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Flu

I know I tend to overreact to things but I am literally terrified that this flu season may turn out to be exactly like the one in 1919 that killed millions of people throughout the world. I hope to God this doesn't happen but with the lack of flu shots and medication such as Tamiflu I don't see this ending anytime soon or well.

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  • Paularose

    Well, if washing hands should help I'm good to go! Because I've been cleaning out my apartment and discarding tons of crap, I have been wearing rubber gloves and then washing my hands always the second I take the gloves off. I have even been washing the outside of the rubber gloves in preparation for reuse. If I pick anything up anywhere in the house I wash my hands afterwards. I've become extremely anal about this issue. I am so angry that due to this extermination I am now facing the possibility of having permanently changed my body chemistry so that the asthma is never going to go away. Please understand that I am absolutely in total sympathy with you guys who have faced it all your life and at a much greater level. I know what that's like. A dear friend of mine was so asthmatic that he actually and literally had to take a deep breath before he could speak a sentence. My heart broke for him. And it affected his whole body. And I cannot tell you the amount of drugs he was on and had been on.

    As always thanks again to everybody for your responses.

  • K8sMom2002

    Paularose, I can understand the anger. Any sort of change in your health is a loss, and losses have to be grieved. Part of that grieving process IS anger — we can be angry at others who put us in these situations, angry at the situations themselves, and angry at our bodies for letting us down. 

    But it looks like you are channeling that anger into cleaning, which can have a positive effect on lots of . 

  • Pljohns

    Looks like the flu is rebounding here-I just saw that 2 school systems are closed the rest of the week with over 1100 students out-attendance is less than 70% at some schools.  Seems it making a rebound where my MIL is in  south GA too-everyone there is sick right now and I just had a patient call and cancel tomorrow-she has the flu.  she was supposed to come in yesterday, which meant she would have been contagious as she started tamiflu yesterday.  SO HOPING I can steer clear of it!

  • LK

    @Pljohns, Sure hope you are able to stay well! 

    DH and I were planning on a short weekend trip sometime soon but with all this flu still going strong, I have half a mind to postpone it until this flu season settles down some.

  • Pljohns

    I need to take a long weekend and go see my parents and DH wants to take a short weekend and go see him Mom but we agreed-not until the flu settles down and I can't go see my parents until it warms up because of the wood burning fireplace.

  • Paularose

    What gets me so God **** angry pardon the language is that the two allergists I visited were so patronizing. The first one I want to smack her in the face. I'm sure I mentioned this but it's worth repeating again. I told her for the 100th time that I had not had an asthmatic attack in 45 years. And she turned to me and she said well you know these allergies and asthma can manifest themselves in later years. Manifest this lady!!😝

    I did have a city inspector come to my apartment earlier today and she said that there are no vocs in the apartment. A very nice woman. She did say that the gel can give off fumes. So I bet that's part of what triggered everything way back in December. But after having two HEPA air purifiers and two exhaust fans and open windows in this apartment since that day of course the air is finally going to be fairly clean. Duh!

  • Megan Roberts

    @Paularose glad she did not find any vocs in your apartment and that you've been motivated to get things cleaned, even if that motivation was anger! I'm so sorry you've been through all of this… it sounds so frustrating. I absolutely understand your anger towards those who failed to help you take care of the situation in your home, and your frustration when it feels like a doctor hasn't taken you seriously or is talking down to you. I also don't think that your recent diagnosis (or recent flare up of symptoms) means your suffering right now is any less real or challenging than anyone else's. Hoping that at least you continue to evade the flu like some others on this thread have managed to do!

    @Pljohns, @K8sMom2002, @sonjnj and @LK, hope you all continue to escape the clutches of this nasty strain of flu despite many of you experiencing recent exposure! @Pljohns I did see you were fighting off congestion today in another thread and really hope it is not the flu.

  • LK

     Thank you, @Megan Roberts  So far I haven't caught the flu, thankfully!  I have bee avoiding crowded places whenever possible. 

    DH did have the flu a few weeks ago.  He had the flu shot so I think that helped to shorten the severity of his illness.  He seemed to be over it, except for being a little tired, but now has a scratchy throat and is coughing and sneezing.  Don't know if he still has a touch of the flu or something new.  Maybe we are just getting old!  Nah, couldn't be that!    Hopefully it's just a cold he will keep to himself!   

     

  • Kathy P

    Ugh I'm on a totally full flight with people coughing all around me! I have my mask on, wiped down everything, and am practically bathing in hand sanitizer!So far, I've done 1 cross country flight, 1 regional train and 1 Amtrak. Now I have a 2 segment flight to get home. And both flights bare totally filled! My flight out was practically empty in the back, so I was able to take off my mask.

