My darling son just flew home from vacation. Other moms get a souvenir T-shirt when their kids travel. Mine brought home the flu.
It is no coincidence that “flew” and “flu” are basically the same word. After all, airplanes are nothing more that flying metal germ incubators. That was certainly the case this time and he was hit hard with something he has named: “The flu that is trying to kill me”.
I laughed the first time he said that but seriously, this year’s flu has been a deadly one. At this writing, there have been five deaths in Snohomish County alone.
Washington State is in the middle of a flu epidemic. And, this has been an unusual year in that the death toll is high and this strain is hitting demographics not normally hard hit by influenza (such as younger adults and middle aged people).
I had to go into my doctor’s office for some blood work this week and the waiting room resembled a scene from a bad zombie movie. The place was packed with miserable, hollow-eyed people. The nurse (on loan from a hospital because the regular nurse has the flu) said that her hospital has begun putting patients in the halls because they’ve run out of rooms.
The flu is practically impossible to contain because one minute you feel perfectly fine and the next second you feel like you are at death’s door. It really does hit that fast. And, that’s how we inadvertently exposed our grandkids to it (which thrilled our daughter no end!). Right in the middle of babysitting I looked over to find my husband clutching his head and quietly moaning. Although I scooted him off to the bedroom quickly, the damage had been done.
And, of course my daughter can’t keep the kids home from school just in case they’re going to get sick. But, if indeed they are infected with our germs, they are perhaps spreading them wherever they go. Add to this, all the people who knowingly go out when they really are sick, and this is how epidemics get started. In fact, doctors around our state expect this year’s flu to hit pandemic numbers.
As careful as I was, I caught it too and quickly learned why our son renamed it: “Exploding Eyeball Syndrome”. Oh, the head pain and the body aches! Even my fingers hurt! And, it feels like tiny minions have entered my body and lit all my organs on fire. Seriously, are you supposed to be able to feel your spleen? Because I’m pretty sure I can feel mine and it is definitely on fire.
I looked up how to treat the flu online, but the answers were so trite and generalized: “Rest and drink plenty of fluids.” Nowhere did it address flaming spleens, exploding eyeballs and fingers that feel like they are broken.
If you want the latest statistics and a list of resources, this website from The Washington State Department of Health is a great tool for you:
Until next time: rest, drink plenty of liquids and wash your hands. I’ll be over here trying to keep my eyeballs from exploding.