Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Our Week - The One with the Flu

That’s it, y'all.  That’s the post.


What. a. week.  Last week was rough. 

This is my very favorite few weeks of the whole year, and we missed out on aaaallll the fun, festive things – A day date for B and me.  Olivia’s Christmas celebration at dance class and final four dance classes of 2021.  Olivia’s class Christmas party that I had fully planned.  Olivia’s very last Christmas program ever at school.  Christmas PJ and fort day in Olivia’s class.  Jacob’s class Christmas party.  A dinner with my old coworkers (some of whom I haven’t seen in nearly two years).  Going back to Mass in person.  My mom’s retirement party.  Sunday lunch with my in-laws to celebrate my nephew’s birthday that had already been postponed for several weeks.  Sunday dinner with my family. 

Seems cruel that we had to miss all of these things after not being able to do anything last year either because of Covid.


On the bright side, I think we’ve made it through to the other side, and I’m praying that since we paid our dues last week, we’ll all be well this week for the actual Christmas holiday. 

Let’s get to the recap.

Monday, December 13

When we left off from last week’s recap, Olivia had been running a low-grade fever all day Sunday.  We figured it was just a symptom from her second Covid vaccine, but we were so very wrong.

She woke us up in the middle of the night Sunday into Monday morning around 3:45 AM saying she wasn’t feeling well, and sure enough, her temperature was 103.  And that was with a traditional under-the-tongue thermometer.  FYI, don’t ever use the forehead thermometers per several different doctors we’ve spoken with… none of them are remotely accurate, and they can make the temperature read higher than it really is. 

I immediately gave her some children’s Motrin and put a cold cloth on her forehead and then B and I stayed in there with her to make sure her temperature started going down.  Instead of going down after the meds, her temperature rose to a very scary 103.7 (the highest fever either of our kids has ever had… neither of them run fevers often, and when they do, they usually max out around 101-ish), so B stayed on standby in case we needed to load her up and take her to the ER. 

Thankfully, around 5:15 AM, her temperature had gone down to 102, so we knew she was heading in the right direction, and we let her go back to sleep.  B and I went back to bed, and I never fell back asleep because I was too worried, plus my alarm started going off a few minutes later anyway.

B and I both got up and got ready, and B got Jacob off to school because I wanted to load up Olivia and take her to the doctor first thing.  Brian and I were supposed to have had one more day date on Monday to tie up all of our loose ends for Christmas, so that was obviously out the window, and instead, he decided to work after he dropped Jacob.

I got Olivia up at 7:30, and she woke up with a bunch of congestion which she hadn’t had the previous day.  Her fever was also really high again, so I gave her some more meds, tried to feed her some buttered toast (she wouldn’t eat it) and then bundled her up to go to the doctor.

By the time she was triaged, her fever had gone up even more despite the meds, and it had me so worried.  The nurse told me all of her symptoms could be from the vaccine, but that they were going to test her for strep, Covid, and the flu just to be safe.

The whole time we waited in the room, Olivia was laying down on the bench, and she looked awful.  Her breathing was shallow, and I could see her little heartbeat pounding through her chest, and she kept falling in and out of sleep.  In her almost eight years of life, she has never looked so bad.  The nurse assured me that was just because her fever was so high, and that she was going to send the doc in as quickly as she could.

When the doctor (or PA, I think), came in, the very first thing she did was administer more Motrin.  She said it was okay to overlap the meds in this instance because the most important thing was to get her fever down.  They swabbed her (which was miserable for her since she already felt so bad) and then we had to wait for the tests to come back.  Sure enough, her Covid test was negative and strep was negative, too, but she had tested positive for Flu A… AKA the bad version. 

The doctor made us wait a bit longer, because she wanted to make sure Olivia’s fever went down, and by the time they checked her again, it had.  It was still high, but at least it was going in the right direction again.  Thank goodness!

Side note, both of our kiddos (and Brian and me, too) all got our flu shots this year, and I’m so grateful that we did, because I can’t imagine how horrible this ordeal would have been if we hadn’t gotten them.  My goodness.

