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Posts Tagged ‘contagious flu’

My Daily Flu Log – what does it feel like to have the Flu (Influenza B) – getting the flu after you have had the shot

15 Apr

As I sit here, a little in disbelief that I have the flu, I thought I would document the experience for readers.  Many times, you get ill and wonder what do I have?  Bronchitis?  Pneumonia?  Cold?  Strep Throat?  Flu?  All have so many overlapping symptoms.  I thought I was pretty good at detecting the difference between cold and flu, but when I got sick a few days ago in mid-April, the flu was not on my radar as a diagnosis.  First, it is too late the flu (I know it isn’t but there much less flu circulating so the probability that a single person with symptoms has the flu is much lower since there is less virus going around.)  Second, I had my flu shot!  I know there is a lot of controversy about the shot and I am a pro-flu shot person because I know flu can kill and I don’t want myself saying, could I have done more if my child were to die of the flu.  However, to each his own and this is not an article to debate whether to get the flu shot or not.  So, even if you HAD the shot or if not and you are questioning symptoms, I hope my experience might help you answer questions about, “could it be the flu?”

Exposure:  I have no memory of being exposed to anyone with symptoms.  I do remember being around people in public who were coughing a lot in public a few days ago, so maybe that was it.  With allergy season abound, there are LOTS of people coughing right now.

Symptoms:  What I noticed about getting sick this time was how suddenly I got ill.  With colds, it is usually gradual and I can take zinc and other things to help boost my immune system, allowing me to escape getting sick.  In fact, I haven’t had a respiratory virus take hold in 2 years now! Now I will post day by day my symptoms and unique things that stood out to me.

Sunday:  I went horseback riding all morning and had a great time, felt perfect!  I went to a friends house after and started to feel a little bit of a sore throat and runny nose.  Within a couple hours, my cold symptoms came on really strong and I had a very bad sore throat and lots of mucus in my chest and was coughing.

Monday:  I didn’t feel great and considered myself, “sick” but my son had a doctors appointment so I had to take him to that.  When I got home I really felt the cold symptoms kicking in like I was at the worst day of my cold rather than the usual “ramping” up I experience.  I had a ton of congestion, headache, sore throat, runny nose, etc.  I rested and thought I could go to work, it was only for 2 hours and I have pushed through working with cold symptoms before.  I got 10 minutes into my first client and cancelled my second.  I was feeling even worse!  That night, I had really watery eyes – again making me think allergies but it turns out that watery eyes are a symptom of the flu.  I was totally exhausted.  I took lots of different medicines as my cough was terrible and hurt like hell in my chest when I coughed.  It was a dry hacking cough.  I worked hard at trying not to cough as much as I could.  I went to bed very early.

Monday night:  I fell asleep easily since I was so tired but around 4 am, I woke up literally shivering with chattering teeth and everything.  I took my temperature and it was 101.  I took more medicine and a bath to try and lower the fever and because I had a terrible headache.  I also became very short of breath and felt like I wasn’t getting enough oxygen.  I knew then that I was going to see a doctor in the morning.

Tuesday:  I went to the doctor with my symptoms – I was like a walking zombie which the nurse and doctor noted.  BTW, I wasn’t even well enough to drive myself and had my husband take me.  I said things had come on rather suddenly, I had a sore throat, headache, runny nose, dizzy, shortness of breath, fever, congestion, dry hacking cough that caused a lot of pain in my chest.  She immediately thought I was describing the flu perfectly.  I didn’t want to agree since I didn’t have full body aches like I usually do with the flu.  She said with how fast it came on, the high fever, and the type of cough, she wanted to test for the flu.  I was somewhat resistant because I had a doctor scope my nose before and it was a really bad experience but finally gave in to the flu test.  Thankfully she did it quickly and the worst part wasn’t the moment she did it but how sore it felt afterwards and it still feels sore back there.  The test came back positive with Influenza B!  Wow!

Medications:  She prescribed tamiflu for me since I was still in the 48 hour window and also gave it to my husband and 18 year old son as a preventative.  I take 2 pills a day, they take only 1 unless they start getting a fever.  She could have given me some cough meds with narcotics in it but since I already take narcotic pain pills daily for back pain, she said to just use those to help with my cough.

My fever remains at 101 even with medication but I always believed that one should not rush to bring down a fever if they are able to handle it because the fever stops the reproduction of the virus or at least slows it down.  So, I will let my fever help battle the virus, take my tamiflu, and remain quarantined from my family, hoping they don’t come down with this.  Maybe their flu shot is still in their system more than mine was!

Wednesday:  My fever broke which is nice but my congestion, coughing, and sinus pain is still a big issue for me.  I was quite fatigued and slept a lot more today and also felt a bit more achy.  I certainly did not feel good but compared to yesterday and Monday night, I feel a lot better.  I know I am still contagious so I am still quarantined.  It is a pet peeve of mine when people go out in public when they are sick and pass it on to others!  It isn’t your fever that determines when you are still contagious even though a few random sites will state that.  In fact, most people shed the virus for a week and kids for 2 weeks after they get sick.  I continue to take Tamiflu and feel like it does seem to be helping.  This flu is definitely not as bad as the first time I had the flu about 16 years ago when I had 104 fever and 2 young kids who had the flu with me!  If this damn sinus pressure and headaches would ease up, I would be in much better shape.  Also tempted to use Afrin but I know how that has rebound effects so I don’t know if it is worth it!

Thursday:  I can’t say there was too much change today.  My sinus pain is a little less which is nice but I am still very congested, very weak and tired, coughing, and my head is still “in the clouds.”  I didn’t sleep well last night at all.  I did finally give in and use Afrin since my nasal congestion was so bad that the neti pot wouldn’t even flush fluid though my sinuses.  Boredom is really setting in and I wish I could concentrate enough to read or do work.  I know it will still be days before I have enough energy to do much, ugh!  Later Thursday evening, my ears popped and I could hear, yay!  I also felt like I had a little bit of energy.  I actually felt like I was healing some.

Thursday night:  I still had trouble sleeping.  My nasal passages continue to be dry and I continue to have sinus pain.  I flush with a neti pot often.  It helps relieve the pain a lot.  Each time I take my Tamiflu, I feel better.  I awoke at 5:30, however, feeling sick to my stomach.  Too much phlegm and am taking an anti-nausea pill for it.  I am also feeling very dehydrated and drinking water.  I am ready to feel a lot better tomorrow… I hope so!

 

Bottom line – if your systems come on fast, you have watery eyes, and the other systems I mentioned, even if it is April and you have had your flu shot, you might find out that you have the flu!

 
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