Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Finally Grown Up

It had to happen sometime. 
I am finally a responsible mature adult!
  Glad it happened at the grand old age of 72.
  I would hate to have gone through my whole life and never reached that state.

It took a Flu bug back in April 2019 to force this evolution upon me.  It was that illness that made me realize I wasn't made of steel - that a little tiny virus, randomly planted in my system, irresponsibly ignored and in the end, allowed to spread to its full potential in me, and then in my husband, and in who knows how many others when I was acting like I was indestructible ... that tiny virus could be very very distructive.  I was sent to the ER by a local minute clinic because my throat was so bad - and my eyes were blood red - that they feared I would have a respiratory obstruction if left untreated!  Of course, that immature person who is actually made of clay had to sleep with cold packs on her throat for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS before she thought of seeking help from that minute clinic.  Too stupid rather than immature ...  was the real problem.

And I can hear the question - did you get your flu shot last year?  Yes, I did.  The flu that I got was not part of the flu shot cocktail for season 2018-2019!  But as my daughter-in-law said (she has a doctorate in Biology and works in the Bio-tech industry) - the flu shot didn't protect me from Type A flu - but it did reduce the severity of my illness.  God help me if I hadn't had that flu shot.)

This winter season I have carried this newly matured me to the opposite end of the pendulum.  I went from "Oh well, oh hum, I am sick. No problem. Keep on going" ... to  ..."Listen up Stupid.  This is a warning shot over your bough.  It can be something serious if you ignore it."

It started with a runny nose and a killer sore throat on Monday morning.  My April 2019 flu began exactly the same way.  Out came the thermometer!  It wasn't working. So bought a new and improved one right away.  One of flu's hallmark symptoms is fever.  I began checking my temperature.  Was checking it every 30 minutes too much?  haha!  I looked in the mirror at my new adult self and said yes.  So I checked it every 60 minutes on Monday. (Probably still too much but I wasn't going to miss that 48 hour window when an anti-viral medication would give the best fighting chance of beating a flu bug.)  Twenty-four hours later - still no fever.  (And no, I didn't get up every hour over night to check my temperature.  I did think about setting an alarm, however.  Ha!! After another conversation with my reflected self in the mirror decided it would be counterproductive.)

I have the very best conversations with myself! 
Probably not mentally normal, but that is for another post. 

I did other things too.  I didn't take any cold or pain meds in the first 24 hours.  I wanted to watch that little bug's progression in real time through my body rather than trying to judge what was going on through a mask of medications.  That was a big change for me.  I really believe in medicinal fixes if there is a fix!  I love living in the 21st century when modern medicine can help reduce or cure many problems.  But I held off to let the possibility of a fever show its face.  I also pushed lots of ice water ... and, of course, I had my medicinal chocolate milk shake.  That felt so good on my painful throat.  If you are unsure what a medicinal chocolate milk shake is - check out this post.

Then I started canceling all my commitments for the next 2 or 3 days until I could figure out exactly what I was dealing with.  I was not going to spread this around even if it was just a cold on family and friends or even total strangers.  How's that for mature!!

Finally, and most importantly, I rested and rested and rested.  I actually listened to my body that said

"Stop moving, for God's Sake. 
I am sending you the 'fatigue' signal. 
You know fatigue is another flu symptom.
I can't get you well AND keep on going like I have done in the past."
That was probably the BIGGEST change of all.  The former steel-made me would have just kept going, and going, and going!!  After all - not giving in has always worked for me - until it didn't in April 2019.  But in the past I was never 72!  I didn't have a body that was 'less' due to age.

So the outcome??  
As of this writing four days out
my throat is still somewhat sore but improving,
my nose is still a little runny but improving
and no fever!
My energy is returning.
 This is not the Flu!

Hahaha!  How is that for a blow-by-blow of a simple cold!

I am treating this episode as a 'dress rehearsal' so when the real thing comes along - I am ready!  And the real thing can be darn scary.  As I was writing this post I had the radio on.  They reported that a 16 year old in my area had just died from the flu.  That 16 year old had been seen in the emergency room on a Sunday and died at home on a Wednesday.  Sixteen years old - folks - with a normal immune system, and bursting with health and youth, just her lost the battle against a small flu virus!  

I am finally grown up - better late than never.    

Listen to your body and take care of yourself!
It is a war out there and some of us are losing!
Get your flu shot!  
It is never too late.

Medical Disclaimer:
This post is not meant to be medical advice.  
Check with your doctor to see if the flu shot is right for you!  

But ME is telling you:
Checking with your doctor is just the right and mature thing to do.
  Don't assume you are made of steel.
  No one is - not even if you are only 16 years old.


Marie Smith said...

Runny nose here today too. Hoped to miss the cold the grandkids had but no such luck.

Mama Pea said...

Even though some of us give a good try at finding wisdom before our "mature" years, it doesn't always work! Even maturity doesn't bring wisdom in all cases. (How's that for downright discouragement?!) I guess it all goes back to trying to do the right thing no matter at which stage of life we are. But certainly what you say is true in that generally our bodies are getting a little worn and not as invincible at a certain point in our lives and we HAVE to exercise a little wisdom. And, as you now know, wisdom does come with experience! Glad you just have a dratted, uncomfortable, yucky, common cold. ;o)

Wendy said...

Glad you are feeling better. Hope you're soon fully recovered.

Sandy said...

Welcome to adulthood. Happy to have you join us. Sorry for your aches and pains, but glad you're on the mend now. So many have been ill. And people aren't good at staying home and not spreading it around. My family (not my immediate family), but my brothers kids and their kids pass the bugs from one to another constantly). I get upset when they attend family gatherings when they're sick and contagious. The number of people who die yearly from the flu is actually quite high........sadly so. I am religoius about my flu short, and this year is the first Ive been able to convince my husband to get one. Men!

Becki said...

Glad you didn't have the flu and that you're feeling better; and I sincerely hope your dress rehearsal proves to have been completely unnecessary. ;^)

Cat said...

Ah, yes, is it cold or is it flu? But, you did work to keep yourself in one piece! That is indeed an improvement! Now eventually, I might try actually acting like a grown up, and let myself be sick, and rest.

Some day.

But I *always* get my flu shot... As does Husband, now, with much... less... nagging.