It’s been a wee bit quiet on the blog the past week or so. I’ve had almost a week off work, but sadly not for fun or pleasure. We have had flu, and when flu strikes, it really isn’t fun at all.
This looks pretty but it’s actually very, very nasty and it made us very ill…
Emily and I fell victim to flu. Proper, serious flu. Not a cold, not a minor virus, but proper flu or Influenza, as it’s known.
It started with me feeling a little under the weather on Tuesday afternoon last week. I had a slightly scratchy throat and a mild sore head. I thought I had a cold coming on, swallowed some painkillers, with coffee and went to work. I got on with my day. I felt grotty, but mum’s don’t usually get sick days, and I’m very busy at the moment, so I carried on.
By Wednesday lunchtime I was shivering and starting to feel hot and cold, my head was sore, and my throat hurt. My hands and feet were cold and I had a cough. My colleagues banished me home, sensibly. I went home and battled through the afternoon with the children. I took myself to bed as soon as LSH walked in the door.
On Thursday, after an awful night, I developed the symptoms of a stomach bug. At this point, my sense of humour had totally vanished as I now had what I thought was a nasty cold thing plus a stomach bug.
I don’t really remember much of Thursday into Friday other than going to the bathroom a lot and barely being able to stand up. I had a fever, and what little fluids and food I could eat didn’t stay down for long. Everything hurt and the cough was painful. This went on through Saturday. Sunday morning, my fever left, and I was able to get up and slowly potter about the house. Feeling very weak and shaky, “stomach bug” symptoms fading.
Meanwhile, Emily was becoming unwell, and on Saturday had a high fever, was pale, aching, off her food, and complaining of a sore throat. We put her to bed, gave her fever-reducing medications and on Sunday she didn’t look well but I wasn’t terribly alarmed. We thought she had a milder version of whatever I had.
Overnight she became worse, with a temperature that wouldn’t come down despite my attempts and her cough also worsened. She looked so pale and ill on the Monday morning, that I immediately rang our doctors surgery and they were able to see her almost straight away (and I was due to be seen as well) thankfully our surgery is brilliant and I have always been able to get the children seen when it’s been needed.
The doctor examined her, listened to her symptoms, took her temperature, looked me over, took my temperature, and declared “you have flu, proper flu. Home to bed, for both of you, I’m prescribing Tamiflu for Emily, you need medicines, fluids and rest. You are on the mend. If she doesn’t start to improve in 36-48 hours she will need to be seen at A&E”.
What I thought was a nasty cold bug combined with a stomach bug was in fact, flu. Or Influenza. The proper job, the real deal and we both had it. He swabbed our noses and throats to send for testing, to confirm but he was pretty certain I had all of these symptoms. Emily didn’t have the stomach bug symptoms but everything else. It came on quickly for her and 24 hours for me.
That, as they say, was that and we’ve been at home ever since, recovering slowly. Emily was very unwell for the next few days, lost her voice, battled high temperatures and didn’t eat much.
Thankfully she’s started to recover and is almost back to her normal self and I’m tired, a bit weak, with a terrible cough, and I’ve lost some weight, but I’m am at myself again.
It was nasty, a little scary (sitting up with your child trying to get their fever to ease, and watching it climb, thinking you might just have to take her to hospital, isn’t fun) and knowing, what I do as a nurse, that flu can kill, even perfectly healthy people.
We come out of our brush with real flu a little wiser (and thinner) and glad we are both none the worse for it. Thankfully LSH and Matthew have so far escaped the virus. I’ve been on alert though.
So that’s why it’s been a bit quiet around here. We will be back to normal in a few days…
I have to say, the next time someone claims to have flu but is apparently functioning normally, I won’t believe them, because when I say it knocked me off my feet, I mean it, and I’ve not seen Emily so ill either. Proper flu is serious and you should seek medical attention if you suspect that’s what you have, and stay home away from other people to avoid spreading it.
*in the interests of disclosure, I will say that Emily has not had a flu vaccination, she isn’t eligible for one on the NHS but I had mine, in September, last year. Both Matthew & LSH have had theirs too and so far have escaped being ill. We will all be getting one next year. My GP says I had a milder case because of the vaccine (I can’t imagine how ill I’d have been otherwise if what I had was mild) this post is NOT a place to discuss the pros and cons of vaccinations but I felt I should be honest about that*