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Flu?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
My son was diagnosed with the flu today - well, not officially, but his doctor said, "it's the flu". So, when I woke from a long nap feeling aches and exhaustion and a temp of 100.1, called my midwife. She said Tylenol to keep temp under 100. If it doesn't stay under 100, call on call midwife and will probably have to go to the hospital. This freaks me out, as my son is much sicker than I am and needs his mama. His temp likes to hang out around 104. greensad.gif

Also, midwife called in Tamiflu. DH picked it up. I don't want to take it, though. First of all, nobody was diagnosed with the flu (I mentioned that and questioned the Tamiflu - but she still wanted me to take it). Also, I'm not crazy sick - just showing small symptoms (exhausted - but who wouldn't be after taking care of a sick kid for 7 days? The fever is just barely there now after Tylenol and I'm okay).

What would you do? Oh yeah - the side effects of Tamiflu sound far worse than what I'm feeling now. More vomiting? No thank you! I realize the risks of influenza are worse than the risks of Tamiflu, but I don't even know if this is the flu yet!

I hate this. On top of caring for a very sick little boy, I have another son who is super struggling about not getting the same attention (his brother gets to stay home and watch movies - not fair, he says) and now I feel like crud and have to worry about whichever decision I make hurting my little one. greensad.gif I don't know what to do.
post #2 of 32

SweetMama, take the Tamiflu. In spite of the possible side affects, it is proven to reduce severity and duration of the full blown flu... which you really don't want to mess with. Be aware that the window for Tamiflu to be most affective is slim--- so take it now while you can, you don't want to wait for lab results to confirm whether this is the real deal or not and if you wait until you REALLY feel ill, it might also be too late. This year's flu has reached epidemic proportions, and it's a nasty strain... it's best to take precautions, and that's why your midwife called in the Tamiflu for you.

 

I know you're worried about your little boys, but you need to take care of yourself. Get your partner, family, or friends to step in and help if they can.

 

If your temperature does climb, do not hesitate to go to the hospital. They will be able to monitor you and your baby and take precautions to keep your temperature under control. They will likely give you IV fluids (even if you're not dehydrated) to help reduce fever. Don't be afraid.

 

We will be thinking of you and hoping you (and your babies) feel better soon. I hope this is a mild flu-like virus and not THE FLU.... but please consider taking the Tamiflu just in case, and keep us posted.

 

XOXO,

Huck

post #3 of 32

I am going to respectfully offer an alternate perspective.  Did your sons doctor do a swab to confirm flu?  If not, I would be extremely hesitant to take the tamiflu.  So many bugs have "flu like" symptoms and are categorized as flu during the flu season...even just things like "respiratory illness" or pneumonia get filed as "flu".  If you want to be sure, you can ask your son's doctor to do a swab - the bug may not even be viral.  The swab should get lab results within an hour of arriving at the lab, faster if you go to the hospital, and then your doctor can get in touch with you.  You can also try homeopathic remedies such as taking raw garlic (gross, but it works) and elderberry syrup, which help combat viral infections.  You can take a cold bath to keep your temperature down if needed.  If you post in Health and Healing, I bet you will get a ton of good responses.  Is there any way your DH can take some sick days to help care for you and the kids?

 

The bottom line is, like SweetHuck said, that you DO need to take care of yourself.  If you end up needing to be hospitalized, that will be even harder on your little ones than you just being sick and not able to help as much.  I absolutely understand that desire to be Mom first.  Do what your instinct says and REST! Eat well, don't rely on take out because you don't feel well (this is a HUGE way your DH can help if you are under the weather - Bone broth is excellent) because bad nutrition will make whatever bug you have get the upper hand.  You need to stay as healthy as possible!! Take probiotics (not at the same time as the garlic and/or elderberry syrup).  And trust that no matter which choice you make that your body will do it's job - if you don't believe it, it won't work. 

