Surviving the Great Flu Epidemic of 2018

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You've heard this year's flu is at epidemic levels and chances are you've had it or several people you know have had it. Unfortunately, it's my turn. It started when my three-year-old got a high fever out of nowhere. I put him in my bed, pumped him full of chicken broth and ibuprofen, kept him close to mom, and he was well in two days. He had no other symptoms. Then last Thursday it hit me with a sudden high fever and bone-shaking chills.

Day 1: I have vague memories of my husband piling blankets on top of me while I moaned incoherently. At some point, he appeared with a hot sock and a hot water bottle that he tucked under my blankets next to my shaking body and the heavens opened up and angels began to sing me to sleep. Glory to God in the highest! He gave me this man! When I came out of that feverish hell, the gastroenteritis kicked in. I'll spare you the gory details.

Day 2: At noon on Friday my husband was on his way home from work with full-blown fever and chills. We were soon ensconced in bed together with our 12-year-old running the household. She let the three-year-old eat chips in his bed, but other than that, I think she's ready to go to college. She cooked, cleaned and took care of the children and animals for three solid days. While I was sweating and crying in a state of near hallucination, my daughter was proving me a good parent. An unintended side effect of the flu was finding out my child is a competent caregiver and a compassionate soul who will make some lucky man a very good wife one day.

Day 4: My entire school community canceled classes because the flu had knocked out all of our tutors and half our families. My husband went back to work. (How does he do it?)

Day 5: The next phase of the killer flu was the congestion, sore throat, and sinus pain that cannot be measured on the usual 1-10 scale. Searing, blinding pain radiating all over the head and ears. My throat felt like I had swallowed broken glass. It was so bad that I hightailed it to the urgent care for a strep test. I was informed that no, it's not strep. It's just the killer flu. They shot me in the backside with something and put me on steroids. The doctor informed me that the extreme pain in my head could be from the swelling pressing on a nerve. The remedy is sleep. (My husband came home, cooked a birthday dinner for his mother, brought me dinner in bed, and put all the kids to bed including stories. He's still sick and making me look like a total loser.)

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