The h1N1 "swine" flu has got the whole medically fragile parents panties in a bunch. It is causing contention really. Kinda LOTS of contention. A few train wrecks have come my way and I can't stop watching it go and go.
BUT I digress. I am going to be giving a little health lesson on immuno compromised VS immunsupressant. And then go from there.
Immunosupressant children Lets call this GROUP A ( most commonly Transplant patients) take medication to keep their other wise healthy immune system at bay because if it not at bay it attacks that pretty little organ that is giving them life. HOORAY that is is doing that. It does wreck some havoc on their bodies when they are sick but GENERALLY a cold or what not can be fought off without MUCH ( not always) but much reason to worry. By keeping in check the med levels for the kiddos and watching for rejection etc they can be generally very healthy individuals.
( immunosuppressant parents correct me if I am giving out false information)
Immunocompromised kids( call this GROUP B) are a little less OBVIOUS. Meaning they look normal ( sometimes) and don't have another persons organ inside of them but their immune systems are sucky. They are not always sick, most are very healthy till that one BIG BUG gets them. They can't fight it off, they don't have the reserves to do so and because of their disability the muscle needed to kick it out of their body.
Where I come across issues is when group A the immunosuppressant group doesn't recognize that group B also has a germ issue. And if we fall into the germ issue with you then maybe that is something to look at :)
Where do we fit in the picture : A group/ family snap shot for you.
Dallas- not in group a or b, generally healthy, few colds, nothing major causing him not to fight of infection.
Nancy- not in group a or b, generally healthy, few colds a few rounds of the pukes NOTHING that I can't fight off.
Tyler- Group B! Yes everyone did you read that HE IS IN GROUP B. Ty is considered by all medical standpoints a kid in group B. He has a good immune system and is able to fight off infections on his own. He has CRAPPY lungs. He was ventilated for about 3 full months which results in a diagnosis for CHRONIC LUNG DISEASE. Though we have been lucky and pneumonia twice has been the biggest we have been back on the ventilator frequently in the last year. He is low weight. He doesn't have the reserves to be sick long because his body mass isn't up there enough to keep him out of the hospital. AND he has cerebral palsy. Some of his muscles burn more energy than we can keep in him. Still doing that when he is sick.This also causes another problem. His drinking when sick is NADA. He will not drink water when he is healthy, he won't drink juice when he is healthy he isn't going to drink it sick. Cerebral Palsy kid usually die of a respiratory infection that they can't get over because their lungs are trash, their muscle tone is crap and they can't help themselves be better. Also Ty has a shunt. Any infection we are entering into his body could cause his shunt to become infected and a series of events to happen, Death, shunt infection, brain infection, and shunt fixes which mean BRAIN SURGERY.
So.. um we are in the immunocompromised group.
Group A in my "family" Include a heart transplant and a kidney transplant. They are also at risk JUST like we are. Same stuff and their organs that they have will begin to shut down.
OK.. So why the health lesson
Each of these groups of people should be taking precautions to keep their kids safe. On of those things is the H1n1 vaccine which I know WE have not been able to get ( though we HOPE our office gets it soon ) The rest of the vaccines are hidden in Hours long lines to "mass" vaccinate those who want it. BUT again. HIGH Risk is suppose to go first. Not MY kid is high risk. Oh good he got it my turn. NO it means EVERY ONES high risk and THEN YOU.
Don't you think that as a parent to my Group B baby is wanting that vaccine. Heck ya we do. BUT do you think that any parent in their RIGHT mind having group a or b would stand in that line to get it? HELL NO! Do you know how many people you are standing by who was probably infected yesterday and hoping to sneak in and save themselves from getting it. You run less risk exposing your germs to your small circle of friends and staying out of public than you do going there.
Not to mention these mass vaccination places don't care if you are group A,B or just want one. They are giving them away. So chances are you aren't going to get it.
Is there a way? I don't know. I wish I did. I even had some tips to help you all stay more germ free but those are kinda crap since we over here in GROUP b land got exposed to the Swine flu.
And in the most loving way we can we are a little upset. Dallas has the aches and a cough and I have the aches and the exhaustion and the other stuff, while our sweet immunocompromised son is laying in the next room.. seemingly fine.
I can honestly say Our team of Docs are amazing... The swine flu vaccine has our name on it. And if Ty gets even remotely sick we are to be in her office. She is determined to keep him hydrated so he can kick it. She knows that without her help we are doomed. Last summer watching him get so sick and us get sick with him made me so ANGRY that he wasn't more healthy. That his immune system wasn't so crappy and that his fragile skinny body doesn't have the reserves to fight it off.
So in whatever prayers you offer for the GROUP A, don't forget the minor detail of Group B. They get sick to. They are important to keep healthy as well.
Please people, if you KNOW your kid is acting weird and funny and could potentially not feel well, or if you have just exposed your whole family to a ass load of germs PLEASE be kind and don't find my Group B family to hang out with. Call us on the phone, tell us you were around a horrifically larger than normal group, stay away from church do what you have to if you want to have us around.
Both groups have fought so hard to keep them here ... lets think about our germs and our safety and not spreading them to others.