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My Son Has Swine Flu

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Just like all moms, we're concerned about our kids getting swine flu. For one mom, this fear was realized when her 20-year-old son, Michael, came down with swine flu this week. Here is her story.


ML: When did you learn your son was sick?
Anne: Michael called me late Monday afternoon. I was in the car on my way home from taking my 3-year-old to the pediatrician. He sounded awful and said, "Mom, I am really sick." He's not one to complain, so if he said he was sick, he's sick. He said he felt like he was going to die. I asked him what was wrong and he started listing the symptoms that I had seen earlier on the news for the swine flu. I told him to go to the university wellness center immediately. The nurse and doctor treated him and then got on the phone with me. They said he was very ill and did have symptoms of the swine flu. To be sure, they sent him to the emergency room to be tested and treated.

ML: When did you decide to pick up your son from school and bring him home?
Anne: He called me from the hospital and I asked him if he wanted me to come and get him. He said yes, so I went to pick him up and bring him home. I knew he was really sick.

ML: What was your reaction when you heard your son had the swine flu?
Anne: I was very worried and really scared at first. I didn't hear of any other cases in Illinois, so I didn't think he had it, but he tested positive for Influenza A. The swine flu is a derivative of the Influenza A virus. His labs were sent to the CDC for confirmation.

ML: Were you worried Michael would infect you, your husband, or other 2 children?
Anne: I was! Michael came right home and went up to his bedroom. My other two sons have had no contact with him whatsoever. I am more worried about them getting it from me because I am the only one who has had contact with Michael, since I have been taking care of him. I am very worried about them getting it, but we have taken every single precaution.

ML: What precautions are you and your family taking?
Anne: Michael is in his room and has not come out -- he has a bathroom in his room, so he doesn't need to leave. I am the only one that has gone in there. When I go in, I wear a mask and I use a gel hand sanitizer. After leaving, I scrub my hands for 30 seconds. My hands are so dry from washing them. I go into his room about 5 times a day to bring him his food, take his temperature, or visit him. I don't touch him and stand at a distance. My family is also taking Tamiflu for prevention. We got it from our doctor.

ML: Are you able to hug or touch your son? Or come into contact with him?
Anne: I don't touch him. I stay at a distance. The closest I get is when I hand him the thermometer. It's hard because I want to hug him.

ML: Do you have any idea how Michael could have contracted this virus?

Anne: We don't know. They were trying to figure it out with the health department. They asked him questions -- he hasn't been to Mexico, and he doesn't know anyone who has visited Mexico. There was an elementary school that closed down near his campus. A child contracted the virus, so it may have been someone in the area that infected him. When he got it, there were 9 probable cases.

ML: How difficult is it trying to take care of Michael, while also taking care of your other two children? How are you handling it all?
Anne: It's pretty difficult, but I am getting through. The main thing is they all stay healthy and I don't care what I have to do to ensure that. My company is letting me work from home -- they don't want me there either. It's not too bad ... Michael is pretty self-sufficient. I am trying to keep my little one away -- he wants to see his brother. He wants to go into his room and I won't even let him up the steps. He doesn't understand when I tell him Michael is sick.

ML: How have your community and friends reacted?
Anne: My friends and family have been very nice and supportive. We haven't been anywhere to get the community's reaction, but people we know have been nice. I have gotten a lot of calls of support from people I know, and I feel lucky to have a supportive family. If I need anything, I know they'll be right there.

So many moms are worried about their kids. As a mom going through this, what do you want them to know?
Anne: I don't know anyone else personally who has had the swine flu, but with Michael's case, it's not as bad as the media hypes it up to be. They act like everyone is going to die from it. In the U.S., it's not as serious yet. Michael's symptoms only lasted a few days where he felt really awful. He got through it and he's improving. The flu symptoms last a while, but the worst of it was only a few days. I don't want to minimize anyone else's symptoms, and I can only speak from seeing Michael's case. Michael is older, so I imagine it would be difficult if he were younger.

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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
MarcomMom May 1, 2009, 6:54 PM

Sounds like she’s doing everything right. So glad you got an interview.

NYCity Mama May 1, 2009, 7:12 PM

My heart goes out to you and your family. I know that no matter what, when your kids are sick it’s really hard to deal with it and watch them be like that, and this is so much worse than just a common cold. I hope Michael recovers soon and that your family remains healthy.

Pondering May 1, 2009, 7:38 PM

He was confirmed for Influenza A which covers a lot of categories and is not necessairly H1N1. Have they actually confirned that this is the ‘Swine Flu’ aka H1N1? :: You said it was sent to the CDC, but it was not noted that it is a CONFIRMED case of Swine Flu/CDC. :: The reason I ask is so many across the web are stating they know someone with it, yet they are unconfirmed cases causing media frenzy.