While we were in with the doctor, my phone rang, and it was the school calling to say that Jacob had started complaining of a sore throat and a cough.  She said he wasn’t running a fever, but I didn’t want to risk leaving him there and getting anyone else sick, so I called B and asked him to go pick up J since I couldn’t.

By the time we got home, B and Jacob were already home, and Jacob had already started running a fever.  I got Olivia settled in on the couch with her pillow and blanket, a big thermos of water, and the remote, and then I texted her teacher to let her know what was going on.

Her teacher told me that one student had gone home sick Friday with Flu A and was still out, and two others were also out with Flu A on Monday, bringing the total to four in her class alone.  Their school went to masks optional November 1, and there are many kids not wearing one anymore, and in those six weeks alone we have already had strep and flu.  Sigh.  Thankfully, there have been zero positive cases of Covid since then, though. 

But we went a whole year with no sickness at all while the kids were all masking, so this definitely goes to show that masks are effective when everyone uses them.  Our kids are both still wearing their masks, but they do take them off while they’re outside and/or eating, so there were probably plenty of opportunities for her to pick up the germs that way.

Olivia was scheduled to have her class party and perform in her school Christmas program on Tuesday, and she was absolutely devastated when we told her that she was going to have to miss both.  I’m the room mom and I had planned the entire party + I still had all of the party goods, so I had to get the stuff to her teacher. 

We all had a light lunch, and then I headed out to grab sugar cookies for the party and then to take all of the stuff to the school.  While I was there, I updated Jacob’s teacher, and she gave all of his books to me so he could have his study materials for his upcoming tests. 

While I was out, I started feeling really dizzy and “off” in general and started to worry I was coming down with it, but I’d been feeling a little off for the past couple of weeks, so I wasn’t really too concerned.

When I got home, Jacob was looking ROUGH and his fever had spiked to 103, so I went ahead and scooped him up to get him to the doctor for testing as well.  Sure enough, he came back positive for Flu A and negative for everything else.  Ugggghhhh.

When we got home, Jacob joined Olivia in the living room to lay around and watch cartoons, and I’ve never seen either of them as lethargic as they both were while they had this flu.  Usually when they’re sick, they’re still up and doing some stuff, but both of them were just pitiful for days. 

While they watched cartoons, I tried to get a few things done around the house and I got my blog post finished for the next day, but I continued to feel tired and “off,” so it was a struggle. 

Late in the afternoon, B headed out to pick up Tamiflu for both kids that the doctor had prescribed, and while he was out, he picked up Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  Unfortunately, the doctor had sent one of the prescriptions to the wrong CVS, so he had to go to two different ones, and then when he went to the Chick-Fil-A nearest our house, he found that it was closed for repairs, and therefore, he had to go to a second one.  When he got home, he also found that the first CVS had failed to mix the Tamiflu so he had to go back to CVS again, and it was just a whole cluster. 

After dinner, the kids went to bed early and B and I spent some time watching TV.  I made a Hot Toddy since I wasn’t feeling quite right, and then he and I went to bed early, too. 

Tuesday, December 14

I set an alarm for 2 AM to take the kids’ temps because I didn’t want to risk them getting too high during the night, and all was well.  Jacob ended up waking up at 4:45 saying his throat hurt and then Olivia was up at 5:45 saying her fever was back, so we got them medicated and then we all slept in.  

B worked all day and I kept the kiddos hydrated and medicated.  Olivia woke up fever-free and didn’t run one all day, but Jacob was feeling the worst on Tuesday.  He lay on the living room floor wrapped up in a blanket the entire day and barely moved. 

I tried to get a little bit of work done Tuesday morning, but while I was sitting at my computer, I started feeling mildly achy and very nauseous.  I’d been feeling nauseous off and on for the past two weeks, so that is not uncommon for me.  But I was also incredibly dizzy, and I had a bad headache, so I spent the rest of the morning resting. 

Late in the morning, I got showered and dressed, and I told B I wanted to go to acute care to get tested just to be safe.  We had a quick lunch, and I had zero appetite which NEVER happens, so that was definitely weird.

I was so very dizzy that I didn’t feel safe driving, so B and the kids loaded up in the car to make the drive to drop me off at the acute care place about five minutes from our house.  They headed back home after they dropped me because poor Jacob was feeling awful and Brian had work calls that he had to be on.

