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.