If you have watched two seconds of news in the last couple of months, chances are you have been bombarded with H1N1 news. A year ago, we would have said, "H what?" Today, however, it is as if a plague has struck our country!
Our home is no different. In fact, one of our members had this dreaded illness: my husband. For the better part of a month, he has dealt with either H1N1 itself or an awful secondary infection it caused that left him with pneumonia like symptoms.
You might think that every member of our house would be struck at one point or another. Based on the media reports it sounds impossible not to catch it if you are exposed.
Yet, my husband (whose job takes him into a hospital with the sick nearly every week) is the only one who caught it. My boys and I are as strong as ever. If you followed my blog early this year, you probably remember when one person got sick, we all got sick.
This summer I was determined to change that. And, it appears that I did. If your allergic child has a compromised immune system, you may appreciate what I did that kept Tyler (and the rest of us) H1N1 free.
- Probiotics. I have written on this before here. These wonderful supplements put healthy bacteria in the intestines. Since 70% of our immune system is in our intestines, putting "good stuff" into them keeps them healthy and allows them to fight off infection. My boys take these and I take these. My husband opted not to take any. :(
- Large doses of vitamin C. The concept of vitamin C boosting the immune system has been around for years. There's a reason: it works! With my pediatrician's approval, I gave the boys 1-2 of these drinks a day while my husband appeared contagious. They are fizzy and they loved them! (In addition to Amazon, most stores like Wal-Mart or Target carries these.)
- No Vaccine. I know this one is very, very controversial. I am not trying to influence my readers one way or the other. But, based on my previous experience with Tyler' first flu shot last year (an allergy prevented it in previous years), the vaccine itself seemed to weaken his overall immune system and keep him sick all winter. Instead, this year, I felt he would fare better with his own natural defenses like he had in previous years. It appears he did! Plus, since his body fought it off, he should now be immune naturally!
- Lots of Rest. I did not do a lot outside of the home (ironic since the virus was in the home!) so that we did not get overly tired or stressed. Even if Tyler did not nap, he had "down time" every day where his body rested. I don't nap much during the week, but I did during that week!
There is no "one fits all" solution to avoid H1N1. This is not a prevention method that is an automatic "free pass" if you are exposed. But I felt it might help someone else if this illness is an unwelcome house guest for you this flu season.
After one week of no one getting else getting sick, I felt like a victor after war!!
A special note: We don't deal with asthma (well, I have a very mild case but no one in the home with allergies has it). This illness is further complicated when you deal with that. I don't blame anyone who got the vaccine, particularly if you deal with asthma, for getting it. For our circumstances, however, I think we stayed healthier without it.
photo courtesy of flickr