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Should have gotten that flu shot

January 7, 2013 - Linda Lobeck
In the fall, I heard about the availability of flu shots and all the different clinics being held in the area, but I decided I really didn’t need to get one. I’m 52 and not really in the category of someone who has a severe medical condition or elderly yet, so I decided is wasn’t necessary.

Big mistake. On Christmas Day around 8 p.m., I really started to feel sick and made a hasty retreat from my sister’s house in Negaunee to home. When you start feeling that bad, the only place you want to be is at home.

And for the next 3-5 days, I was of little use to anyone as the flu bug hit me hard. The only thing I am thankful for is that I didn’t end up with the severe upper respiratory problems that so many other people have suffered through at work and in the community. But getting the flu bug was enough to wipe out any energy I had. It took another 4-5 days before I was feeling back to normal and didn’t feel the need for a nap.

In reading about the list of symptoms of this strain of flu, I could basically check them off and say, “Yes, that’s how I felt.” I also had the symptoms that are more common in children than adults with this form of flu.

The thing that always amazes me is that people don’t know how to stay home if they are sick. They valiantly try and make it to work, shopping and even church. Have they forgot that the flu is contagious? And you can easily infect other people including those who have other medical conditions and can’t fight off the virus on their own.

Unfortunately, that staying home idea is often not considered by many people. I actually had to stay home two days from work and still wasn’t feeling well on the weekends. I avoided going to church and spreading it to unsuspecting people as well as staying out of the grocery stores and other places where I might spread my germs.

This is good advice especially if you have a cough or are sneezing a lot and running a high fever. Unfortunately, this is one of the illnesses that you can’t cure with medicine — it’s one of those wait it out until you feel better times.

Medicine can help if you become dehydrated, can’t keep a fever down, and are at high risk of other medical complications from the flu. But generally antibiotics don’t work with the flu.

My best advice is stay in bed, keep pushing the fluids, take something to keep your fever down and rest as much as possible.

The best thing you can do for others is not go out and come in contact with people until you are over the flu. Common sense is the best advice during this flu season.


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