I've had the flu twice in my life. The first time was immediately following my first flu shot... wouldn't you know? :-) I don't think I'd ever been that sick before. The flu was going around our office and each of us was off for about a week, but we all had some lingering symptoms like cough and nasal congestion, etc.
My second episode was when the H1N1 pandemic was in progress and doctors in my area stopped testing for it because it was so prevalent. When I called in and described my symptoms, my doctor's office said to just assume that's what I had, stay home, rest, drink plenty of fluids, take Tylenol for pain etc and if I got worse, either call them back or go to the ER. I was working for the school system and caring for an elderly aunt at that time, so I did have a flu shot that year.
Although I haven't always maintained my annual shots, I've been doing them the past couple of years and will continue to do so.
I haven't had the flu since I began getting flu shots 14 years ago (and have never missed a shot in that time), but something hit my son and myself this year. It featured a super high fever, in my son's case. A friend who took her daughter to the doctor with the same kind of symptoms and also an extremely high fever, was told it was the flu (from her daughter getting tested). This doesn't prove my son's was also the flu, but it was certainly more severe than a cold. What I got followed his by about a week. It was really achy (especially, my face ached) but not as feverish in my case, and the worst of it went by pretty fast. It went faster than in years before I would get the flu vaccine and actually got the flu. (This might be from having had the flu shot. -- If it was the flu.) We didn't go in for an exact diagnosis because this hit right at the same time as the measles hit our area, and the news was saying that if you were sick you should call in rather than go in. Not much diagnosis possible on the phone.
The flu is all over where we are in the country. My younger son wasn't feeling great and maybe a little warm after school but not enough for me to even get the thermometer out. I left for a couple of hours and came home and he was on the couch looking pretty pitiful. Red cheeks, clearly temp was up so I checked. It was well over 100 so I gave him some ibuprofen and helped my other son with homework. An hour and a half later, he was worse. 105 temp! WITH ibuprofen. I took it several times and didn't believe it so made my husband go to a pharmacy to get another because I didn't believe it. Second thermometer registered the same thing. I tried to get the temp down. And it wouldn't budge. Called his doctor because I was afraid to put him to bed with such a high temperature and she told me to get up every couple of hours to make sure he was okay (? who is okay at 3 am with a high fever?) and to bring him in in the morning. Next day he threw up twice and we went to the doctors office where he tested positive for influenza A.
one word--- TAMIFLU
Amazing medication and he took two doses that day and was on the road to recovery the next. He was out of school three days total. And the day he went back to school, my OLDER son cam home from school saying he felt 'not right and terrible'. Um hm. Low temp. Temp started rising. Called the doctor and I'm grateful she just called in Tamiflu for him as well
one word--- TAMIFLU
Around our township though, they are testing most kids who wind u in doctors offices to see what strain they have. Kids have type A and other kids have type B. Which makes me nervous because we could have another round of flu in our house. Say it isn't so!
Tamiflu started day symptoms started with my older one made a very short time of being sick with the main thing being extra sleep needed over the weekend. No biggie. (I need that most of the time anyway myself).
Was hands and dodge those with a cough spewing droplets into the air. I didn't get the flu nor did my husband . . . knock on wood.
I have a friend who's father died from flu this week. He was only 65 years old, and he was one who always refused the flu shot. I have seen way too many adverse outcomes from the flu to take my chances. I know the vaccine is not even close to 100%, but I'll take any amount of protection that is greater than zero!
Everyone in our household has had the flu shot, plus we take precautions such as diligent handwashing. When I am out in public and have to touch something that a lot of people have touched (like a grocery cart or a restaurant table), I always make sure not to touch my face until I've had a chance to wash my hands.
I haven't gotten a flu shot this year. So far, I've been really lucky, but I keep hearing about how it's not over yet. Is it too late to get a flu shot for it to be effective this year?
I have allergic reactions to flu shots but I know how important the shots are so I get them anyway-I insist they rotate the injection site each year. I still get the flu though.
I remember seeing my int med dr years ago and he asked the standard how have you been question and I replied I had the flu several mos before. He replied no you didnt. I paused and said yes I had the flu. He again replied no you didnt you just felt like you had the flu. I paused and said well ok but the nasal aspiration test at the ER said I did have the flu-influenza type 2 I believe it was. He was so nonplussed it was comical. I took Tamiflu but didnt feel like it helped unless it works in the future because I did not get the flu the following year.
So this year I was staying with my mom at her retirement complex. All the ladies meet for coffee or cards twice a week in the community room. All the ladies attend even when they are not over their virus yet... So Mom became ill. I immediately wiped out my nose with Listerine, sucked on Cold-eze zinc lozenges, and sterilized all common surfaces. Then I left to stay elsewhere for 3 days. Dodged the bullet. Returned feeling great, and promptly caught it from a Coughing Chatty Cathy in the hallway...
STAY HOME UNTIL YOU ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS-THIS DOES NOT MEAN WHEN YOU FIRST START TO FEEL BETTER.
AND LOL STAY FAR AWAY FROM THE COLD AND FLU AISLE AT WALMART/WALGREENS/CVS/ETC WHICH IS FILLED WITH PEOPLE IN MISERY STUDYING THE PRODUCTS. THEY PICK UP THE PRODUCTS TO READ AND THEN PLACE THE PRODUCTS BACK ON THE SHELF-GERM TRANSFERENCE!
We've never been big on the flu shot- I used to get it for my daughter that was born with a heart defect- since with her additional health issue it could make it much more complicated, but her heart is fine now and all of us skip it. We wash hands regularly and try to keep everyone hydrated and eating healthy on a regular basis to prevent. A few years ago when the flu vax wasn't as effective we did have one child who ended up with the flu- but we kept it from spreading to anyone else and she recovered well. I think there are situations that are best for a person to get the vax, but for us, right now, we lean towards skipping it. If we were around elderly or others with a compromised immune system more, I would probably lean towards getting it to keep them safe.