This summer I got it.
The dreaded flu……
I think I’ve thought I had the flu before, but really didn’t. Because I haven’t been this sick, totally knocked on my butt, completely out of commission, since I was a kid.
My world was turned upside down. At 3:00 in the morning I was googling how high my fever had to be before going to the hospital, all the while having hallucinations about being in the hospital. It was weird. And it was bad. And apparently 103.5, while taking Tylenol, does not warrant a hospital visit.
I was kind of hoping for a vacation.
Last year I wrote a post about why I would always give Isaiah the flu shot, and frankly, I have always worried about him more than me. Never again. Well, ok, I will always worry about him more than me. But I will never only worry about him.
Isaiah lives in the world of a compromised immune system, so the flu could be deadly to him. I learned that the flu could be almost deadly to me, and leave him without food or care for 7 days. No food, no groceries, no driving or caring if he was doing schoolwork (so basically a vacation for him), not even getting to enjoy movies and bedrest. Icky, ugly, sick, fever, yuck.
Don’t let your kid be Typhoid-Mary
There’s one thing I have to say. I know how hard it is to function with a sick kid, that’s my life more than I’d like, and that there are always things to do, and a lot of them seem like “must-dos” but I have to beg you. Don’t let your kid be the Typhoid-Mary who get’s all the other kids sick. Bring your kid with the flu to Target, stick him in a shopping cart, and the next thing you know, my kid with an impaired respiratory system is in the hospital.
It may seem harsh, but that’s exactly how it happens.
Who knows how I got the flu, frankly in the summer I am not as Purelly as usual. But here are some tips to prevent getting it and spreading it:
• Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially after you cough or sneeze. When you wash, wet hands thoroughly, work up a lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based sanitizer is not as effective as hand-washing but it’s a great alternative.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and discard of the tissue in the trash. Sneeze into your sleeve if a tissue is not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can spread easily that way.
• Avoid contact with those who are sick. Flu is believed to be mainly spread from person-to-person contact (coughing and sneezing doesn’t help!)
• If you are sick, stay home from school or work to keep others from getting infected.
• Disinfect surfaces. Use a product that kills household germs and be sure to thoroughly wipe down handles, faucets and all surfaces that you touch often – don’t forget your workspace and car! If you use public transportation, be sure to wash your hands as soon as you get to your destination.
• Think you might be sick? Don’t wait and see – get help right away! Early flu treatment (within 72 hours of exposure to the virus) has been proven to reduce the length and severity of illness. If you think you might have the flu or have been exposed to someone with the flu, see a health care professional right away.
This year, get vaccinated.
I know lots of people are anti-vaccine. Although I don’t really lump the flu vaccine in with the others. But there are some hardcore myths, still being circulated, that need to be demystified.
I only need to get vaccinated once. MYTH! A new flu vaccine is developed every year to fight the strains that are most likely to be prevalent for the season. It is important to get your flu shot each year, before the start of flu season.
People start getting sick once cold weather hits, so the fall is too early to get my shot. MYTH! The CDC recommends getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available (usually end of September or October). Unfortunately, outbreaks can happen before Halloween. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in your body to provide protection, so it’s never too soon!
Can’t you get sick from the flu shot? MYTH! It is impossible, since the vaccine is made from an inactivated (dead) virus, so it cannot give you the flu. If you get flu-like symptoms after getting your flu shot, it is likely that you were exposed to the flu after you got vaccinated, but before the vaccine took effect, which can be up to two weeks. (The only real side effect of the flu vaccine might be soreness or redness at the injection site.)
I have agreed to share information about the flu shot with you for CVS because it is something I believe very strongly about I met them as a result of my constant posts about making healthier choices, and felt that we made a good team. AND Customers will receive a 20% off CVS/pharmacy Shopping pass when they get a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic. *Disclaimer: Not available in MA, RI, PA and NY
To find out more about flu shots through CVS, click here.
And more info from the CDC is here.