About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Season When Kids Go Viral

With the changing season and coming of summer tis the season when kids and schools go viral. That's viral with HFMD (EV-71). In my school where I work there have been sporadic cases here and there over my 4 years working. This year it hit close to home. Unbeknown to me, one of the school's classes were closed because there were more than 3 cases, plus another case in another class.

When my Z came down with a headache and high fever in the middle of the night, I didn't think much of it, gave her some Children's Panadol and a cold cloth and went back to sleep. The next day she was lethargic still fever, no sore throat, so I brought her to work (her school) and had her lay in the sick room. One of my managers said I could bring her to the clinic so I did, and to our surprise she was diagnosed with EV-71.

Because of the  1998 outbreak here in Taiwan, where 1.5 million children were infected, 405 with severe complications and 78 deaths--the government here takes it seriously. She could not go to school for 7 days, the school and clinic had to notify the government.

The Dr found 3 small red sores in the back of her throat, but her virus was the very mildest version and caught in the beginning stage, after 2 days of being listless she was back to her vivacious self, enjoying her holiday. For me I had to find a sitter immediately. I first called my "Chinese parents" like her godparents here and she stayed there her first day (Friday), and then we had the weekend. On Monday she returned to her Chinese "grandparents", but they made plans to go to Sun Moon Lake for a few days. The next day Tuesday, I had my friend Doreen watch her, she herself is a part-time working single mom and thats about all she had time for.

That meant I had to stay with her Wed and Thursday, free days off for me too-hooray! She was allowed to go back to school on Friday. The incubation period is between 3-7 days and I could tell she was totally back to normal after 3 days, but rules are rules. With her wearing a mask we went out on the town.

(We watched the sunset on the roof and she was just goofing around.)

On  Wednesday we went to the best bakery in town Imma's for some sandwiches, went to the orchid market, I went to try the new Thai massage place that opened up near us.  The next day I took her to the gym with me, we had lunch at our local buffet (not all you can eat thankfully, but they have a great mix of meats and veg options + 10 grain rice), and then I had a facial.

Our lunch: spicy mutton stew, eggplant, seaweed, green beans, 10 grain rice

The Thai massage was just ok, I prefer my Taiwanese lady I've been going to for 4 years, she knows my body and uses excruciating acupressure using her knuckles, elbows, forearms and body weight (she's a big lady.) The Thai place wasn't anything I couldn't do myself doing yoga, except for one very cool stretch that targeted my psoas and felt great  ( I will have to teach Z how to help me do that one, needs another person.)

Going out to lunch, massages, facials and gym, I felt like wow, this must be how a housewife feels or someone independently wealthy, time on my side. I even had time so cook dinner and enjoy it, no rushing around. No rushing in the morning to punch in my time card. I was thoroughly enjoying my daughter's company and my free time. The cleaning lady even came one of those days so I didn't have to do the housework. Her getting HFMD was such a blessing in disguise.

I do hope she learned her lesson, wash her hands properly and stop chewing on her fingers. I'd hate for her to contract the full blown version.

The pictures below are at the Thai place. I soaked my feet in hot water for 10 minutes before changing into a robe and my massage with Z jumping around the room and bouncing off the walls.

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