I'm a Swine Flu Survivor

Last Monday morning I rolled over and I just knew! It felt like my body had been sent through a toaster oven and a washing machine, and come out a churned-up mess on the other side.

Whether it was the swine flu, or just the regular strain, the doctor couldn’t tell me, but as far as I was concerned I had just joined the ranks of victims of the most popular pandemic of the day. And I was almost pleased about it.

There’s something so unabashedly glamorous about contracting a fearsome disease, especially when you get to be by yourself and call it something dramatic like quarantine. You gain a heightened sense of importance as people cower away in the distance at the very sound of your cough. And when every feeble attempt at anything productive is met with a concerned look and a Don’t worry about that—you’re sick, convalescence grows all the more appealing.

Between popping pills and crawling to the bathroom, I must admit that my sense of the cosmic grew. I wanted to be part of something larger than myself—something that would make me feel special—something that would make me feel like a survivor. I wanted to shout from the rooftops, Look at me! I have the swine flu! Don’t you want to be sick and cool like me?

In all unromantic reality, I was boringly sick, and I hated it. Despite all the media hype, this year’s scare craze seems little more than a gross fascination with something as dull as getting the flu.


I'm part of the group helping Zoe feel glamorous. News report said the other day that one in three pregnant women who have contracted swine flu have died from it or from secondary infections after getting it. So I'm still keeping my cautious distance from Zoe and anyone who so much as sniffles in my presence. And yes, I'm almost Lady Macbeth like in my obsession to cleanse my hands.
Have many people considered the possibility that it just might be worse for people to get Swine Flu then for there to be Swine Flu.
My two-year-old boy had swine flu just about a week ago; the doctor took some tests and diagnosed him. I was alarmed, but the doc looked positively bored. "Give him these pills within forty-eight hours of the first sign of fever. He'll be fine." The boy recovered in about three days and is back to misbehaving. Yeah, media definitely hyped this thing a little too much!
Welcome back, Zoe! It's good to see your sense of self-deprecating humor intact, and better to see that your health is improved. It hasn't hit in my household yet, but if it does, my moniker will certainly be accurate. I was told by a nurse friend just last night that the hospitals are only allowing immediate family members to visit, and mothers who have given birth are going home almost immediately so other children can see the new baby (since those under 18 are at very high risk, and could also bring it with them, so little children are not permitted in maternity areas). So it's not entirely hype, but certainly for the media it's a fortuitous combination of reality TV and fear factor. // This past week someone commented on my supposedly youthful appearance, and I replied "I don't get gray hair, but I *am* a carrier."
Zoe, Thanks for the laugh! I had it over Labor Day, so I guess I'm "cool" too!

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