Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Influenza - An Adult's Version

Influenza is not unknown to most of us.  We know them by H1N1, H5N1 etc.  Lately, there seems to be new mutations going around.

Influenza is not the common cold or runny nose.  Also known as the flu, which many often mix it with common cold, it is a illness definitely more severe.  Why I say so?  Because I have been through it.

It all happened when E was down with fever.  Initially diagnosed as the start of a common cold by the GP, it got worse and he was hospitalised.  I remembered when we were at the hospital, the paediatrician commented that I sounded bad too and might have caught the same bacteria / virus as E.    But, the mummy in me had to set right my priorities which was caring for the little boy.  What I did was simply buying off the shelf Danzen from the pharmacy to help with the anti-inflammation and anti-swelling of the painful-but-still-bearable throat.  

Of course, I have to thank Serene for bringing some of the Young Living essential oils as I used quite a bit of Copaiba for my throat.  I think that helped me with keeping whatever I caught at bay temporarily.

E had blood tests and an x-ray done and the diagnosis was influenza and mycoplasma which caused the roller-coaster fever and croup.  Double whammy.  He managed to ride out the influenza without antiviral medication but had antibiotics for the mycoplasma.

When he was discharged after 4 days, we were all so happy.  Little do we know that it was the start of me falling sick.

I was so tired the next day, we thought it could be just fatigue.  But we knew it was not when a high fever was spotted.  For one week, I was literally "floating", drifting in and out of sleep.  The medicine made me even sicker as in I felt a weird film of stuff covering my mouth and lost all appetite.  The amount of medicine to take for easing the symptoms made me nauseous.  Can you imagine I actually bought gummy bears and ate them after each medicine?!

In any case, I declared contracting influenza worse than natural child birth.  I was down and out for almost a week.

Antiviral medicine would help in easing the symptoms and promoting recovery if they are taken within the first two days.  I did not take any as I was pass that crucial two days and had to ride it out. 

Well, I survived.  But not without lots of sleep, warm water, medicine.  The boys were out and about doing their own things and the hubs did almost everything he could without bothering me.

Influenza is on the rise according to the news lately and is characterised by the sudden onset of the following symptoms:

- Fever
- Headache
- Chills
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- General fatigue

More details can be found at the Ministry of Health website.

For people who are at a higher risk of developing complications of influenza, please consult your doctor if you suspect if you are having influenza.  There are tests that can be done quite quickly, such as the nose swab test, for diagnosis.

All in all, it takes definitely more than 2 days for recovery.  So, work is out and so is looking after the children.  Have standby help is what I will advise.

Though we all wish we will never fall ill, we really never know.  I guess, just be prepared to deal with it, come what may.

Oh, the good and the bad of it is that I took a pretty long time to regain my appetite.  Mentally yearning for a lot of food but when those were placed in front of me, I could only stomach a few mouths.

Disclosure: I am not a doctor or a medical professional.  What is stated is my personal experiences.

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