 

Hugs and feel better!!

post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post

You can also try homeopathic remedies such as taking raw garlic (gross, but it works) and elderberry syrup, which help combat viral infections.  You can take a cold bath to keep your temperature down if needed.  If you post in Health and Healing, I bet you will get a ton of good responses.  Is there any way your DH can take some sick days to help care for you and the kids?

 

The bottom line is, like SweetHuck said, that you DO need to take care of yourself.  If you end up needing to be hospitalized, that will be even harder on your little ones than you just being sick and not able to help as much. 

 

Do what your instinct says and REST! Eat well, don't rely on take out because you don't feel well (this is a HUGE way your DH can help if you are under the weather - Bone broth is excellent) because bad nutrition will make whatever bug you have get the upper hand.  You need to stay as healthy as possible!! Take probiotics (not at the same time as the garlic and/or elderberry syrup).  And trust that no matter which choice you make that your body will do it's job - if you don't believe it, it won't work. 

 

Hugs and feel better!!

 

I agree with what Baby Smurf says plus I find an onion cut in half and put near the sick person plus wet socks treatment works for us. http://www.heartlandnaturopathic.com/coldsock.htm  However I would impress that a temp over 101 is really not something you want to sustain in a pregnant mama for the same reasons you don't want to go into a sauna or hot tub.

 

Hoping you all feel better soon.

post #5 of 32

Thanks Babysmurf and Amlikam for the balanced perspectives and recommendations! Very valuable input. namaste.gif

 

SweetMama--- ultimately you choose what's right for you, your medical history, your beliefs and family. I can only tell you the decisions I would make today given my personal experiences and my personal fears. I certainly have great faith in homeopathic medicine and in alternative approaches  --- however, having been hospitalized with the (real deal) flu in the past, I personally would go to great lengths to avoid a full blown case... pregnant or not.  I was in my early 20s, had been vaccinated, and was very active and fit when I got the flu, yet I required supplemental oxygen and fluids at the hospital and it took me months to recover fully.  Additionally, in my case, it was only a matter of hours before I went from feeling totally fine to being as sick as a dog, so (for me) I doubt that probiotics would have had enough time to put up a good fight. : /  

 

Only you can judge how you're feeling now and weigh the risks and concerns you have.  I fully support your decision to not take the Tamiflu if you think it's overkill or not quite right, and don't let my personal story push you in a direction you're not entirely comfy with. 

 

Lastly, I think perhaps my first response was perhaps (due to my own experience with the flu) a bit knee-jerk and my recommendations for hospital/intervention came across as too strong (which is yet another reason I'm thankful for Babysmurf's comment).  High fever and flu or flu-like viruses should be taken very seriously, but if you can play an active role in keeping your symptoms in control, that's really really ideal. If your temperature is staying stable and you can keep it in check with Tylenol, liquids, and baths, I think that's a very good sign.

 

In addition to comments here or elsewhere, you might find this write-up by the March of Dimes on pregnancy and flu as a valuable resource to advise your actions:

 

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/complications_flu.html


Edited by Sweet Huck - 1/16/13 at 7:57am
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Huck View Post

Thanks Babysmurf and Amlikam for the balanced perspectives and recommendations! Very valuable input. namaste.gif

 

SweetMama--- ultimately you choose what's right for you, your medical history, your beliefs and family. I can only tell you the decisions I would make today given my personal experiences and my personal fears. I certainly have great faith in homeopathic medicine and in alternative approaches  --- however, having been hospitalized with the (real deal) flu in the past, I personally would go to great lengths to avoid a full blown case... pregnant or not.  I was in my early 20s, had been vaccinated, and was very active and fit when I got the flu, yet I required supplemental oxygen and fluids at the hospital and it took me months to recover fully.  Additionally, in my case, it was only a matter of hours before I went from feeling totally fine to being as sick as a dog, so (for me) I doubt that probiotics would have had enough time to put up a good fight. : /  

 

Super important point there - we all just give advice from our personal experiences - you have to take into consideration what your particular situation is. ;)  I don't think that there is anything *wrong* with using conventional medicine when it's needed, I just hate to see so many Doc's make an assumption and give what could be the improper treatment for an illness.  I also think that probiotics need to be taken *all* the time, and increased when sick...just taking them while sick isn't going to make everything better, but it should help boost your immunity if you are taking medicine that is affecting gut flora - and of course fermented foods are better than supplements :)

 

Only you can judge how you're feeling now and weigh the risks and concerns you have.  I fully support your decision to not take the Tamiflu if you think it's overkill or not quite right, and don't let my personal story push you in a direction you're not entirely comfy with. 

