Because I guess we didn't have quite enough going on, you know, living in a group home and all, Joshua came home sick from swim camp. His plane arrived on Friday evening and he was really tired. I totally was expecting him to be tired though. He'd been away from home almost three weeks and swim camp is intensive. He also had a cough, which concerned me a bit, but I wasn't too worried.
However, on Sunday night when he said his head was banging and he was dizzy and thought he was going to pass out, I got a little worried. Lowell took him to see a doctor the next morning. Joshua called me from the doctor's office and said, "Mom they think I have swine flu." I immediately responded with, "Oh they do not! What are they really saying?" When Lowell got on the phone and confirmed that this was not some sick joke, I could hardly believe it. Really??? Swine flu?? Really??
When Joshua arrived home, he was feeling really silly wearing a mask, which he was told he had to wear if he went out in public. Needless to say, he chose to stay home rather than wear the mask out again. I do so wish I had gotten a picture when I had the chance.
So, doing what we felt was the right thing, we notified our supervisor and were quickly informed that the whole house was quarantined. This meant we couldn't go out at all, not to the grocery store, not to get the daily pop from the Quik Trip, not to go to the afternoon workshop that one of our guys lives for, etc. Not out at all. This also meant nobody came in. So we were on our own with no additional staff in a house infected with swine flu and with three guys who weren't sick and therefore did not understand why they were stuck at home. It only took about a day for us to second guess ourselves and wonder why we didn't just keep the news to ourselves and go on about business as usual. It was a rough week!!
But my favorite part of the week was when the lady from the Health Department called and asked about a zillion questions about where Joshua had been, what he had done, and then many more questions about our health and travels. I laughed out loud when I heard Lowell responding to the question of whether he has been around any animals. Lowell's response - He catches snakes a lot and apparently caught a bunch of crawdads in the creek in North Carolina.
But my favorite series of questions had to be: "Have you shared a meal at the same table as him?", "Have you had contact with his laundry?" and the best, "Have you hugged him?" I mean are there really people out there who say, "Well goodness no, he's got the swine flu, so we locked him in his room and are sliding food under the door! Haven't touched him or his laundry!"
Lowell answered "yes" to each of the crazy questions. He didn't mention that not only have we hugged Joshua, but that I've slept in the same room as him just to be sure he is breathing okay at night.
Joshua is feeling better and hopefully this week we will be able to get back to what we consider normal. But I know I will laugh any time I see one of those "Have you hugged your child today?" bumper stickers.