Ancient History

Follow Me?


Swine is a fancy word for pig

H1N1 is a fancy word for swine.

That’s how I explained it to Joel, who was diagnosed with the outlaw virus earlier today.

A medical assistant swabbed his button nose for germies and found some. The germs said oink and earned us an escort out the pediatrician’s side door.

Meanwhile, at home, Tommy languished with his own fever and body aches. He was given the same diagnosis, sight unseen because the boys spent the weekend huddled together, twins in misery. The only reason Joel was seen was because he had his six-year well child checkup today. There wasn’t much well to find, unfortunately.

In typical Joel fashion, he managed to have an amusing exchange with the medical assistant:

Joel: When I grow up, I am going to be a doctor.

MA: Oh, that’s nice. I have a 10th grader and she still doesn’t know what she wants to be. She changes her mind every day.

Joel: Maybe she can do all the jobs she likes. She can go to one job then to the other job, then the next day she can go to a different job.

MA: Maybe.

Joel: Or, she could be a cowboy.

MA: (laughs) Cowgirl?

Joel: Or? She could be one of those people who serves beer. A bartender.

The two boys spent the weekend napping, crying, watching DVDs. The body aches and fever were unbearable, especially for Joel. He hosted 104.9 degree body heat for much of Sunday’s pre-dawn hours and I felt wretched for him. His little shoulders hurt like someone was squeezing them. Ibuprophen and Tylenol helped a little. When he was so, so sad and couldn’t understand what was happening to him, I told him this truth:

Your body has a war inside, with your good germs fighting some bad germs. The war is what is making you feel so terrible right now, but it will be over and your good germs are going to win.

He nodded. The cold washcloth on his head slid off. I put it back. It slid off when he shifted. I put it back. It slid off. I put it back.

The days were easier. Their fevers weren’t so high and they had vintage Goofy cartoons to make them laugh. I let Tommy play games on my iPhone. He also took some pictures of Joel, which I didn’t know about until I was playing with my phone today.


They are on the mend. I think they will be back to school by Wednesday if they have a good, fever-free day tomorrow.

I hope I don’t have to explain what swine means to anyone else.

14 comments to Swine is a fancy word for pig

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>