Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about you-know-what but were afraid to ask

So, you want to know what do about H1N1? Well, you have come to the right place. Because let me tell you - I am a wealth of information! I have read everything that has been published about this nasty flu over the last few weeks. In fact, I feel confident that I could hold my very own press conference, and give some solid answers to people.

I have read everything from the World Health Organization, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, from Health Canada, from CDC, and all sorts of articles from local and national media. Of course, I have watched the nightly news, I read the Globe and Mail daily, I have talked to my pediatrician's office several times, I have called in to our local news talk radio show and have spoken with a very educated doctor. I battled with my decision to get my children vaccinated, and decided it was in their best interest to get the shots over with. However, despite my knowledge about this flu, I, like most of you, still have lingering questions.

So, here you go...

The vaccine is safe. It is. I have had the shot, and I'm still standing. My children have had the shot. We got the shot with the adjuvant. However, if you're pregnant, you should wait to get the non-adjuvant shot. Oh, wait - now they're saying you can safely get the adjuvant shot, too. It's up to you. But Canada has ordered the non-adjuvant shot, just in case. Well, no, there has been no clinical study with pregnant woman, ever, but we still say it's safe. But it's up to you. But you should get the shot. When you're more than 20 weeks. Or if you're just pregnant. Or think you're pregnant. Or not.

Oh, and if you already have children? Then get the shot, damn it! And like, right now! And I mean ALL children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old, because they are most at risk. Oh, wait - it should really be all school-aged children, so all school-aged children go get the vaccine. What? Your older children are not allowed to get the shot once they arrive at the clinic? Ooops. I mean, they could just wait until next week, of course. But then... we'll be out of the vaccine. So go back in line. No, actually, wait. No, go. No, don't go. Just young kids. Not the older kids. Actually, yeah, sure, all school-aged children, get in line.

Oh, and you? You healthy 33 year old? You got the shot? Oops, our bad, we weren't really asking the right questions, it seems. Ah, well. At least you're vaccinated. Oh, shoot. Now we are running out of the vaccine. But we promise more vaccines are coming.

And whatever you do, do not panic! I mean, it's JUST a pandemic. Don't get scared. Even though it's all you're hearing on the news non-stop for weeks on end. Even though hospitals are not sure how to handle the amount of patients they are seeing, even though articles are being written about every possible scenario you can imagine.

Oh, and I know you have perfected the evil eye - you give 'the look' to anyone who coughs within 100 metres of you. I mean, how infuriating is that? If someone is sick, stay home! Enough is enough. If I hear one more person cough near me, I will scream!

And everything I eat now officially tastes like Purell, but anyway. At least it is protecting me, right? I just looked in my purse. I have 2 bottles of Purell, one bottle of another hand sanitizer, and two small bottles of Bath and Body Works anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. My car is equipped with 2 giant containers of Wet Ones! I'm prepared. But I'm not suppose to worry, right?

Don't panic. It's not that bad. Oh, my goodness. It is bad. It really is... or not? What are they sayiing now?

Oh, and you were told your child needs 2 shots of the vaccine, given 21 days apart for maximum protection? And now the WHO is sayinig that actually one shot is enough? But wait... CDC is saying 2 shots are for sure more effective. But we don't have any idea yet. We have not figured it out. Don't worry, though. We'll give you an answer. Someday. Soon. Yes, your children need 2 sho - oh, wait - no they don't. Oh, yeah, that's right, the USA uses the non-adjuvant vaccine. Which means... yeah, we still don't really know what we are talking about. Nor do we have any idea how many people have received the vaccine.

Okay... does anybody have a headache? I am not kidding, I found a white hair in my head this week. I am THAT stressed out. And I apologize, as I just realized I don't actually have the answers. Huh.

Disclaimer: I take this flu very seriously, as anyone who follows me on Twitter or knows me in real life can attest. I really am paralyzed with fear, and I have been vaccinated against H1N1, along with my husband and children. I am very glad we got the shot, and I hope you have all made the best decision for your family, too, whether you've gotten vaccinated or not. I am also thankful I live in this country, and able to get a free vaccine that could potentially save my life. I do appreciate what we have and what we've been given. I hope and pray this flu goes away quickly, and I also pray that everyone who gets this flu gets it mildly.

25 comments:

Marinka said...

Wait, are you saying that the flu vaccine causes gray hair?!

Loukia said...

Shit! I have to call the officials... that's it... it must be a side effect to the vaccine! ;)

Mom On The Go said...

It's been a stressful stretch in the world of pandemic parenting. Your post offsets that nicely. I can say that now that my daughter and I finally got our shots this evening. I was starting to get weird with worry.

2 Little Irish Boys said...

I don't watch TV...if I did I would probably be nuts!!

Emma in Canada said...

