Every year headlines and news programs let us know that Flu season is upon us. There is always the warning for us to get our flu shot, and then the following prevention tips.
I never get a flu shot….
Maybe I should, considering I spent day 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 pretty much in bed with the dreaded flu.
There are some common misconceptions I think many have about the flu. So I thought I would give a rundown of what the flu is and then give some tips on what to do if you have it.
The flu is a deathlike state…. Um sorry my opinion.
The flu is a virus and symptoms can vary depending on the strain. This year it seems that the most common strain starts out with an itchy throat and a cough. It’s pretty sneaky and I bet its why there are such large numbers coming down with it, because at least for me I thought I had a little allergy starting up. The flu typically causes a fever and maybe even a headache. You will usually have body aches, and you’ll be very tired. Some other symptoms that can occur are stuffy nose, sore throat and chest discomfort, which is why some people mistake the flu for a cold.
So, what can you do if you catch the dreaded flu? Some people will run to the nearest Instacare, or see their doctor for a prescription. The problem with that is that the flu is a virus, and a prescription is usually unavailable for a virus. Granted, there is the lovely Tamiflu that doctors can prescribe now. However, I do not know how doctors decide who gets it and when.
I did not want to leave my warm and comfortable bed, so I sent my husband to the pharmacist for advice. (Please note, if you are a high risk patient just go to the doctor! The pharmacist can give great advice, but he/she is not a doctor.) He told the pharmacist what symptoms I had, and the pharmacist was able to give advice on what over the counter drugs would help me.
Here is the “cocktail” the pharmacist recommended based on my symptoms:
For the fever: rotating Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
For the persistent cough: Delsym, or any other cough medication you feel works for you.
For the flu symptoms: Dramamine, I used a Walgreens brand called Wal-Dram.
Lots of fluids: Water and also include a drink to replace the lost electrolytes. So, Vitamin Water, Gatorade, or a sports drink you like.
Here is a little kit I have made up which will stay up in the cupboard from now on. It is also a great kit to send to a friend who has been hit by any sickness. It contains things every household needs to combat the viruses and stuff that hit us periodically.
First off, this round of the flu was accompanied by projectile vomiting due to the intense coughing… TMI? Probably, but it is true. So, after having to use a huge bowl from my kitchen I went on the hunt for a “Sick bowl” to be used exclusively for situations like this. I found this for a cheap $3 at Harmons.
I also have on hand a good Ginger Beer. (This is non-alcoholic of course) You can use a Ginger Ale, but a good Ginger Beer has a good dose of ginger brewed into it which means that it can really have a great calming effect on your stomach. Ginger is a natural cure for tummy aches. I usually get a glass of ice and pour the Ginger beer over it and let it sit a minute to calm the bubbles. Then I just sip it. It really helps!
Get a few of your favorite sports drinks. As I stated above, you need to replace the electrolytes you lose. If you rely on water only you risk adding another symptom to your misery, a big headache. Water is necessary also, and I started out drinking just water. However two days in water was the only thing I had drank, and there was very little food eaten. So the vitamin water my hubby gave me was really appreciated!
Tissues! Make sure they are the lotion tissues! I was treated with the menthol ones this go around, and it was just a little touch of heaven!
Crackers: Saltines are always great.
Warm fuzzy socks! Fevers make you feel cold, even though you are abnormally hot. Warm fuzzy socks are always appreciated!
- For a gift, add in anything else you think they will appreciate. From here out these are things you will want to keep together for your family.
Thermometer: If you keep it in the basin you don’t have to search for it!
Fever medication: Tylenol and Advil or whatever brands you prefer.
Cough Medication: This is also up to you but this Dylsym was great! I would also keep your favorite cough drops in here.
From here, think about the medications your family uses most and just throw them in! This particular basin is big enough to hold it all. I also added a roll of paper towels. I found I needed them handy for several reasons.
I hope you all avoid the flu this season, if it hits you I hope these tips help you survive the ordeal!
What tips do you have for surviving? What are your favorite things to have handy?