Monday, November 09, 2009

Stricken with Swine Flu

Last week we were "all hands on deck," to battle our own personal outbreak of the H1N1 Swine flu. Cassie was on an overnight field trip to Williamsburg, when a mini-epidemic swept through their bus. The trip was prematurely cut off, and Cassie started to feel ill shortly after coming home.

Both Cassie and big sister Miller came down with it and our upstairs became a quarantined, temporary flu ward. The tell-tale symptom that characterized the illness as swine flu was the high, high fever (103 F). We were fortunate having Tamiflu on hand. We were able to give Cassie the Tamiflu earlier into her sickness than Miller and I can tell you that it made a big difference. Cassie's symptoms weren't as bad as Miller's - less fevers, less achiness and pain and less malaise. Also, the duration of her flu systems were cut short by about a day.

The flu had a big effect on Cassie's blood sugars. She ran high most of the time and it was hard to get her blood sugar level down below 200 mg/dl. Having her on an insulin pump helped tremendously to manage this. We raised her insulin basal rate to 150%-200% normal and gave increased boluses at meals. Both girls maintained a healthy appetite most of the time and we kept them well fed to help boost their bodies' ability to fight the virus. We made each of them drink copious amounts of water and Gatorade as well.

All too often a sickness like this can lead to an emergency room visit to get IV fluids for dehydration or high ketones in the bloodstream. We came out of it all OK. Anytime we can avoid a hospital visit during a major infection like this counts as a victory in our book. Phew!

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