I am afraid of needles. No…afraid might not be the right word. Terrified would be better. The last time I had to get a shot, I made more of a racket than the four year old in the room next to me. No shame. When I was a little kid getting the shots required by law to enter kindergarten, I brought my toy medical kit and gave myself a “shot” in front of the doctor and then proceeded to say, “See? I already did it, now you don’t need to give me a shot!” Clearly I was a cute kid.
This panic-attack inducing fear of needles is part of the reason I have never gotten a flu shot. The other reason is that it’s not 100% effective. They make the shot using a strain of the virus that they think is going to be prevalent in the upcoming season and then cross their fingers and hope for the best. That sounds so reliable. There’s a joke that being a weatherman is the only job in which you can be wrong 50% of the time and NOT get fired. I would like to add a profession to that – flu shot creator. And for most of my life, not getting the flu shot was fine. I never got the flu.
Recently, the news has been talking about how the flu an epidemic this year. All these blogs I follow are posting “at-home flu remedies”. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS DYING? Yes, I finally got the flu this year, well before the media was raving about it. And let me tell you, it SUCKED.
On the first day that I had the flu, I woke up feeling under the weather. Nothing major, but I didn’t feel 100%. I figured it was because I had had an exhausting weekend. By the time I got to work, I had sweat through my shirt and sweater. I didn’t think anything of it because I walk to work and maybe I had dressed too warm for the weather. I also didn’t think anything of going between being freezing and boiling in my office because the heat in my office fluctuates like crazy. It wasn’t until later in the day when I went to a different office that’s ALWAYS warm and was shivering that I knew something was wrong. At lunch, I wasn’t even hungry. I took a nap – something I never do! After lunch, I returned to work, but I couldn’t do anything right. I sealed envelopes without letters in them. I spent the last two hours sitting in my chair doing literally nothing except praying that I wouldn’t pass out before the end of the work day because I did not want to have to use my time off. When I got home, I crawled right into bed and fell asleep.
On the second day, I woke up with my alarm just to call my boss and tell her that I was not coming in. I went back to sleep until late in the afternoon. I stayed somewhat awake for the next few hours, but I was hallucinating. I kept thinking that I saw birds in my room, so I went back to sleep because in addition to needles, I am also afraid of birds.
On the third day, I woke up with my alarm once again and called my boss to tell her I was dying. Over dramatic Me? Never! I slept until about lunch time and then kept going between awake and asleep until about six pm. I managed to catch the beginning of the same Lifetime movie twice. At this point, I was finally starting to feel a bit better and I decided to venture out in search of food, fluids, and (legal) drugs. When I came back from the store, I took my temperature with my newly-purchased thermometer and found that I had a fever of 102. And this is when I was feeling “better”. I ate some chicken soup and had a Gatorade and was sleeping by 9 pm.
On the fourth day, I woke up feeling much better than I had felt the past two days. I was like, “Yeah, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna go to work!” The effort of getting out of bed and attempting to get ready for the day wore me out and raised my temperature back over 101. And so I called out of work again…I slept for another few hours but when I woke up in the afternoon I felt okay, so I attempted to do a few chores. I managed to do a few dishes. Then it was time for a nap. I slept until 2 pm and then stayed up the rest of the day. At around 8 pm I was STARVING. The only thing I had eaten throughout this whole ordeal was a few bites of mac and cheese on day one and some chicken soup and gatorade. I ordered a pizza and ate the whole thing. Yes, I know that’s not the most healthy thing, but I have never had such a craving for pizza in my entire life. I don’t even like pizza all that much. I also went to sleep at “normal people” time.
Pizza is the cure for the flu. On the fifth day, I felt better, but decided to take it slow and go to work late. Also, once I got there, I just barricaded myself in my office and really didn’t interact with anybody. I just had so much to do! I was incredibly tired by the end of the day, but I did drag myself out for dinner with friends.
Days Six and Seven
Ah…the weekend. My schedule for these two days went something like this – wake up, lay in bed, do something, lay in bed, do something, lay in bed, etc. I didn’t notice how tired I was because I was catching up on some of my favorite TV shows.
Monday. First full day of work. By the end of it, I was so tired that I went to sleep at seven pm.
Another full day of work…and afterwards I stayed awake until 10 pm. Baby steps.
The flu really took it out of me. I didn’t have a “normal” level of energy until almost three weeks later. I did manage to see some friends during that time, but there was no way I was doing anything like a full apartment cleaning or going to the gym. I also went to visit my parents during that time and had to stop in a parking lot and nap because I was so tired. I’m used to driving for six, seven hours without stopping. This was bizarre!
I hope none of you get the flu!!