Unless you’ve been living under a snowdrift or too cold to listen to the media you’ve likely heard that this year’s flu virus is rather serious. As usual we’ve all been encouraged to get a flu shot to inoculate ourselves from the bug.
For the record, I’ve been pretty good at getting myself inoculated and in doing so I have been able to avoid the ravages of our annual flu season. However this year I blew it. For the record, I made two attempts to get immunized and both times either the staffer who gave the shots wasn’t available or the vaccine wasn’t. Therefore for the first time in many years I didn’t get a flu shot and, sure enough, I got the flu.
The bug somehow crept into my body on Super Bowl Sunday. The game was excellent but around halftime I noticed scratchiness in my throat and my mood had become rather humbug. Even so, the intensity of the game seemed to help me ignore the symptoms that were invading my body.
The game ended and my cough intensified, my brain seemed to be absconding through my nose, and I ached all over, leaving no doubt that I was becoming the next victim in this year’s flu epidemic. I found a bottle of Nyquil, a couple of aspirin, a box of Kleenex and headed to bed to spend the night wrestling with the flu bug.
It was a long night that led into a long day, another long night, another long day and another long night where I only managed to stagger from the bed long enough to care for a bodily function. The residents of my household attempted to quarantine me by closing my bedroom door and ignoring all of the angst that I exuded. They encouraged me to seek medical assistance, and after three days in bed I succumbed to their suggestions.
I managed to dress and walk into the clinic, where I was informed that I had the flu and it was too late to do much else than ride it out, which should only take somewhere between five and seven days. At this point I was on day three, so I went back to bed.
At some point I was able to think about what I was going through and noted that I had now spent something like 23 hours of each 24-hour day in bed. My cough started deep in my lower abdomen and seemed to be attempting to pull all of my organs up through my throat. My ribs ached so much that each cough was excruciating, my head was so stuffed up that any movement made me dizzy, every joint in my body ached so bad that I couldn’t move without groaning, thus getting out of bed required way more effort than it was worth.
So here I am seven days later telling you more than you wanted to know about how this year’s flu epidemic affected me. The upside is that I’m here to tell you about it; the downside is that seven days of this has taken its toll. The symptoms of the flu have faded but it’s going to take a while for me to get back to where I was before I got it. So here’s my advice: either get a flu shot or stay away from people.
By the way, there’s nothing more humbling than discovering that the biggest enemy in our lives is ourself — and I wish you good luck wrestling with that.