Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flu, Meds and One Long Week

On Wednesday, the chickadees visited the pediatrician for various symptoms. Turns out, my nearly two-year old son has the flu and my nearly six-month old daughter isn't far behind. Apparently a flu test on infants is inconclusive, so after a blood test, the doctor determined whatever she has is viral. Is it the flu? Well, if you put the pieces together, probably.

Since H1N1 is in decline and didn't mutate (as far as we know) and my son was vaccinated against it, the general consensus is that he caught the seasonal flu. He was also vaccinated against this, but it can mutate several times in one season. My daughter was too young (and still is) to receive either vaccinations, but should have gotten my antibodies from breast milk.

My son started his breathing treatments again and Tamiflu Wednesday night. This is a broadspectrum antiviral taken twice a day for five days. The next day, he still had a fever, but was remarkably active and alert. 180 degrees from the day before. My daughter is too young to be treated for he flu. But she was able to start breathing treatments to aid congestion. She however, seemed a little worse for wear the next day.

On Thursday, my daughter was back at the pediatrician. For fear she would develop pneumonia, she was placed on Amoxicillan (a broadspectrum antobiotic also taken twice a day for five days, in case the pneumonia had a bacterial content). She also developed an ear infection overnight which prevented her from sucking from a bottle and fueled her overall foul mood. The ear drop Antipyrine & Benzocaine Otic Solution (infection fixer and pain killer combo) was added to her battery of meds. A few doses later, she was taking a bottle again and fussing with solid foods as usual.

By Saturday evening both fevers broke and kids were doing much better. As I lay in bed that night, I counted how many meds they were on the last few days.

Saline spray to moisten nasal passages
Xopenex to enlarge bronchioles (the breathing treatment)
Tylenol and Motrin to reduce fever

Saline spray
Tylenol and Motrin
Antipyrine & Benzocaine Otic Solution

It's an eye-opener how often children are placed on drugs for routine infections that build immunity. When I was growing up, a flu meant I had to stay in bed, eat soup, drink lots of OJ and sweat it out. I could have thought about possible drug interactions. How these meds affected my kids' mood, appetite and well-being. However, sleep deprivation starved my brain of the ability to think. Instead I rolled over and fell asleep.

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