  • Megan Roberts

    Oh nooo Kathy!! That totally sucks. I was so paranoid a few weeks ago with just one person seated near me coughing on a flight. Hang in there … fingers crossed they don’t have the flu and your methods keep you germ free! Sounds like you’ve done all you can to protect yourself. Hope you have earphones or plugs to at least drown out the coughing.

  • Megan Roberts

    Oh nooo Kathy!! That totally sucks. I was so paranoid a few weeks ago with just one person seated near me coughing on a flight. Hang in there … fingers crossed they don’t have the flu and your methods keep you germ free! Sounds like you’ve done all you can to protect yourself. Hope you have earphones or plugs to at least drown out the coughing.

  • Paularose

    Megan, thank you for your kind words. I now have a new regular family doctor. With an appointment next week. Even though he's not an allergist I'm going to tell him what I am going through and the fact that my tongue still tingles and my throat still feels like it's on fire as well as tingling. Maybe he'll be of some help. I also saw an ad for a major hospital in Manhattan, I forgot the name of it, but it has a specialized ear nose and throat division so I may call them up and see if based on my history it pays to have them take a look at me. I might as well have been abducted by by aliens since I've been so poked and prodded lately! 👽

  • Pljohns

    Kathy-hope you get home without anyone sharing germs with you.  So glad you have a doc now and an option of a specialized ENT division that you have access to.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Kathy, hope you escaped the flu bugs and any OTHER bug that they may have been sharing on that flight!

    Lisa, hope things don't get any worse! Ugh on scratchy throats, coughing and sneezing!

    Paularose, 45 years is a long time to go without an asthma attack! Glad you got a city inspector to come in and make sure your apartment had no vocs, and I think your plan to check with an ENT is a good one.

    What I've found is that if my asthma IS triggered in a major way, it takes a long, long time for things to settle down, and my lungs remain twitchy for a while afterwards, not tolerating things they would have tolerated before. It's good to figure out your triggers and make sure that you can avoid them. Here's hoping that all that cleaning will ALSO help you avoid the flu! Because flu and asthma DON'T go together!

    Lynn, I don't wanna hear that the flu is surging back in Alabama and Georgia! Noooo! Thanks for the warning, though, because I shall double up on all my handwashing routines. And for the duration, I'm may opt for the friendly six-foot-away wave rather than hand shakes and hugs and air-kisses with friends and acquaintances!

  • Kathy P

    Made it home. The mask gets pretty warm wearing it for hours. Hopefully no germ stowaways!

  • Tiffany F.

    I was tagged somewhere but can't find it now to reply.   So far so good here!  Trying to be very careful and saying prayers too!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay, Tiffany! Glad you've escaped the flu so far!

    And Kathy, I'm with Lynn: no stowaways allowed! 

  • LK
    K8sMom2002 posted:

     

    What I've found is that if my asthma IS triggered in a major way, it takes a long, long time for things to settle down, and my lungs remain twitchy for a while afterwards, not tolerating things they would have tolerated before.

    Cynthia,  Mine, too!  Can't tell you how long it took me to figure that out.  Love your description of how your lungs are afterwards – 'twitchy' !    Hits the nail on the head!  May need to borrow that one! 

  • Pljohns

    Same here-once I get a flare going, it takes a WHILE for my lungs to quit being twitchy-been working on this one for 6 weeks now and still a long way from normal.

  • sonjnj

    Not happy to hear about PLJOHNS.  I've been dealing with an infection for 4 weeks and a day.  Feel the asthma is under control but not the infection.  Hope all feel better asap.

  • K8sMom2002

    @sonjnj, I sure hope things get better — glad the asthma is under control, and maybe you can turn the corner with this infection very soon. Four weeks is a long time — are you on antibiotics?

  • LK

    Thankfully, DH is feeling better this morning!  Here's to hoping it's a continuing improvement! 

    Was talking with my dad this morning about the flu season this year.  He mentioned this Wall Street Journal article on the flu.

    My dad's in his mid-80s.  He remembers his father, born around 1905, relating how the influenza pandemic in 1918-19 hit people so quickly that they would come down sick and pass away within 48 hours.  That sounds similar to how quickly this year's flu is affecting people.  Of course, the medical help available back then doesn't even compare with today.

    Hope everyone is doing well today!! 

  • Pljohns

    Just found out our CFO is in the hospital with the flu and spesis-he's in his mid 30's and a healthy adult.  They said he has multiple complications-

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, Lynn! Saying prayers that your CFO will bounce back — flu and sepsis make for a scary combination.

    Lisa, I think one of the reasons we're NOT seeing the scary numbers that we did in the 1918 epidemic is that we DO have flu shots available. Just think how much more serious and critical this would be if the people who did get their flu shots hadn't … And doctors told my sis that it would have been way worse for her if she hadn't got the flu shot. 

