Monday, November 9, 2009
K1, P1, H1N1
Fall arrived at the TSMK household, and with it the typical cadre of welcome-back-to-school ailments. This year, however, we were pleased to host an especially exciting visitor: the H1N1 "Swine Flu" virus.
The timing couldn't have been much worse. Mrs. TSMK and my two older sons received the live-virus nasal spray on the Wednesday before Halloween. They probably could have received it earlier, but unfortunately none of them currently work for Goldman Sachs.
The day after Halloween (i.e., four days after receiving the vaccine), my oldest boy complained of feeling cold. The thermometer confirmed what Mrs. TSMK's hand had already detected on the boy's forehead: fever. Fever of 102 degrees, in fact. We had a sick kid on our hands. The following day, he stayed home from school, but all else in the house went about business as usual. That afternoon, however, I developed a headache and some mild nausea.
I didn't think too much about my symptoms at that time. After all, it was a Monday, and I often find Mondays to be slightly unpleasant. I powered (ok, staggered) through the day and went home. We put the kids to bed, with the oldest guy still running a fever.
At precisely 11:37 that night, I awoke suddenly. This by itself wasn't unusual. I often awake abrubtly if I've heard an odd noise, or if I suddenly realize that the dog needs to go out. Often, the dog helps me understand this point.
This time was different, however. This time I had a mouth full of vomit. It's funny what goes through your mind when you wake up with a mouthful of vomit. For me, I immediately found myself thinking about John "Bonzo" Bonham. They say that Bonzo died after choking to death on his own vomit.
But was it my own vomit? As any mockumentary fan will tell you, you can't really dust for vomit.
All these thoughts went through my mind as I raced to the toilet, or at least away from the bedroom carpet.
The next five days passed in a blur of sleep, nausea, fever, aches and, strangely enough, knitting. I'd recently finished a hat for a friend's sister, and had a fair amount of the yarn left over. Probably not quite enough for a scarf, but definitely enough for mittens. After looking through some possible patterns, I decided on Cruiser. After making the first one, however, I didn't much care for the way it turned out. Something about the fact that it was far too long, but with an extremely stubby thumb. So, what's left to do but start again, and by doing so potentially make three of a kind.
Today, a full week after attempting my own Bonzo departure, I'm still coughing and showing odd symptoms. My oldest boy is back in school, but the middle son is still out. The baby is on Tamiflu as a preventative measure, which makes him pleasantly sleepy and snuggly but which he doesn't particularly like.
But at least now we have mittens. Shown below are my version of the Cruiser, as modeled by Mrs. TSMK. They'll be delivered to their new owner soon.