I can’t believe that on a warm Friday afternoon in September, on the very day I was scheduled to get a vaccine, I came down with “the flu”. Body aches, fever of nearly 102 degrees, sore throat and a cough that just won’t stop! “Yep”. my doctor declared – “This is the flu and congrats – yours is one of the earliest cases we have seen!”
“Fabulous!”, I answer. “Now tell me how to get rid of it – quickly!” I soon found out the answer – it doesn’t go away “quickly” or even ” in a few days”… but lingers on for what seems like eternity! I was offered Tamiflu- but for a variety of reasons, that wasn’t going to be my magic potion.
There must be a quick fix to get the flu “out of me” – Google will know!
Well, Google did know a lot of about influenza and the common head cold. In fact, some of the information was quite enlightening like this link:
Both the flu and the common cold don’t go away overnight. They both are like bad houseguests who just don’t get the hint to leave. They also are quite different in how they manifest and impact your health and are often confused for each other. Here are the differentiators:
If you find yourself with a fever, body aches from head to toe, exhaustion, chills, a dry cough, headache and it comes on rather abruptly without a huge case of sneezing or a severe stuffy nose – you most likely caught yourself a flu bug.
A tickle or sore throat that morphs in to a runny nose, congestion in the nasal and or chest area, coughing and sneezing, plus a slight fever- well that is no fun either – so grab the Kleenex box, hot tea with lemon and honey and medicine for comfort – you have a “common cold”.
When symptoms turn severe – such as wheezing, a cough that won’t quit, ongoing fever – don’t write it off- but seek medical attention. While I am not a physician, I am well versed in how you can start your day with a little tickle in your throat and end up wheezing for air in the ER by nightfall… so do take any extreme symptoms seriously!
What about preventative measures?
Of course there are vaccines to help prevent or lessen the impact of the flu (certain strains) and pneumonia. And, I am a big believer in immune boosting through vitamins and my fave- elderberry syrup. However, sometimes even preventatives are not enough to defend you from germ invasion.
And, if you do get sick…
Rest. Fluids. Chicken Soup. Binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Remember to listen to your body and perhaps get medical attention. And, popsicles are mandatory to help with healing at any age! Make mine lemon.