Got Your H1N1 Yet?

November 17th, 2009

So far three of my boys and the Country Doctor have received the H1N1 vaccine.

That leaves me and my teenage son knocking around the planet without immunity.

The same teenager who is now as tall as his dad.

I’ve had a few friends ask me what I thought about the H1N1 vaccine.  Not because they believe that I have any actual knowledge about the H1N1 vaccine, but because they think that possibly I have discussed it with the Country Doctor.  Sadly, I have not discussed it with the Country Doctor.  I try very hard not to discuss anything medical with the Country Doctor. Medical discussions either make me queasy or bore me to stone… unless it is a funny story.  A while back, the CD was taking care of a very elderly lady who was convinced that the hospital was a hotel.  As you can imagine, she was not very happy with the room service.

As to the medical decisions in our family, the Country Doctor is almost completely in charge.  He’s clearly more qualified than I.  Not that there haven’t been a few times when I have taken my kids to be seen by a different doctor because I felt that my husband’s response to his sick child was somewhat cavalier.  Doctor parents tend to either over diagnose or under diagnose their own family members.  There can be little doubt that our family is severely under diagnosed.  We are are way, way, way under diagnosed.  We may even be completely undiagnosed!  If one of my children has a fever, a cough, or aches and pains and the malady fails to resolve itself in a few days, I start to get a little worried. Call me crazy, but I think that maybe some form of action should be taken if a child is still languishing after two or three days of languishing already.

“Hey!” I say to my husband.

“Maybe you should actually look this sick boy OVER!”

“Maybe get out your little bag of doctor tools and come over here and poke this kid in the gut a little”

“Stick that lighter thing in his ear!”

“Put a popsicle stick down his throat!”

“At least go through the motions!”

Pretend to examine him!”

“Your wife can not really tell if it is a real exam or a fake exam – but either way it will make her feel better!”

“And isn’t it your job really just about making the moms feel better?”

But the Country Doctor never gets worried about our boys when they are sick.  Every once in a very rare, rare, rare while, he might call out a prescription for an antibiotic, but most of the time?  Nothing.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

“It’s a virus” he says, “He’ll be better in a few days.”

“He has bronchitis, “he says, “It just takes a while to heal.”

“It’s growing pains” he insists, “He’s fine.”

And then he turns on his heel and leaves me and my sick baby alone… shaking…. feverish… frightened… and also soaked in bright orange cough syrup.

The CD’s bedside manner may be very poor – but so far – none of my children have perished from having a non-responsive dad for a doctor.

Or is that a non-responsive doctor for a dad?


So when the Country Doctor called me and said, “The vaccine is here – bring the boys to the clinic.”

I took them to the clinic.

It was almost as good as being diagnosed!


  • If your husband is anything like my husband…. the child would have to have a limb missing or have lost copious amounts of blood before a reaction would occur. ~ What is it with men? “It’s not broken…look here…I can patch it up with some duct tape”.

  • My friend in college had a doctor for a dad. She got a really bad stomach ache. Nothing to worry about says the doctor dad. It’s really really bad. You’re fine. PS — she had appendicitis, and by the time they took her in she’d almost had a burst appendix. So I think you’re not alone! :D

  • See how the velvet glove wielding the hammer gets the best response Rechelle? I’m on my way to the clinic.

  • Not that my mommy radar doesn’t kick in, but I’m probably more like CD … I don’t get too worried over illnesses or childhood maladies. Most things work themselves out, and I rarely take the kids to the doctor. Except for the time my oldest had abdominal pain and I knew … I repeat … I KNEW … it was an appendicitis. Took her to the hospital where the expert doctor told me I was over-reacting. Guess who was right? Um, yeah, it was me. He was a young, new doc and learned his first lesson in pay-attention-to-what-the-mom-says!

