H1N1–No One’s Invincible

Even bubble-wrap can't protect you from this pandemic.

I am honestly a terrible patient. I work so hard to stay healthy year-round (i.e., eating well, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol, etc.) that when I get sick, it feels like a slap in the face, like my body is letting me down.

While most people probably love the idea of being forced to lounge on the couch and sleep all day, as a hyper-active person, I have to admit, that makes me pretty nuts … and yet it’s exactly what I need to be doing when I’m sick.

And sick I am …

You see, when I woke up Wednesday morning (after two weeks of constant travel and very little rest), I knew something was off.

No matter how healthy I am, usually after long flights (i.e., Tuesday night, heading back east from San Diego), I end up with some kind of upper-respiratory infection; it’s come to be expected over the years.

But this time something felt different. I was feverish, achy, had a sore throat. I was coughing, had a runny nose. I was congested and freezing cold, felt weak, etc.

For a moment, I feared H1N1, but pushed those fears aside, thinking I was just caught up in the media frenzy. In reality, just seemed like a wicked, wicked cold, and I made it through the day.

But when I got home, and went to bed at 7 PM on Wed. and slept nearly 12 hours (seriously unheard of for me), and woke Thursday feeling even worse (chest even tighter, cough even deeper, head feeling like it weighed 900 lbs) I saw my doctor straight away.

After I shared my symptoms, and explained how it felt like it came on like a ton of bricks, he put on a gown and mask and did one of those in-office tests (they swab your nose–ugh!). The preliminary results (ready in 15 min.) came  back positive for H1N1.

Yup, I’m one of those statistics.

And knowing how deadly this illness can be, I’m being extra vigilant. I’m home from work til at least Monday, and I’ll need to sleep in a separate room from my husband, so as not to get him sick (especially since he leaves for a school-related trip to Germany on Sat.!). I’m washing my hands religiously, using antibac wipes on everything I touch, and am not leaving my house.

In all honesty, I don’t know that I could have prevented getting it; I think I just got “lucky.” I’ve always been pretty OCD about hand-washing, but we haven’t done our flu shots at work yet — and even if I could have had the H1N1 vaccine, I wouldn’t have been eligible for it anyway, given my age and the fact that I’m not pregnant.

So now I’m stuck at home for the next 4-5 days, on TAMIFLU (which was $50 even WITH insurance …), Robitussin DM (for the cough/congestion), and popping ColdEeze (to soothe my throat and symptoms). I’ve gone through a box of Kleenex and I’m keeping Panera Bread in business (I love their chicken noodle soup!)

Clearly, I have no energy to do much of anything, let alone exercise, which would have thrown me into a tizzy a year or two ago. And my appetite is minimal at best, ironic since as my dad always teases, “You were born hungry”!

In a way, as my mom noted to me, I think the timing was a blessing: I got sick after my trip to NJ, big work event in Chicago and conference in San Diego. It’s no fun being sick, but at least it’s after those two weeks of a ton going on.

All too often I find myself being critical of my body, but times like this, I just want my body–as it is–to heal, and will do whatever I need to in order to get better.

I’m just glad I got to the doctor early (within a day of feeling sick) and am resting and recovering at home. For people like me who can’t sit still and are always on the go …  sometimes I think being sick is actually a blessing.

Not that I wish H1N1 upon anyone (it’s quite miserable) but hopefully I caught it early enough and will be on the mend soon.

Til then, please, no oink-oink jokes. It hurts to laugh.

How about you? Have you (or your kids) been vaccinated? Have you (or your kids) gotten it yet?


25 thoughts on “H1N1–No One’s Invincible

  1. Meliss, I thought you’d get a kick out of this – remember when I was in Manhattan for my academic event? Well we always pull together a team of speakers, and someone from the CDC always attends to discuss exotic diseases students can encounter when abroad. A few weeks after the event, I’d been emailing the speaker for her presentation slides, and after a delay she finally she got back to me all apologetic – SHE has H1N1!! I thought if someone from the CDC can get it, truly anyone can!

    Rest up, take care of yourself, and feel better!

