Monday, 3 August 2009

Swine Flu

Hello my true friends!
I am happy to see that in my absence, sweet followers have not abandoned me! It seems like forever since I have written and even longer since I have had a browse on your blogs. But there is a reason: I have been ill with Swine Flu.

Jim's birthday is July 16th, and I had so many things planned but all got set aside when Jim came down with the Swine Flu illness. He was ill for his birthday and just a bit before that, too.
We aren't certain where he came into contact with an infected person, it really could have been anywhere.
Our grandchildren were by the weekend before he got sick, and by 16 July, our granddaughter and her dad, Jim's son, were said to have the disease. So that is one possibility. But Jim's other son had been in hospital with a sports injury to his knee, and Jim was in and out of the hospital visiting him, over a period of ten days or so, and could have caught the bug there. And then Jim himself, was in hospital as an outpatient, and at any time during his own visits he could have contracted the bug. So we aren't certain from where Jim caught Swine Flu, but for certain, I got it from him.

What began for me as a mission NOT to get it at all costs, ended when after a few days of nursing Jim. I busily worked at making sure dishes were fastidiously washed, and all bed and bath linens washed at high temps, and lots of use of bleach, but with no positive results as I , too came down with the flu.

So it has been weeks and I am out of practice typing and even doing the simplest of things!
Jim is well on the mend, with only the occasional cough, while I still cough frequently and require lots of medicine for the accompanying headache. Tomorrow is my last day of antibiotics, so that must mean I am improving!

I would like to pass along some first-hand information about this illness, so that you can be prepared to self diagnose and get immediate treatment.
I have had flu in the past - many times, in fact. So at first, I couldn't believe Jim had it. There was no obvious fever at first, and no vomiting nor diarrhea. He had a cough and a headache and a scratchy throat. Sounded like a cold to me, right?

But then the fever came along, and the headaches got worse, and his joints ached and he coughed up phlegm. A call to the doctor and a prescription was ordered for antibiotic and decongestant with the usual advice to remain in bed and drink fluids and salt water gargles.

By the time I came down with the bug a few days later, the government had the Swine Flu hot line up and running. I took the on-line test for my region of England, and was diagnosed as having Swine Flu.

Tamiflu was waiting for me with a secret number at a local clinic. The medicine was collected and I began taking the drug.

I got progressively worse - uncontrollable coughing kept me up all night long and after 48 hours of it I was a total wreck. The doctor was called and antibiotics and decongestant were ordered and I began a regime of those along with Tamiflu and a lot of pain medicine, too.
What I learned from this experience is that the symptoms are diverse and do not necessarily match and so it is difficult to self diagnose without some help.
Jim had a sore throat but I did not. My throat only got sore after constant coughing.

As soon as I could stand to sit up at the computer for a bit, I looked at the Tamiflu website.
It is a good resource for you to help self-diagnose. They have a graph there with symptoms of cold vs flu that is good for a self-check.
Reading what you can on the government hot line will help, too, especially taking the quiz.
And being aware in any changes in your body - especially fever - and then looking into Swine Flu symptoms will help you.

If you do get it, you know the drill - rest, fluids, and more rest is all you can do. I found sitting up as much as possible was helpful. Lying flat was the worst!
Wishing you all well and hoping none of you get this nasty illness, but if you think you have it, look it up fast and take all precautions you can in getting Tamiflu and medicine to help your body fight this thing. It really is a tough one and wears you down quickly.

I will be visiting your blogs soon!


LiLi M. said...

Oh I am so sorry that you (almost?) all suffered from swine flu. A flu usually takes a few weeks to mend and that in midsummer. But I am happy to hear that you seem to be on the mend now. And I want to thank you for writing about the symptoms, it is good to hear that from an experienced person, especially your description of how divers the symptoms are might be usefull in the future. Good to hear from you again! Take care!

ps I don't follow anyone, it is the term follower that makes me feel uncomfortable as well as that I think it has no merits comparing it with google reader. On top of that it seems to me that it has a little of a pissing contest (sorry to use that word); I have more followers than you nananana, but I seem to be the only Blogger blogger who thinks so and who doesn't promote following.

Eli said...

I'm so sorry you have both suffered from the dreaded flu Maggie, what rotten bad luck. All the experts have been saying its mild and not as bad as seasonal flu but it sounds dreadful. I've heard Tamiflu makes you feel worse giving you dreadful stomach upsets...who needs that as well. I wonder what effect the stuff had on you. Hoping you are both on the mend now and we have several weeks of wall to wall sunshine to speed your recovery. All the best, Eli

~*~Kate~*~ said...

Oh I'm so sorry you'v been ill. Our oldest daughter had the Swine Flu (we affectionately call it Bacon Lung) and it took her at least 3 weeks to be over it. Our school system had quite a bit of it at the nd of the school year. You take good care of yourself.

Love your blog by the way and I'm a new follower.