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The Swine Flu

by Ronald A. Rowe | July 30th, 2009 | Elementary
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doctorIt started innocently enough. The three year old, Lex, who normally has enough energy to power a small city, was pooped out. ”Everyone gets tired,” I said, “even our little Energizer Bunny.” My lovely wife was unconvinced.

The next day he had a fever. Up to 103 it went. ”He’s got the flu,” I said in my reassuring voice. ”He’ll be fine in a couple of days.” My lovely wife thought otherwise.

The next day, his fever still was bopping up and down, from a pleasant 99 to a worrisome 103. We looked up the swine flu online. Lex had about half the symptoms. I said, “Well, it’s not swine flu, he’s only got half the symptoms.” My lovely wife said “It’s swine flu! He’s got half the symptoms!”

The Tylenol didn’t do much to lower his fever. ”Take him to the pediatrician,” I said in my authoritative voice that I use to cover up the fact that she’s just going to do it anyway. ”He’ll probably just tell us to keep him hydrated like he usually does.” My lovely wife didn’t think so.

The doctor looked at Lex for all of seven seconds before declaring, “He’s got the swine flu.” He didn’t say H1N1, like the World Health Organization (WHO) wants us to. He said “swine flu”. My lovely wife agreed.

They did a rapid flu test. It involved sticking a giant Q-Tip down Lex’s throat. Our pediatrician is always doing things like that, which is probably why Lex hates going there. The test results came back in a couple of hours. It was negative for swine flu. My pediatrician disagreed. Who knew that rapid tests have a high false positive rate?

The morals of the story:

1) My lovely wife should make all the healthcare decisions for our family.

2) Rapid testing must be a good job. Nobody is surprised if you’re completely wrong.

3)”Swine flu” is rapidly becoming a very scary term. Although all our friends expressed sympathy (on the phone), nobody came to visit us all week. Maybe that’s why the WHO wants us to say “H1N1 Virus”. Somehow it’s less scary.

PS – He’s better now, thanks for asking.

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2 Comments
  1. […] my recent post about the swine flu, alert reader Sean Rushforth asked what I think about the swine flu pandemic. In a word: scary. […]

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