My Mother has Swine FluOct 30th, 2009 | By Alkillous | Category: Featured Article, Health, Real News
A lot of people have been talking about swine flu (H1N1) lately. It’s all over the news and there are even calls that it is being over-reported. I was on the fence about the media frenzy over the issue, because although there seems to be a lot of talk about it, there seems to be more hype over it in the reporting than anything else, at least according to every single person I’ve ever spoken to.
Of course, I do understand why the H1N1 virus is something that the reporters are getting in a frenzy over. The Spanish Flu, which has been granted the politically correct name “The 1918 Flu Pandemic”, killed 50 million people worldwide. That was the H1N1 virus. That’s twice as many deaths in 3 years than AIDS in 28 years. It also happened to be 3% of the global population, and it wasn’t just isolated to poor and developing nations that people seem to find it so easy to neglect. If this run of the swine flu is as prolific as the previous one, we could see more than 200 million global deaths.
Last week alone, 19 children died due to H1N1 in the US alone. According to the CDC, swine flu is widespread in 48 states. The WHO is recording a global mortality rate of slightly less than 0.5%, but that report was actually posted in July of 2009. The virus has spread a great deal more since that time.
Th story has been politicized as President Barack Obama declared this to be a national health crisis, but it has also become a personal one for me, as my mother has recently been diagnosed with the virus and is sicker than she’s been in her 61 years of life. In the interest of increasing public awareness of how this disease effects people on a personal level, I would like to share her tale.
Timeline for my mother’s swine flu
Started feeling sick, very tired, hard to concentrate, coughing
Woke up feeling worse, went to doctor’s appointment for 4:00 PM, 103.6 temperature which was treated with Tylenol (Ibuprophen allergy), doctor’s opinion is that she has swine flu, sent out to LabCorp for testing on Friday morning, prescribed Tamiflu to fight the illness ASAP and azithromycin
Took prehttp://www.snewzbutton.com.nyud.net/2009/10/http://www.snewzbutton.com.nyud.net/2009/10/scriptions to Walgreens, our preferred pharmacy. Went back to pick up prehttp://www.snewzbutton.com.nyud.net/2009/10/http://www.snewzbutton.com.nyud.net/2009/10/scriptions and were told that the azithromycin was ready, but that the insurance company “didn’t approve” the Tamiflu (we were given the option to buy it at $162.00, so they had it in stock).
Her temperature went down to as low as 101, but went back up to 103.5 at 12:37 AM. Gave her two extra strength Tylenol again, and by 2:00, her temperature was under 100. During this period, she suffered what has become known in our family as a case of turbulent diarrhea, severe coughing, went through dozens of tissues, 3 bottles of water, and couldn’t sleep.
We went to LabCorp for her blood testing. They were fast and efficient, though the test for swine flu takes 24 hours. Additionally, we were told that we had to go back to our doctor’s office to get a nasal swab done, because the lab does not offer this service.
We returned immediately to the doctor’s office, who took us immediately and administered the nasal swab. The doctor has been calling back and forth with the insurance company trying to get the medication he prescribed approved. My mother’s temperature at this time was 102.
At 4:00 PM, we get a call from the doctor’s office telling us that they finally got approval for the Tamiflu from the insurance company. Walgreens called us at about 5:30, so I went to get my mother her medication.
She took her first dose 24 hours after she took her first dose of the antibiotic because the insurance company was betting that someone in the chain would either give up trying to get the medication approved or that we would have bought the medication without insurance coverage.
After my mother took her first dose, I started reading all of the paperwork for the Tamiflu when I came across this interesting piece of information:
“This medicine is an antiviral used for treating influenza, including H1N1 influenza (swine flu), in patients 1 year of age and older who have had symptoms for no more than 2 days. It may also be used to prevent influenza in patients 1 year of age and older.”
In other words, if the insurance company decided to give the protection that they promised, my mother would have started the Tamiflu 36 hours after showing sings of infection. Because of the insurance company’s delay, she started taking it 60 hours later, which is outside of the 48 hour period that it is supposed to be most effective.
It is currently Friday night at 9:30 and her temperature is at 100.2. We’re still managing the temperature with Tylenol, but we’re just relieved that she finally has all of the medication she needs.