Great post! And, oh so true. All this conflicting information has my head spinning.

Chelle said...

Haha! I love you, Loukia! They still don't have it available here...ugh! Even though we've all had it :(

Haley-O said...

Ohhhhhh, YOU!

This blog post is the epitome of MY BRAIN, like, all the time, especially these days. GAHHH!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Fab Post Loukia! I have aged ten years since this whole swine flu bullshit came our way.

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

very funny post :)

amotherworld said...

This H1N1 scare has left me more confused than ever. I was determined to get my kids the vaccine and then my son got sick. The walk-in clinic doctor (because I couldn't even get through to his pediatrician) said it likely was H1N1 and prescribed Tamiflu. He was better within 2 days. Then my 2nd son got sick but I didn't take him to the doctor. He was also better within 2 days - but with no Tamiflu. I'm convinced my kids had another virus and not the flu.

To me it seems even doctors are also panicking and diagnosing H1N1 and prescribing Tamiflu when they really shouldn't add to the hysteria!

PhD in said...

My thoughts/beefs:

- In its FAQs on vaccine safety, PHAC says it will be releasing weekly reports on adverse effects. No reports yet. Does that mean that they are not actually monitoring adverse effects properly or they just can't be bothered providing the information to Canadians like they promised.

- I'm coughing. I'm coughing into my sleeve. I've been coughing for 4 weeks. It is asthma. I have no other signs of any type of illness at all. I cough into my sleeve. I don't cough on other people. But yes, I have gotten dirty looks for even circulating in public.

- Yes I have a headache, not a real one, just a proverbial one. This has been managed so horribly.

Susana said...

Yes, this is a scary flu going around and I really hope that only those adults who are considered high risk are getting the vaccine right now. My kids got it ast week and I waited 6 hours in line for them to get it however my husband and I are waiting until it becomes public. It would be very sad if someone gets the vaccine who isn't high risk and a child who is high risk does not and then gets very sick and even worse dies.

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Scary flu... I got my shot and so did my son... keep up the good work spreading the work Loukia... we are all gonna be fine, right?

Lola said...

one must keep in mind that blog posts are opinion and not fact so one must be careful telling everyone else what to do re the vaccine...i'm just saying....

kys said...

Right now, I don't have to worry about it because the vaccine isn't available here.

Loukia said...

Hey Lola, I never told anyone that they have to get the vaccine. Maybe you didn't quite 'get' this post? Anyway, I did say, in my last paragraph, that: "I am very glad we got the shot, and I hope you have all made the best decision for your family, too, whether you've gotten vaccinated or not."
Hope whatever decision you have made is something you are happy with!

Confessions Of A Working Mom said...

First time visiting your blog, and I'm glad I did! I am still on the fence about the vaccine, especially for my daughter, and your perspective helped. Thanks!

By the way, I saw on your profile you used to work in TV/Radio-- I'm a TV news producer. Always nice to find someone familiar with the business!

~Elizabeth
http://confessionsfromaworkingmom.blogspot.com

OHmommy said...

I have two girlfriends that are both awesome mothers and wonderful doctors. One is vaccinating her family and the other is not.

I am still torn.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Okay first of all, I loved this. It's basically what my brain has been doing for weeks and then I said, STOP. We are not getting the vax.

Now it's back to doing this. We can't get the vax here yet, they are still only doing high risk people so I have time to decide.

And you have to watch this Rick Mercer, if you haven't seen it. It epitomizes Canadians confusion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDs8v_3WgFA&feature=player_embedded

Eve said...

Now you're freaking me out!!

There's a blog award over at mine waiting for you to collect it :)

Chantal said...

LOL I love this post Loukia! I love it because I know how seriously you have taken this and how much you have tried to get the "right" answers or any answers. It is good you can still laugh about it :)

Anna-b-bonkers said...

Awesome!!!!!!!
You are a hoot!

Lady Mama said...

Hahaha. Loukia, I think you've just summed up how all of North America feels about this issue. Seriously, I do not know one single person that is not confused about what to do for themselves and their family. All the messages from the WHO, the government, the media. Headache - yes!

coffeewithjulie said...

I think this ranks as one of your greatest posts EVER. OMG - it is all so true! And you strung me along the whole way. :)

Lola said...

Hey Lou:)
Hope we aren't 'misunderstood' with each other! I do enjoy your blog:)
I am just tired of the entire thing-it's one more thing for people to pick sides about and judge about...sigh:) AND as you and I both know (with our media experience, the media could be doing a better job. I truly believe that everyone has to make the decision for themselves and their children (what a stressful job eh?) and then be good with it. I am frustrated when individuals make other individuals feel they have to explain their decision or be judged. We all have to sleep at night and do what we feel is right-like you did and I am doing and everyone else:) As for the grey hair, damn it if any meds are causing THAT:)

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