Thursday, February 23, 2012

This blog may be contagious...

 Oh my God, I thought I was going to die.

For awhile there I was sure I'd be one of the lucky ones and escape this season's flu epidemic, despite the fact that I neglected to get my flu shot this year. I heaved a sigh of relief when everyone around me seemed to come down with this hideous flu except me.

And then I just heaved.

Yep, I got it. Bad. As much as I tried to avoid contagious "carriers" with bloodshot eyes, hacking coughs, and runny noses, nothing could prevent me from contracting the latest H1N1/Swine/Pan/Avian flu.

My son's family had had it, his in-laws had had it, their entire family had had it. It was only a matter of time before the CDC came to our house and quarantined us, with a big black X on the front door and a sign that read "Contaminated! Run for your lives!"

Naturally I went on Wikipedia to get the latest medical advice. That's where I learned what the flu bug looks like magnified a zillion times (a bunch of circles). I studied how to look for symptoms -- achy head, yucky stomach, demon red eyes, sensitive hair, tight-fitting clothes, bad attitude and poor handwriting. I had them all.

Next I checked the etiology of the disease -- which I learned from "House" meant where I might contract it. The list was endless -- my grandkids, my students, my family members, people at the mall, people near me, or people in general.

Finally I read about prevention. Besides avoiding any kind of human contact, I washed my hands until there was no skin left. I used Fantastik on everything from the kitchen counter to the cats. And I avoided public places like the plague, just in case the plague had somehow found its way to the local restaurants, outlet malls, hospitals, parks and shoe stores.

But "it" finally caught up with me in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, slinking in and replacing my gastrointestinal track like a poisonous snake.

Oh my God, I thought I was going to die.

I know you don't want the details. Let's just say for 36 long hours I alternated between the bedroom and the bathroom, wondering where I could get some heroin or whatever drug it was that made you not care anymore, but I couldn't even lift my cell phone.

After the worst subsided, I had a craving for red Jell-O, Saltines, and grape Popsicles. Once I kept those down, I was able to progress to good old Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Nothing tastes better than mac and cheese after a long night of heaving.

I spent the rest of my recuperation lying on the couch, dozing off during Lifetime movies and telling my cats how much I loved them. At some point, in the middle of all this, I promised a higher power that I'd never to do anything bad ever again if I could just hold my head up long enough to brush the scum off my teeth.

Now that I'm well, things are back in perspective. I can eat normal food and operate the remote, and shower again. But I'm not setting foot outside for the rest of winter without wearing a hazmat suit.



Blogger starbelle said...

Generally enjoy your articles, however, this one hit on a huge "pet peeve" of mine. You stated "I neglected to get my flu shot," then went on to describe your bout with intestinal flu. I think everyone should know that the flu shot does not prevent intestinal flu. I can't believe how many educated people harbor this misconception. The influenza vaccine only protects us from certain strains of the respiratory flu.

March 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM  

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