Monday, January 11, 2010

Public Service Announcement

I'm not quite ready to come back yet, but I wanted to take a few minutes to post my version of a Public Service Announcement.  As many of you already know, I've been away from blogging due to illness.  However, what you may not know is that the illness is H1N1.  Yep, the Swine Flu.

I can honestly say that I've never felt so terrible in my life.  I had heard that for most people, H1N1 is no worse than the regular seasonal flu.  I guess I'm not most people.  After 15 days, I'm only now beginning to feel slightly human.  I was unable to get vaccinated because our area ran out of vaccine months ago.  I understand that it has recently become available again, but it's too late for me.  It's not too late for you, though.  If the vaccine is available in your area and you haven't gotten it yet, I beg you to drop what you're doing and take your family to get vaccinated.

If you ignore my advice and decide to develop your immunity by getting the H1N1 flu, you may have the same experience I did.  It starts with a dry, scratchy throat that rapidly develops into a cough.  By the end of day one, the coughing is almost non stop.  You won't be able to complete a sentence or sleep for more than 5 minutes at a time without coughing.  The dry cough will morph into a combination sinus/chest congestion gagging cough.  Your sinuses will go into overdrive and you will be blowing you nose every second that you aren't coughing.   You will run a slight fever and have constant chills.  Every inch of your body will ache.  You will lose your appetite and struggle to eat more than a bite or two of food per day.  If you are able to sleep at all, you will only be able to do so by sitting upright.  Lying down will leave you coughing and gagging.  You will lose your voice.  By the third or fourth day, you will experience fatigue so severe that walking from one room to the next will leave you exhausted.  The fatigue may also be accompanied with feeling light headed or dizzy.  Your doctor and your local health department will likely advise you to treat your symptoms with over the counter decongestants and ibuprofen and seek medical attention only if you experience trouble breathing (although you may benefit from Tamiflu if you are diagnosed in the earliest stages of H1N1).  Lastly, the congestion may also effect your ears, making it temporarily difficult to hear.

If you do happen to come down with this nasty flu, I can tell you a few of the things that helped me feel somewhat better.  Sudafed (or the generic equivalent) helped my sinus congestion quite a bit.  I tried Mucinex for the chest congestion, the jury is still out on whether that really did much for me.  Nyquil seemed to work the first few nights that I took it, but after that it seemed to have the reverse effect and left me wide awake instead of putting me to sleep.  Ibuprofen definitely helped with the fever and achiness.  Last night I decided to try the much criticized approach of putting Vicks VapoRub on my feet before bed.  I can't explain why it works, but it does.  I slept soundly for almost 4 hours before waking up coughing (it was time for another dose of sinus meds).  That is the longest continuous sleep I've had in nearly two weeks.  I wish I had tried it sooner.

So please, take it from me, if you haven't been vaccinated, do so if at all possible.  You don't want to put yourself or your family through this terrible illness if you don't have to.  I did everything you're supposed to do by frequently washing my hands, using hand sanitizer, etc. and I still managed to get it.

I hope you're all enjoying the new year, I look forward to catching up with you soon. 



Willoughby

30 comments:

kys said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe you're STILL sick. I hope you get better soon!

PS We've all been vaccinated.

***Holly*** said...

Wow - that sounds awful. Take care of yourself! We'll be here when you get back... :)

5thsister said...

I had been so worried about you! You're fortunate you didn't wind up in the hospital with dehydration or pneumonia (as is what I have seen locally). You are also fortunate you didn't end up on a ventilator (again, what I have been seeing in the worst cases). I pray you continue to heal. Anything I can send your way to help you feel better? Seriously, I'm going to the post office to mail a gift tomorrow and I don't mind. In anycase, email me your address and I'll send you something to cheer you up. Take care dear friend. I miss you bunches.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

That flu really has taken you out, I hope that you get better very soon. As much as we miss you, I am glad you're taking time to rest. The only one to get vaccinated in our family is my toddler, but I'm rethinking getting us vaccinated. Unfortunately our dr has run out of the regular flu vaccine and only has H1N1, weird. So we may only get the "swine flu" shots.

L.B. said...

How awful. I'm really hoping you come out of this no worse for the wear. It sounds like a terrible thing.

I never understood the nonchalant attitude many had about this disease. I mean, if the World Health Organization classified this as a pandemic and so many governments around the globe were quick to react to it, it was for a reason.

I was vaccinated and my daughters have been too, though they need the second part of that vaccination soon.

Life Laugh Latte said...

No fun at all! So sorry you have had such a rough go at it. Good advice from someone that has been there. Holly

lisleman said...

sounds awful and I hope you are on a good recovery. Did they consider putting you into the hospital?
Your title with PSA in it got my attention. I'm thinking of another PSA thing over at 'A Few Clowns Short'

all the best

Purple Flowers said...