  • LK
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Lisa, I think one of the reasons we're NOT seeing the scary numbers that we did in the 1918 epidemic is that we DO have flu shots available. Just think how much more serious and critical this would be if the people who did get their flu shots hadn't … And doctors told my sis that it would have been way worse for her if she hadn't got the flu shot. 

     

    I agree, Cynthia!  I don't think they knew much about the transmission of the virus back then either.  Or that basic hand washing and other preventive measures could help so much.

  • Pljohns

    Good news- CFO is going home tomorrow-they got the infection under control and he is doing much better

  • Megan Roberts

    So glad your CFO is headed home Lynn. He probably has many more days of recovery ahead. Hoping against hope that no one else in your office has been infected from it or catches it elsewhere. 

    Everyone else – @LK, @Paularose, @Kathy P, @K8sMom2002 and everyone else here, hope you are evading the germs!

    Funny story — was in line at the pharmacy last night, conversing with a stranger (which is NOT the norm in Philadelphia, let me tell you). After several minutes of chit chat, he tells me what he's picking up. TAMIFLU. FOR HIMSELF. Not as a preventative either! I wanted to slowly back away from him but instead stood there, trying not to breathe in his direction ever again.  

    @Kathy P I think you're past the incubation window from your travels across country in a petri dish with wings? Right? SO glad you did not get sick.

  • LK

    Wow, Megan, perhaps that man in line at the pharmacy should have been a little more considerate!!  Hope you don't catch the flu from him!!  That would be awkward to have been in your situation, not sure what I would have done!!  Probably just what you did. 

    Doing okay, myself.  The ear stuffiness and slightly funny throat from over the weekend has improved a little bit.  It helps that the weather has been mild the last day or so.  Tomorrow should be up to upper 60s then 20 at night and high of 35 on Friday.  Even when you don't feel ill, this up and down weather sure tries to get you!

    Sending healthy, gentle, warm hugs to everyone!! 

  • Pljohns

    Oh Megan-I agree with Lisa-he should have been a little more considerate-hope you don't catch his germs!

    Lisa-glad the ears and throat have improved some.  I agree about the weather-we have 2 days next week due to be 78 degrees-of course with our luck, that means we'll get a ice storm the next week.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes, Megan! That's what the drive-through is for! 

    Lisa, so glad you're seeing some improvement … and Lynn, if you get an ice storm, that means WE get an ice storm, and I'm so over cold weather. 

  • Megan Roberts

    We are having the same temperature fluctuations in my area. I am ready for it to just *stay* warm. Always feel so disappointed when it drops again (this time, just in time for the weekend… argh).

    Hope everyone hangs in there with the changes. @LK, glad your symptoms are improving! @Pljohns hope your DH is feeling a bit better today.

    I think I will be fine — the guy was standing a few feet from me. I was just thinking, of ALL the times a stranger strikes up conversation… it's a guy that has the flu! You would THINK he would feel crappy enough that he wouldn't want to talk with others! 

  • LK

    We learned yesterday that DH's sister has been in the hospital ICU for a few days.  She has the flu, pneumonia and something she said starts with 's'.  DH doesn't ask many questions so he didn't ask.  As you can tell, DH's side of the family doesn't communicate often!     She has smoked most of her life so I imagine her lungs are pretty compromised from that.

    The hospital is a few hours drive and DH thought of going to see her, but he still has a cough, so I said he shouldn't expose her to that and also, they may not let him in ICU when he has a cough.  We sent a Get Well card and flowers.   

  • Megan Roberts

    Oh noooo!! I wonder if she also has sepsis? So sorry to hear @LK. I hope she starts to make progress soon — that combination (along with the issues from being a smoker) sounds just horrible, and very dangerous for her. 

  • Kathy P

    Hugs Lynn – I hope the docs can get things under control.

    My mom is having issues from some virus that just won't quit. It's not the flu. She was initially hospitalized for congestive heart failure, but they determined she had some virus. She's sprung from the hospital but on O2 which is a major complication! Things like can't be at the stove to cook…. She's slowly getting better, but still coughing and sounds horrible.

    There is some nasty stuff going around!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, hugs, hugs @LK … that's a super tough situation to be in. Saying big prayers for all of you!

    I will say that you probably have the right idea. When my DD was little, she wound up with the flu, which meant we all had it. At about that time, my mom had just come home from the ICU and being on a vent for her asthma and COPD. My doctor warned me that I couldn't go around her until my cough from the flu was completely gone. 

    Just because he can't visit doesn't mean he can't call her (or the rest of his family) and check on her daily. Could you figure out ways to lend support in a long-distance way? Maybe send a care package to her family while they are with her in the hospital? Or mail them some gift cards for local fast food restaurants near the hospital where she is?

