I wasn’t privy to this morning’s phone conversation, but I understand it went something like this:
D’s Mom: The doctor was so mad! (cough) ’cause the nurses were coming into my room without masks and gloves on. (cough)
D: I thought your pneumonia was just caused by the flu. Do they think you’re still contagious?
D’s Mom: (cough) He said I have the “H” virus.
D: “H” what?
D’s Mom: (cough) I don’t know. He says it’s the “AV”…something. The “AV” flu.
D: Mom. Did he say you have avian flu?
D’s Mom: It might have been “AVN.” I can’t remember all those letters! (cough)
To be fair, Donna (D’s Mom) has been really sick the past few days, so it’s understandable that she’d be a little confused. She started having chills during her 24-hour bus ride from Pennsylvania to Missouri, where she was to begin training for her new job, felt bad enough to go to the clinic on Tuesday, and has been in the hospital since Thursday. They had her isolated in ICU for a while. Yeah, apparently it’s that bad.
The good news is, they don’t actually know for sure that it’s H5N1, and even if it is, no strains of that particular virus have been transmitted from human to human. I’m hoping that by next month, this will just be the punchline to another mother-in-law joke and not the basis for an episode of House. Or a Lifetime movie.