The Flu of Epidemic Proportions

In the early weeks of January, I read a local news article detailing how rampant the dreaded flu was in the coastal Georgia area. To be perfectly honest, I laughed when I read it. Let me tell you why…

I am a nurse, and I currently work the night shift in a busy unit. We started seeing flu patients here and there in November. In December, the number of flu cases spiked dramatically.

I think the flu vaccine is a good thing, and I make sure both of my children get it every year. I used to encourage my husband to get it, even though he is deathly afraid of needles…but he is not allowed to take it now because of a MS medication he takes daily. Hospitals these days are strongly encouraging, some even mandating, the flu vaccine for their employees. The majority of the people that I work with did get the vaccine. I, however am seriously allergic to eggs, and this is one of the stated reasons NOT to get a flu shot.

Flu Vaccine                     Source: everystockphoto.com

 

So I do my best to stay well by loading up on Vitamin C, and obsessively washing my hands, yada yada yada. Usually, this works for me.

This flu season, I was not so lucky.

The Friday before Christmas, I had some last minute shopping to do. I had a dry cough that I was attributing to allergies, and a raging headache by the time I got home, but I thought that was just because I was stressed and had skipped lunch. In the wee hours of the following morning, I woke up shivering violently and soon my entire body just HURT. I got out of bed to check my temperature, which was 101. I took some Tylenol, and sent this text to my husband’s phone:

“When you wake up, make sure I’m still alive. I’m pretty sure I have the bubonic plague.”

So he woke me up, checked my temperature, which was still hovering around 101, and announced that he was taking me to Urgent Care. Now imagine a grown woman pitching a hissy fit because she didn’t want to go to the doctor. That would be me.

I dragged myself out of bed, hobbled like a little old woman, and proceeded to put on makeup. (Yes, I put on makeup to leave the house, even if I’m sick. It’s just my thing.) We get to Urgent Care, and the waiting room was filled to capacity with germ infested people coughing, hacking,sneezing, and looking nightmarish just like me. Standing room only, people. After 15 minutes, I sent JB home…I told him I’d text him when I was called back so he’d know when to come pick me up.

Two freaking hours and a good looking P.A. later, the verdict(s) were that I had a case of the flu along with some early bronchitis. Fabulous! I should point out that I never seem to know how to only get ONE illness, I have to do TWO at one time. That’s just how I roll. I left with prescriptions for Tamiflu (blessed Tamiflu, how I love you!) and an antibiotic for the bronchitis.

When my lovely children learned that I had bronchitis, they laughed hysterically and launched into a continuous loop of Sweet Brown’s ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That’. Bless ’em.

I pretty much slept that weekend away. I’d wake up just long enough to take my medicine, and attempt to eat whatever food JB was trying to force feed me, because “YOU NEED TO EAT! You will shrivel up and die if you don’t eat.”

On Christmas Eve, I woke up feeling relatively decent. I wasn’t better, but I didn’t feel like I was dying, so I considered that a vast improvement. I was able to make reindeer food and cookies with the kids, and I even took our Christmas card picture. (Yes, I am that much of a slacker, my Christmas card was posted on Facebook on Christmas Eve. My mother was so disappointed.) Alas, that was the day that JB started feeling bad, so I visited the same Urgent Care that I had gone to…and came home with an antibiotic for a supposed sinus infection. Whatever!

Christmas Photo 2012

Christmas morning…5 am…the kids come flying in our room to announce Santa’s visit. I’ve been doing this parenting gig for almost 12 years now, NEVER have I been woken up by excited children at the unholy hour of 5 am on Christmas morning. Naturally, that only happens the year I have the FLU. All I really remember about that morning is seeing the kids playing with a few new toys or games, halfheartedly snapping a picture or two, faking smiles and saying, “That’s great, honey.” Both my husband and I looked like death warmed over, and once the kids seemed pretty occupied with their new loot, JB went back to bed and I crashed on the couch. For FOUR hours. Thank goodness our kids are old enough to entertain themselves without too much parental supervision…because they sure didn’t get any that morning.

Cookies and Milk Santa's Visit

JB did finally get diagnosed with the flu two days after Christmas, and the instant the kids started showing symptoms of it I called their pediatrician for medication for them too, so they were only feeling bad for maybe a day. I was sick for a total of 6 days, despite starting the Tamiflu early. This was the first time I’d had the flu in 10 years…and this was probably the worst I’ve ever had it! And of all times, at Christmas. Boo!

So when the news article came out a couple weeks later, all I could do was laugh…because, really? Been there, done that.

This post is linked up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…

prompt #3, The last time you were sick.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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18 thoughts on “The Flu of Epidemic Proportions

  1. What a rough time to be sick! I really hate being sick – especially during the holidays! I prefer to NOT do flu shots, because every year I’ve had them I’ve gotten it anyway. This year I didn’t get one and have yet to get the flu! I DO however eat a TON of garlic and onions . . . (HIGHLY recommend these!)

    • The few times I did get a flu shot, I got very sick…but now that I know I have the egg allergy I wonder if that had anything to do with it! Never knew about the garlic and onions…might have to look into that 🙂

  2. So glad your flu didn’t last very long. My husband and I didn’t have the flu, but we both had colds that started before Christmas and didn’t fully go away until a week or 2 into January. Even one of our cat had a cold! I so hated being sick on Christmas. I hope you’re all feeling better now.

    • There is only one picture of me the entire holiday…and it’s just my arm holding out one of my Christmas gifts. I threatened my husband with his life to not take any pictures of me because I looked like death!

  3. I haven’t had the flu since 4th grade…that sound you hear is me knocking on wood. But I always try to get my flu shot. I know it’s only like 60% effective this year or something, but like Dr. Sanjya Gupta said, that’s better than nothing. Ha. This is the one year MK hasn’t gotten his and I’m just WAITING for it to happen.

    • I do actually know a lot of people who got the flu shot this year and still got the flu. As to how sick they got, I don’t really know. Both my kids ran low fevers, and felt a little achy for about a day, but that was it. not sure if I can say they didn’t get it as bad because they had the flu shot or if it’s because I got them started on Tamiflu right away.

  4. flu shots are a must. I have two daughters that are R.N.’s, and they insist on them. I haven’t had the flu this year, but I have been sicker than I have ever been before in my life with an infection of the gut. I’m looking for better days ahead. I hope you get them, too.

    • I definitely agree that flu shots are important…I just wish I could medically take them! Especially after getting so sick over Christmas, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! I hope you feel better soon!

  5. Oh dear. That’s terrible to be sick like that. I had a car of bronchitis too. Was down for a month. I thought I was going to die too.

    Haha. I don’t leave the house without make up too. Even when I’m sick !

    • Things like bronchitis usually stick with me a while, it took me longer to get over that than the flu!

      Glad I’m not the only one who fixes up a bit even when they’re sick 😉

  6. Ugh. Flu at Christmas must have been the *worst*. I giggled a bit when you started talking about your kids getting you up at 5a on the Christmas you had the flu. Murphy’s law, right?

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