Willou - my friend. I am so sorry to hear how sick you've been. And I've been having a pity party here for the sinus congestion and chest cold I had. And the cough just won't leave me alone. I'm so sorry for you. If we lived closer, I'd bring you soup. Take Care, and I'll check in on you in a few days.

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

I hope you will soon feel yourlself again. Fight the good fight and overcome this nasty virus! It's true that vaccination beats the risk of having the disease. I hope everyone will get the vaccine.
Congratulations for your one year of successful blogging. A wonderful performance!

Kathy said...

I hope you are feeling better very soon!

Amy said...

I am so sorry to read that you've been so sick. I am glad you are feeling better. I'm sending you many, many virtual hugs and lots of positive thoughts. Please take care of yourself & be sure to rest up long enough so that that nasty flu is completely vanished from your body before you are fully up and about again. It would be awful to have it return.

I realize now, just reading your post, that I forgot to get my flu shot. I better do that soon considering i havre several lung issues including asthma.

I'm sorry I didn't already know you were sick. I've had a family emergency of sorts and haven't really been around. I'm not sure when I'll be blogging again, but I check email frequently.

I hope you Feel "Way" Better very, very soon!!

ChristineM said...

Seeing you post was good news! You've been missed! But I'm so sorry you got hit with this thing so hard - I hope you're feeling better soon! Hubby and daughter got the vaccine, but I'm still waiting - hopefully this week!

Take care of yourself!

Lissaloo said...

We live in a college town and it ran rampant here for quite awhile. We have had it and are done, it took FOREVER to get over it. I'm glad you are starting to recover, definitely no fun.

Nan and =^..^= said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you have been so ill with the H1N1 flu. Hope the worst of it has gone and that you're on the road to a speedy recovery. Don't over do it! Thanks so much for the "public service reminder" and we'll look into getting that flu shot this week. Get well soon! Missed your visits to my blog!

Graceful said...

Oh my gosh, that sounds absolutely miserable. I hope you start feeling a lot better soon!

THE ORDINARY HOUSEWIFE said...

I hope you start feeling entirely human and well soon! I'm sorry to sat that I was one of those people that got it and it wasn't that bad...and surprisingly (and luckily) no one else in my house got it! Well, keep resting and feel better soon!!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

best wishes on a speedy recovery

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

best wishes on a speedy recovery

thamesarino said...

Ack! I have been fairly infequent on blogger lately, but have noticed your long absence! I hope that you are feeling better soon!
I am sending love, light, and healing energy your way!!
Take care my friend!!

Kimberly said...

We all miss you greatly. I hope you feel better soon. My whole family had this last year. It was so terrible. There were days that I could not do anything at all.

GET Better!

elvira pajarola said...

....Oh; what a bad story......but I hope so much Your recovery will now speed up and I wish You all the best and all the best wishes for it..!

Thank You so much for Your good adwise...yes, we do the vaccinatins too; we had to wait for them...!

dear Willoughby...Take care and see you soon!!!!
ALL THE VERY BEST FOR YOU!!!!
Un Abbraccio elvira

Chicago Mom said...

So glad to hear you are finally feeling better! What a terrible ordeal. Best wishes for continued recovery!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Willoughby, I am so sorry. I've been swamped and not reading as many blogs this past week and I'm just seeing this now.

The H1N1 is nasty. I am so glad you've turned the corner and I hope your recovery is easy and complete very soon.

I got m y shot and dragged my family with me to get it too. This is an awful bug and your words prove the point a hundred times over.

Hang in there.

xo

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Hope you're feeling good today.
Thanks for you lovely comments on my blog.
hugs

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

I wondered what happened to you...SWINE FLU......oh my ....i had no idea....


i hope you are feeling much better,,sounds horrible.....
know that i am thinking of you and send best wishes for a speedy recovery, my friend
thanks for stopping by to visit today....

you have been missed!

Get Well Soon......


sending love and best wishes
kary
xxx

Deidra said...

I am so sorry you're dealing with that crappy flu. I had the very same version you are having. I feel your pain. I remember everyone saying how H1N1 wasn't really that bad, and then I got it for myself and my doctor confirmed that it hits some harder than others. Bummer. I am praying for you. A humidifier next to my bed was very helpful!

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Oh, Willoughby, I am so sorry! I have been MIA myself, so I wasn't aware that you were still out of commission. I hope you are doing better very soon!!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

it was good to hear from you today..thanks for stopping by..
i hope you're feeling better...sounds like this was really a bad case of flu.....

sending get well wishes to you, my friend...

feel better

love,
kary

娃娃 said...

happy to read~ thank you!..................................................

sanjeet said...

that sounds awful. Take care of yourself! We'll be here when you get back.

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