My acute care visit was SUPER fast, and I was in and out in 25 minutes.  They swabbed me for flu and Covid and they told me that they’d call me in an hour with the results.  B and the kids came back to pick me up, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch watching cartoons with Olivia while Jacob watched some Minecraft how-to videos on YouTube.

I got the call about an hour later saying that I was negative for flu and Covid, but they went ahead and called in some Tamiflu for me as preventative care since I’d been exposed so closely.  And as with any other rapid test, it’s possible that I did actually have the flu, but didn’t have a high enough viral load at the time for the test to detect.

The doctor had told us that the kids would no longer be contagious once their fevers were gone, so we monitored them closely throughout the day.  After being fever free the entire day, Olivia’s fever spiked again at 4 PM (although, not quite as high as before), which meant that she wasn’t going to be able to go to school on Wednesday either.  Sigh.  Wednesday was supposed to be pajama/fort day at school, and she was so, so sad to be missing it.

Since I wasn’t feeling great, I didn’t feel up to cooking, so B headed out yet again to grab my Tamiflu and to pick up dinner from our favorite Greek place.  They had changed aaaallll of the food – seriously all of it – the chicken, the rice, and the green beans were all completely different (and not for the better), and they didn’t even have some of the other toppings we like, so dinner was a bust, too.

Olivia’s very last Christmas program at school was scheduled for Tuesday evening so she obviously had to miss it, but we were able to stream it live, and she did her performance alongside the TV with her class.  It made me so sad, but she made the most of it.  My forever sunshiny gal.

After the program, the kids took showers to try to steam some of the gunk out of their heads and then they went to bed early again.  B and I went to bed early again, too.

Wednesday, December 15

I set an alarm for 2 AM yet again Wednesday morning, and both kids were fever free again.  I couldn’t go back to sleep for a couple of hours after that, and I tossed and turned for a long time until I finally fell back to sleep.  All of us slept in again, and when we got up, the kids were both still fever free.  I made some breakfast, we all took our Tamiflu, and then I got some work done in my office for a bit while the kids watched cartoons.  Olivia was back to her bouncy self and she wanted to do aaaallll the crafts, but Jacob was still really tired and weak, and he spent his time laying on the floor watching TV again.

I still wasn’t feeling great Wednesday morning, but I didn’t feel as bad as I had on Tuesday, so I was able to get some laundry done.

Unfortunately, B had started having a very small cough Tuesday evening and then Wednesday morning he started running a low-grade fever, so he headed out to acute care mid-morning to get tested.  Whyyyy.  He ended up being negative for Covid and Flu, but he works from home and never leaves the house, so we’re assuming it has to be the same things the kids had as he hasn’t been anywhere else to be exposed to anything.  The doctor sent in some Tamiflu for him anyway so he could get started on that and hopefully have lesser symptoms.

When he got home, he alternated between working (from home) and laying down, and after lunch, I got showered and headed out to pick up his Tamiflu.  I’m the room mom for Olivia this year so I was organizing a class gift for her teachers, and I still had to shop for everything, so I picked up everything for their gifts while I was out, too. 

When I got home, I arranged the gifts and sent pictures to all of the parents, and then I was a whirlwind – doing laundry, Lysoling everything, opening mail that had piled up, tidying up as best I could (the house was an absolute wreck), cleaning up all of the cups and tissues and thermometers and other crap that’s sprinkled all over when you have a sick household. 

Since I was feeling better, I was able to cook dinner, and then B and the kids ate at the table while I ate about 10 feet away from them in the kitchen.  Lol.  I didn’t want to sit down with a table full of germs, so I kept my distance.  Have I also mentioned that I wore a mask in my own house all week last week, too?  Gotta do what you gotta do.

After dinner, it was another round of Tamiflu for one and all (YOU get a Tamiflu and YOU get a Tamiflu and YOU get a Tamiflu!) and then it was the moment of truth – temperature taking time.  By the afternoon, both kids had been running around and looking great, and they’d both been fever free all day, so we had decided that we’d send them back to school Thursday if they remained fever free. 

