Letter: H1N1 flu treatment depends on testing

My name is Mickie O’Neal. My son, 29 years young, recently passed away after five months from the first onset of the swine flu.
All I have experienced with this H1N1 has caused some deep concerns. The media say and report one thing, the government mandates another and in the end, none of which is said or mandated is true. First, when you go in and ask to be tested for the H1N1, and I don’t care what hospital, clinic or county health office you go to, when they swab you for the H1N1 and your test comes back within 20 minutes and say that you don’t have it, sorry they lie. The only way you can be correctly diagnosed is when your swab is packaged correctly and sent to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) either in Phoenix or Atlanta. It is not the test in itself, but the training that the lab techs have to have just to read a test. It consists of lots of technical language that can only be read by the personnel at CDC, which in itself is stupid and time-consuming. And you will not be given Tamiflu unless you are diagnosed with H1N1, and that can take up to four days, which will probably by then be too late, and by then you will most likely be in ICU, hooked up to life support.
The ICU at the University of Utah is filled with H1N1 patients, and the groups that are being hit the worst are not infants, school-age children or the elderly or shut-in people; it is pregnant women and males between the ages of 25 to 45 years old. The rate of death in this category is very high. I have seen and walked the pathway down false tests, false words from health professionals and our government. The H1N1 virus is deadly. My son was very healthy, with no underlining health conditions. He didn’t smoke. He didn’t do drugs. He was a little overweight, but aren’t we all? He was married and had a beautiful 10-year-old daughter. Now they, like many others whom we the public don’t know about, that (have had a family member) die from H1N1, face futures without the ones they love. I don’t have the answers, but as a citizen of one of the most high-tech and health-advanced countries in the world, the health system and government need to get off their butts and do something about this.
But, after all that I went through this summer, I would truly like to thank all the people in Meeker who held me and my family in their thoughts and prayers during my son’s illness and his passing. For I am only as strong as those around me allow me to be.
Mickie O’Neal
Meeker