    Anyhow … I have pretty strong opinions on the H1N1 vaccine. We’re not gonna do it. But I think everyone should make an informed decision for themselves and their family.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    A household with 2 RNs for parents isn’t much better. Kids are lucky when I remember to schedule their annual check-ups. Mama intuition does kick in as needed – I HAVE taken one to the ER when I suspected a broken bone, and one child had an antibiotic – once. That sums up the medical history for 12 years and 3 kids. But most things – likely viral. Fluids, rest, time and Mama-love are all they need.

  • My husband and I are both paramedical proesionals. (athletic trainers) I would have to say that he panics way worse than I have ever paniced about one o the kids being sick. I tend to trust my mommy gut, never steered me wrong. I do have a unny story about the oldest alling in bathtub and splitting her chin open and needing stitches. (or those that don’t know, athletic trainers take care o emergencies with athletes) so my husband should recognize someone who needs stitches. He reaked out. I had to get him under control and dress a 5 year old child who was screaming. Not a un time in my book.

    My youngest and I will be getting our H1N1 tomorrow

  • “And isn’t it your job really just about making the moms feel better?”
    *Snerk* Classic.

    My husband is the only one who hasn’t gotten his yet. But we got special “go to the front of the line” status since I was preggo.

  • my 5-year-old got the H1N1 shot just an hour ago. No shots in yet for the 3-year-old but he’ll be getting his as soon as they are in. And my husband operates the same way, only without the medical training. ;)

  • Have you seen this HI-larious you tube video on the subject?

  • JoEllen:

    Way undiagnosed over here too! My husband always says, “Ehhh, I’ve seen kids who are REALLY sick”
    PS- Calming anxious moms, blowing bubbles, and pulling lollipops out of ears should be my husbands official job description!

  • Yeah – I’d be bringing them over then too! My sister’s boyfriend’s father (got that?) is a doctor, & when they went up to Pennsylvania (from S.C.) for a wedding, the good doctor was like, “Stop by my office so I can give the 2 of you the H1N1.” I’m jealous – I want it.

    I was always severely underdiagnosed as well, & my dad’s a VETERINARIAN (which clearly renders him more than capable of saying, “nah – there’s nothing wrong with this human child” after days of languishing & fevers) – & if we ever got an antibiotic (RARE!) it was a doggie one – no joke.

  • Erin:

    My CD and two kids got theirs, I however am not special enough to do it…not enough in our county at this time. Hopefully if the rest of my family members don’t get sick then I won’t get sick…

    My rationale is that I am not going to keep my kids inside all winter for fear of catching the virus, so I would rather have them vaccinated.

    Plus (my) CD said they were getting it and his is the medical opinion in the house we trust!

  • Too late for me, I already had the *oink* Swine Flu. And yeah, it was miserable. I had it the last two weeks of October–in bed for 9 days. Oh, I’d get out of bed and stagger to the kitchen or bathroom; I even tried sitting at the table for a few hours–back to bed–the bodyaches & headaches were the worst I’ve ever had.

    I tried to get a vaccine before I got sick, it wasn’t even available!!!
    If you have a chance to get the vaccine, I recommend it.

    It”s two weeks later and I still feel run-down. Ugh.


  • Do you guys get the nasal spray? It’s the jab over here. My husband has got the jab – but not the rest of us. It’s coming to school free for all kids this Thursday. My son has just been sick with flu (not sure if it’s H1N1 or not) and my daughter refuses to get it.. as do I…

  • Jill:

    Shelley, I promise you, the doggie antibiotics are really people antibiotics – now the pain meds, that’s a different story. Plus they’re beef-flavored.

    My doctor said no way Jose, to the vaccine. He’s totally against it, even for my son who’s doubly in the target group, being young AND type 1 diabetic. It’s a moot point at the moment though, as there’s none available in our community. But we’ve had swine flu here for a couple of months – some schools with 2/3 of their kids out. It’s a tough flu and everyone says their chests really hurt with the cough – the worst they ever experienced.

    My doctor’s partner (other doctor in the office) is formerly of the CDC. I sometimes wonder what they know that we don’t.

