I ended up in the hospital quarantined with the flu. I am away from home, and it happened as I was visiting my family. As a rule, I don’t share when I feel sick or I am down. I want people to see the happy, positive Lynn and not feel sorry for me. Today I am making an exception to share some things many of you may not know about the flu.
Pay Attention To The Lingering Cold
Saturday I developed a bad cough, although I still had remnants of one from earlier. Sunday I didn’t feel well but came anyway. By the time I arrived at my destination, I had a fever of 103° F. I had a flu/cold in January, then a bacterial infection in February with 10 days of antibiotics. I thought I was OK. But I was wrong.
Now I am in quarantine, in a 10×10 room in the hospital, with pneumonia/sepsis AND confirmed flu but I don’t know which strain. I hope the doctor knows. They do a swab up each nostril and send it to grow a culture. I am not well and in fact, I have never felt as sick before. Treatment includes IV antibiotics, a breathing nebulizer every 2 hours and other meds as needed. I don’t know when I will be able to leave.
The pic is of my 2 lovely, bubbly cousins who so kindly came tonight to see me. They could not come in my room unless they were geared up in special yellow smocks, rubber gloves and masks with plastic visors that you can’t really see. Other family members visited previously and didn’t have to mask up completely and now risk the virus. I can’t go out of my room unless I am geared up. Even a request to shower resulted in housekeeping having to disinfect the shower room after I was done.
The things I learned are:
- There are categories of the flu. I am under Influenza A. This “A” category has hundreds of strains including H1N1, etc.
- Flu vaccinations only cover a few strains. In years with many strains gaining hold, they may not be effective. It seems this is one of those years.
- Strains also morph and get stronger.
- You can develop more than 1 strain in a flu season. Maybe that’s what happened to me.
- You are contagious for 5 days from the first day of exposure.
Many of us joke about the flu. Even at work, with over half the staff sick this year, we joked about it. We throw the word flu around lightly.
After this experience, I see how serious it is. My friend’s brother died in Vancouver, BC in 2014 from H1N1. He was only 50. He was in good physical condition yet went on life support in just 3 days after his lungs shut down. Within a week there was nothing more they could do for him. Unfortunately, he didn’t go to the clinic and get checked out in time. Go to the hospital or clinic if you feel really ill – don’t wait.
The ward I’m in is for people similar to me, each restricted to their room. This sign is at the entrance to each room.
Please take the flu very seriously. Respect those who are sick and need time to heal. Send them home from work. If you are sick, stay home. My doctor said it is the worst year he has seen in his career. Watch in our summer what happens in Australia’s winter because their flu season is what we will get up here in our winter.
For all of you who have suffered or are currently suffering from the flu, my heart goes out to you.
I am sending lots of love from my little penthouse suite in the hospital. Be well.