Tag Archives: flu

All About Me! or Get Her Well and Shut Her Up!

Since there’s nothing happening much in the news, I thought I’d give you all an update on my health! I mean, let’s keep what’s important in perspective, right?

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I’m well into week 5 of this virus, no pun intended. I do think I turned a corner last week in that I’m not as flat-out sick as I was. But still, once I start feeling tired, I’m done. There’s no cushion to the fatigue. And once it comes, so does the cough, which tires me out more.

I’d like to first say that I have so much more compassion for people who have chronic illnesses. And I’d like to say that I’m sorry for not understanding how debilitated a person can be. I now understand why people become incommunicado—it’s just too much work to get in touch. It takes too much energy to go to lunch or even have a manicure. I don’t mean to say that my virus is on the par of chronic illness—I fully realize it’s just a virus. But it’s given me a taste of what people go through.

I think it also gave me a taste of what I may be like when I’m old, in my late 90’s. Right now my energy bank is not very full. I rest a couple of hours a day, especially if I have to go to an event. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make it. I make tradeoffs, also. If I’m going to go to the grocery store, I can’t take a walk or go to yoga. Not enough energy to cover both.

But I’m grateful that I’ve been able to do the important things this month. I made it to my grandson’s high school graduation and to my granddaughter’s dance recital. I made it to my daughter’s birthday and to our neighbor’s birthday. I made it to the family celebration of birthdays, Fathers Days, graduations and anniversaries. I even finished the chapter I’d been working on.

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I couldn’t eat much with this virus—too tired and slightly nauseous from the fever—so I lost a few pounds. (there has to be a silver lining!). My brother saw one of the family celebration pictures and thought I looked too thin.

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So last Friday, after I had my hair cut, I put on a lot of make up and had my daughter take my picture. That way I could show Steve I felt much better.

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One disturbing thing I realized during this siege is that if you don’t feel well, you make a lot of mistakes. My mind was kinda fuzzy—from the virus or the meds, I don’t know. I tried to keep going and accomplishing, but I’d come back to find out I hadn’t actually finished a task or had not done something correctly. Imagine if I were your pilot! Or your lab technician.

I want to thank everyone for the good advice, encouraging words and help. I did go to the doctor three times and I did get a chest X-ray. I did take more vitamins and kept up my fluids. Part of it was fear engendered by midnight coughing fits. Didn’t Jim Henson die of pneumonia? I’d think as I chugged cough medicine. Oh, and that reminds me. I had a lot of trouble with cough medicine—I tried it with codeine and I had weird dreams and sores in my mouth. And most over-the-counter ones have sucralose in them, of all things.

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A final thought: I realize as I read this over, that I must be very grateful to be such a healthy 71-year-old. If I can complain so much about this virus, I’m mostly in good health! I may be a rust bucket but I have classic lines!

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There’s No Flu Like An Old Flu

 

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I’m not done moaning about my virus. I still don’t feel good enough to do anything constructive so I’m filling in my time… I found that watching the news was too heartbreaking. I love the London Bridge. I love London. I love Nice, actually. But we’ll never feel safe there again. Now I know why they have those cement blocks in front of airports and on certain streets.
I turned off the television and went to sleep for awhile. My dreams were crazy but then I woke up to the reality of a world gone crazy. In so many ways. I fear the Salem Witch Trials can’t be far from restarting. One little word, and they cut off your head. (THAT’S A JOKE!! A QUASI PUN. Actually, most of this post should strike you as humorous. I feel I need to point that out in today’s world were context isn’t given any value. )
My head started spinning as I tried to keep track of everything. I just couldn’t so I went to sit outside. My dog sat next to me and I began wondering if he was seeing what I was seeing. I mean, do dogs do that? Is their eyesight the same as ours’? Then I began to wonder if I couldn’t get well because I’m in my seventies. Maybe I had something worse going on in my lungs??????? I told myself “to calm down”, “be happy,” “don’t worry”. I sat back and tried to take deep breaths. The smell of the jasmine was so sweet…that it started a coughing spell so I had to go inside.
Then our grandson stopped by to show us how handsome he was in his tux for prom. We even took a picture, which you’ll never see. Take my word for it, he is gorgeous and I look like death on a low burner.

