Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine Flu, Stinkbugs and other Vermin

Shazza is having mouse problems. We are being bombarded by bugs! First the stinkbugs. Those ugly shieldshaped insects that cling to the windows, the siding, the screens. You open a door and they swarm with a horrible buzzing sound. If you swat, they emit a foul odor. Worse yet, they cling to your clothing. I endured the unfortunate experience of unwittingly wearing a shoulder stinkbug while shopping! Can you imagine? Fortunately I am not a celebrity. Can you imagine the tabloids? I thought the store clerk was looking at me funny.

The recent Nor'easter seemed to clear some of these critters. They are still around but they are being replaced by aggressive flesh-eating ladybugs. You all know what I'm talking about. Those adorable orange mini-beetles with the black polka dots. Don't trust them. They swarm our house every October. They invaded my youngest daughter's bedroom and snacked on her flesh. She was covered in mini-beetle welts. We had to release a bug bomb.

They're ba-ack.

This is of secondary importance compared to the Big Bug - the Swine flu. Daughter A has come down with it. She was sent home from school Monday with strict instructions not to return until at least 24 hours after becoming fever free (without the benefit of ibuprofen). Looks like she will be home again tomorrow. Daughter D is now coughing. I am missing about one fifth of my students. Many apparently have the swine flu. It has been confirmed through testing. There is a lot of denial going around. For what? School districts are being hush-hush about it.

I called the pediatrician and described my daughter's symptoms. He also spoke directly with A. He told me it sounds like H1N1. They are getting hundreds of calls. I could bring her in if I wanted to wait until midnight to get in and get confirmation. That's okay, I say, I'll take your word for it. Fortunately the symptoms are milder than the hype. Still she is sick and miserable. We have stocked up on hand sanitizers, but I am out of kleenex. Campbells Chicken Noodle soup tastes funny to her. She does not like my homemade soup with real chicken stock. (Maybe she wants to try it again?) I think the Swine Flu beat the vaccine. Our area did not qualify for the early vaccine. Oh well. So much for the hype.

It is now Day 2 at home and Daughter A is obviously feeling a bit better. She was up on her compy giggling and watching Maru the cat. He is an adorable Scottish Fold who lives in Japan. The doting human films his every move. Life goes on after the big bug! Check him out.


Poetikat said...

What a post! I don't know which is worse, the swine flu or those stinkbugs, or the killer ladybugs! I saw one on my window screen today and I hope they don't come in side. EEEEK!
I woke up last week with two tiny vampiric bites on my shoulder - they itched like mad! What the hell was that?
Keep your chin up, Neetzy. This too shall pass (I hope)!

neetzy said...

I don't know what's worse. The flu is making me miserable, but it is not as bad as hyped. The stinkbugs are ugly and annoying, but those ladybugs bite!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hope the flu phase leaves your house soon. I've wondered about all the hype and decided not to get vaccinated. You just confirmed it for me.

Those nasty bugs are all over here too! And that video is hilarious!!!

neetzy said...

Thanks Janelle,

I've been a lot sicker with the seasonal flu. I'm supposed to take my daughter to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia tomorrow. I may have to ask her dad to take her.

Maria said...

I detest ladybugs. Our bedroom faces the south and until our first freeze (which has already come and gone...and we have even had snow already!), they swarm our windows daily. It is almost spooky to look outside and see them coating the windows.

Liv's bff has swine flu. And the day before she came down with it, she spend the night at our house, so Liv was terrified that she was going to get it. She didn't...whew. We've had our seasonal flu shots but not the h1n1. Liv's pediatrician won't get any in until MAYBE late November and my doctor says early December for him. I have a compromised immune system, so I can get one, but I think even those of us who need to get them may have to skip them. How stupid was THAT for the government not to plan accordingly?

neetzy said...


The H1N1 is so prevalent around here that I am convinced everyone will get it before the vaccine is available to them. I had the regular flu shot as well. I'm not sure who to blame - the government or the pharmaceutical companies - take your pick. Luckily the virus isn't as bad as first hyped. Maybe its caused by ladybugs?

dive said...

Yikes, Neetzy! Sounds like you're having a truly sucky time over there.

I would be more sympathetic only I am still giggling at Maru the Cat. Awesome!

neetzy said...

Thanks Dive. I think I lost an entire week.

Maru is part of our family. Even our dog watches him.