Saturday, October 10, 2009

H1N1 Guinea Pigs


My kids are both part of the lab testing of the H1N1 flu vaccine. On a weekly basis, they reluctantly visit Dr Beadle in Franklin to get either a vaccine shot or have their blood drawn. We're asked a bunch of questions and then we have a weekly diary to complete, documenting temperatures, body reactions or whatever else might happen.

Sounds terrible doesn't it? I thought so at first. But Mike talked with several doctors, including the kids' pediatrician and all assured us that by being part of the trial, the kids will be ahead of the curve in being protected against H1N1 and will be at no more risk than from their regular annual flu shot anyway.

The extra hassle? All the temp checks and blood tests.

The carrot for the kids? A regular dose of cash from Doc B as an incentive to remain in the program so his team can collect data. The kids get to learn a life lesson in give and take.

And in the end, they're helping to further the development of vaccines which will help ensure children across the country will have access to a vaccine for this nasty strain of the flu.

It's all been pretty easy for me since Mike's the one that takes the boys to the doctor for the shots and blood tests. He's the one who remembers to take their temperature and record it in the diary. Until today...

Mike's away for one of his annual guy-getaways at the cabin in Pennsylvania. And the boys had a date with Doc B today. So guess who got the joyful (not) experience of talking Ethan off the ledge as he reconsidered the whole deal, comforting him as he dreaded the sharp needles and coaxing him with Freddo Frogs (Aussie chocolate treat) for completing his side of the bargain.

Sounds terrible doesn't it? But just a few short minutes later, he was back to playing with his dinosaurs and anxiously awaiting the official opening of his very own bank account where he could put as much money in it as he can earn and save and where he can be in charge of filling out the deposit slips that Randall from Fifth Third hooked him up with.

I realize not everyone will agree with our parenting decision to let our kids be part of this program, but that's ok. It was our decision to make. We feel pretty good about the health protection it'll give our kids, and the benefits that will result for other children.

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