When the Flu Hits Your Family
Published: June 7, 2006
During the past year, I have spent countless hours with my son playing Thomas the train. If we aren’t watching a Thomas video, then we are playing with the trains, and if we aren’t playing with the trains, then we are colouring in his Thomas colouring books, or reading a story about him. I have become quite tired of seeing Thomas so much each day, but my son certainly has not.
That is why when my son told me one morning that he didn’t want to play with his Thomas trains that I knew something was terribly wrong. He started complaining that his tummy was hurting. I kept him home to relax on the couch, hoping that it would pass, but as the day went on, instead of passing, it got worse.
It was around 8:00 that same night that he began to throw up, and it continued throughout the night every twenty minutes. We called the nurse’s hotline around midnight, to ensure that we were doing all we could for him. They advised us to give him small amounts of Pediatric Electrolytes (which helps prevent dehydration). They were very helpful and I encourage any parent who ever has doubts about their child’s illness to contact the nurse’s hotline day or night at 604- 215-4700.
By 5:00 that morning, we realized that it wasn’t slowing down, and had to take him to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Once we arrived at the Children’s Hospital, my son was well taken care of by the nurses who kept a constant watch over his situation. And as the hours wore on in the morning, the sickness seemed to dissipate and we were told to return home and to keep monitoring him.
Two days went by after that horrible night without incident, and I naively believed we were out of the woods. But at 2:30 in the morning, my son was sick yet again. This time, it was every two hours. I was mortified. How could this reoccur again? He continued to be sick for another sixteen hours. I took him in to see our own doctor, and was advised that this flu virus can last as long as eight to ten days before it works its way out of the body.
The days have gone by in such a blur and luckily, we are at day twelve since the beginning of his sickness. I can now allow myself to believe that the worst is over. We have spent these past days getting my son hydrated and introducing food back into his world. My son lost a total of three pounds, which is huge for a little one of his age. My doctor also told us that we were very lucky that we did not catch it, as it has been known to wipe out entire households. She has seen many cases of it this past month.
I have run through a variety of scenarios in my mind, trying to piece together where on earth he would have caught such a horrible flu bug. But it’s futile. It could have been anywhere at anytime during the week before, because all it takes is one touch.
Parents need to be aware that there is a flu bug out there that is making its way into many households. And I urge parents who think their child might be getting sick to keep them at home and not expose them to other children. And parents who have healthy children, need to ensure that they wash their child’s hands at every opportunity and carry sanitary wipees with them at all times when they are out, if they can’ t wash them immediately. These are all small preventative measures to help lessen the spread of not only the flu, but a myriad of other bugs out there that are just waiting to take hold of your little one.
Our own household is just starting to return to normal now, and so is my son. He got off the couch yesterday and went into his playroom and carried out his Thomas train. And I must admit;
Thomas was certainly a very welcomed sight for all of us that day.