Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For this, three wins, one loss (for now)

Kocchi ha (ima no tokoro) san shou ippai

H1N1 (aka swine flu) has struck the Pumpkin Clan, but so far, only the Pumpkin Princess has it, and even she is jumping around and asking for ice cream without the benefit of acetoaminophen (Tylenol to my American friends).

Sunday was pretty wild, though, since we headed to the Sunday duty clinic (in Pumpkin City, the city Physicians' Association designates a "duty clinic" where you go on Sundays. Clinics which belong to the association (OK, pretty much every single clinic in town) will see patients that Sunday. There are a couple internal medicine duty clinics, a GYN clinic, an ophthalmology clinic, an ENT clinic, and a pediatrics clinic designated as duty clinics each Sunday and National Holiday. For really serious stuff, you go to the Emergency Department (Ambulance Clinic to my Brit friends...I think) of a good-sized hospital, but some of the bigger hospitals (like the Red Cross Hospital and University Hospital) will fine you if you go in after hours for something mild like a splinter or a cold and tell you to go to the duty clinic next time if you don't like the fine, which is something like 7000 yen, or $80 depending on the exchange rate).

So Sunday morning, a whiny Pumpkin Princes crawled into the Pumpkin Mommy and Daddy's bed, and Daddy said to Mommy, "she's hot!" Mommy went downstairs to get the thermometer and confirmed that she did indeed have a fever. She took the Princess to the Duty Clinic (which was, fortunately, only a 5 minute drive from the Pumpkin Palace) and was told there was an hour wait, so as soon as the receptionist took copies of the health insurance card and the Pumpkin City medical care card, they went home and had a snack of Pretz and milk.

The tired looking pediatrician, who was a woman slightly younger than the Pumpkin Granny, took a nasal secretion sample (and gave the Pumpkin Princess a mild nosebleed in the process) and declared her positive for type A influenza, which, this early in the season, translates into "I'm pretty sure it's swine flu". She wrote a prescription for Tamiflu and Tylenol. We were told to wait in the car, and the pharmacist from the pharmacy conveniently (heh) located right next to the clinic brought the medications to us, we paid our 50 yen (for the container, the meds are paid for by health insurance and Pumpkin City because she's a child). We drove home, took the first of the Tamiflu and Tylenol, and the Pumpkin Princess went to bed.

Later that day, an unhappy Pumpkin Prince was discovered to have a temp of 38 degrees (100 or thereabouts). Pumpkin Mommy called the clinic and asked what the wait time was and was told it was an hour and a half. So she went alone, got checked in, went back home, waited around for about an hour, and went back with the Pumpkin Prince. The only problem was, the Pumpkin Prince was energetic and happy and smiling at all the harried looking parents in the waiting area who had brought their feverish kids too weak to move. We waited for about an hour (in addition to the time spent at home) to be told by the same pediatrician, who looked even more tired than she did that morning (I think she must have seen no fewer than 200 kids that day) that he looked way to happy to have influenza, took a nasal secretion sample at my asking, and declared him negative for type A flu.

I think we should have told the receptionist we were going home when he started smiling and making happy gurgling sounds at the sick looking 7 year-old girl who was carried in to the exam room by her dad.

Anyway...Monday, I took the day off work and took the Pumpkin Princess to her usual pediatrician. By then, she was fever free and chowing down custard pudding and strawberry ice cream like no one's business. However, the city day care system requires that once you are diagnosed with influenza A, you can't come to day care until you are fever free and have finished the required 5 day regimen of Tamiflu.

Tuesday morning, the Pumpkin Daddy announced he felt feverish and a bit achey, but so far hasn't been able to break the 37.5 degree mark (99 or thereabouts). The Pumpkin Prince measured in at 37.5, so we kept him home, and I stayed home as well (and cancelled a Wednesday work meeting just in case) but has been smiling and gurgling and crawling after the Pumpkin Princess (who is jumping off the sofa as she watches Cinderella II on DVD). I feel fine except for a runny nose I've had since early last week.

So swine flu vs. Pumpkin Palace is 1 to 3 so far. Here's to hoping it stays that way.


Annie Cat said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Distribution of the H1V1 vaccine has been completely spotty around here. Buster was given it very matter-of-factly when he came in for his regular vaccines a couple of weeks ago, but his cousin (same city) couldn't get it.

There has been a reported case at Buster's daycare (not yet confirmed) so I'm being even more careful with my hand washing and sanitizing after dropping him off in the mornings. I'm glad he won't get it, but I really don't want to either.

sheri said...

So far we have avoided it, which is good because the Husband and I are in all of the groups (older than our teens, younger than retirement, no small children or elderly people in our care) who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. (In the U.S. you have to meet one of those criteria to receive a vaccine.)

My daughter is in the age range, but I haven't felt the need to wait in six and seven hour lines to get her the shot.

Here's hoping the Pumpkin Princess is over it already and that you, the Pumpkin Daddy and Pumpkin Prince don't get it!

pumpkinmommy said...

Anne, his having been vaccinated doesn't mean he won't get it, but hopefully it will be mild if he does.

Sheri, same in Japan, there are similar criteria, but everyone except the baby meets one or more of them (young child and care providers for a baby).

Tia K. said...

An 18 month old boy and his mom from our church have it this week! We are hoping to be passed by, at least until AFTER Yasuki takes his Univ. Entrance Exams next week!
We've all had the reg. flu shot now. Hopefully that will hold us for most of the season.

pumpkinmommy said...

Exams next week? Suisen nyushi?

It's all over the local day cares and schools (including preschools) over here. The Pumpkin Princess's friend had it the same time she did.

I saw multiple signs at a local hospital announcing "we are out of seasonal flu vaccine. We do not know when we will be supplied with more." So you are lucky to have got yours!