  • had the flu here back in Spring. One kid ended up with 105 degree fever, ER, pnuemonia, two hospitals etc. Other kid two day thing with fatigue for several days. Me, slight cough. Such a variation. Paramedic husband over diagnoses, drives me bats.

  • lucy:

    I work for two internists. They are not giving patients the vaccine but sending them to pharmacies for the shot/Tamiflu. My bosses got their own H1N1 vaccinations at the hospital. When I asked if the hospital would give me the vaccine one boss said “no, the doctors are indispensible…our staff is not”. He was kidding, I think…. I’ll get the vaccination at a local pharmacy when it is available. In the meantime will keep my distance from the patients and compulsively wash my hands. Thankfully I’m not in the high risk age group.

  • Loyal Fan of MSFH:

    Glad CD is taking good care of his family.
    Love the artwork on country Doc. wall. Could you let us know who the artist is on pictures taped below the US map. Who is the designer for the decorating CD office.
    When is your book coming out. I will be the first one in line.

    Loyal Fan.

  • I have mixed emotions about the vaccine. One of the nurses we work with got it at her other job and the vaccine made her sick. I don’t think I’m in the age bracket for it but being a clinic nurse puts me in the direct line of fire. We were supposed to get some for those of us here in the clinic but haven’t seen it yet.
    The reason the older generation isn’t as suseptible Sp? can’t find the spell check on this computer?) is they evidently have some immunity from the flu epidemic in the late 60′s or early seventies. I had the Hong Kong flu in the late 60′s and it wasn’t much fun, either.
    Being a nurse I tend to gloss over some things for my daughter but she’s the type that wonders if she can get every disease they talk about on television. She’s the worrier in the family. One reason I have a hard time with getting her to the Dr. is Nurses are NOT expendable contrary to some Dr in one of the above comments. I, if not most of us, rarely have some one to fill in for us so we ALWAYS have to go to work whether we like it or not.
    Oh well, what’s new!!!!!!

  • joann in tx:

    i think its the dad/doctor thing…..

    my dad was a dr…marcus welby, md w/out the chickens
    and i *always* went to my mom when i was sick….got better

    now my sister, dad always took care of her…but then she was
    “dad’s favorite”! ;)

    joann in tx

  • So true! My doctor honey is the same way. But I do know if he says to call the pediatrician I’d better do it!

    He never even listens to my complaints I finally had to get my own doctor after 10 years of marriage.

  • Erin:

    Just noticed — they actually wear white coats at their office?

    • Erin – He doesn’t wear a white coat very often – I don’t know why he had one on that day – except maybe because he has a medical student this month.

  • Suzan:

    Everyone in my househald was vaccinated but me because I am allergic to egg and could not have the needle! The Australian government has bought 21 million doses so I hope herd immunity kicks in. I had a pandemic flu when I was a child and I have never forgotten the experience.

    I was an RN and I tend to see if we can fight a bug etc before racing off to see the doctor.

    I have a few funny stories. I now care for my father who has Alzheimer’s and a complex medical history. He never does well in hospital. A few weeks ago he was admitted to a cardiac ward. After two days he was sent home. I am certain many of the staff will not let him darken the doorstep ever again. This is a new unit and he thought it was a gypsy camp. Worse was his sundowning behaviour. He went through the ward in the middle of the night and played with everyone’s monitors becasue too many TV’s were on. How frightening for some soul who was there under observation to find a short demented man playing with his monitor!

  • marewood:

    So why didn’t your oldest get the vaccine? CDC guidelines are for children and young adults ages 6 months to 24 years. People taking care of infants younger than 6 months, pregnant women and health care personnel. Adults between 25 and 65 with underlying conditions – heart disease, lung disease, kidney, endocrine, liver… you get the picture.
    It’s made in the same place as the seasonal flu vaccination under the same guidlelines.
    Mist is available for patients aged 2-49 unless they have asthma.

  • marewood:

    Wow. That wasn’t supposed to be a lecture… it’s my office spiel. Sorry.

  • siltedrepose:

    You have to get a shot in the nose? I think I’d rather get the virus.