  2. Oh no! I’m so sorry! I had this panic attack yesterday morning when I woke up that Connor would get it and since you and I were so close Wednesday…who knows! 😉

    No one in my family has been vaccinated. It’s one I’ve struggled with, to be honest. I’ve heard both sides and mostly after people have it, they encourage you to vaccinate.

    I might just call CJ’s doctor today and see if there is any chance we could get our hands on it.

    I hope you feel better soon! Rest up.

    1. Oh Staci, I really hope I didn’t give it to anyone. The preliminary test was positive, but they will send it off to the lab.

      Believe me, had I realized what it was/could have been, I wouldn’t have gone to work Wed. I really thought it was just a bad cold/remnants of flight. The thing about it is, there’s no way to prevent it. I was on an airplane and I’m 100% sure that’s where it began, b/c I felt PERFECT in San Diego, prior to Wed AM. And even then, I thought I was just under the weather with a touch of a cold.

      I’m not a mom yet (and I know about the (understandable) paranoia surrounding vaccinations), but given how miserable this is as an adult, I think I would vaccinate CJ if you can. Heck, I wish I could have been vaccinated! I don’t even have it as bad as some people (maybe b/c it was caught early?) but it’s pretty miserable.

  3. No one in my family has had H1N1 as far as I know. And none of us have had the shot, either. I’m still undecided if flu shots in general are a good idea or not. I don’t think I’ve ever had one. Because of the attention on H1N1 this year, though, I found myself thinking about it for the first time. I a little embarrassed to admit I haven’t looked into it enough to learn if it is something I want to do or not.

  4. So sorry you got it. Hunni and I both had an awful bought with the flu these past two weeks. But in our county they won’t do the test for H1N1 unless you have an underlying medical condition. So for us it was lots of rest and fluids. I think it was just a really bad regular flu that I’m still getting over.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  5. Shoutabyss, I wish I could have been vaccinated; this sucks!!! But unless you’re pregnant, chances are, you won’t be eligible for it anyway.

    Thanks MissyRayn. They tested me at the doc’s office–it was a nasal swab. And yup, rest and fluids. But I can’t sleep anymore!!!

  6. Oh no – I’m sorry you got that crappy flu! I’ll be running around town quite a bit this weekend, so if you think you’ll need anything with your husband gone (like a Panera chicken noodle soup refill or a book or something), let me know! I could drop it off on your doorstep, ring the doorbell and run away. 🙂

    Seriously, let me know – you have my email address. Take care!

  7. I haven’t been vaccinated (even though I have an opportunity for a free vax) and don’t plan on getting the vaccination. My sister and some of my cousins have already gotten H1N1, but I have remained healthy. I know I’m not immune, but I work with a heavy flow of public transportation and am guessing that I’ve already been exposed a few times over.

    I’m *not* getting the vaccination because I don’t have health insurance and fear getting sick FROM the shot/mist/however they do it. The last time I got the flu shot, I got the flu. I don’t want to get H1N1 because I was trying to NOT get H1N1. So, I’m just hoping I continue to stay healthy.

    Get well soon!!!

  8. That sucks! There is not much H1N1 vaccine around here. We are kind of waiting on the inevitable, especially with 2 kids. I hope that you feel better!

  9. Lissa, I hope you feel better really quickly! I had h1n1 a couple of weeks ago. It sounds like you’re pretty much going through what I did. I ended up being off work for a week and it even took another week after that before I started really feeling more myself. Hopefully yours will be quicker! My doctor told me that I was contagious for two days at work before I really felt it, but somehow no one else there got it and neither of my parents who live with me got it (though they were started on tamiflu after I was diagnosed). Anyway, all that to say I hope you are able to get some rest and feel better soon!

  10. Thanks everyone for the well-wishes and prayers. I actually feel a lot better today. A lot better!!

    Yea, I think I have a mild case compared to some people, but I also don’t feel ready for the gym yet, either.

    I’m hoping I didn’t get anyone sick that day I was there … I wouldn’t have gone to work if I thought I was with flu!

  11. I know I am late…but I’m so sorry you’ve been sick! I hope you feel better soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as I haven’t been sick at all since last January…I hope it stays!

  12. I just got the season flu vaccine and H1N1 vaccine today. I feel unstoppable!!! But really, I’m glad it came & went for you. On the bright side, you should now have sufficient immunity against it.

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