10/23/09

Lets talk about the H1N1 Flu and Test…

This is MADNESS.  And it makes me mad.  Furious.  THIS is what YOU should know you are facing when and if you ever think your child has the H1N1 flu.  Let me walk you through our experience…

But first, let me state that this is MY experience…MY opinions…MY findings.  Popular? Maybe not.  But I’m done believing what my doctor tells me because I no longer believe that it is always in my best interest.  I’m done believing that they actually are all completely educated in all of the things they tell me to do, and I believe that it is my responsibility to educate myself and make my own well informed decisions.  I have a good friend who is a doctor, and I do believe that there are many who DO want the best for their patients.  But seeing as how I can’t tell the difference between the caring, educated ones and the ones who aren’t, I have no choice but to educate myself…for my family.   Disclaimer over. 

So you think your child might have the H1N1 (Swine) Flu.  What are the symptoms?  I am going to UNDERLINE ELI’S SYMPTOMS, so the underlining is my change on this info…which I got from E-how.  But you can look these symptoms up anywhere…they are the same typically no matter the source…

Symptoms

  • Swine flu symptoms can consist of fatigue, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, headache and fever. There are also some reported cases of vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy and diarrhea, which are also common in regular human flu. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more severe illnesses, like respiratory failure and pneumonia, associated with the infection of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
  • So, alrighty, I think we’ve covered the symptoms, and Eli has ‘em all…including a fever that ranges from 99-104 degrees, sleeps all day long for several days, won’t eat…even birthday cake and ice cream, and is very confused.  Seriously confused.  Which is a symptom of the H1N1 reported on other sites.  Yes, I KNOW this could all be coincidence, and NO, I do NOT want my child to have this illness.  But what I want is real answers and some help from a doctor. 

    So back to the doctor we go...  for the 3rd time in about 3 weeks.  And by the way, he was put on Augmentin about 8 days ago and has only gotten worse. 

    Off to the Doc

    So we went to the doc…and we figured they would give us an H1N1 test…right?  Because they have all these facts and statistics as to how many people have it…how many people are dying from it…they surely must know what they are talking about…RIGHT?!

    Well, as it turns out, there are H1N1 tests…Only the major one  costs $300 per test, so doctor’s don’t carry THAT test.  Silly me.  As it turns out, the people I’ve talked to have never been given the “REAL” H1N1 test…because it COSTS TOO MUCH!

    But we WERE given a “test”.  I’m pretty sure we were given the BIOTEST Flu A+B Rapid Test Kit for H1N1 Flu.  But in doing research on that test…a simple nose swab similar to the RSV nose swab, guess what I found???  Are you ready??? On the company’s FAQ’s page, I found this…

    “  As for the ability of BIOTEST Flu A+B Rapid Test Kit to detect the new virus, it is not known if it will detect the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) now circulating.   

    Does BIOTEST have kits in inventory?  

    BIOTEST currently has product in-stock and has the capacity to manufacture more than 600,000 tests per month. 

    Wow, that must earn them a lot of money! And the fact that it doesn’t reliably detect the flu really makes the buyers quite ignorant (in my non-politically correct opinion). 

    But I did not stop there…I kept looking.  There are more companies, and surely one is FDA approved.  Surely? Right? I mean, they are throwing these numbers around and using statistics as a factual reason why you should get the H1N1 vaccine… And then I found this…Quest Diagnostics FAQ's.

    Quest Diagnostics had the first commercial test for detecting the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus to be granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  BUT, surprisingly enough, they admit that there are no FDA cleared or approved tests for the identification of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.  Even that “real” $300 test which nobody carries isn’t FDA approved. 

    Also on the Quest website (FAQ section) , they point this out.

    “Can the test be used to diagnose the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus?

    Physicians would use the Influenza A H1N1 (2009) Real Time RT-PCR test in patients with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection, and make a diagnosis only in conjunction with assessing the patient’s clinical and epidemiological risk factors.

    We do not know for sure if this test can identify all people who may get sick with 2009 H1N1 flu. Therefore, negative results do not preclude influenza virus infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions.

    The test is intended to act as an aid for clinicians to use in identifying patients infected with the pandemic virus, in consideration of symptoms, medical background and other factors.”

    Frustrating Conclusion

    With a negative nose swab, we were dismissed…and although Eli has a lot of chest congestion (one of those danger signs that everyone says you must see your doctor about if you have THAT in conjunction with the other symptoms), he concluded that he needed Flovent for asthma and we were waltzed out of the office.  Ummm, Eli  doesn’t have asthma.  Bottom line, doctors and these companies are basing these off the wall statistics on CRAP.  Yes, offensive of me to say that, sorry.  There is NO accurate basis for ANY of the statistics, and oh, by the way, if there is no way to identify the virus, then there is no way to be certain that those who have died “from the virus” really did die FROM the virus.  It’s all BOGUS. 

