15 August 2009

I came home from work a couple of hours early yesterday. I have Pandemic A/H1N1 2009 for the second time, the first time being back in March.

The first bout with the 'novel flu' was somewhat unpleasant although it was so weird in presentation that I didn't really know I even had the flu until I realized I had a low-grade fever. I managed to become unwell enough on a Thursday that I had to go home and stay there until the following Tuesday but it wasn't until Saturday that I understood I was experiencing the weirdest flu I'd ever had. Weird is the only way to describe the damn thing, every mild symptom easily ascribed to something else-until the fever. All, that is, except the dizziness that sent me home in the first place.

At aged eight months I suffered the panflu, in 1957. I didn't have flu again until winter 1974, when I was so sick I passed out on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. A huge Irish Setter I'd rescued from the pound went insane barking, which roused my drunken step-mother to drag me back to the couch-the extent of motherly nursing instinct in the bitch.

I nursed myself amid accusations I was faking. I then avoided flu again until the winter of 1994, a whopper flu that laid my son and me up for over a week but strangely left my military contractor husband completely untouched.

That flu is why I no longer trust doctors-mine, when Fox and my fevers went over 103 for the third day, diagnosed a virus and prescribed antibiotics. Since I know antibiotics are not prescribed for virus, I never went back to her, and have only been to a doctor for STD testing when I caught Crusty with the hookers.

From Monday afternoon this past week I began feeling that horrid "Hmm, I may be about to have diarrhoea, but this is weird, no real intestinal cramping, just that sense of something not right..."

Tuesday a co-worker called out. Wednesday she was back and told us she'd had 'tummy troubles' that were much improved although she still felt 'funny'. I was feeling the same thing and as the week ground to Friday that feeling increased until Friday morning, when I realized something was wrong and I needed to go home.

Another co-worker left, and I was about an hour behind him. I stopped at the pharmacy for my sinus pills and scurried home.

On the way home it hit me that I was probably going through swine flu for the second time.

The symptoms are so weird-dizziness, mild intestinal cramping, very low fever, extreme sleepiness, mild sore throat and hoarseness-a deepening of the voice. The first time I had dripping nose and heavy cough so bad I thought I was going to cough up a lung whole but this time the dry nose and zero cough really had me fooled.

Late on the evening of 23rd April 2009 I turned off the computer and prepared for bed. I had the TV on to a news station and the scroll caught my attention, sent me racing to reboot the computer. Something along the line of two Southern California children being diagnosed with a novel virus.

I scoured the 'Net and found what I'd feared for years-a novel flu that had people in Mexico dropping like flies. Mexican ERs were overwhelmed, doctors were pleading with their government for honesty and assistance.

The American health institution CDC reacted in an utterly heretofore unexpected and frankly terrifying way-"No need to be concerned, wash your hands, people are not dying in Mexico, this is not a big deal, no worse than normal seasonal flu, wash your hands..."

In Mexico doctors were desperate to find help and get the word out to the world-we have a serious problem here, please send help. The help never really came and while the official toll is less than 200, it is highly likely thousands have died in Mexico.

The doctors were sending emails to England's BBC that people were dying of cytokine storm-young people who were previously healthy and were not the 'usual' flu victims. Those emails have since disappeared from the BBC site.

CDC convinced Mexico to keep their borders open, and within days the flu was everywhere. Slowly the case count rose, and with it a mounting death toll. One that continues although you won't know that from the CDC, ECDC, and WHO. To find out who has died, or at least a rough estimate of the death count, you must spend hours digging through online obituaries for deaths among young people, of pneumonia and organ failure.

I have been glued to flu forums and the forum I participate in on it's epic swine flu thread that has been going strong for over three months as we try to figure this one out. We share holistic health care info, we argue the vax; we share prepping tips and links to the latest news.

I read The Stand and The Coming Plague, the first of course Stephen King's horrifying story of a military engineered killer flu, the second an equally horrifying non-fiction examination of how we are going to create a super bug one way or another, and countless millions will die-off.

I've been a Doomer for most of my life-when your life is endured rather than enjoyed and maximized, you become a Doomer. When what earned you praise from your parents on Monday earns you a casual backhand on Tuesday, when the same unpredictable behaviours are the only predictable from almost everyone around you from parents to teachers, neighbours, and pastors, you become a Doomer; if the unpredictability of Life is reinforced over again, and it was for me, Doomerhood is yours for life.

You learn interesting things, like how to read a situation in a half heartbeat, how to turn anything at hand into a weapon, how to become invisible, how to run and not be caught. you learn how to prep mind, body, and pantry, against devastation that can come in that half heartbeat.

You learn that if you believe in God life is a lot less horrid even though bad things still happen and people still go from sane to savage in half heartbeats; you learn that sometimes you really do have to figuratively drag yourself over glass shards to get to safety-but safety is there if you will only hang onto that thought.

You learn there is an unfortunate majourity who do not want the safety because then they would be responsible for their participation in it. They throw their own children into the cook pot because "no-body said Life is fair" justifies eating their own child to buy themselves five more minutes of sucking air time.

Being a Doomer can save or destroy you.

But not even being a Doomer can save you from this flu, although because you are a Doomer you are prepped and things will be slightly less uncomfortable for you and your family should you have heeded the warning calls-and there have been plenty.

I read an article last week that the CDC hopes to be able to find predictors as to who will get this weird flu so severely that they will die.

We want, we need, Life to be predictable, and it's not. But most illness' are predictable, outcomes predictability is what drives the art of modern medicine-"You have this, take this, and because we are doctors and have studied this, we know this will alleviate/cure your particular case"

But they can't do this with Pandemic A/H1N1 2009-they do not know why A and D get mild cases while B, C, and E require life support, and why of the three on vents/super vents, only patient C will eventually walk out of the hospital alive.

In 1918 at least 30 million people died of a flu known as Spanish Influenza. The medical profession still has no idea why the toll was so high, or even how high the toll really was-estimates range from 20 to 70 million, pick a number.

91 years later we have a flu circulating that is presenting as worse in its first wave than the 1918 pandemic, yet we have CDC and WHO holding back sounding any real warning-as a consequence few people have prepared with extra food and water in case supply lines fail due to sick transport operators. People are dying, will continue to die, and I have to wonder if this is Mother Nature's housecleaning.

I have the flu. My doctor says to keep him posted via phone-ins. It is again too late for me to take Tamiflu, which would have been prescribed had I called him sooner as I am in the currently accepted 'potential critical' group with my stupid little heart thing, and my stupid barely there asthma (there, I've said it, yes, I have asthma. Shoosh, don' tell).

So I left work Friday afternoon after begging my supervisor to send the sheriff and an ambulance to my house Monday if I have not called out and am more than a half hour late for work.

Because I am alone in the world, and should I become seriously ill and unable to call for help, at least someone will find me Monday morning.

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