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The After Bite — The Arizona #Flu

What knocked me out

I’m naming it the Arizona flu because while I was there I watched the news every day. Apparently, the state of Arizona had more cases of influenza than the rest of the United States combined. As a certified germ freak, I was very careful about my surroundings and where my hands had been before they ever entered anywhere near my facial orifices. 

Approximately 2 days after our return, I felt my throat feeling a bit scratchy and developed an aggravating constant dry cough. I figured as per usual, I was catching a cold from the airplane no doubt. Why won’t I learn to wear that darned mask on an airplane? WRONG! That would have turned out to be wishful thinking.

 

Racing the Clock for Chicken Soup 

By the time Friday night approached, and I had been doing quite a good job of catching up on blogs by then, my body began to feel weird. I went to bed that night and had a restless night. When I woke the next morning, I went to my computer to catch up on mail and blogs and began to feel very lethargic, something I’m not used to. In what felt a race against time, I quickly ran to the freezer to defrost a chicken and get it into the pot as soon as it would allow in preparation for an oncoming cold or maybe worse? By the time I had that soup simmering, I was completely out of steam.

 

Whammo! Down for the Count!

 

By Saturday evening all the wind had left my sails, sitting up was impossible, my legs felt like lead, the room was spinning, I was burning up and freezing. I’d like to say that was the worst of it but it wasn’t.

 

What I thought was the oncoming of a cold turned out to be an evil dose of influenza. I had to google this flu and its symptoms and sadly, I wasn’t missing one of them. The dry cough I thought was the start to a cold, turned into something evil living in my respiratory system. I began coughing incessantly as though my diaphragm and lungs had been turned inside out which made me feel as though my ribs were broken. Certainly this was akin to whooping cough. Four days later it hasn’t subsided.

 

As if the broken rib feeling wasn’t enough, I was delirious with fever and nausea. Wrapped in blankets from bed to couch and back, I shivered at the same time I was soaked in a pool of sweat. Even sipping water was nauseating, so thank goodness for the handy stock of ginger ale I keep handy in the back fridge as that was my sustenance for 2 days. But the best part was how every bone and joint in my body, right down to my toes, felt as though they were whipped with a tire iron and to top it off, I felt like after the whipping, someone had thrown me down a few flights of stairs. Even my skin hurt when I touched it. This is the only way I can describe what I felt for 4 days.

 

This Girl Doesn’t Do Flu Shots!

 

It was a good thing I always keep my holistic medicine for flus and colds at hand, but this monster became a task too big for my arsenal. The only relief I had was sleep from the Gravol I took to keep the nausea at bay,which gratefully, kept me sleeping.

 

To be honest, I hadn’t had a flu in 10 years, but I can honestly say, I never, ever experienced anything as gargantuan as this brutal force that overtook my body. I had a new understanding of just how easily some people can die from such a flu.

 

And Then there were Two

 

My husband trailed me by one day as he too became a victim. I can’t even say that it hit him harder than me because of his 20 years my senior. Nope. Symptom for symptom we looked and felt pretty much the same, with exact punishing symptoms. We were like the blind leading the blind because we could no longer help one another. Neither of us had the strength to walk, talk or complain. We were both prisoners to our own bodies.

 

A Glimmer of Light

 

It’s late at night now, going into Day 5. I’ve actually been able to have a shower, stomach some soup and sit up and be on the computer. The high fever has broken, I’m no longer freezing. The pain in my body has subsided to half of what it was. I’m still walking slowly and still dizzy when I stand, but the nausea has passed. The wicked coughing isn’t gone but comes in less frequent intervals, so I’m thinking I’m actually on the mend.

 

What I’ve Learned

 

  • I’m not invincible 

  • The Flu is a very scary illness

  • I will be wearing that ugly mask next time I travel in Flu season

  • This is not a recommended diet to take off the few pounds that found me in Arizona 

 

My Advice

 

Always be prepared for colds and flus, especially at this time of year, with unpredictable weather changes. Have some canned chicken soup stocked on the shelf, gingerale, Gravol, Advil for pain, some form of natural antiviral remedies such as Oil of Oregano and Elderberry tonic. I could also tell you to listen to the signs that your body is telling you, but with this brute of a flu, you would be sure to discover the signs.