 

Lastly, I think perhaps my first response was perhaps (due to my own experience with the flu) a bit knee-jerk and my recommendations for hospital/intervention came across as too strong (which is yet another reason I'm thankful for Babysmurf's comment).  High fever and flu or flu-like viruses should be taken very seriously, but if you can play an active role in keeping your symptoms in control, that's really really ideal. If your temperature is staying stable and you can keep it in check with Tylenol, liquids, and baths, I think that's a very good sign.

 

I think that those types of experiences are absolutely going to affect the advice we give - and that's why we become passionate about helping others we see in a similar situation. And all sides are important to consider :)

 

In addition to comments here or elsewhere, you might find this write-up by the March of Dimes on pregnancy and flu as a valuable resource to advise your actions:

 

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/complications_flu.html

post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
This is seriously the best ddc ever. You are all so reasonable, helpful and kind!

No fever for me since last night. DS is fever free so far today also. I'm resting, eating well and upping my vit d and probiotics. Lots of water, too. DH took the morning off and let me sleep in. I don't feel sick at all today. So strange. I've got the Tamiflu, though - and will use it if need be. I realize the window is small, but my gut tells me not to take it yet for some reason. Just praying I'm not wrong on this one.

Thank you all. I will keep you updated.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetMama34 View Post
 I've got the Tamiflu, though - and will use it if need be. I realize the window is small, but my gut tells me not to take it yet for some reason. Just praying I'm not wrong on this one.

Thank you all. I will keep you updated.

 

kind of reminds me of labor and the wisdom our bodies give us. smile.gif

 

so glad you all seem to be feeling better!!!

post #9 of 32

Glad you are feeling better, sweetmama!

 

Yes, this is a great DDC (not that I've been a member of one before. :-P)  I know Huck was just being mindful and respectful but I don't think she even needed to stop and explain her point of view.  This group seems to "get" that we all come from different places.  You read someone's advice and you take it or leave it given how it fits into your personal modus operandi.  No hard feelings.

 

Along those lines, since we're talking flu and sharing opinions and experiences, how about that flu vaccine?  Did you get one?  If you did was it b/c your care provider recommended it?  Have you faced any flack either way for your decision?  I have opted not to get one despite my OB asking if I wanted one on two separate visits.  The best part is she never pushed it on me and said its completely up to me.  She never made me feel badly for my decision to opt out.  Some friends and family have inquired if I've gotten the vaccine.  Upon telling them "no" they just encourage I stay careful and healthy.  Of course!

post #10 of 32

Answering your question on the flu vaccine. As a family we do not vaccinate, so no.

 But consider the facts. The flu vaccine is only 60some percent effective against the strains it contains. This is according to the CDC's own data.   Plus the flu vaccine since usually dosed out of a vial, and not individual prefilled syringes they contain mercury. Third, the flu vaccine also contains the H1N1 flu vaccine which according the the CDC's data, although they won't admit to it, has caused a stunning spike in miscarriages and still births.  

 

Oh another reason not to get the flu vax...it has NOT been tested on pregnant women, and on the flu vaccine insert it states that it is not approved for pregnant women.  I would never take any other medicine not intended or approved for pregnant women, why would the flu vax be any different? 

post #11 of 32

I did get the flu vaccine this year.  I am a nurse practitioner within several elementary schools so I knew that I would be exposed.  I haven't been vaccinated for several years and I've never had influenza before in my life, but I know how severe it can be.  I felt that the benefits outweighed the risks.  This year's flu has been hitting hard and type A has been particularly nasty, causing pediatric and elderly deaths.  I respect people's decision to decide not to vaccinate.  Tamiflu has been proven to shorten the length and the severity of the flu, but with any medication, there are side effects.

