East Texas Mom: This Flu Hits Fast
One minute she was doing her homework and playing, and within an hour or two she was complaining of being cold and achy, so I took her temperature. It was 104.4! What happened next taught me something.
It was the highest temperature I had ever seen on my little at-home thermometer and I wanted to make sure I wasn't hallucinating so I took it again. The next time it said 104.7. Crap! I didn't mess around. We started getting ready to head to Urgent Care right away, and after trying the web check-in option at our neighborhood clinic and seeing that all the spots were filled up for the day we decided to walk in to the clinic and wait. It turned out to be a 45-minute wait, but a parent with a sick kid will do it and not complain. We're just happy to be in line and know that someone will help soon.
Piper curled up on my lap in the waiting room and while I was running my fingers through her hair and telling her we'd get her feeling better soon, I was secretly thinking, "Dear God please do not let those droplets of sickness crawl up my nose or creep into my eye sockets and make me sick too." Someone has to stay healthy and strong enough to administer the meds, right? And about that time I heard an elementary-aged girl start hurling in the waiting room restroom. It was so loud and gross. Everyone in there heard it and it was the longest ten minutes of all of our lives, but we understood, and felt sorry for the poor gal and her equally queasy-looking younger sister. I quickly gave instructions to my two healthy girls. Do. Not. Touch. Anything. Including your own face. And pray we all make it out of here alive.
Once we got called back to see the doctor, the appointment went quickly because they had probably been through it fifty times already that day. Take vital signs, discuss symptoms, swab the nose for a flu test, wait ten minutes for the results, and learn that it's positive for Influenza B. If you have to get the flu I guess that's the one you want. The doctor told us that Influenza A is worse this season, with a more severe cough and it lingers longer, so hurray that we got B. (And yes, Piper did get a flu shot last fall.) Now on to the pharmacy for some Tamiflu.
The doctor gave us the choice, and said we could let the flu run its course and the body would fight off the flu in 5 to 7 days. Or Tamiflu would shorten the cycle by just a day, in her opinion. With all of the horror stories in the news about the flu, we decided Tamiflu would be a good option. But it's expensive! Holy cats. With insurance, the price came back at $230 at first. The awesome and helpful pharmacy tech suggested I look for a coupon online rather than settle for that, and that turned out to be great advice. I returned with three coupons. One put the price at $239. Another raised it to $278 (because the coupons are independent of insurance), but the third coupon made my whole day. $125! That coupon was from GoodRX, for two vials of the liquid, kid-friendly form of Tamiflu. I've never been so excited to pay $125 in my life. After two doses of Tamiflu and one helping of Tylenol, my kindergartner was dancing around the living room while watching Scooby Doo in her karate uniform like usual. Screw you, flu.
This flu season is the worst in several years, and we can only hope when March comes it will be better. Has it taught you anything? It has me.
Things I've learned this flu season:
- Always carry hand sanitizer.
- Go to the Urgent Care within ten minutes of seeing symptoms and don't mess around.
- Always look for pharmacy coupons before agreeing to the price.
- Pray for the end of flu season to come fast. Like now.
- And when the kids are home sick, put your own routine aside, watch Scooby Doo in a robe, and be grateful for the extra time to love on them. Everything else can wait.