I doubt very much its swine flu

It was the Monday before Christmas. J had been really very poorly since Saturday but today he’d rapidily deteriorated and now had a raging temperature. His mum was worried. Time to see the doctor.

So the telephone conversation went something like this:

“Hello. Doctor ********?”

“Yes speaking.”

“I’m worried about my son, he’s really very poorly.”

“What symptons?”

“Well, he seems to have all the classic symptons for swine flu.”

“No, I doubt very much its swine flu. But if you’re worried then bring him down to the surgery.”

Poor J, he really was very poorly, but we got him dressed and into the car and my wife took him to the surgery for a 5.30pm appointment. They were made to wait away from the other patiently waiting patients. Isolated you might say – doctor wasn’t taking any chances it seems. And they waited. And they waited some more. J flopping around like a limp rag just wanting to sleep. Eventually he threw up.

When the doctor saw him he said “Oh yes, probably swine flu. He fits the profile for it age wise.” He wrote out a presciption for tamiflu.

Gotta say I was not amused:

1. I’m no doctor but I’m pretty sure, if I were, I wouldn’t rule out a diagnosis without actually having seen the patient.

2. Having told a worried mother that “I doubt very much its swine flu” only to do  a u-turn on actually seeing the patient (did I mention he really was very poorly) I think I might have said “sorry”.

3. Cross with myself that we didn’t push to get J the flu vaccine back when we really should have thought about it. Even the common cold can floor J whilst his sister just brushes it off.

Off to the Pharmacy. No tamiflu. No other pharmacy’s in our area had any either. Apparently the stock had been withdrawn. My wifes turn to be unamused “Surely you must hold some stock!” They recommended we called Frimley Hospital A&E. I did.

“Unless your son is admitted to the ward there is no chance he is going to get any tamiflu.”

Apparently, after the media hype of the previous year when you’d have been forgiven for thinking we were about to be visited by a modern day black death, and tamiflu had been given out like smarties, the analysis had shown, in the cold light of day, that it had had little impact. At least that’s what the person on the end of the phone told me. Great.

We kept J at home. Dosed him with paracetamol and ibuprofen to keep his temperature under control and cared for him. We didn’t take him to the hospital – what was the point anyway. He’d probably catch something worse – after all those places are full of sick people and you might catch something off ‘em. Besides you’re supposed to take Tamiflu within 48 hrs of being diagnosed and all it does is shorten the duration by 1 day, apparently (treatment of swine flu).

But the hacking cough worried us. It was so bad that it made poor J physically sick. So 4am Tues morning mum took him to the Royal Surrey A&E. They checked him over – his chest was clear (phew) and recommended we carry on caring for him at home.

Its now bank holiday Monday. J is on the mend but, if I haven’t already mentioned it, he has been very poorly – still  is actually. No appetite to speak of and still has the nasty cough but the temperature seems to have normalised.

But perhaps it isn’t swine (H1N1) flu, it could just be…another strain of flu.

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