 

I'm puzzled about the onion theory.  Influenza is not airborne, so I'm not sure how an onion is going to prohibit communicability of a virus....  What is proven is sanitizing surfaces frequently, washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and most importantly- keep your hands away from your face!  The average person touches their face 3,000 times per day.  It is so easy to touch a door knob and then scratch your eye.  I honestly believe that the reason that I've never been sick in the 4 years that I've been working in the schools is because I don't touch my face for any reason.  I don't eat with my hands (only clean utensils) and use hand sanitizer non-stop.  I know it sounds like overkill, but, it works for me.....

 

Take care of yourself and hopefully it is a mild strain and kiddos recover quickly.

 

Oh, and I second the advice of getting a nasopharyngeal swab to confirm whether this is influenza vs a virus.

post #12 of 32
Quote: "and on the flu vaccine insert it states that it is not approved for pregnant women".
 
The flu vaccine IS recommended for all pregnant women.  We are considered to be at high risk because we are already immunocompromised by being pregnant (protective mechanism to keep our immune system from attacking baby).  It is unethical to study drugs and vaccines on pregnant women so that is why it is stated as such.  There is NO thimerosol in the flu vaccine any longer.  I have a pretty strong immune system, so I rarely get sick and typically don't get a flu vaccine (I get scolded for that because I'm a healthcare worker).  However, because I know that the influenza virus can be deadly to a fetus, and because I work in the schools, I decided to get it this year, despite my husband being upset about it (he's anti-vaccine).  My ob highly encouraged it.  If I didn't work around 1200 elementary school aged children everyday, I probably wouldn't have gotten it this year. 
post #13 of 32

We haven't got the shot either.  It's not something I have done in the past, for as long as I can remember, except when I was pregnant with DS and was pressured into it, which I have always regretted.  I didn't even get it when I worked in a microbiology lab.  I don't remember the last time I had the flu. 

post #14 of 32

Here is a link to a great facebook page for mothers questioning vaccines.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/vaxfriends/?bookmark_t=group

This is a private group so you have to send a request to join.

 

Here is an interesting article regarding the flu vaccine in particular...(Five Reasons Why I'll Never Get a Flu Shot.)

http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/five-reasons-why-ill-never-get-a-flu-shot-01122013

 

The rest of the post is my personal opinion and experience...

I personally would never get a flu shot.  I've seen too many studies linking these vaccines to serious adverse side effects including an increased risk of Alzheimers in people who have had 5 flu shots. As a chiropractor, I take care of hundreds of people a week and rarely get sick because my immune system works well (pregnant or not) due to my spine being in good alignment (the spine surrounds the nervous system...the nervous system controls the immune system.)  In addition to good chiropractic care, I advise my patients to supplement vit D3 and probiotics.  You can test your D levels, but where we live nearly everyone needs to supplement.

post #15 of 32
I would caution anyone to be informed and not rely upon biased sources (moms against vaccines groups), etc. Influenza can be deadly. There are so many 911 calls for flu related illness, our ERs are overwhelmed in my area. In some states out east, there are areas that have been declared public health emergencies due to the incidence of flu. As far as side effects, I've yet to read a scholarly study that definitively links vaccines to disease. I'm more concerned about environmental contaminants and the toxic chemicals in our foods and personal care products than a trace preservative in a life saving vaccine.
post #16 of 32
Getting the flu while pregnant is serious business. It nearly doubles the chance of miscarriage or stillbirth. A new study shows that there are no risks to the fetus from the flu vaccine. Besides, the only way to make the vaccine truly effective is to have everyone get it. Even if you never get sick, you are protecting others with weaker immune systems by getting vaccinated.