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Just before I started writing this, I realized I had been on Facebook for at least a half hour. (Hour?)I was reading every post carefully and playing every video presented.

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Trevor Noah, the puppeteer on America Has Talent, the Canada Salute, the giraffes on the high dive, Animals on Twitter. You name it, I watched it today.

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I even started reading some tweets. I didn’t post anything but I did reply to a Joe Scarborough post.
OK. So you get the picture and it ain’t pretty. The Tylenol, antibiotics and Codeine Covfefe medicine better start working better or I’m toast. And Facebook will own my soul.

Here’s to Your Health!

imagesOne of the things that is so easy to take for granted is good health. We don’t appreciate it when we feel healthy—we don’t even notice. This past six weeks has been an eye opener for me. I went into my knee surgery with a blithe arrogance. I’d worked on keeping my quads strong before the surgery and knew that I would follow the doctor’s and physical therapist’s advice to the letter. There’d be no problems, I was sure of it.

What’s that expression? Woman plans and God laughs. Yep, all my plans went up in smoke.

I hadn’t had as much as a cold for four years before I was hit with a tough virus in November.

“Did you have a flu shot?” our daughter asked.

“I don’t believe in them, “ I said after I’d worked through a coughing spell.

“I never get sick.”

I don’t believe in antibiotics either, but I ended up with walking pneumonia that time so I had no choice. Then I coughed so hard I threw my back out—painful.

Fast forward to March. Surgery went super and my knee was healing well. Then we flew to Seattle. I was careful, using a cane to negotiate rain-slicked streets. We loved seeing our grandson play his trumpet in a concert and visited with family. My husband and I both had headaches the last day, but didn’t think much of it.

The morning we left, our headaches had moved to body aches, but we thought it was just the rain making us achy. We thought we were so tired because of jet lag. We thought our sore throats were allergy related. We were wrong—we were both sick and getting sicker.

“Well,” our daughter said when I told her, “at least you had the flu shot, so it won’t be as bad as November.”

I didn’t answer right away. It was that role reversal thing—I felt like I was the kid and she was the mother whose I advice I hadn’t followed.

“Actually, we didn’t get the shots. We thought we didn’t need them,” I said. “And I’m sure it’s just a cold.”

Even though we were on the phone, I could sense my daughter rolling her eyes.

After a few days of fevers, chills, cough and excessive nose blowing, we called the doctor.

“It’s a virus going around. Cancel everything for the next two or three weeks at least. If you start to feel better and go out, you risk getting a relapse,” he said.

What? Two or three weeks? That seemed crazy. How could that be? Even though I developed laryngitis, I still taught my class—then I was in bed for three days. My husband tried playing golf, but lasted only nine holes. And then was in bed for three days.

But I didn’t give up planning. Our children and grandchildren were coming for Spring Break and I made a list of all the things we were going to do—the Living Desert, the air museum, the art museum, the water park…Ha, Ha, Ha!!! I didn’t leave the house.

Then I coughed so hard, I threw my back out again. This time, my back went into spasm. It felt like my back was being torn apart if I moved the wrong way–I was deathly afraid of coughing or sneezing. No exaggeration. I was in a constant state of fear. No matter how I tried to relax, I was gripped with apprehension. None of my stress reduction methods worked. I was afraid to lie down in bed because I wasn’t sure how I was going to get up. I couldn’t turn over without a spasm contracting my lower back. I had to crawl off the bed on my stomach and then grip the bedside dresser to work my way to standing.

This morning I woke up and tried moving from my back to my side. Easy-squeezy! For the fun of it, I reversed the move and it worked! I realized that before I’d believed this was a basic entitlement in life—that you could move freely and comfortably in bed. Now, I know not to take it for granted.

Nor will I take feeling healthy for granted. I know this month has been just a window into the lives of so many who are suffering ill health. I am so appreciative to becoming out of my own little hell.

As for my knee? It became the step-child. Physical Therapy wouldn’t see me while I had a fever, and then they couldn’t work with my knee while my back was in spasm. So, basically, my plans to be perfect got blown out of the water. Ha, Ha, Ha!!!

Do you think I can learn something from all this?

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