Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Flu-Plague *Updated Thanks To Jerky Commenter

I was feeling pretty smug this school year. People around me were dropping like flies with the flu and I kept patting myself on the back and bragging about how I hadn't been sick in three years. HAH! If I met that person today, I would punch her in the eye balls.

So...over two weeks ago I flew out of town for a really brief work trip to defend a deposition. I enjoyed a night without kids and after the deposition I killed a couple extra hours shopping and wandering around a new city. I arrived at the airport a little bit early, eager to head home, only to discover that the flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed. I wandered the airport for hours, sneaking in some exercise and trying to stay entertained and fed. Unbeknownst to me, sometime during this journey around the airport I got within coughing or sneezing distance of a very inconsiderate soul who ended up giving me the flu-plague.

The day after I arrived home was Saturday and we had big plans (ok, dinner without kids is big to US) to celebrate my husband's birthday. I woke up with a killer sore throat but thought it was a passing bug and ventured out at 7am for a seven mile run. No biggie, right? The run was gorgeous. But my throat was Death.

I refused to cancel dinner and toughed it out for a night on the town (still certain I just had a weird cold), downing hot tea after hot tea throughout the meal and trying not to hack my lungs out. The next day a fever set in and ended up staying with me for SEVEN DAYS. Unfortunately, I had another deposition to defend bright and early Monday morning. I survived the deposition (barely) as well as half of a trial strategy meeting that was scheduled the next day.

I hated showing up at work sick but this was a full-day important meeting that had been planned out a month regarding a very big case. I was walking around with fever, chills, sweats, muscle aches, fatigue and a throat that felt like it was full of knife blades. Unfortunately, trial strategy meetings wait for no one. So I chain drank tea and popped advil, Mucinex D and cough drops like a maniac. Despite all this, I only made it half way through the meeting at which time I looked pathetically at my boss and told her that I had to leave. I went promptly to urgent care where they gave me the horrid flu test (giant q-tips stabbing your brain through your nostrils) and I tested positive for the flu. Thanks for nothing flu shot!

I went to the store and stocked up on a month's work of medicine and sickness remedies and went home to resume all my normal mommy activities while possibly dying of the flu-plague. Because: mommies don't get sick days!

The next day all three of my kids woke up with the same symptoms. They also tested positive for the flu. The horrid flu test was so horrid and traumatic that, after their doctor visit, I took the kids to pick out a little toy at the toy store (yes, I'm the hugest softie on the planet, but I also just had that flu test administered the day prior and knew what they had to go through and YES it is THAT HORRID). We all stayed home from work/school for the rest of that week.

My husband also started feeling sick too. Unfortunately, he had the Man Flu. It's the version of the flu (usually contracted by a dad) where you are fine enough to go to work and take care of yourself and do all your normal activities, but as soon as you get home you are too sick to help take care of your feverish wife and sick children and lay in bed pathetically while your plague-suffering wife does all the parenting and household duties. I think our marriage will survive but let's just say there was a good solid week where I would have gladly banished him to live in a pineapple under the sea with my son's favorite cartoon character.

To sum of this wretchedly boring post, I felt like death for seven days- intermittent chills and sweating and waking up multiple times a night drenched in sweat yet being freezing cold, not able to breath through my nose, with a throat that felt like it was lit on fire every single time it was touched by the slightest amount of air. Every ounces of my will and my being longed to lay on my bed curled up under my electric blanket and yet I forged onward, through chores, and meals, and requests for soda and crackers (poor Ryan couldn't understand why he couldn't eat while he was vomiting violently), and vomit cleaning, and diaper changing, and sick baby holding.

To top all this off, it was Ryan's week to bring snacks to preschool. I had to leave the house every morning (despite the fact my child was not going to school) to bring in homemade, healthy snacks for the class (admittedly, none of my snacks were actually homemade and the last day I gave up trying to be healthy and brought in fruit snacks and cheese puffs).

I cannot tell you how marvelous and amazing it was that first day I woke up without night sweats or a perpetual cough. I don't recall what the weather was, but in my memory, it was bright and sunny and the entire world was fresh and new and mine for the taking! I can't begin to describe how much I delighted in the simple pleasure of being able to breath through my nostrils! The plus side, I probably ate four meals that entire week and came out the other side of the flu looking insanely thin, which promptly motivated me to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard and two Taco Bell burritos that same day. :)

Lesson of the day: don't be smug when you haven't had the flu in three years. Apparently smugness in punishable by flu-plague.


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  3. I was just thinking how lucky I was that I could completely exit from my life for 5 days to let myself have the flu. That is rare and special and would have been impossible at past jobs and was only possible with this one because no one else in my house got sick and my husband did absolutely everything for five days instead of just half of everything while I did all of nothing.

    Life doesn't usually stop because you're sick. If only.

  4. Hee hee, I have 4 cats and just imagine them doing the shopping for me. I got horribly sick for about 5 days, not too feverish and I got tested for flu on day one and it was negative but that was NONSENSE (they did say something flu-adjacent was going around, where it was like the flu but people were testing negative; and the flu and strep and a stomach bug also going around, of course). it took me FOREVER to feel better. It wasn't like "can I work," it was, what is the minimum I can get away with from bed, and I could NOT do conference calls. I had one client who was obviously upset with me because I had the audacity to be sick and then be honest about it. All I could think was LORD PLEASE don't let anyone else get sick, especially the husband, and miraculously they did not (I was probably burning the candles too much at both ends and got a virus they'd had earlier, as we all had stomach involvement, WAY worse than they did, where as it sounds like you all had it much worse!) Anyway. It sucks, but I didn't have to go to the store because my husband and mom got things/dropped things off, but I very much did feel questioned by clients about whether I was making excuses, and I was so sick that this was just insulting. And you HAVE to go to the store and get medicine, and to the doctor before that, and it sucks for everyone, but how else do you take care of yourself? I'm not a litigator but some of the con calls I had, I only managed to push out by one day, and I sounded AWFUL, and I'm lucky to work remotely a lot, but I couldn't just abandon my clients entirely (and I am STILL catching up but need to go to sleep so I don't get sick again). Anyway, take care of you. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind!

  5. This is not the first time I've thought your husband sounds like a total jerk. Why are you so competent at work but let yourself get pushed around by your spouse? Maybe you just write about the times when he is super insensitive and leaves you with the majority of childrearing/household tasks but he acts like they're not really his kids and that it's your job to take care of them.

    1. I don't let myself be pushed around by him. We aren't always on the same page and we're figuring out how to divide and conquer (it's a life long learning process) and I often take on too much. Unfortunately, I do tend to write about him only when I'm frustrated as this is one of my outlets. I'm realizing I should probably stop venting here though. Probably should stop altogether because of people like the commenter below!

  6. It's a far cry from having to go to the store to get medicine, to: toy shopping, cooking for others, entering a child care facility, and going to work.

    Crazy that you can't see the difference and are blaming your choices on the fact that you're a working mother. I wonder what the rest of the working mothers who have kids at the preschool think about your choices.

    1. Stop reading and commenting if you have nothing nice to say. I doubt you are a mom and therefore simply don't understand so I'll cut you some slack. (I didn't cook for others, I BOUGHT the snacks and life is messy and you can't be in quarantine and I'm guessing you'd rather I let the kids go without any snacks).

      Unfortunately I can't block unkind readers so just stop reading. Thanks.

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    3. I think CP is delightful and you are just sapping her energy with nastiness, for some reason I fail to understand. Stop gaslighting her in the name of working moms. Signed, a working mom with kids in daycare and preschool who has been in the same position and sees nothing wrong with her choices, and everything wrong with yours.