Swine Flu Fears In The South

by Kaye M.
(Daphne, AL, USA)

My husband Joe and I live on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay in Alabama. We moved here from Denver, Colorado after Joe had a transplant.

Because of his condition he has to take immune suppressing medications. I have him taking a variety of antioxidants and other vitamins that are supposed to help him fight off colds and viruses. So far I would say that it has worked fairly well.

We have a lot of fears regarding the swine flu. If my husband catches a cold it will turn into pneumonia in no time at all so you can imagine how we feel about the flu.

Joe must always get flu vaccines every year and so do I. Because I live with him I obviously have to protect myself so I don't carry home whatever bug is floating around at the time.

This week I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medications and a woman was in there leaving work. I overheard her telling a co-worker that she had to leave early because her sons school called and he has come down with symptoms of the swine flu.

I knew the flu had arrived in our schools but this was the first time I had heard of it spoken in any venue.

My husband is back to work now and doing fairly well. I have a fear that he will catch this swine flu and he will end up in the hospital or much, much worse.

I've had him speak to his employer and co-workers about using good hygiene practices in the workplace but everyone knows that most people cannot afford to miss several days of work so if they are sick they go to work and infect everyone else!

This year if someone is sick at work my husband will leave unless they do. We cannot risk his possible death because someone else came to work sick.

The swine vaccine? This is probably the only thing I'm not too worried about. The transplant team in Denver will not recommend that Joe or I get the vaccine unless they are absolutely positive it is safe.

If we don't get that recommendation we won't get the shot. We do have to still worry a bit though. Even if we do get the go-ahead to get the shots there is a chance that it will not react well with an individual body chemistry.

You know how some people swear that they get sick whenever they get a flu shot? We do have to worry about that.

I guess we will find out soon enough. My husband and I
will be high on the list to receive the vaccine (if it is recommended) because of his transplant status.

I'm not worried for myself but I am so scared that my husband will get this flu bug and not be able to fight it off.

Daily I will keep praying that this epidemic can be fought and that loss of life be kept at a minimum.

I wish I could say that there wouldn't be any loss of life but we all know that people have already died because of this flu strain.

Hi Kaye,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your story with us. You have genuine and real concerns that are completely natural and understandable in the case of your husband's vulnerability.

It may not be much comfort, but in an odd and absurd way, it may be comforting to know that every year over 30,000 people die of seasonal flu. The numbers have not even begun to come close to that range with the "swine flu epidemic" so it may not be any more dangerous than what you have faced in the past.

I'm glad you are going to wait on the advice of your husband's transplant team before submitting to the swine flu vaccine. Everything that I've read about the shot is pretty damning.

I'm very pleased to know that you have Joe taking vitamins and antioxidants to help keep his immune system as strong as possible. That's extremely sensible of you.

For your own reference, garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiviral. Eating raw garlic, crushed, is very beneficial. If he doesn't like it or doesn't want to "stink," you may want to consider a high quality garlic supplement like Bear Paw Garlic.

Other considerations are increasing his (yours, too) probiotic intake. You may already be aware of that, but if not, it's well worth mentioning. Friendly bacteria in your body is vital to overpowering, conquering, and eliminating the bad bacteria that we come in contact with each day.

Finally, something as simple as naturally increasing Joe's nutritional intake with whole food supplements may be just what's needed to give him an edge.

I know it's hard when other people seem to be inconsiderate and knowingly bring their germs along with them putting others at risk. We don't always have control over external circumstances, but we can do our best to take the steps we know will give us the most protection.

I pray you and Joe both have a healthy and stress free year. Try not to worry to much.

Most sincerely,

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