As I read this headline from last week, I knew I should pen this down for the benefits of all parents with young children.
When did this happened? It was most untimely, it was end-October 2009, when I just got a fresh maid from Myanmar. Both my boy and me were hit by the H1N1 strain of virus. We did not know it.
For the very first time, I went home and heard news that my boy was running a fever. I was a little shock, as since birth, he never gets fever. He, has a special ability to release the ‘heat’ though his skin, i.e. heat rash. Each time I explain this observation, daddy will scream and think I imagined too much. Heat rash is heat rash, don’t ‘over-cloth’ him, weather too hot. But, hey, every child is different.Anyway, I did not think much and started feeding him paracetamol, which I stocked in the fridge.
Finally, Samson gets his first fever. But this fever persisted for 2 days and Samson was in a daze. He walked in a crooked manner, knocked on to furnitures and fell on his feets many times. He vomited many times like a merlion too. On day 3, I decided that he should get stronger pain killer. His temperature dropped and peaked in the late afternoon and after midnight. Appetite for food dropped to rock bottom and he even refused his milk. When the recurring temperature persisted, I brought him to the night clinic. The PD was so busy, by the time it was Samson’s turn, it was past midnight! The doctor looked worried and prescribed leftose for throat inflammation and anti-vomit medicine and told me to observe him. If he fever do not subside I should bring him back with no delay. Being a careless mother, I still did not get the hint.
Next day, I felt sick. I got hit with the same virus strain that Samson got. In my heart, I was actually rejoicing, why? Because that is the only way I knew what kind of symptoms Samson is going through and I can react accordingly. I took paracetamol from Samson’s stock and there’s no effect. It was very strange, because I usually recovers from fever within 2-4 hours. So I went to the pharmacy to get Panadol (my typical kind of pain killer), still no effect. I was so tired that I could not stand on my feet at all, the only thing I could do was sleep, drink and eat. With that, I knew it is time to visit my doctor.
Finally, my doctor told me it could jolly well be the H1N1 strain of virus. I requested to be tested but she refused. A week has passed and H1N1 virus typically takes about 2 weeks to recover and our condition would have peaked.
I knew in my heart, I must have caught the virus from my ex-maid, as she was very sick with a persisted fever for a while just before she left the country. My husband, as usual, was very strong, he seldom fall sick and indeed he was not at all affected even though we still share the same bed. My new maid was unwell for a little while, with sore throat and recovered shortly after taking Danzen (no doctor visit).
My overall experience with H1N1 virus:
Persisted high fever, peak at late afternoon and midnight
Extreme muscle ache
As I read the headline in the Straits Time, I knew we were lucky. Samson has always been quite blessed, he was only 17-month old when he got hitted by this H1N1 virus. It was a very tough fight, even for an average healthy person like us, let alone those with pre-medical conditions that compromises their immunity. And we were not prescribed with Tamiflu. It took me almost a week to bring down my fever. The only consolation from this experience is that both my boy and I have gain some antibodies from the attack. If you are immunity compromised, I suggest you go for the H1N1 vaccine.
And one other thing before I end this blog. If your children have persisted heat rash, don’t just think of it as ‘plain eczema’. Perhaps he/she is somewhat like Samson. Whenever my boy have this heat rash, I know he is fighting a fever and possibly against some kind of viral infection. If your children have similar encounter, do drop me a note so I can show my hubby, I am not imagining, but it is true that some children have the ability to ‘release’ body heat through their skin! I just keep cleaning him and feeding him water.