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A tough guy … that’s what most of us weekend warriors like to think of ourselves.
Fact of the matter is, we’re all pretty much far from it, as the Boss reminds me quite often.
Just a few days ago, the most wonderful woman on God’s green earth shook “my world.”
“Quit whining!” she ordered.
Weenie that I am, I immediately complied.
Still, I secretly pined inside.
When I awoke and showered before church, I could tell something wasn’t just right.
Every joint in my aging frame seemed to ache. By the time the last praise song was sung, my muscles throbbed with weariness and dull pain.
While I’m known only for making a joyful noise during the chorus, I also discovered my lungs felt thick, heavy and soupy.
A dry throat just added to the comedy that wheezed from inside me when I tried to hit a high note.
Later, as we sat in the restaurant for a noon-time breakfast, beads of sweat began to pop up on my brow.
Kimberly noticed and asked what was wrong.
“I don’t feel well,” I admitted.
By late afternoon, I was feeling downright icky. Even the heavy down comforter didn’t put a dent in my chill.
Then came an endless series of hacks, coughs and wheezes.
I whined to the Boss.
As sympathetic as she could be — but with great authority — my darling ordered me to take some medicine and quit complaining.
I know she wasn’t being mean.
She knows I’ve been taking much better care of myself since I turned this side of 50.
And she knows I take my annual flu shot.
She also knows I can be a wuss when it comes to feeling badly.
When I pulled out an extra blanket and climbed under the covers before sundown, she knew I wasn’t exaggerating.
Her “I love yous” warmed me from the inside out as I tossed and turned and sweated in near delirium.
When the clock went off at 4 a.m. the next day, I’d sweated out most of the creeping crud and was feeling some better.
Unfortunately, many of my coworkers were not.
The various whatevers that were going around were making their rounds for sure. I mentioned to a colleague that our office had turned into a M*A*S*H unit.
I wasn’t far off the mark.
Some version of some unwanted bug(s) had infiltrated our space.
Shoot, even some of my friends as far as an hour and a half away were wheezing, sneezing, sniffing and snorting.
Welcome to full-blown sick season.
Shoot, even when I began to feel some better all the hand sanitizer and tissues I’d gone through made my dry hands and nose sensitive and painful.
Despite our best efforts – and foresight in taking a flu shot in the fall — we may not be protected from the exotic strains floating around out there.
That means we need to be extra vigilant.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, the best thing we can do is arm ourselves with information.
If you think you have the flu, it’s important to stay home, follow your doctor’s orders and watch for signs that you need immediate medical attention.
If someone near and dear to you is exhibiting symptoms, you should protect yourself and other people living in the home.
Flu symptoms are pretty cut and dried: Fever or feeling feverish/chills; coughing and/or sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; headaches and/or body aches, chills; fatigue and; some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Take care of yourself if you’re sick!
The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever (100°F or 37.8°C) is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you.
Avoid close contact with others, especially those who might easily get the flu, such as people age 65 years and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), pregnant women, young children and infants.
Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after using tissues or coughing/sneezing into your hands.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Drink clear fluids such as water, broth, sports drinks or electrolyte beverages made for infants to prevent becoming dehydrated.
Get plenty of rest.
Get medical attention right away if you: have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; experience pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; have sudden dizziness; become confused; have severe or persistent vomiting and/or; experience flu–like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
I can blame most of those symptoms on my recent bout with the crud.
Where I can’t get myself off the hook is this … as the years whiz by I seem to find myself more and more confused.
I don’t think they have a vaccine for that.