Tag Archives: flu shot

Influenza Wang-Dang-Doodle

18 Dec

This week I’ve had the flu, and it’s given me new perspective on living without it.

Currently on Day#5 of a Super-Fun Flu Saga, I cannot remember being this immobilized since I was sick as a child. It’s brought back some memories. I was sick with strep throat and other childhood variety ailments more than once during the week before Christmas.

Unfortunately for my parents, I was a sleepwalker when feverish. My routine included wandering around the house like a zombie at the height of my fever (usually 2-4 am) and waking up Mom in my delirium, saying overly creative things. It freaked her out, so she tapped me (gently) on my cheeks to get my attention and wake me up.

Good thing I don’t do that anymore.

Here are some of the unique benefits to having the flu as an adult:

  1. Koko Taylor Voice. Either I have no voice at all, or I sound like the now-deceased blues singer Koko Taylor. She has taken up residence in my vocal cords and is experiencing new life every time I open my mouth. While I appreciate the concept of temporarily channeling the elderly African American “Queen of the Blues,” I would like for her to move on to another host right about now. I’m tired of pitching a wang-dang-doodle, all night long or for any other imaginable length of time.
  2. Going back to old-school food basics. Green or chamomile tea with lemon, OJ or Emergen-C, oatmeal, chicken broth, crackers, ice-cold water with lemon and 2 ibuprofen, cough syrup, REPEAT. This is my routine. These are the only things that taste good. I will probably not eat any of the foods again for quite some time after this is said and done. And while I do clearly have the flu, by God I sure won’t be getting scurvy anytime soon. I’m going through two lemons per day on this diet. And I have lost weight but would not recommend the approach to anyone.
  3. Plenty of time for TV-watching, random videos, and reading. I don’t tend to watch much TV, so the allure is not there, but I have been sucked into the same “dog and cat video vortex” that seems to grab my daughter at least 99 times per day. Titles like “Watch boxer and kitten play together” and “See boxers getting into mischief” have enticed me more than I’d like to admit. And while I have enjoyed reading more of James Herriot’s stories about being a young vet in the English countryside, I can only do this for so long. It’s maddening to be so bored but to have little energy to do anything else. Despite my husband’s warnings of “Don’t you dare do any work today,” I have snuck in a fair amount of it because it keeps me from feeling so idle.
  4. New use for exercise wear and off-season clothes. It’s not very comfortable sleeping with a fever. People tend to think that sick folks get a lot of rest, but the rest is not restful, and it’s not what I would call “a good night’s sleep.” Body aches make me toss and turn, and the coughing fits wake me in the middle of the night. Probably worse is having a dream that I’ve been caught in a warm rainstorm and am for some reason laying in the puddles–except the rainstorm is from my fever and the puddles are my bed. That’s where wicking exercise-wear and summertime tank tops and shorts come in. Normally at this time of year I’m cold, but not so thanks to high body temps brought on by the flu. I’ve been riding at 100 for the past few days, and it dropped to 99.5 this morning. So we are making progress.

I’m really going to be thankful when everything is back to normal, without the flu wang-dang-doodle. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate my husband’s patience and caregiving.

And one final note: Please, people…get your flu shots. It’s so worth it. I didn’t get mine, which I greatly regret.