I’m Down with the Flu - Some Tips for You


It got me – again. I wrote this post the last time it got me – back in 2009. Not a bad run for someone who has her head down sick people’s throats all day this time of year. But, contrary to popular belief, even we medical people get sick sometimes and I am down – SO down – with the flu again.

I followed all my own flu advice. And I updated that flu shot info here on the blog this past fall. But as a Nurse Practitioner, 6 to 8 of the patients I see every day are sick this time of year. Catching the flu is just an occupational hazard in my line of work.

Read this for tips on how to take care of yourself if you get sick, too. It will tell you when you need to see a health professional and give you some tips on how to keep yourself out of the hospital.

I have not been this sick in over 10 years. The last time I was this sick I didn’t take care proper care of myself – I kept on working and I didn’t rest . You know what happened? Yep. I ended up in the hospital. I was hospitalized for 10 days (diagnosed with a double lobe pneumonia) and then was out of work for 5 weeks after that! I don’t plan to ever repeat that mistake and I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.

My advice to you if you get what I have is:

  • Do what the woman in this picture is doing – go home, get in bed and do what I call “act like a sick person”. How?
  • Drink lots and lots of fluids (becoming dehydrated can put you in the hospital). Sports drinks, gingerale, and clear sodas (not dark colas) are best because they replace sugars, sodium, and potassium you may be lacking if you are not eating or if you have nausea and/or diarrhea.
  • Rest. Rest. Rest.
  • Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. (I didn’t know it was possible to sleep 36 straight hours only waking up to go to the bathroom – but that’s what I did!)
  • Take Tylenol or ibuprofen for your fever and body aches.
  • Eat bland foods – chicken soup, broth, saltines, Jello, popscicles, etc. Nothing spicy, fatty, fried, high fiber and no dairy.
  • Wait for it to pass. Depending on how bad it is, that can take as long 7 to 10 days.

Antibiotics won’t help unless you develop a secondary bacterial infection (like when I got that pneumonia 10 years ago). Seek medical care if you develop shortness of breath, if you are coughing up foul material or if you can not hold down fluids.

I really hope you don’t get what I’ve got, but if you do I wish you a speedy recovery.

I’ll be back with another post – when I’m able.

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