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What Flu Take Two
January 28, 2013 - Jen Zbozny
In a recent post (http://www.mirrormoms.com/page/blogs.detail/display/4277/What-flu-.html) we went through how flu works. It seems it works well in our case because we have more flu. Now it's time to talk about different kinds of flu and their symptoms. Guess why? Right, flu two differs from flu one. Here's what I've learned.
The original version of Eve's flu was a virus that presented the following symptoms: sudden fever (101 out of nowhere), significant post nasal drip, coughing, noticeable fatigue, lack of appetite. In my opinion these are classic symptoms and could easily be confused with the common cold. If it truly is flu, antibiotics won't help. Antibiotics are for bacteria, not viruses. The doctor prescribed tamiflu. It tasted awful. It made Eve feel better.
In this week's episode of what the flu, Eve has a different virus. It's apparently a fairly new creature sometimes called the Sydney virus. It started in Australia. I think if we are going to get something from Australia, we should at least have gotten to go there first, but no one asked us. Phooey. Fluey. This virus presented these symptoms: Eve woke up fine and chipper and within half an hour complained of a tummy ache. I figured she was hungry. Minutes later while involved in a delightful phone discussion with her beloved Grampa, she threw up. Thankfully it all went into the trash can. Not to be too gory but it was just clear goo. Then she felt pretty much fine again. That's not a helpful characteristic if you're a mom trying to discover if your child is really ill or it was a fluke and she'll be fine to go to church and a birthday party.
It's a wonderful characteristic if you're a crafty little virus who wants to survive. You fool people into thinking their children are fine after they throw up one time. Then the parents take the children out in time for them to throw up in public and get every one else sick too. Right. A virus might be smarter than we are. That's disturbing.
In our case I decided to wait it out. We stayed home on the couch and sure enough, four hours passed and then she threw up again. Out of the blue, again, after dancing around on the couch to some song Huckle Cat sang. Only once. Clear goo again. Then she became a little bag of warm sand. A slab of uncooked bacon in fleece pajamas. With a fever of 101. Yuck.
That meant I had to risk stomach upset again and administer a little Tylenol. I did and it worked, but the fever returned as soon as the medicine wore off. That's good because it means her body is fighting the illness, but that clever virus has made her tummy hurt so she doesn't want to eat or drink much. Ugh. Without hydration and nutrients it's harder for the body's Jedi warriors to defeat the dark side. A brief aside. About that fever, most doctors don't condpsider 101 to be a significantly high fever for a four year old. They say worry if it gets to 104. I support the idea of letting a fever do its work, but I'd lose my mind if the thermometer went over 102.
It seems however, that even though her tummy hurts now, things are staying put. That's good but it's a trick to find acceptable things.
Here's a good rubric. BRAT. That stand for bananas, apples, rice, and toast. That's what medical professionals have recommended to try to get something in. Those are mild foods and the apple has some natural sugar. That will feed the body, give some energy, and provide liquid too. Apples are mostly water - that's why they float.
Eve had no interest in any of those things, but here are some things that did work and might for you (should you be so unfortunate). Plain vegetable stock. If they want a little more to it, cook egg noodles in the broth. This makes a nice soft soothing starchy liquidy thing that can go down easily.
Plain water or if they need flavor, get flavored seltzer (do NOT get the kind with the weird artificial sweeteners, look for the cans or bottles that have carbonated water and natural flavor and no other ingredient). Let it go flat. This was what Eve agreed to sip on. It kept her hydrated and she thought it was a super treat to drink it from the can!
Tubes of squeezable fruit. These are like squeezable yogurts without the yogurt. The went down easy and got some nutrients in. They also had kid appeal due to the squeeze tube.
We didn't try it this time, but Gatordade or pedialyte type liquids have some benefits too. You can even get pedialyte type frozen things. They can help cool that feverish little head and they'll replace much needed electrolytes.
According to the doctors, this should clear up within 5 days but there not much else that can be done. This flu doesn't have a vaccine yet, so even the flu shot wouldn't have helped.
Though I don't wish this on anyone, I hope this might help in case your little one suddenly stops singing the Huckle Cat song and tosses her (non existent) cookies. Stay well!
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