Swine Flu?

The Guideposts executive editor shares his thoughts on doctors battling swine flu.


The day after Thanksgiving I collapsed into bed with a raging fever and a hacking cough. I try not to panic, but of course it occurred to me, "What if I have swine flu?" It seems to be everywhere and the people I know who've had it, have suffered anything from mild to terrible bouts.

I indulged in the standard behavior. Plenty of rest, lots of fluids, lots of aspirin. Finally, though, by Sunday I was tired of the bed, the thermometer and little progress. With the dawn Carol took me to the E.R. and in what must have been record time, I was talking to a doctor within the hour.

After checking me out the doctor gave me two options: I either had swine flu or bronchitis and with either diagnosis I had script for the pharmacy. "I can give you a test for the swine flu," he said, "but it gives false positives in 39 percent of cases." Those numbers didn't sound too dependable at all. "See how it plays out," he said.

I don't want to give you the wrong impression. The guy was a great doctor. I took his advice, monitored my health, decided it seemed more like bronchitis and took myself to the pharmacy. But it made me think of all the headlines on H1N1. The best doctors in the world are still trying to figure out this one.

As for me I'm huddled under a blanket with a good book, a prayer to the Great Physician and the hope that in a couple days I'll be back up to snuff. I promise to be patient.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

View Comments