    You said, "she said" … I'm hoping that means she was the one who called and talked to your DH — which would be a good sign of improvement! And I hope this is a wake up call for her to quit smoking if she hasn't already!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Kathy … I'm assuming that means that your mom cooks on gas? My mom was on O2 24/7 for awhile and she could cook on her electric stove. I can see how O2 and a gas flame wouldn't go together!

    But your mom probably doesn't really feel up to cooking right now. I hope she feels better soon.

  • LK
    Megan Roberts posted:

    Oh noooo!! I wonder if she also has sepsis? So sorry to hear @LK. I hope she starts to make progress soon — that combination (along with the issues from being a smoker) sounds just horrible, and very dangerous for her. 

    DH said whatever it is starts with 's' so I was wondering the same thing. 

  • LK

    Oh, Kathy, sorry your mom has been so ill!  There sure is some stuff going around that just hangs on for weeks and weeks.  Hope she feels better each day!

  • Megan Roberts

    Oh geez so sorry to hear @Kathy P. On the plus side, being out of the hospital is probably safer with everything else going around right now. On the downside, she has to fend for herself, which would be hard enough for someone with her health situation even without having to lug oxygen around with her. 

  • LK
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Just because he can't visit doesn't mean he can't call her (or the rest of his family) and check on her daily. Could you figure out ways to lend support in a long-distance way? Maybe send a care package to her family while they are with her in the hospital? Or mail them some gift cards for local fast food restaurants near the hospital where she is?

    You said, "she said" … I'm hoping that means she was the one who called and talked to your DH — which would be a good sign of improvement! And I hope this is a wake up call for her to quit smoking if she hasn't already!

    Thank you everyone for the kind words and suggestions.

    She was texting with DH so not sure exactly how she is doing.  She's older than DH and her kids are grown so it's just her husband and her and I'm not sure if he is staying in the hospital or back at home.  They live in a very, very small town and there are absolutely not restaurants there.  Will try to encourage DH to touch base with her to see how she is doing. 

    It's so strange.  So often he doesn't know how to reply to someone whether it's verbal, nonverbal, a written note, a text or some other form of communication.  He got her first text during his work day yesterday and waited until he was home with me because he didn't know how to respond.  He sincerely needs help just to say things like 'Sorry to hear you are ill!  Hope you are feeling better!'  It wasn't just because she was in the hospital.  He usually has not idea what to say to people.  Me included! 

  • LK

    Heard that my DH's sister's husband is now in the VA hospital with flu and pneumonia.  DH's sister has been in the ICU ward in another hospital for five days with the same illness.  They both have smoked most of their lives, so their lungs are not in good shape.  She said one day this week she had very low blood pressure and yesterday her heart rate was up to 195 and above 100 all day. 

  • Shea

    I was relieved to see an article in the newspaper today in the Business section about the issue that "no sick pay" has on people. People who work at a place that offers no sick pay are more likely to go to work sick and that has a negative impact for the business and public AND costs BOTH more financially! It sayid most countries have mandatory paid sick days– why dont WE?????? It pays for itself and is the right thing to do. It did not mention that these people probably send sick kids to school more as well… So that could be stopped too.

  • LK

    Thanks for the prayers for my DH's sister and her husband!  She was able to go home yesterday.  I think she is on an oxygen tank.  They only have a wood burning stove for heat so she wasn't looking forward to dealing with that.  Thankfully one of her grown daughters is there to help her out.  Haven't heard anything about how her husband is doing. 

    Shea,  I know that some people don't have sick days to use but I also know people who have sick leave available to use and don't use it when they are obviously sick.  Doesn't make sense to me! 

  • Pljohns

    Lisa-so glad your DH’s sister was able to go home and hope her husband a soon as well.  Glad she has a grown daughter to help her too.

    Sick leave is a double edge sword-I’ve worked for companies where we did’t have it and ones that do.  Some people will take it and some won’t.    A lot of companies are changing to what’s called PTO (paid time off) that is combined vacation and sick leave.  The down side is people want to use all that time for vacation so they come to work sick.  

  • Pljohns

    It looks like for our area, the flu is FINALLY on the down swing-hospitals are still above or at capacity but the CDC report is showing we are headed down-FINALLY

  • Megan Roberts

    Lisa, good news about your sister. Hope she continues to mend despite her compromised lungs. How is your sister's hubby doing? 

    Lynn, so glad to hear things are on the down-swing! FINALLY! May the force be with you in continuing to avoid the actual flu until the season is completely over. (I think you and DH have determined what you have is NOT flu?)

    @Shea, having worked in the restaurant industry for years, I can sadly vouch for the fact that many in that industry do work when under the weather. Many employees don't have sick leave or even health insurance and can't afford to lose a day of work. It's sad both for those employees and also those who come into contact with them.