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When the Flu Bug Comes Calling

March 9, 2018

Another Way for week of March 9, 2018

When the Flu Bug Comes Calling

Most of us don’t have many photos of ourselves sick, for good reason. Here’s one though of our middle daughter many long years ago, with a bad case of chicken pox. Caesar the cat kept her company. Winter viruses and bugs are no fun for anyone.

I’m bummed. I don’t do sick well. You would think a woman who is active all week long and juggling three jobs would be oh so happy to have a doctor order her to bedrest.

Like duh, maybe there’s a connection here? The flu that rampaged the country this year finally caught up to me, even though I had a flu shot.

Actually I don’t know anyone who does sick “well,” other than maybe a hypochondriac or someone who enjoys complaining or is downright lazy.

I found myself incredibly restless by not being able to do much. Yes, my husband made me soup a couple of times, made breakfast, and took care of me just fine. But I wanted to be up and doing! I was glad I had a good book to read about the 100 year history of my alma mater, Eastern Mennonite University. I love history and I will likely write more about that book in the future.

I also learned things from my doctor, who, I had to laugh at him, was having a “train wreck” of a morning when I could finally see him. He was over an hour getting to see me for which he apologized profusely but said it had just been a train wreck. Not literally but there was a patient who gave him trouble but of course he didn’t reveal details.

He told me not to be too quick to clear the gunk out of my throat because the mucus acts like “a film that protects the important parts of the inner nose and lungs.” Those are the words of allergist and internist Tania Elliott, MD, (since I wasn’t taking notes when my doctor told me something similar, I did some research online). Elliot is the chief medical officer at a New York City-based healthcare company specializing in preventive medicine. “The mucus [ugh] keeps nasal passages and lungs well moisturized, Elliot says, “You don’t want those things dried out!”

Protects your lungs, maybe from getting pneumonia? My doctor was surprisingly blasé about pneumonia shots. He used to push me to get one and I politely resisted. I’m sure there’s a time and a place for certain patients to get a pneumonia vaccination, but he felt like it didn’t do people that much good this year.

The website health.com goes on to explain, “When a cold virus enters your nose, mucus production goes into overdrive. Another doctor, Thomas Welch chief medical officer of Mercy Health in Toledo, Ohio, explains: “It’s a reaction of the body against viruses, bacteria, or even particles of dust. It prevents those irritants from burrowing deeper into the lungs. Then, the tiny hairs in the respiratory tract called cilia help to sweep up the infected mucus like little brooms, so we can cough or blow it out.”

Little brooms, eh? Isn’t that too cute? (My house grew dustier by the minute and I had all this time at home but no energy to clean!)

All joking aside, my short bout with flu made me so much more aware of friends and relatives with serious illnesses, or of those who lay in bed day after day in nursing homes, waiting for someone, anyone, to come visit. I admire one woman who has fought cancer for more than 15 years, including a partial leg amputation. My hat is off to the husband who takes care of her. I also salute her children who are as loyal and attentive as they can be while raising their own children. I don’t deserve to complain one minute when I look at the suffering Donna and her family have endured. Yet she has remained cheerful through intense pain and I’m sure, not a little boredom.

Does an overly busy schedule and demands have something to do with my getting sick this year, the longest I’ve been sick in years? I don’t know. The Lord only knows but I suspect it might. I’m looking forward to another new book coming out later this year by one of my favorite writers, April Yamasaki: Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. Sounds like medicine I need.

***

Have you been ill this winter? What have you learned about yourself or others? I’d love to hear from you.

Email me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or at Another Way Media, Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22850.

Another Way is a column © by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. Columns are posted at http://www.FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. I do sick the way you do, Melodie, NOT WELL!

    Fortunately, I have not gotten the flu this winter, at least not yet. My heart goes out to you, but remember this: If you rest, you’ll get well faster and able to resume your routine.

    I appreciate April Yamasaki’s ministry and look forward to her book. Even more, I will look forward to the completion of my book, which is still going through edit after edit after edit . . . !

  2. Yes, I did try to rest frequently which was easy, until I got the congested part of this illness as a cold (stuffed up nose). I need some good Florida sun and I’m sure your sisters enjoyed that recently with you!

    Keep plugging away, edit after edit after edit. 🙂 You’ll get there! And overall I’m feeling much better. Thanks for the message.

  3. Athanasia permalink

    Melodie, I am sorry you caught the flu this year. I’m g!ad you are better. It seems quite an unhealthy year all around. Here, we are having a bit warmer than normal so folks blame that on not enough cold to kill off the germs.

    My middle daughter, the nurse, has been kept busy at her hospital, often working short as the staff has fallen sick to. Her cousin who also works there, and she ( and they are roommates) have tried every home remedy to stay on the healthy side.

    • Thanks for your good wishes and I am feeling 100% again. My daughter always begins gargling frequently when she feels her throat getting sore or scratchy and claims it has staved off colds for weeks, although eventually they catch up to her. Let’s hear it for spring! We had 9 inches of snow last week, which is all gone now, with temps in the 70s yesterday. Thanks for checking in and I hope you have a meaningful Easter.

      • Athanasia permalink

        Thank you. Our Easter will be lovely, I am sure, full of church and family and good food. I wish the same for you and your family.

        We are on baby waiting watch. Eliana and Theo, my oldest daughter are due in April, but this will be twins this time so…could be early.

      • Athanasia permalink

        Oh, and I didn’t answer your question. No, I usually manage to stay well. I work at a school so I am pretty sure I have built up immunities over the years. I do get flu shot yearly AND the pneumonia shot when due. You should get the updated pneumonia vaccine along with the original. In my opinion. Flu shots of course are tricky to produce and may or may not always cover closely the next year virus since a virus mutates so easily. The pneumonia shots are pretty good and I am surprised your doctor would not suggest it. You know how you know they work is that the insurances cover it. It is a lot cheaper for them to cover the immunizations than cover hundreds, thousands of their insured ending up being sick and maybe even hospitalized.

        My daughter, the expectant one, did manage to come down with the flu this year despite the vaccine, because she caught the strain that the vaccine was unfortunately only about 10% effective on. But it most likely helped her not to be quite as sick. She is the only one who caught it…she had taken my mother over to my sister’s house and stayed a day to visit with cousins, then left my mother and drove back home. She can only figure she was exposed at the gas station she stopped at for the restroom, because on checking no one at my sister’s was sick or among us. High fever, cough, terrible headache…Theo took her to ER. Fortunately he did not get sick…they pretreated him…and their daughter had been staying at his parents for the weekend. They kept her a few more days, then brought her to us.

        Sorry I am always behind.

  4. Just have time to comment shortly–how exciting to be awaiting twins. All the best! Yeah, Dr. used to recommend pneumonia shot for me, not why he was soured on it this year. Thanks for your input! Your record of avoiding flu is wonderful.

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