Dear Holly: Your Spider-Man Balloon with Extra Helium

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

As you were still recovering last week from the flu, Papa bought you a Spiderman balloon to help cheer you up.

Though you received it a few weeks ago when you stayed with Nonna and Papa in Alabama, the balloon made its way back to our home in Tennessee.

This weekend, as you were playing with the balloon, Mommy snuck up behind you.

She grabbed you by the waist and picked you up, making you think the helium in the balloon was so powerful that the balloon was pulling you up in the air.

Even now, I’m not sure if you realized it was just a trick!



Dear Holly: Getting the Purple Glove Treatment for the Flu

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Last Friday afternoon, I received the call from your school that you had a temperature of 105 degrees! I took you to doctor and confirmed what your school had accurately predicted: You officially had the flu.

The doctor made it clear you would be contagious for the next week and were not allowed to go back to school for that long.

I was very impressed with how well you handled yourself during the entire doctor visit. You started getting a bit restless there towards the end, as you kept trying to tell me something while the doctor was explaining the process of giving you medicine.

“Oh, I forgot,” I explained to the doctor. “Holly is hoping she can take care a pair of those purple medical gloves you have there in the box hanging on the wall.”

That’s all it took to make you happy, despite how physically horrible you were feeling.

You wore then on the ride home. You wore them to bed. And you wear them the next day while you played with your toys.

Getting the flu meant you needed the purple glove treatment!



Dear Jack: You Took Care of Your Sister While I Was Sick This Week

7 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t get sick… especially ever since I became a vegan over 5 years ago, when even most of my allergy and sinus problems went away. However, this week has been the exception to the rule.

Exactly a week ago, right as the dogwood trees turned from white to pink, it was like I was overtaken by the flu. (I can’t be sure what it’s like to have the flu, since I’ve never had the flu before; nor have I ever had a flu shot.)

My body began aching all over. My throat swelled up. My appetite went away.

And when Mommy checked my temperature, it was 103!

Last Friday, especially, was just a blur to me. I remember Mommy had to stay home because I pretty much just stayed in bed all day and slept. I really couldn’t do anything else anyway; I couldn’t even stand up straight or walk, without falling over.

For the past week, I have been living off of allergy pills and smoothies. Each day, I have felt a little better. Finally, today, I feel mostly back to normal.

Yeah, apparently it was just a really bad reaction to the pollen. I wasn’t actually sick; in terms of needing to go to a doctor. I didn’t have the flu. At least I don’t think so.

I can easily imagine how much worse things would have been for me if I was still eating dairy. I would have ended up with a sinus infection. Instead, my sinuses were completely clear. I am a vegan out of necessity- and it’s times like these I am violently reminded of that.

During all of this, you have been a major help to me. You could see I wasn’t myself.

So you took it upon yourself to help your sister. You filled in for me.

You helped get her snacks. You helped entertain her by getting her craft supplies. You even helped her rest after she got tired of playing.

It’s been a rough week, but you made it a little better for me. Thank you!



Dear Jack: You Got a Cold after Your Sister Got the Flu, Exactly a Year after Your Parapharyngeal Abscess

7 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

Leading up to this week, it was already on my mind; how exactly a year ago, you and I spent several days together in the children’s hospital after you got a parapharyngeal abscess as a side effect on Strep Throat.

And then this past Sunday, your sister got the flu, with a temperature of 106; therefore needing an IV for fluids.

So I just hoped then when you inevitably go the flu from her, that you wouldn’t have it as bad.

Fortunately, it appears you got a bad cold instead, more than anything. Your temperature peaked at only 104 degrees.

Therefore, on Tuesday, after you finally got to go back to school for one day (after nearly an entire month off due to the Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King Day, and a week of being snowed in), you were back at home with me and your sister.

It was surely a day of rest. We watched all 2 hours and 25 minutes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which you suddenly declared is your “favorite movie ever”; as well as 2 entire DVDs of Pink Panther cartoons. Your sister gladly went along with it, as it was a special treat for her to have access to that much screen time; though really, she was playing with her toys most of the time.

I would like to think that February will be a less chaotic month for our family. Hopefully we can just all be healthy and enjoy my TV premiere on “This Time Next Year” on the Lifetime Network.