 

DISCLAIMER NOTE:  I am not licensed to practice medicine, nor to prescribe. I’m merely sharing the products I take for years for my own illness. Besides the fact that I try to avoid taking pharmaceuticals as best I can, the flu is a virus, therefore, antibiotics won’t help the flu, although they may have a place in extenuating situations, such as an accompanied respiratory illness. For my own reasons, I choose to use Oil of Oregano when I’m ill because it’s nature’s antibiotic, having both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It’s always best to check with your doctor and/or naturopath.

 

Stay warm. Stay healthy.

 

DGKaye©2016

 

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

72 Comments

  • marianbeaman

    You did everything you could to prevent dehydration, which I think is the killer of flu victims. I think I’ll continue with yearly flu shots though it’s impossible to predict which pernicious strain I would contract., heaven forfend.

    Thank you for the reminding me of the powers of homeopathic/herbal preparations. I did not know oregono was both antibacterial and anti-viral. I hope that note finds you getting your strength back. (You haven’t lost your groove!) 😉

    • dgkaye

      Aw gee Marian, thanks for the vote of confidence. Glad I reminded you about homeopathics and gave you a heads up on Oil of Oregano. I’m still dragging my body around, but doing a little more today than yesterday, but wow, this dizzy thing won’t let up. You have to make your own choices based on what makes you feel most comfortable. 🙂

  • Mél@nie

    I did hesitate to click on “like”… wish you my very best: health & quick recovery!!! <3 you may have some respiratory allergies as it's their "season"… dahhh!!!
    * * *
    oh, it's been hard & long to open your blog – which hasn't happened before… dunno why?! do hope it's temporary… like your flu!!! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Firstly, thanks for visiting Mel and the well wishes. But what seems to be the problem opening the blog? Where are you coming from to enter? <3

    • dgkaye

      Lol. You’re so funny Deb with your expressions. 🙂 Thank you. Not completely better, but on the mend yes. Hub is flailing behind me though.

  • A.B Mood

    Aawwhh dear I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through the flu 🙁 I was also sick myself from the past couple of days. Got a really bad throat infection.
    I hope you and your husband are feeling better now <3

    • dgkaye

      Oh thanks so much Abeeha for dropping by and offering your kind sympathies lol. I just thought I should write about it for a little entertainment, info, and a heads up to those (like myself) who sometimes tend to think we are invincible when there are always forces bigger than us. Thanks again. <3

    • dgkaye

      Lol Sal, leave it to you to make me laugh! For sure I would not have made a good lunch companion at this time. And thanks for the hugs, well appreciated. And the bonus is you’re at a distance so you can’t catch my germs! <3 xo

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Oh my goodness! Poor thing, you really got it bad. I’ve only had the flu twice in my life but that was enough to take it very seriously. I’m not a flu shot girl either. It isn’t unusual for a person to get sick after vacation. During vacation people are very active, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, we don’t get enough sleep . . . so what happens is that your immune system suffers and then you get on a plane with concentrated germs floating all around you and BAM––you’re sick. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Hi Vashti, thanks for dropping by. You’re so right, especially that vacuumed container of germs in an airplane where people cough and sneeze and don’t cover their mouths. It’s truly astounding the amount of people who don’t know germ etiquette.
      It’s a slow heal and even slower for my hub. I can’t ever remember a flu lasting almost a week with me. Eye opening to say the least. 🙂

  • John Maberry

    Sorry to hear how miserable you are feeling. I last had the flu maybe 33 years ago. I did get the shot that year and every year since. I guess that proves that it doesn’t always work. Never have had much of a reaction at the injection site other than a slightly sore shoulder every 6-7 years. The older I get the more import that I get it; with asthma the flu could be very serious. Over 65 the immune system starts weakening too, so I got the “high-test” version the last couple years. So I got the pneumonia and shingle vaccines too. Had an uncle that had shingles really badly and my mother died of pneumonia on top of her asthma and/or a bleeding ulcer. The flu I had back in the 80s was a humdinger like yours, so I can empathize.

