The flu is no big deal. Or so I thought. My son gets his flu shot every year but me? Nah…don’t need it. Or so I thought.
It turns out the flu is serious business. You always hear the headlines, thousands die every year from the flu, which sounds so foreign, happening somewhere else. Then one day a few weeks back, I got the flu. And my whole perspective shifted. It started with back pain I thought was from a bad hotel bed. The pain spread over the course of two days to every muscle and joint and nerve ending in my body. I soon learned how easily it was to become a statistic. With a fever of almost 103 degrees, I couldn’t do anything but sleep. I couldn’t even read with my eyelids throbbing as they were.
Three days in, I called the doctor realizing I was in bad shape when I uttered the words so few women speak: “I Need Help.”
Turned out my doc was on vacation so my next option was the Walk-In. Thank goodness for my husband who left work to take care of me. I couldn’t get behind a wheel if my life depended on it. And boy did it feel that way.
“You will recover from this.” The nurse practitioner told me at the walk-in clinic as she electronically sent in an Rx for Tami-flu to my local pharmacy. “Others aren’t so lucky. This year we are seeing a mortality rate in young people fifteen to twenty-five that is alarming.” I could only take her word for it as I lay there crying on the paper covered exam table.
Somehow I walked out of there to return to my bed where I remained for the next seven days. Only yesterday did I see the light of day and green grass that had been snow-covered at the flu’s onset. And today was the first day I didn’t need a nap by 10am. But I can’t guarantee I wont nap at 3pm.
So the nurse practitioner was right, I did recover from this, albeit slowly. And now I will be one of those wacky ladies in the grocery wearing rubber gloves to push my cart with bottles of hand sanitizer spilling from my purse. Having been through this, it puts the fear of getting it again front and center.
My father says 40 is the age to get flu shots. This is 40? Flu? There must be more to 40 than the flu…but I’m pretty sure influenza b doesn’t discriminate by age. It is an equal opportunity illness. I have learned my lesson the extremely hard way and will be the first one on the flu shot line in the fall. Hope to see you there!!
Get your flu shots folks!