    Where We Go From Here

    To the E.R. Tomorrow.  If he’s not one ounce better.  And they will have one angry ranting momma if they try to dismiss us there like they did today. 

    And Just To Wind This Up…

    That nasty H1N1 vaccine does nothing but make the government and companies working with our government richer, and it makes our children sicker and sicker.  If you want to read about the vaccine, read my post on The H1N1 Vaccine - Don't Poison Yourself, and to read about some interesting CDC findings, click here.

    8 comments:

    Allison said...

    very interesting, stacey!

    I can definitely see why you are so upset!

    I'm still not sure about the flu vaccine...as a nurse they push it pretty hard at work, but I haven't gotten one this year (or the past three years...) I definitely won't be getting an H1N1 shot...

    Your posts have made me want to do more research, though!

    p.s. go check my blog - I'm hosting a very cool giveaway :)

    Running, kind of. said...

    I can see you are passionate about this. Maybe you should look into a Public Health degree? :)

    I just had a discussion with a friend of mine whose husband is the Head of our counties Center for Disease Control. The way we are opperating here is that if someone has teh symptoms then they most likely have the H1N1. And unless there are life threatening complications you just have to wait it out. They are sent home with nothing really to do but comfort measures. I see that the statistics are all whacky and honestly more people die of the regular flu than the swine and those who die of the swine die of other things such as heart disease or preexisting health issues.

    What is most concerning about your story is the nonchelant prescription of a totally unnecessary medication. Sometimes I wonder if they are just trying to "shut up" the concerned mom (myself completely included in this). Just give them something to make the mom happy. This used to happen too often with antibiotics. Just give the kid some drugs and the mom will be happy, whether or not the drug will even do anything at all. I will be the first to admit I hate it when I leave the Dr. office empty handed. I am sick of hearing "it is just a virus" but in reality if it is a virus there is nothing to be done.

    Ugh..... :) being a mom is so hard!!!!

    Hang in there and I will be praying for you all!

    Amanda

    Stacey said...

    Thank you both so much!!! It is frustrating just getting some random rx...I don't want to get something just to GET something...I want something that will work!

    Allison, I had wondered how hard they had been pushing you at work to get the vaccine...That would be a tough position to be in! I will head over to your blog to see the giveaway!!!

    Stacey said...

    Poor Eli! I hope he gets to feeling better! I can totally understand why you are frustrated!



    I have a couple awards for you! Have a great day, Stac!

    samskat said...

    As for being given a prescription that a child doesn't need, that is how we end up with diseases that are resistant...Because our bodies, and the germies, become so accustomed to the meds that are over prescribed.

    I got a seasonal flu shot this year for the very first time (I didn't even get one when I was pregnant), and it was only under extreme duress. My kiddo also got one, and I have to say that I will not get another one.

    I also did some research, and those people that are dying from the flu (both varieties) are those who are elderly/young, and typically already have compromised immune systems. There are some who are getting ill enough to be hospitalized from the illness, but I don't think that my child (who is nearly 2) is likely to get sick enough to die, since she has 2 parents who pay lots of attention to her behavior, temperature, etc.

    UGH.....I don't usually go off like this about medical "stuff," but the flu shot is one thing that makes me so angry. (BTW, I have not ever had the flu, nor has anyone in my family.)

    Sara said...

    I'm so sorry your little guy is sick. How frustrating to not get "good" care either. Ug.
    I spoke with a ped at our church and she said in her office they only do the basic test b/c it's cheap (she stated $500 for the H1N1 test). She's seen lots of Type A flu but I think she said only 1 severe case and she's only perscribed Tamiflu twice. She said since at the beginning the majority of the tests were coming back H1N1 they now just assume that all type A is H1N1, nice.

    Betty said...

    Hello Stacey! I´m glad you found me and my new blog. Somehow I lost yours in the process of having the new blog. I´m sorry Eli is not feeling well and really hope it´s NOT H1N1!
    I can understand your frustration. I agree with you, you should go to the ER if Eli does not get better soon.
    All the best!

    Sunflower Ranch said...

    Stacey!! Excellent post on your nightmarish experience! Sending lots of prayers for Eli's speedy recovery. Keep up the great work investigating his illness and keep the pressure on your healthcare team. They've got to understand you are upset and want some answers -- make that TRUTHFUL answers. So don't let go until you are satisfied & your son is well. God bless!