    • dgkaye

      Wow! Thanks for sharing all that with us John. I know the flu vaccine can be hit or miss with the appropriate strain, and some do get it anyway. And I’m inclined to agree with you that for older people it should be considered. My husband isn’t healing near as fast as I am, which tells me I think he’ll have to get it next year.
      That Shingles vaccine is another mystery. He got it last year and became violently ill for 4 days, not unlike what he’s experiencing now. I’ll tell ya, it’s damned if we do and damned if we don’t it seems.
      I’m still weak but at least mobile, but this awful cough is still here clogging up my breathing.

      • John Maberry

        I know all about that breathing and coughing problem. Finally came to my senses and put my faith practice to work more diligently to curb the coughing. That put it away.

        • dgkaye

          So glad you got rid of it. Mine is still here but becoming less frequent, although the dizziness remains. What a long healing process, sheesh! 🙂

  • Hugh's Views and News

    Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear how ill you have been, Debby. Sounds like you have been to Flu city and back a few times. Just very glad that you’re feeling better and since it’s been a few days since you published this post then I hope your visits to Flu city have finished. I hope Mr Kaye is also feeling a lot better.
    I’ll certainly stock up on Chicken soup.
    Sending you a hug.
    xx

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Hugh. This has certainly been a potent strain of flu to keep me down. It’s been a week and I’m still very light-headed, can only take some short stints at the computer. I hope to be like new by Monday.
      Keep that soup handy, and have a beautiful weekend my friend. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Carol. Nasty for sure. It’s just about a week now and the dizziness remains. I’m just trying to catch up a little each day as best I can. 🙂

  • Sherri

    Horrible, just horrible. Oh those darn plane germs, I swear they make us sick. I’m like you, so vigilant with hand washing but when people cough and sneeze all around you, it’s darn near impossible to keep away from something like this. I think a mask sounds like an excellent idea. I had the flu a few years ago, came down with it on Christmas Eve just as my boys arrived home for 5 days. Thankfully I had everything prepared, but I spent the entire Christmas lying down, coughing until, like you, I thought I’d broken a rib, burning up and unable to eat anything. And Christmas turkey dinner is my favourite meal of all! It takes a while to recover, and that cough can linger, but it sounds as if you have everything at hand (and that’s great to know about Oil of Oregano, thank you…). You are a fighter Debby in every way possible. I love how you have your frozen chicken and ‘potions’ at the ready. Wishing you and hubby a full and speedy recovery. Sending you big hugs… 🙂 xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Hi Sherri. Thanks for sharing here and for your well wishes. Yes, certainly this is one big virus. It’s been one day short of a week, and although the fever has broke and bones on the mend, the dizziness still makes it difficult to stand for more than a few minutes. It’s so annoying. I need this to go away. I’m fighting it best I can for sure. xo <3

      • Sherri

        Dizziness is awful. Rest and look after yourself and give yourself plenty of time to recover, these viruses can really do a number on you. You’ll get there but it’s frustrating to take so long. Sending love & hugs and all good thoughts…and plenty of chicken soup 🙂 <3 xoxo

          • Sherri

            Hope you are fully recovered now Debby, and your poor hub is recovering. The flu takes an awful toll. I’m stepping away from blogging for a little while as I focus on Mum. Dear friend, will keep in touch, and will read your blogs via FB in the meantime as I can… <3 xoxo

          • dgkaye

            Thanks so much for stopping by Sherri. I haven’t been around much for this past week myself, especially on facebook.
            Hub came home yesterday, but I have my nursing work cut out for me, and many Dr. appointments and tests to continue next week.
            I know you have your own issues to deal with at this time, and I appreciate you taking the time to drop by and let me know.
            Nobody knows better than I, how illness take precedence over all else. We are only one person.
            You take the time you need, and know my thoughts are also with you Sherri, and prayers for your mum.
            We shall find each other on facebook to keep up! Take it easy my friend. <3 xoxo