Well, I took their temps, and I’ll be damned if BOTH of them hadn’t spiked fevers AGAIN.  Y’all.  Jacob’s Christmas party was set for Thursday and Olivia’s teacher was going to make up some of the things she’d missed with her on Thursday, and it was all taken away from them in a flash, yet again.  There were so many tears when they found out they couldn’t go to school and it just broke my heart.  I cried right along with them. 

After that was decided, I texted both of their teachers to let them know they wouldn’t be there yet again, and Olivia’s teacher told me that the three other kids in the class who had been out all week with the flu had all relapsed as well and they wouldn’t be back either.  She also said that four other kids had tested positive for it.  It is HIGHLY contagious. 

To soothe their pain, we turned on a Fresh Prince so they could laugh a little, and it just so happened to be one of the episodes where Jazz gets thrown out of the house.  That is Jacob’s FAVORITE thing about the whole show, so I was grateful to hear him laughing.

By bedtime, Jacob was looking awful again, and we got both of them into bed just before 8 so they could get a good night’s sleep.  After they went to sleep, B and I watched another episode of Tiger King, season 2, and I made hot toddies for both of us.  My throat had started feeling questionable – it wasn’t hurting or anything, but I had a big lump feeling in it and my mouth kept watering like it does when you get sick.  After the hot toddies were drained, he and I went to bed early, too.

I told B I was going to sleep on the couch because I didn’t want to sleep in the same room with all of his germs, but he told me that he’d sleep on the couch because he knows I’m a diva when it comes to sleep.  I mean, he’s not wrong, but I felt bad that he was going to be the one sleeping on the couch when he was the one who was under the weather.  I protested, but he assured me that he can fall sleep easily anywhere (also true) so I gave in, and I took the bed. 

Thursday, December 16

The kids ended up sleeping for 12 full hours and Brian and I both slept for nine, and everyone woke up feeling pretty decent.  The kids were bright-eyed and fever free, my throat felt back to normal, and Brian’s aches and fever were gone.  He still had a sore, gunky throat, but he felt good enough to work (from home, of course). 

We all ate breakfast, and then the kids turned on cartoons while I got some work done.  I was supposed to have gone to a Christmas dinner with all of my old co-workers Thursday evening and I was devastated to have to miss it, but right after I texted them to let them know I couldn’t make it, they all texted back saying that we are going to postpone until January because some others couldn’t make it either.  I hated that they had to reschedule, but I was so grateful that I didn’t have to miss it.  I’d been looking forward to it for weeks.

Mid-morning, the kids turned off the TV and worked on some coloring pages.  Olivia also wanted to do some Christmas crafts, so she drew and colored some ornaments, and then I helped her add some glue and glitter to them.  I love her little crafty heart.  I swear, she is so much like me when I was her age!

By the time we were done with that, it was time for lunch.  B and I opted for chicken noodle soup and buttered toast because neither of us had much of an appetite, and the kids ended up eating really well.  They hadn’t been eating much all week either, but Thursday their little appetites were back in full force! 

We had received a shipment of oranges and other goodies from my MIL and step-FIL, and they couldn’t have come at a better time.  We needed all the vitamin C!

After lunch, I finally got the laundry put away that had been piling up on the chair since Sunday.  Then I did some more work in my office while the kids played.  Jacob read for a while and then they played some video games.  Both of them seemed to be feeling back to normal, but I didn’t want them running around outside and overexerting themselves just yet.

All afternoon I felt great on Thursday, so I cooked dinner, and then after dinner, it was the moment of truth for the kids – temperature taking time.  Both of them had been fever free for a couple of days leading up to Thursday and then spiked fevers in the late afternoon, so I knew if they were going to get one, this would be the time. 

Thankfully BOTH of them measured under 98 degrees!!!!  WOO HOOOO!  I promptly texted both of their teachers to let them know they’d likely be back Friday and then it was time for them to get showered and in the bed.  They were lights out by 8 to ensure they got a nice, long night’s sleep, and then B and I spent some time downstairs watching TV and sipping on hot toddies once more.