Connie S May 1, 2009, 8:13 PM

This is so very interesting. My 18yo just came down w/very bad case of the flu w/symptoms similar to that as attributed to H1N1 as well as any other ordinary flu. She was very sick for awhile but as her fever dissipated after two days and she started to perk up, we never had her tested. I’m wondering if we should have after hearing from others such as your family where your son was not ‘deathly’ ill as we have all been fearing and symptoms could’ve resembled regular flu as well. We were not as vigilent as you in keeping her away from sibilings. We’re only on day 4 of her flu so I’m anxious to see if anyone else in the household becomes ill. Now I’m concerned as to when to let her return to ‘public’ life not wanting her to be a carrier of anything but she’s pretty wiped out and still sleeping alot so she may not even feel like it for awhile. Glad to hear your family is doing well.

Anonymous May 1, 2009, 11:15 PM


ashley May 2, 2009, 10:18 AM

Both of my kids got sick this week.On thursday, my son threw up at school. Ok, I know that it’s totally normal for a kid to throw up, no biggie. But, I was at a bible study and had my phone off so they called my hubby and he is such a worrier that he immediately took my son to the ER!!! No flu!! Then yesterday my daughter became ill. Coughing and snotting and crying. Itold hubby it was just a cold. He says,”What if it’s the swine flu!! Take her to the ER!!” So after her crying for 2 straight hours I took her. Turns out she has an ear infection and a cold. I came in last night and he was watching news clips over and over about the swine flu!! He’s totally feeding into the media scare. We live in Oklahoma and there are no cases here but are sanwiched between states that have it. I am going to the store today to stock up on stuff, JUST IN CASE!!!!

DUH May 2, 2009, 4:37 PM

She didn’t do EVERYTHING right. SHe said she scrubbed her hands for 30 seconds. THat is too long. You need to do it for 15-20 seconds, no longer than that. You can actually wash away the GOOD bacteria on your skin that you need. If your skin get’s too chapped and dry, try using lotion everytime after you wash. Also, this is not just another case of “THE FLU”. I am really glad that “annonymous” is not my mother. I feel sorry for her kids if she has any. If you feel like your going to die it’s a sign you should see a doctor right away.

Rachel May 3, 2009, 1:15 AM

I agree with anonymous…seriously people, it is just the flippin’ FLU! He’s not the first person to ever get sick and she’s not the first mother to ever take care of a sick child! Why is this even an article? Why is this even “news” worthy? Next time my kid gets sick, I’ll be sure to give momlogic a complete interview on how sick he was and how hard it was to take care of him…give me a god damn break!

Anonymous May 3, 2009, 4:22 AM

I love the Hairsine family, much love!
Get better muffs, you’re the best!
As well as Dennis, Ann, Jacob, and Dan, we all wish you the best, from all of Muffs Loyola friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous May 4, 2009, 1:04 AM

Get better Muffins!! We love you and can’t wait for you to get back! Loyola’s not the same without you!

Anonymous May 20, 2009, 12:50 AM

hows your son feeling? better?!

Maria  May 20, 2009, 11:15 PM

Hello thank you so much for this interview, My 6 year old son was diagnosed today with this flu. My husband and I have been tested and it came back Negative. So now we are just staying home taking care of our son, trying to take as many precautions as possible. I am so scared and concerned for him and my family.

eva June 3, 2009, 3:33 PM

No need to worry too much. I am just getting over the swine flu. I was exposed on 5/30 and became ill w/ flu-like symptoms on Monday (fever, cough, body aches, fatigue, etc). My fever, at its highest was 103. I stayed in bed and rested/slept for 2 days. Wednesday, no fever. Went to the dr, was tested and thought nothing of it until the dr called a week later to tell me I was positive. By then it had been 5 days - I’ll be finished w/ Tamiflu tomorrow…and other then a slight cough, I feel fine. I had the flu 5 years ago, and then regular flu was much worse. Don’t be alarmed, really, the media makes it sound worse than it is. My 2 yr old nephew also got it, probably from me - he’s fine as well. My family is currently on Tamiflu although they have no symptoms. I think we’re all in the clear!

Jacky D. September 26, 2009, 12:15 PM

I have 4 kids ages ranging from 7-12 weeks. My 7 year old is in school and brought home what I think is a nasty cold. Fever, sore throat, cough (last)..the strangest part is the yellow gunky stuff in the eyes and they are all very red eyed..with each child the symptoms appear worse. Could this be swine flu? Part of me hopes so, so I can quit worrying about it….highest fever was 102.4 and its the 3rd day and he still has fever. I’ve called the dr (its saturday) and the on call service didn’t get turned on or somethin and I don’t wanna rush to the er like all the other hypochodriacs…does anybody know if the gunky eyes are typical in a cold cuz I’ve never seen that except with flu

Hot Music Mommy November 11, 2009, 9:48 AM

My daughter too had the swine. It’s a terrible experience, especially when its a baby. have you looked at the website: Swine Flu Kids They have some really great home remedies that are gentle for little ones. I downloaded their book and was very satisfied with it. Good luck!

Hot Music Mommy November 11, 2009, 9:49 AM

My daughter too had the swine. It’s a terrible experience, especially when its a baby. have you looked at the website: They have some really great home remedies that are gentle for little ones. I downloaded their book and was very satisfied with it. Good luck!

Theo  May 18, 2010, 9:35 PM

Does the disease affect your everyday life? if so, in what ways?

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