Friday, November 13, 2009

Protecting My Brood

There has been a lot of controversy about the H1N1 vaccine. I've always vaccinated my kids, though, and got them the flu shot every year, so I figured that this was no different. I made sure to read up on it, though, as I know it's a new vaccine. I spoke with doctors and health care workers - the fact that they were getting it themselves and for their families was reassuring. Also reassuring was the fact that although the vaccine itself is new, the components are not new, and WHO recommends getting the vaccine.

I found out that Ethan qualifies for the Priority vaccine, due to his asthma. He doesn't need the inhaler very much, but if he's sick or having allergy problems he certainly needs it, therefore he gets to jump the line and get protected. He could get very sick if he got H1N1 and a lot of the deaths have been in otherwise-healthy asthmatics.

When we got to the special clinic today, they said that within the last half hour they had been advised they could now vaccinate healthy 5-year-olds, too. Lucky Jack! Jack was very brave. My big 7-year-old; not so much.

E. found out he needed two needles as he was getting seasonal flu too. Jack could only get H1N1 today and needs to wait with other non-priority people like me to get his seasonal shot in a few weeks. We barely had to wait 5 minutes in total, and we were arranging ourselves on the chairs. Jack whimpered slightly, shut his eyes and was done in a flash. Ethan... well, Ethan ran away.

They called in another nurse, who was waiting on standby for the escapees. She and I together managed to wrestle Ethan (67 lbs, remember, and strong as an ox) into my lap. Then we couldn't get his shirt off. So we yanked the collar down to expose his shoulder and told him to relax - ha, ha - and poked one arm. Oh, the tears! The drama! And we still had an arm left. We yanked the collar down the other side (his shirt is stretched out just a little too much to wear now) and poked the other shoulder. One hug later, and we sat on the waiting chairs for 15 minutes to make sure they didn't get any reactions.

We played a new card game: "War", which the boys found really fun and certainly took their minds off their arms. Jack sauntered up to a friendly neighbourhood fireman and informed him that he was the bravest boy today. The fireman laughed and gave him a sticker. E. got one, too, and I kept his not-so-brave secret.

The reason I felt compelled to post this today is that I've been quite surprised at just how relieved I feel. I do feel like I have protected my brood, so I'm feeling quite mummy-proud at the moment. I never want them sick and I never want them to suffer. Also, when Ethan's sick we ALL suffer, so maybe there's a little selfishness in there too. And when Jack's sick, he gets sick so hard and fast; his little body gets so frail that I worry myself sick, too. So - I feel I can relax a little. Maybe I DID do a good mom job today.

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