Feeling Human Again, Mostly: Next Up- Flu Season

I’ve been down for the count with a respiratory illness since September 18. You might think it’s weird that I know the exact day, but calendars are my thing. Since then, I’ve been to the doctor 4 times (4 different doctors, but that’s another story for another day), I’ve had two chest x-rays, and I’ve filled six prescriptions for myself. I really wish that it was, oh, April right about now. Unfortunately, it isn’t, and we are heading right into flu season.

Something one of the above doctor’s spoke to me about was the importance of getting a flu shot this year. With the havoc that pneumonia (and the rounds of steroids) has wreaked on my immune system, contracting the flu this year could be very dangerous. I can’t get mine yet, but once I’m cleared, I’m getting my shot.

During my recuperation, I was able to take part in a Twitter chat sponsored by CVS, and it was an informational hour, peppered with facts provided by the CDC. There were a lot of thoughtful questions asked, and answers were provided. Here are a couple of things that I learned/was reminded of during the chat:

Flu Season can run from October through as late as May (!) The day I was diagnosed with pneumonia, I was also tested for the flu. The doctor told me that even though it was only September, there were a lot of positive flu tests in our area. SUPER.

How can you tell if it’s the flu? If you have a strain of influenza, you will have a fever. In addition to cold-like symptoms, body aches are common. The flu comes on fast, and you can be contagious one day before you fall ill yourself.

The flu vaccine gets tweaked every year…and people need to be vaccinated every year. Also, NOW is the time get your shot. It takes about two weeks after your vaccination for your body to be fully protected.

Ready to get your flu shot? Minute Clinics has three different types of vaccines available:

  • Regular seasonal flu shots
  • Intradermal shot for those who don’t like needles (approved for adults age 18-64)
  • HIgh-dose vaccine for adults over 65

When you get your flu shot at a Minute Clinic inside your local CVS, you’ll not only get peace of mind, you’ll get a 20% off  CVS shopping pass!

FluPLusYOUcollageOf course, prevention is the best medicine, so in addition to getting a vaccination, be sure to remind your family members of the following:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth when possible

Want to learn more? Browse the #FluPlusYou hashtag on Twitter, and visit the information posted on the CDC website.

Disclosure: Thanks to CVS/Minute Clinic for sponsoring today’s post.

Three Illnesses and a Wedding

Save for four magical days in the middle of the month, September was mostly a wash for me. First, the boy was sick. It’s heart wrenching when kids are sick- when you know they feel bad, but there isn’t a whole lot that you can do to help them. I mean, I tried- I pushed Gatorade and Sprite, and let him indulge in Netflix marathons. We ended up making two trips to the doctor. Lately, it seems that everything needs two trips to the doctor, because the first time they just poo-poo you and tell you that it’s viral. I say lately because it happened twice this month. I realize that doctor’s aren’t gods and they don’t actually have a crystal ball. BUT when a reasonably intelligent person has been at home with a sick kid for four days, and she makes an effort to go to a clinic that’s open on Sunday, chances are there’s something wrong.

It was the second trip (on Weds) where the NP agreed that the boy was sick enough to treat. The hand-delivered letter, sent home from school, written by the health department, warning of a SHIGELLA outbreak probably helped move that process along. So the boy recovered, and I went away for a magical four day weekend.

During this magical weekend, I got to spend time with a bestie from high school, while standing up for another bestie from high school. Yes, Chris and I were able to attend Jason’s wedding together. The weekend was amazing, and it was filled with love and friendship and new memories….and a visit from hotel security telling us to STFU. Because we can’t get together and not make noise.Anyway, Jason has found his person, and together he and Collin make an amazing pair of husbands. Chris and I kept marveling at how fantastic all of their friends are, and how well everyone (not matter if we were strangers) got along so freaking well. It was a very wonderful break from reality.

We met in our very first class on our very first day of high school circa 1987. We weren't nearly that dressed up that day.
We met in our very first class on our very first day of high school circa 1987. We weren’t nearly that dressed up that day.


The last time we were this dressed up together, we were going to prom, circa 1990.
The last time we were this dressed up together, we were going to prom, circa 1990.

Re-entry to reality wasn’t pretty- I was exhausted and had some killer blisters. I walked around in a haze Monday, felt more grounded Tuesday, but then I started to cough Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon I fell into bed with a fever…..and I’ve been sick ever since. Yes, it is now October. Yes, I’ve been sick since September 18th. And I’ve learned, the only thing worse than a sick kid is a sick kid when you yourself are sick. Meg fell into bed two days after me, and we spent the following week hacking up lungs and sleeping and sweating through fevers. And our first visit to the doctor yielded an, “it’s viral.” Again, I say, I know doctor’s don’t have a crystal ball. I know that bacterial infections can hide for days before they make themselves apparent, but DAMN. A phone call later in the week repeated that song and dance.

Which is how we ended up at MedCheck on a Saturday. By then, we were sick enough to be treated. And sick enough we were. We were diagnosed with the pioneer ebola- you know, pneumonia. I have no idea how anyone survived this disease before the advent of anitbiotics and albuterol. I’ve been treated with both now for over a week, and I’m STILL not stellar. People say it’s going to take weeks.

I’m using my time wisely though. I’ve discovered the wonder that is The Gilmore Girls.

Because no one needs to see my nebulizer, I’ll include some more photos from Jason’s wedding instead. And a link, because, it was, in fact, a society wedding. And there was a gossip columnist there! (for reals)

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The armadillo grooms cake, ala Steel Magnolias. Yes, it was red velvet. Duh.
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The armadillo’s head was a giant rice krispie treat. And it got passed around like a bottle of Boone’s farm during Freshman year.
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The flowers all over the ceremony and reception were sooo pretty.
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Just three friends who met in 1987.
We had a moment to take a selfie during the ceremnony.
We had a moment to take a selfie during the ceremnony.
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The grooms toasting before our grand entrance.