          • Sherri

            Bless you and thank you dearest Debby…the days go by and here we are. I’m so glad to read that your hubby came home…and I do understand just what it’s like with all those appointments and the way they cut into the day. I hope that in the time it’s taken me to reply to this, your hub is much, much better and things are easing down for you now. Deep breaths for us both I think. Thank goodness for FB…love & hugs to you from me…and ongoing prayers for you and hub too… <3 xoxo

          • dgkaye

            Hi Sher! Lovely of you to pass by here in all your busyness. I hope your mum is healing? My hub still has a ways to go, seems one things better and another stirs. Yes, breathing is key, and lots of prayers for both of us. Happy Easter my friend. <3 xoxoxo

  • Ralph

    Hah ! What a first post for me to read after my week of being knocked out by the flu. I hope you both are better as I know how awful it is. My lower spine still hurts and the cold has not left me as yet, but I can look at my laptop for a short while, so here I am. 😀 <3

    • dgkaye

      Oh Ralphie dear, so sorry to hear you got it too. It does take the wind out of our sails. I could barely look at a computer for more than 10 minutes. I’m glad you’re on a slow mend. I am as well, although this nasty has landed my hubby in the hospital. 🙁

      • Ralph

        Oh, wow. That’s bad ! I hope your hubby is better and back home Debby. Tonight is the first time in a fortnight that I’m feeling more human and can face answering comments. 😀

        • dgkaye

          Hello Ralph. I’m happy to see you stop by, especially knowing that you are on the mend. This virus really takes a lot out of people.
          My hub was sent home yesterday, so I have a lot of nursing to do and follow up doctor appointments in the coming weeks, but he’s home.
          Thank you for your kind words. Stay well! <3 xo

  • teagan geneviene

    Good golly Miss Molly! It got you good, didn’t it, Debby? I guess it’s just as well that my dealings in AZ this week have been virtual and long distance. (By the way, a cash buyer got the place. Wow, to have that kind of cash… I can’t imagine, and I can imagine some wild stiff… ) 😀
    Feel fabulous fast, and your hubby too. Mega hugs.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks my sweet friend. Yes, it’s better you weren’t near all those nasty germs. And I suppose that place wasn’t meant to be, but yours is coming Teag. <3 I'm on the mend, but run down as hubby is now in the hospital :(

  • Sue Dreamwalker

    Debbie I am so sorry to return and read you have been so ill.. Flu is not nice .. and I so sympathise with you and your hubby when you have a dose of this nasty virus.. .. We had a bad bout two years ago right at Christmas time.. And it knocks you for six..
    Good tips all around for the arsenal against the flu.. The flu prompted me to make my own Elderberry Syrup last year.. And the Chicken broth is on my list too 🙂
    Hope you feeling much brighter as you head into the weekend ..
    Love Sue xx

  • elainemansfield

    Nasty. People I was with in FL had the Florida Flu. I washed my hands OCD style and didn’t get it. Whew! I’m glad you’re on the mend, but I hope you can give yourself a few days.

    • dgkaye

      Thank goodness you didn’t get it Elaine. Airplanes are the biggest germ containers. I’ll be wearing a mask for my next flying adventure. 🙂

  • Aquileana

    `Apparently, the state of Arizona had more cases of influenza than the rest of the United States combined´…
    Oh… I was astonished by that statement… Thus, I couldnt avoid searching more online… and look… it turns out that During 2016, Arizona has already seen 7000 cases of influenza. (Source http://azc.cc/1QFbMNg )
    Being ill is awful… even more when you are active, which means far more active if you are in holidays… But at least you got a moral, in the shape of tips, concerning the whole issue… *one never ceases to learn, uh?… ?
    Love and best wishes, dear canadian Debbie. Aquileana 😀

    • dgkaye

      Hi Aq. Thanks for your visit and sharing. Yes, I did all that ‘google’ searching on this flu to try and find out more details. I saw that link. I guess great minds do think alike, lol. It’s a slow and long healing process, but I’m almost good now. A bit harder for my husband, being that he is much older, and it’s worse for seniors. 🙂 xo

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