B volunteered to sleep on the couch again, but I just couldn’t bear making him do that since he was still sick, so we just both slept in the bed.  We slept with the fan on high (as always) and left our bedroom door wide open for extra ventilation, and I just said an extra prayer that I wouldn’t get contaminated.  I also rolled on my beloved Thieves for the 86,224,347th time that week.  Haha.

Friday, December 17

Friday morning, I was up bright and early, and I felt great.  I got ready quickly so I could get breakfast for the kids.  I didn’t want B to have to get up early since he’d been coughing a lot during the night.  Both kids’ temps were still in the 97 degree range, so it was GO TIME. 

Jacob got to wear PJ’s to school on Friday and Olivia got to wear her ugly Christmas sweater, so they were both comfy cozy for their first (and last) day back for 2021.

When we arrived at school, Olivia’s teaching assistant opened the door to get the kids out, and she FLEW out of the car and jumped right into his arms.  She was thrilled to be back, and he was equally as excited to see her.  I had to drop the kids’ doctor’s notes in the school office, and then I chatted with Coach (Olivia’s teaching assistant) for a few minutes before heading back to the car. 

When I got back home, B was still asleep, so I spent a couple of hours in my office trying to crank out as much work as possible.  When B got up, he and I pulled out all of the gifts we had for the kids for Christmas so we could decide what was going to be from us, etc. and so we could see what else we still needed to buy.  We were supposed to have had a day date on Monday to finish up our shopping and all of that obviously went out the window, so by Friday we still weren’t done with our Christmas shopping for our own kids.  And several other people for that matter.  Oh my.

The next couple of hours was a whirlwind – we made all the decisions about the gifts, ordered the last few things we needed (and prayed that they’d actually get here on time), I wrapped every single one of the gifts for the kids, and I updated my spreadsheet that I keep with all of the Christmas gift details. 

By the time I was done with that, I had to rush out the door to get in the car line, and at noon, the kids came promptly out to the car RAVING about how much fun they’d had.  I said another silent prayer thanking God that they were able to go back to school for the last day – even though it was only a half day – and that they were able to at least have four hours of fun since they’d missed so much earlier in the week.

We picked up Chick-Fil-A for lunch (we were on a roll last week with the takeout/junk food – sigh) and we took it home to B, who was still laying on the couch in his PJ’s.  Thankfully, B didn’t run a fever at all on Friday, and he felt mostly good with the exception of a SUPER sore throat and a cough.

After lunch, we all hung out for a bit, and then when the kids retreated to play video games I got a ton done – I washed all of the blankets, I Lysoled and Cloroxed every doorknob, light switch, and other surface in the house, I wrapped every single one of the remaining gifts for Brian and the rest of our fam, and I tidied the whole house.  Towards the end, I was feeling mildly winded, but other than that, I felt great all day. 

For dinner, I picked up pizza, and then the four of us watched The Santa Clause before sending the kids to bed.  Once they were in bed, B and I watched Christmas Vacation, and I sipped on one more hot toddy for good measure even though my throat was much better, and my aches were gone.  My appetite was finally back on Friday, too, so I thought for sure the worst was behind me. 



Saturday, December 18

Saturday morning, we all slept in and then I made homemade waffles for breakfast.  I’d hoped to feel good enough to work out, but Saturday ended up being my most fatigued day yet.  I had zero other symptoms, but I was incredibly fatigued all day.  Every time I would climb the stairs, my leg muscles would burn like I had just run 10 miles.  I wasn’t achy.  I didn’t have a fever.  No cough, no runny nose, no sore throat.  Nothing.  I was just EXHAUSTED.

I’m thinking that maybe Friday I just overdid it since I was full throttle all day, and that’s all it was.  I still think that I did get the flu and that my flu shot/immune system/Tamiflu all prevented me from having really bad symptoms.  I did also realize on Saturday that Tamiflu can actually CAUSE fatigue, so that could have been the culprit, too.

Anyhoo, I spent most of the day resting, but I did manage to wash all of the bedding in the house.  I wanted to get all of the germs out of the house, and nothing was going to stop me.  Lol. 

