thankful thursday: H1N1 version

My daughter has THE FLU.  Yes, THAT flu.

What is there in that to be grateful for?  Actually, quite a bit.

But then, Ed says I am the most positive person he knows.  I’m not so sure about that: I get the crankies, often about computers stupid things.  And I get quite loud passionate about issues of social justice (especially related to children).

Still, I can usually find the upside of whatever is happening.  And maybe that’s the kind of positive he means.

H1N1, or swine flu, is hitting earlier than flu season usually starts.  And it’s likely to get much worse.  Last week the Varsity girls’ soccer team at Kristina’s school was quarantined for the entire school week, and there are already many other cases of H1N1 at her school and in the community. 

Kristina is REALLY sick – about as sick as she was the winter of 7th grade, when she had pneumonia three times – yes, count ’em, 1 – 2 – 3 times.  But this episode of really sick is condensed into just one week.  It’s kind of pathetic.  Today she looks just a little bit better. 

On a physical level, here’s what I am thankful for:

  • I can be home to take care of her – I don’t have to worry about losing my job
  • She’s able to tell me what she needs – much easier than having a sick baby or toddler
  • While she does have nausea, she has been able to keep down food and drink – anyone who has cleaned up after their children knows the blessing this is.  Boy, do I have stories. 
  • Ed and I are *knock on wood* still healthy, although we can feel how hard our immune systems are fighting – this is a STRONG bug
  • We are all healthy enough to begin with that this isn’t likely to be a life-threatening illness

I’m also grateful for:

  • the tenderness I am able to share with my teenage daughter: the same daughter who is often prickly and moody, and can’t get out the door fast enough, is now welcoming my hugs (as long as they are short hugs)
  • her willingness to accept that she needs help right now
  • her gratitude for the care I am giving her – this is truly unexpected, although it really shouldn’t be
  • the fact that she is home for me to take care of – in no time at all she will be away at college, far from homemade miso soup and fresh sheets and someone to remember when to take the next dose of cough syrup
  • her sweet boyfriend, and the quiet comfort he has been to her this week
  • my sisters, who each have expertise in this area and have provided information, support, and encouragement

Tomorrow, I’ll visit each of Kristina’s teachers and collect a week’s worth of homework.  Catching up on all this will be no mean task: Kristina is taking 4 AP courses this year, and they clip along at a racer’s pace.  If she’s clear-headed enough, she’ll get some done on the weekend, and then she’ll spend all of next week trying to catch up while adjusting to what is happening in class. 

I suspect there will be a lot of that at her school, and at others around the country, this fall and winter.  From what I have learned, children and adolescents are more at risk for H1N1 because their immune systems have less experience fighting off illnesses – they don’t have the stockpile of anitbodies grups do.  Even though this is an entirely new strain of virus, that arsenal of antibodies helps older adults fend it off.  Good thing. 

Yet another thing to be thankful for.


listening to Dido, Thank You

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