No more snow. No more sickness. Just back to school and back to the routine of homework and your Pokemon obsession.

You are an intelligent boy with plenty of energy. You were weren’t meant to be cooped up in the house all day.



Dear Holly: Your 106 Degree Temperature with the Flu This Week

1 year, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Last weekend was pretty intense, as we had to rush you to the Emergency Room twice in the same day; your temperature reached 106.

You had to be hooked up to an IV to make sure you got enough fluids. It was scary- but for sure, we didn’t have enough time to worry, only to pray.

I was amazed we didn’t have to stay overnight with you in the hospital. I had packed my overnight bag, sure that I’d be staying with you, since Mommy had to be at work the next day and your brother needed to be back at school.

But to my surprise, we took you back home and you were in bed by normal time. Even more miraculous, you actually slept through the entire night!

The following few days were filled with a careful regimen of alternating Advil and Tylenol every 3 hours; as ultimately, the prescription we received to treat the flu made you vomit and you couldn’t hold it down. Really though, the prescription only served to shorten the flu by a few days anyway.

The focus has been to get you to drink enough fluids. In addition to letting you drink juice (which is a rare thing in our house!), Mommy also started serving you water through a medicine dropper labelled “water”, alongside the ones from Advil and Tylenol.

Currently as I write this, you are out driving around with Mommy, and Grandma (who is visiting from California), going to look at model houses in surrounding neighborhoods (just for fun) and surely going to get some Gigi’s Cupcakes as well.

Though I offered to watch you here at the house while they were out, you insisted that you wanted to join them in girl time. It was as if to say, “No way, Daddy! I’m not staying home with you when I can get out of this house and see the world again!”

So yeah, that’s a sign you’re feeling a bit better.




As For Me And My House, We Will Refuse Flu Shots

You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Refuse A Flu Shot!

I’m bored by the conversations about whether it’s a good or bad thing to get vaccinations. I flat out don’t care what other people choose for themselves. Let them argue online about that without me.

But what I am passionate about instead is standing my grounds on my right to refuse a flu shot. I have my reasons for having refused flu shots my entire life, and I’m sure they’re nothing new or interesting to anyone reading this.

Ultimately, I just don’t appreciate the fact that there is pressure from society, businesses, the medical field, and the government to tell me I need a flu shot. I’m too clever of a guy not to question that.

Maybe I’m indeed a conspiracy theorist who believes that the real reason the media bombarded us with the Ebola scare might have been that the government wanted us all to be vaccinated for their own agenda.

(I also question the fact we were never shown footage of an actual plan crashing into the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. Most people I know are okay with that… I’m not. And that makes me the crazy one, labeled as the wacky conspiracy theorist.)

“No thanks to vaccinations” is what I have to say.

I also made sure that at my son’s recent check-up, that he did not get a flu shot. My son was pretty happy that his Daddy got him out of that!

By the way, I’m 33 years old and I’ve never had the flu… nor have I had a flu shot. And that information is validated from my mom. She would know.

I find it pretty interesting that walk-in clinics these days are all spending plenty of advertising dollars on “selling flu shots.” I guess there must be a lot of profit to be made off of selling vaccinations that may or may not even work

What really got me riled up about this recently is when a close family member (who will remain nameless for my fear of outing them with their employer) was heavily (!) pressured by their employer to get a flu shot.

This family member had to put in writing exactly why they were refusing the flu shot; they were told by the deciding committee that the only acceptable exceptions had to be either for personal or religious reasons.

The first two times, this person was denied the right to refuse the flu shot, after having given personal reasons; like explaining to the employer that a flu shot is an unnatural, invasive procedure.

This family member was, in essense, told that their personal reasons were not legitimate enough to merit a flu shot refusal.

It took the 3rd time before this family member’s reason for refusal was accepted; after saying their body is a temple of God.

For whatever reason, the employer accepted that answer.

This article was also helpful:

Mandatory Vaccines for Healthcare Workers: How to Refuse Mandatory Vaccines and Not Get Fired

I’m not telling anyone whether or not they should or should not get a vaccination, because again, that’s a personal decision and I should have no say when it comes to other people.

Flu shots are right for a lot of people. I’m just not one of them.