The CDC has been warning us that the flu is especially virulent this year, and is now sweeping the country. Hospitals and emergency rooms across the nation are filled to the brim with very, very sick people. We are being told, Get a flu shot! Wash your hands! Avoid unnecessary crowds! Well, guess what? I am here to tell you that I have done all that and I. Still. Got. "It".
And I am also here to tell you that the flu this year is not for wimps. If you get it, my friend, buckle up and hold on tight, you are in for a ride.
A little back story. My dear husband got sick a little over a week ago. Symptoms were bad but not bad enough, apparently, to convince him to go to the doctor's. He was down and out for about a week, and still isn't quite up to par. Honestly, it was probably the flu, but as I said, we had no professional confirmation of that!
On Tuesday of last week, I woke up feeling *sick*. Not sick enough to stay home from work, but certainly sick enough to give it some serious consideration. Took some Tylenol, drank lots of juice and tea, and made it through the day. Wednesday was actually a little better, and I was smugly patting myself on the back for getting that flu shot and for having such a good immune system. Hahaha. (Lesson #1: Never express feelings of smugness. Never!)
BAD night Wednesday night and byThursday morning I was in full flu mode. Fever, chills, sweats, nausea, miserable nasty barking hacking non-productive rib-breaking head-exploding cough (I hhhhhated that cough), body aches, abdominal pain, throbbing headache, you name it, it hurt. By Thursday night I was in the ER for some relief, ANY relief, because life as it was at that moment was not worth livin'!!!
So that was several days ago and thankfully I am on the upswing. But in case any of you are suffering from something similar, I hope my tips on surviving the
But first of all, and in the interest of full disclosure and giving-credit-where-credit-is-due, by far the biggest help I got came from my dear husband and daughter. Husband was barely on his feet himself, and yet still so sweet and solicitous. And putting herself straight in the path of DANGER, dear daughter risked her own life and limb to help out, too. And she did it all with a smile, and without a Hazmat suit. My utmost love and appreciation both of them -- thank you and xoxox!
Hopefully you have your own mate and kid(s) to help you, too!
And here was the rest of my flu survival pack:
YES, those are Clorox wipes and yes, just call me MONK! If it was even close to being a solid surface in this house, it has been wiped down. More than once. OK, OK, more than twice.
As a natural antiviral, I also swear by (purple) grape juice. (Red wine is good too, but ya' can't stay snookered for 5-7 days, and besides, it interacts with the medicines that you are gonna need!!!) Green tea with honey and lemon was good and helped with the cough. Lots of Kleenex (Puff's Plus, please). Ricola. Advil. Zyrtec. And the wonder drugs I got in the ER: Zofran (for nausea) and Tessalon Pearls (for cough) were amazing; they were (almost) worth the 3 agonizing hours spent there -- and the high copay!
Also in my flu-fighting arsenal is Pepperidge Farms Cinnamon Swirl bread. Cinnamon-Raisin works, too (but plain Cinnamon is what DD got me when she made the emergency run to the grocery store and pharmacy.) It makes the bestest toast EVER and for 2 days was all I could even THINK ABOUT keeping down.
Also in my flu-fighting tool kit is my wonderfully soft velour Brookstone Sleep Mask, which was a very appreciated gift from my sister, Laurel. I LOVE that maskie! And when your head is throbbing and every light within a 10 mile mile radius feels like a laser beam straight into your eye, it is a godsend, I assure you! It's also nice even without a headache and you are trying to sleep in the daytime. And if you have the flu, you will be doing a lot of sleeping. I promise you this.
The next thing that I found very helpful was Netflix on my iPad. Oh yeah, babeeee! Not every hour in bed can be spent sleeping, you know. I watched old TV shows like Frasier and Monk, but comedies made me laugh, which made me cough, which made me cranky, so I mostly stayed with dramas (but nothing too serious; I was already teetering at death's threshold myself, right?!) so old reruns of The Glades and Dr. 90210 fit the time-passin' bill nicely.
And now for the last (but definitely NOT, as they say, the least!) two items in my Survive-the-Flu kit. If you don't have something similar to these in your home already, I recommend that you RUN, not WALK to the nearest location where you can procure them, because believe me, they were completely INVALUABLE to my recovery:
My two darling Raggies, Boo and Bentley:
Those guys never left me! And OH, the purrs and cuddles I got from them did more than any ol' Zofran or Tessalon Pearls to speed my recovery, I am SURE! They seemed to know I was sick, and they were both *right there*, the whole time. Who could ask for more?!
So if you find yourself chopped off at the knees by the flu... hopefully these survival tips will help you. And in the meantime, try to avoid it, OK? You know, wash wash wash your hands, stay outta unnecessary crowds, and don't forget to (Clorox) wipe, wipe, wipe!!!
Top map credit of the CDC. Bottom picture credit here.