The onion thing is also a myth. I mean, whatever works for you if you do it for superstitious reasons, but it won't keep anyone from getting sick r cure anyone faster than a normal recovery time.
post #17 of 32

I took Tamiflu in 2010 when my oldest daughter had H1N1 and I was pregnant with our now 2 y/o.  It was important for me because there's was NO way in hell I was getting an H1N1 flu shot (nor did my kids).  She's fine and I never got the flu even ... I was told by the Pedi to call my Dr and tell them DD had the flu and to ask for Tamiflu because I was considered high risk and Tamiflu was scarce during that season.  Just my 2c though, take it or leave it.

 

SweetMama, I do hope that you DON'T get it and you start feeling better soon!!

post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by easttowest View Post

Getting the flu while pregnant is serious business. It nearly doubles the chance of miscarriage or stillbirth. A new study shows that there are no risks to the fetus from the flu vaccine. Besides, the only way to make the vaccine truly effective is to have everyone get it. Even if you never get sick, you are protecting others with weaker immune systems by getting vaccinated.

The onion thing is also a myth. I mean, whatever works for you if you do it for superstitious reasons, but it won't keep anyone from getting sick r cure anyone faster than a normal recovery time.


So, I don't know the study that you are referring to (I haven't checked it out, but I'm highly skeptical by the term "no risks" because there are never "no risks", risk is always relative), but as far as I have seen, there have been no controlled studies looking at the risks during pregnancy, most of the data for pregnant women is self reported (which is not particularly conclusive), and I thought that the Cochran study did find an increase in still birth and miscarriage with the vaccine, or at least with particular strains?

 

Anyway, getting the vaccine doesn't mean that you can't transmit the flu, just that it might help the person receiving the vaccine get less sick.  I think people are actually *more* likely to transmit illness when they they have reduced symptoms because they will continue to go about daily life, and this is when people are generally most contagious.  The best way to prevent transmission of any illness is to wash your hands often and stay home when you are symptomatic - flu symptoms or not.   

 

There are certainly groups of people where having the vaccine makes sense, and even if you just *want* to have it, it makes sense.  But I don't think that there is a clear cut *right* or *wrong* answer here.  I don't think that by my getting the vaccine or not I am helping anyone with a weaker immune system not get sick - I would help by not going out when I am sick period and therefore not exposing *anyone* to whatever germs I have, be it a VPD or not.  Although my choice might change if I were actually *living* with someone with a weakened immune system.

 

Again, I'm not suggesting that people get or don't get the vaccine, just that there is a lot of "facts" thrown around on both sides of the issue that hyper focus on nuances of things instead of the whole picture.  And remember that the media is more focused on having a *story* than they are on telling the real story. 

post #19 of 32
Quote:
there have been no controlled studies looking at the risks during pregnancy

 

 

Again, there will never be controlled studies of vaccines on pregnant women because it is highly unethical.  All data to date re: vaccines during pregnancy is anecdotal, and based upon any complications (maternal or fetal) experienced after having a vaccine.  If there was a trend noticed, the recommendation to vaccine all pregnant women would then be removed from the ACIP (advisory committee on immunization practices) recommendations for health care providers (this is why live vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women). 

post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JNajla View Post

 

 

Again, there will never be controlled studies of vaccines on pregnant women because it is highly unethical.  All data to date re: vaccines during pregnancy is anecdotal, and based upon any complications (maternal or fetal) experienced after having a vaccine.  If there was a trend noticed, the recommendation to vaccine all pregnant women would then be removed from the ACIP (advisory committee on immunization practices) recommendations for health care providers (this is why live vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women). 


I know that ethics of controlling certain aspects of things puts a damper on many studies, which is why I think that it's all the more reason for people to make a choice that they are comfortable with based on the information that is available.  Studies with self reporting are *never* held with the same weight as controlled studies, and I don't think that this is any different.  For some people it's enough to get the vaccine, for some people it's enough not to get the vaccine.  shrug.gif

 

ETA: Those trends are only seen *after* damage has been done, and some people just aren't comfortable with that risk, especially since this is one vaccine that changes every year.


Edited by BabySmurf - 1/17/13 at 10:10am