Tips for Facing the Flu

So, we got the flu.

Dang it.

I neurotically wash my hands. I shower the second I walk in the door from work (at the hospital) so that I am clean before I see Brayden in the morning. I Lysol our doorknobs and counter tops religiously. I also pray every night that our family remains healthy, especially this flu season.

Alas, sometimes you just have to “walk through the fire”, if you know what I mean. Dustin complained he wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday evening and then came home from work after only 30 minutes there on Wednesday. We quarantined him from the baby and asked my mom to spend the night while I was at work, hoping that would prevent Brayden from getting sick. I went to work with a sore throat. By about 7 pm my neck was stiff and I began coughing. It was a rough shift for me and I slept for about thirty minutes. So I came home exhausted and feeling terrible. The flu hit me HARD.

Fortunately, I was able to pick up my Tamiflu and start it pretty quickly. Also, my mother, who had been in Bangkok for nearly three weeks, was home and willing to take care of us. Thank God for that brave woman! Not many people would knowingly enter a flu-infested home and resume all childcare duties. She went grocery shopping, did laundry and dishes, made us food, and took care of Brayden for days. I will never be able to adequately describe how wonderful I think my mother is, but I sure hope that she knows we adore her.

Dustin woke up around 3pm today and was feeling better so my mom left to be in her own bed and begin her Tamiflu treatment (yes, unfortunately she caught the bug as well). I have no voice and am still hacking up a lung, with an aching chest and exhaustion slowing me down but so far Brayden isn’t showing signs of sickness. Help us pray he doesn’t get sick again! Please, and thank you.

I wanted to share with you tips for getting over this terrible flu but first let’s talk prevention.

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS!
  2. Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Wipe down your phone, steering wheel, and doorknobs with a flu killing cleaner like Lysol regularly.
  4. Stay away from hospital emergency rooms, if at all possible. Literally breading grounds for the flu. Five people with the flu go in, fifteen people with the flu leave. It’s terrible!
  5. If you don’t feel good, stay home. I know first hand that this bug knocks you out quickly so it may be hard to avoid being out, but if you have plans after you know you’re sick then cancel them.

If Dustin utilized these practices I might not feel like I can’t move. So once you are already sick, here are my tips.

  1. REST. After each nap I have been able to take (around my mommy nursing duties) I have felt a lot better. Dustin slept for 3 days straight and woke up finally feeling better.
  2. Stay hydrated. They say you should “drown the flu”. My throat has hurt so bad that without having water to temporarily stifle the pain I would really be struggling. This goes for babies too. If you are a nursing mama then keep on keeping on, so that your little one gets all your immunities. That is literally the only reason I have chosen to get up and breastfeed Brayden, risking his contamination. With every drop he is getting flu fighting antibodies that are specific to your illness, and they have already been exposed before you even knew you were sick.
  3. Try to prevent spreading your germs by washing your hands, wearing a mask, and limiting time around people, if possible.
  4. If you use essential oils then I highly recommend using a blend of thieves, lemon, lavender and frankincense to open up your airway and help you sleep. When I was backpacking through Europe, I rubbed thieves on my feet every night and survived the many hostels without so much as a cough.
  5. Treat your symptoms. If you have a fever and aches, then take some Tylenol. If you have chills then wear a scarf, sweater, and fuzzy socks all while laying under no fewer than three blankets.
  6. When all else fails, call your mama, your sibling, or someone who loves you and would take a (theoretical) bullet for you, and beg them to come be your caretaker.

Okay, back to bed, for this girl. Stay strong people!

UPDATE: Tamiflu has side effects! My mom stopped taking her prescription after only one day because she got very nauseous. After 3 days of taking it I woke up feeling nauseous as well. I couldn’t keep any food down and decided to stop taking it as well. A day later, once the Tamiflu had some time to wear off, I was no longer nauseous and could stand to eat. According to the production companies studies, Tamiflu may cause nausea and vomiting in up to 10% of people. So I guess we are just some of the lucky ones. Sigh.

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