizures. 20 mins unresposive and twitching is too long IMHO.

Doing a quick search, I uncovered that seizures are sometimes a complication of the regular flu. That's poor comfort when you've experienced it, but as Shauna pointed out in her post - the "regular" flu is just as scary. The evidence I've seen of H1N1 is that the danger is not that it is more severe (it generally is not), but that it is highly contagious - hence IF YOU'RE SICK STAY HOME PLEASE! (And stock pile echinecea - I've always had such good luck with the stuff...)

Sorry, ridiculously long comment *blush*

Vanessa said...

i think this also goes deeper. Parents of healthy children bitch abotu the stupides things period...it's very hurtful... ONe lady who know of Giuli complained her kid was crawling all over and to make it stop...i wanted to tell her "you can have my kid for one day who just lays there since you're kid is buggin you so much". But they will continue b/c they have not gone thru the pain and grief we have. Sometimes, my new baby Samantha cries and it gets annoying, but i quickly get over it b/c Giuli has NEVER cried!! That is a gift and some may never see it that way! :) As a doctor, i have seen a ton of flu's already and it is turning out to be benign; but it is hitting younger people so there may be more young deaths this time around, but i'm really only worried abotu Giuli.

swgoats said...

I know Vanessa, it is hard. I have two typically developing children and one with cp. I try to remember "There's no great loss, without some small gain." But I'd give up any of those small gains (Joe doesn't get in trouble, etc) to have what's lost. Joe does cry (and in the past cried way too much), but I try to think back sometimes to those days in the hospital when we wanted so badly to hear a sound out of him. I think folks without sn kids just don't get it. I think it's funny myself the things that used to upset me so badly about my older two. I think Joe's made me a better parent, cause I have a more realistic outlook on things.

Cat said...

I just handled H1N1 TWICE this year through my home (3 of us had it when it first hit Ohio and 1 kid had it this month) and it is NOT any worse than any regular flu that I've ever had. I should know too, I was one of the first round victims. We refuse to get this vaccine, doesn't anyone remember the LAST time they had a vaccine for a straine of the "swine flu" lol

Mir said...

"I'm not posting this to criticize, just to share my 2 cents as a mom who has dealt with seizures. 20 mins unresposive and twitching is too long IMHO. "

We were on the phone with her pediatrician, and as I said we haven't done seizures before. As a parent who hasn't done seizures, we didn't know what to do, so we trusted in our pediatrician and it worked out fine. But it's not something we're excited to repeat in the future, and it was a big deal and scary to my family, which was my point.

It may be common in flus but my kid has had the flu and not had seizures. What made this time different, you know?

Shauna said...

It was probably a febrile seizure due to fever. It's not uncommon and sometimes kids will have fever after fever and never have a seizure and then have one out of the blue. You are more likely to have them again once you've had one but they usually aren't dangerous or damaging. She could have just as easily had one from over heating on a summer day or with the regular flu or any number of other illnesses that produce a fever. I guarantee that the virus didn't attack her brain and cause it. ;-)

Michelle said...

My "healthy" kid has asthma. I would greatly prefer she not get any flu, seasonal or H1N1. I don't think taking reasonable precautions (hand washing, vaccines) is "freaking out."

Shauna said...

Never said it was. It's "freaking out" when you take all the reasonable precautions and *still* think this flu is a death sentence. Or refuse to realize that the regular flu can be deadly too. I just saw someone write today: "It scares me because now healthy kids are dying too." Ok. Yeah, but they do from the regular flu...every year! I wouldn't want any asthmatic kid to get it. But I wouldn't want them to get ANY illness. Why the media hype over THIS illness?

I think some people entirely missed the point of the post which was....do your research...calm down...take whatever precautions you feel necessary...DON'T freak over the media hype. It's not doing anyone a damn bit of good.

And that washing your hands until they crack and bleed isn't necessary and only allows another entry point for germs.

The deaths so far have been sensationalized so that they can push the vaccine...which there is *conveniently* a national shortage of now. It's hype, plain and simple.

And I still don't get why high-risk people are ONLY concerned about this illness. If you are that compromised, you will be concerned about all illnesses and will see where I'm coming from about the hype. If other illnesses don't scare you, you aren't that much at risk, what can I say?

swgoats said...

I totally agree that there is too much hype out there - I'd even go so far as to say there is propaganda. Heard one report on the radio today of a dying mother telling her children to go get a flu shot. Come on! I don't know if it is true or not, but regardless, I resent the media trying to feed off our emotions like that. Give us the hard cold facts - the studies - and let us make our own choices. It really disturbs me how people in power are always trying to rob us of our freedom of choice in regards to our health care... Maybe that makes me sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I know enough highly intelligent "real life" people in the medical profession who support my view to know I'm not completely off my rocker. ;-) Mercola posted a good article today by a neurosurgeon -http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/03/What-We-Have-Learned-About-the-Great-Swine-Flu-Pandemic.aspx

Anonymous said...

All I can say to this is that you are NOT as educated and informed as you think. A global pandemic is not the same as "just another flu". Maybe not this year, maybe not next, but in our lifetime- there will be one that does mutate and kill millions once again. And the thing is, Shauna- NO ONE knows which strain will be "it" until it happens.