I also helped Olivia craft a Christmas card and write a letter to her old BFF, Becca, who moved away two years ago, and she got that in the mailbox.  And B and I “shopped” at the kids’ store that they had set up in the playroom.  ;o)

We had leftovers for lunch, and then afterward, I was drained, so I showered and spent a couple of hours on the couch with Maui.  Mid-afternoon, I was feeling good enough to get up and move about, so I spent some time in my office typing this post while the kids played video games. 

My mom has been working in our church’s office for the last 35 years and she is finally retiring at the end of this year, and they were hosting a retirement wine and cheese party for her after 5:30 Mass.  Saturday was supposed to the be the day that we started going back to church in person, and then attend her retirement bash, and I was devastated that we had to miss that, too.  That’s something we’ll never get back.  Ugh.

Saturday afternoon and evening the weather was awful – tons of rain and wind – so the kids didn’t get any outdoor time yet again.  B picked up dinner from our favorite local BBQ place, and then we all watched Miracle on 34th Street (the 90’s version) and then B and I had our annual viewing of Love Actually.  My very favorite movie of all-time.  It never gets old and it never fails to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Sunday, December 19

Sunday morning was virtual church and cinnamon rolls, and then I spent some time tying up all of the loose ends for Christmas.  We still had several gifts to buy, many things to do, and I still had to plan aaaallll the meals for all of the different celebrations, so I made a master list with everything left to do.

We had a light lunch, and then afterward, B and I got ready and then we all ventured out to walk to the playground in our neighborhood.  I was still feeling mildly fatigued on Sunday and B still had a sore throat, though it was much less sore, but we knew the kids desperately needed to get out and get some fresh air since they’d been feeling good for a few days.

We ended up walking two miles – a very slow two miles – but at least it was something.  While we were out, we were finally able to take a picture of Jacob with his yard sign for getting Student of the Month at school again.  The yard sign had been there for nearly a week, but we were all cooped up inside forever!

When I got back home, I was feeling pretty tired, but I got a few things done in my office while the kids played video games for a bit.

I made a quick early dinner Sunday evening, and then the kids got in jammies and we piled in the car with blankets, hot chocolate, and candy canes to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  I had printed off a lights scavenger hunt, so the kids spent the whole time searching for things on their list of 38 items.  We even brought Maui along for the ride… she loves to ride in my lap.  :o)  We ended up riding around for almost two hours and it was just the most festive time. 

When we got home, we watched a Fresh Prince together, and then B and I watched SNL with Paul Rudd from Saturday.  Unfortunately, they had to shut down production again like most other things in NYC right now due to Covid, so it was a very weird episode.  Paul Rudd is one of my favorite people, so I hope they give him a do-over when things get somewhat back to normal.

And that was our week, y’all!  Now this week we are spending all the time getting all the things in order for Christmas and doing aaaallll the Christmasy things to make up for some of the things we missed out on last week. 

Operation Take Our Christmas Back is in full effect!!!!    

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. This all sounded awful. So glad it's over now!

  2. Ugh I'm so sorry you all had to deal with the flu. I've had a nasty head cold and A woke up not feeling the best. I'm hoping these germs are out of here by Christmas. It's such a hard time of year and I have to think since we've all been in less contact with things maybe our immune systems are out of whack. Hoping you enjoy doing all the things and have a wonderful Christmas!!

  3. Ugh, what a week. So sorry y’all all were feeling cruddy! I’m glad you got all your Christmas prep done despite it! You have me craving chic fil a now! Hope y’all have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Ugh I am so sorry it got so scary there for a bit, but so so so thankful they're all better now. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas <3

  5. Ugh, glad you got that out of the way... now onto a happy, healthy Christmas! (My oldest son always ran really high fevers and we'd alternate Motrin then 3 hours later Tylenol three hours later Motrin, etc. round the clock for at least 48 hours-- he had a history of fever seizures so we were always cautious to keep them down).

    1. Oh man, that's terrifying. Thankfully, we've never experienced a fever seizure. Yikes. I hope he has outgrown those now! And thank you... we did get the sickness out of the way and our Christmas was wonderful!

  6. WHAT A WEEK! So glad that it ended on and healthy and festive note!


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