Monday at about 3:30 pm I think, I should get some more work done. At 4:00 I am freezing and muscles ache all over.
Home and wrapped in blankets. I sleep for a while and get up, still aching. Temp 101.6. Probably influenza. I call my receptionist and heads up her that clinic will be cancelled in the morning.
I am a bit terrified of influenza after it put me out for two months in 2005 and then strep A pneumonia put me out for two months in 2012 and 10 months in 2014.
I eat some dark chocolate, drink lots of water, do not take anything to lower my temperature, and go to bed. I do take Umcka Cold and Flu, which does have some data behind it, according to the AAFP journal.
I let the fever stay up, since that is how the body fights infection. Each time I wake up, I do slow breathing, 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out. Slow breathing very deliberately, to lower my adrenaline, to lower cortisol, and keep my lungs from being inflamed.
In the morning I only cough if I talk. Temp down to 99.2. I get tamiflu but throw it up within two hours. I read the insert. Yep, nausea and vomiting in 10% of people who take it. Rats. I'm a little nauseated even before I take it. Sleep most of the day, avoiding eating. Carbohydrates increase inflammation too. I make the rehydration formula: a quart of water, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. By evening I eat a few raspberries, a carrot, chicken broth. No appetite. Feed a cold, starve a fever.
Today is day 3. My muscles are still aching. Clinic is cancelled. I still do not have an appetite but I am not coughing. It has not attacked my lungs. I will decide later today if I still need another day to recover and whether to cancel tomorrow. I should not go back prematurely.
Fever is not dangerous until it gets to the 106-107 range. Certainly by 105 most adults would be a bit delirious and we ought to get it down. My temp of 101.6 felt nasty but I wanted my body to do what it could to fight. I can tolerate that temperature and just need to stay hydrated.
Last Thursday and Friday I saw two people, a couple, who have influenza that broke through the vaccine. The flu virus is always trading genes with other flu viruses: chickens, ducks, pigs. Each year the WHO tracks the viruses and the vaccine is made starting 6 months before the season. Flu moves with the winter, northern hemisphere to southern and back. The first one in the couple that got sick had been up in Alaska, so I joked that he's brought wolverine flu back. We've been asking anyone with a cough to mask as soon as they walk into the clinic, but my receptionist was out for a week two weeks ago. And now me, though it looks like this will be short and not in my lungs. I had gotten the vaccine in 2005 and this year too.
That's a huge change for me, not to have it move into my lungs. Luck? The flu vaccine makes the course less bad? Letting my fever stay up and slowing my breathing? Umcka cold and flu?
At any rate, I think I will be back at work by Friday.