Friday, January 2, 2009


It's scary, but I've done the research and I'm 99% sure my parents and Scott have the flu.

Just a little recap on this bug - which is known in the biz as a respiratory disease:

  • The incubation period is woefully short. 1 - 3 days after exposure to a symptomatic or non-symptomatic but infectious person may cause infection.
  • But, don't feel so lucky if you've made it 3 days. Because it can incubate for 5, or even 7 days before you become symptomatic.
  • This year's model comes with a mind-numbing headache and a non-productive cough.
  • It also comes with a terrible fever (even though you can't sweat it out) and insane exhaustion. Getting up to pee can do you in.
  • But you HAVE TO DRINK A LOT. It will help this potentially very serious disease to leave your system.
  • It's the cough that spreads the virus. For up to 7 days! So go to bed and don't breathe on anyone.
  • It can take 3 weeks for the cough to go away and for the flu-d out person to recover energy.
  • The older you are, the more serious it is. And if you are diabetic or asthmatic it's also pretty serious.
  • Complications (such as bacterial pneumonia) aren't common but they are insidious, so you need to pay attention to how you're doing day to day.
Yes, I am a hideous hypochondriac but I've also been sick with some freakin' nasty things in my time and, still, this one is scary. I mean, I've had pneumonia 2x and flu a couple of times and I thought I was going to perish. Mercifully, it's been a while and I'd really prefer not to go there again.

Or see any of you go there either.

So listen to me. I'm somebody's mother:

Take care of yourselves. Drink lots of water. Sleep. Take some Emergen-C (this stuff rocks!). Get some oscillococinum and keep it in your cabinet. Just in case you need it. It really cuts down the symptoms and duration IMO. Eat well. Sugar lowers your immunity dramatically for up to 4 hours after you eat it.

Dress warmly in the cold. Keep your neck covered. Even when you sleep. OK, wear cashmere scarves to bed.

See, when it's all said and done, you just can't take the fashion out of this blog :-)


  1. OMG hope that your family is feeling better now and all get well soon!!!!
    That sucks also hope that you can escape from that.

    That's a very informative post, good work K*

    All the best, take care


  2. Oh I feel this huge sense of urgency reading this post. I must get them..the medications and avoid the flu at all cost. I also have to make sure I have my best silk and pashmina blend scarf next to my bedside.

  3. Flu does suck in indeed. I have got the "shot" for it the last few years. Did me little good when I got the Pneumonia, that led to the hospital, that led to the antibiotic, that led to my hearing loss!
    Anyway no flu that year eithier.
    Nice post!


  4. I'm just coming down with a cold and my eyes are watering and my nose dripping, but am happily not with flu - hope yours feel OK soon.

    By the way - the term non-productive cough - is that a cough that won't take out the rubbish and do the washing up?

  5. Thanks Seeker.

    Songy: Do the scarf first! Quick.

    Dave and D.: I gotta give you my bias here. I'm not into the flu shot. I've seen it backfire too many times (anecdotally, only, of course, but sometimes that's the most compelling way).

    Having said this - this flu is so truly terrible, I may revise my opinion for next year. At least for my 60 year old parents who are still struggling with some bad symptoms almost a week later.

    Imogen: LOL! I'm not feeling so great right now. We've sent my daughter to friends for the night. I'm not coming down with flu. I refuse. But I am a bit fever-y and very tired. And to fight, I need rest. Give me your well vibes and I'll give you mine!

  6. I've done pneumonia a few times too. No fun. All illness should be banned.

  7. I've never had a bad reaction to the flu shot and for me, the benefits outweigh the risks.

  8. OMG, but don't we worry about self-strangulation by cashmere scarf?

    I'm a hypochondriac too, so just reading this post makes me sneeze.

  9. Sigh. I think i have this flue! In bed, checking your blog, reading this... yes to all of the above. Interesting - you sure do know a lot about this stuff!!!

  10. I got a cold the other day.. I and as soon as my throat began to hurt when I would even swallow my own spit (eww) I am eating Vitamin C 3000 (candy with a 3000 boost) about 6 of those a day, slept all day yesterday (well watched tv), and wanted to kick it before it really got started.. feeling much, much better but I think I will lounge around for one more day. All I have to say is Vita C... really, really works..

    Third day.. feeling much better but will drink another liter of water and stay in bed and watch tv to make sure this sucker is gone!

  11. Sending you Vita C Vibes.. relax and watch tv and stay in bed for the most part... I refuse to go to work.. even when I have a cold.. I pushed myself before and lost some of my hearing..long story.. but won't do it again. Thanks to your C advice.. I am feeling much better and I can swallow now.. haha "wink"

  12. Wendy: Pneumonia is a trip, no? Like to hell.

    D.: While formerly disinclined to listen to this viewpoint, I gotta say you're making a lot of sense right now. Thanks for being assertive in your perspective.

    Marinka: OMG, I DID think of that. But then I decided it would be a worthy way to go :-)

    Tea Lady: My apologies. I will give you my positive get well vibes. I did a ton of research about this the other day (fear will do that to ya). Can't say I'm usually up on this bug.

    GJ: You are so smart, of course. Under all other circumstances I would stay home - just to be safe (for me and others) rather than sorry - but this week is a hugely deadline driven one for me. And I do believe that I'm going to overcome what weak symptoms I've experienced. If I had the flu Scott and my parents have come down with, I would not be able to get out of bed. Your hearing loss story is very interesting. And a lesson to us all. Maybe you will blog about it?

  13. Oh.. darn.. you have to head back to work.. I think I am being more paranoid than anything... if i feel warm.. "oh my gosh i have a fever" turns out to be just normal.. but my voice is back to norm, throat much better.. and heck... I can not turn down re-runs of desperate housewives..

    The hearing loss... I was getting over a cold, and my ears, throat were still raw from that but cold was gone..still went to work... and (teacher) so I had to use my voice.. continued and blah blah... it was combination of nervousness... as well.. I should blog it.. hehe down those vita C's kline..

  14. I can't believe that you confessed to trying to kill us all! How rude! But warm.

    p.s. You don't think that you can out-hypochandriac me, do you?

  15. GJ: And they say teaching isn't dangerous! :-) Quite a lesson...

    Marinka: Really, I'm just a sociopath. :-) And I think we should go on a gameshow and see who wins the hypochondriac prize of a new front loading washer and dryer.