H1N1, Celiac and Tamiflu…Part 1

by | G+ Amy Leger

Yup, it appears to have hit us.  So far only my celiac child has come down with what appears to be H1N1 flu.  I know many of us in the celiac community have an elevated level of concern when it comes to the so-called swine flu because it seems to hit people with chronic conditions harder than the general population.

Because of Emma’s celiac disease, I was able to snare a prescription of TamiFlu — which is gluten-free.  So I thought I would chronicle this lovely journey for those of you who are worried about the big flu, celiac and TamiFlu combined.

The Sickness Begins

Monday morning came around, and Emma was not feeling good at all.  I could see it in her eyes.  She complained about a headache, but then I took her temp and discovered she was running a 101.6 fever too!  Yikes!  Push the Motrin…check.  Call the school…check.  Make some Gatorade…check.  Sanitize the house with handi-wipes…check.  And finally settle down, and call the clinic.

I called and talked to a triage nurse.  I explained that Emma had a fever, headache, slightly sore throat, and a very small cough, but I was worried it was H1N1 and I wanted to look into getting TamiFlu because she has celiac disease.  She checked in with the pediatricians on staff (ours only works Tuesdays and Thursdays), and they said we needed to go in and get her checked out.  So I get her the earliest appointment — a whole 10 hours later at 7:15 p.m.

Now I can chill out.  Grace got off to school and Emma laid back and got her fill of iCarly and Hannah Montana.  I pumped her with more Motrin six hours later at 12:30 p.m. and then six hours later again around 6:15.  I cut the last six hours short by 15 minutes when I took her temperature and it said 103.1!!  Luckily it began to come down when we made our way to the doctor’s office.

The “Diagnosis”

We got to the clinic, and my poor baby has to deal with putting a mask on the entire time she’s in the clinic.  Now Emma’s feverish and demoralized.  I totally understand why they need her to do it…but it doesn’t mean it didn’t stink for her.  She was quickly whisked into a room where the doctor instantly got to work asking questions.

I brought up the possibility of it being H1N1, but also that she presents with the same symptoms when she has strep throat.  She got tested for strep and a routine exam was done as well.  As the rapid strep test went to the lab, the doc handed me some information about TamiFlu.  She said that it could very well be H1N1 and because of the celiac disease we should consider whether we want her to have the antiviral medicine.   The information about TamiFlu definitely seemed to have it’s negative side effects…”Transient neuropsychiatric events (self-injury or delirium) have been reported postmarketing.. among adolescents and adults…”  Neuropsychiatric events??

A few minutes later the doctor came back in and said the strep test was negative.  So she deduced it was H1N1.  I said I would take the prescription for TamiFlu and choose whether I wanted to fill it.  As I continued to read the information on it, I saw that nausea and vomiting are side effects that commonly happened:  “nausea without vomiting 10%” of testers reported these symptoms, “vomiting, approximately 9%” had these symptoms.

What to do….my hubby and I discussed over the phone and since Emma also has a consistently low white blood cell count (which her hematologist says is normal for her) we thought the good of TamiFlu outweighed the bad.  We filled the prescription.

So I am surprised this is what Swine flu is.   So far it’s really only been a fever (high at times) and a headache for Emma. To be honest, it still wouldn’t surprise me if the 24 hour test came back and we heard she really tested positive for strep.  But for now we’re dealing with H1N1.

The TamiFlu Aftermath

So as I am writing this post, I’ve been checking on Emma.  Nearly an hour to the minute after having her first dose of TamiFlu, she threw up.   I’m guessing it is going to be harder on her tummy than I originally thought.  She took the medicine with food to hopefully ease the tummy pain.  But then I let her have a piece of candy after a while to get the taste out of her mouth.

Well …up came the Laffy Taffy in all it’s blue-green glory.

Note to self…Laffy Taffy not good on a queasy tummy.

I’m crossing my fingers for a quiet night. I’ll keep you posted on day 2.

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6 Responses to “H1N1, Celiac and Tamiflu…Part 1”

  1. Hi Amy,
    I guess I am curious as to why they think it is the H1N1 flu and not just the run of the mill typical flu that goes around every winter? How are they classifying this as H1N1 and not regular flu? My next question is you didn’t get the vaccine for this-were there reasons why not? I too have a celiac child and am celiac myself and we haven’t gotten any of the vaccines for the regular flu nor the H1N1 and am leary to do so. What are your thoughts?

  2. My celiac daughter had the respiratory flu this week, got tamiflu, 128.00, with insurance, at the 1 hour mark, threw up more and diarrhea than I’ve ever seen anyone have. She then slept for 17 hours, the Dr wanted her to restart the tamiflu, within 1 hour, same thing. They say it’s gluten free, I’m not believing it.


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