Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

October 25th, 1999

Something Entirely Different

And now for something entirely different. . .

You probably wouldn't expect a 'medical' article here - although we did one on hook removal - but do read on.

Your local supermarket, library, or clinic probably has been advertising GET YOUR FLU SHOT HERE! Cost is very reasonable, one of the supermarkets here had them for, I think five dollars.

Take it from me, just do it. This is serious stuff.

If you would rather visit your personal doctor or health care facility, ask for the pneumonia shot too. That one protects you against a particular strain of pneumonia for the rest of your life. One of the killers of the elderly often is pneumonia which sets in as a complication to another illness. And kills the patient.

JC and I made a flying business run to Canada a little over a week ago. I picked up a bug on that trip, and I'm now on week two of being very ill. From what? Influenza.

The symptoms started with a blocked up head, hacking cough and minor headache. Within 10 hours I was flat in bed. The headache became migraine intense, the cough lead to sore throat, ears popping and bronchitis. The lower GI tract became involved and the path between the bed and john very well worn. Now add uncontrollable shaking, nausea, and a low grade temperature (101.)

That causes dehydration, which if not addressed throws the rest of your system into panic. I've had a couple of antibiotics which I didn't tolerate, which didn't help the situation, eventually a couple of shots which did help, and another couple anti-nausea shots.

Total bill so far is a couple of hundred bucks. And I'm not healed up yet. My gut still feels like a community of squirrels are having a walnut festival, and the tremors come and go. Sometimes I shake so badly my typing looks like I'm stuttering, and pointing and clicking the mouse can get all sorts of interesting results.

There is an oral med available if the flu gets you before you have had the shot. It is called Amantadine and will help if you get it early enough (and aren't intolerant like me.) But the preferred thing here is avoid getting the flu!!!!

Do yourself a huge favor. Get your flu shot.

DO NOT PUT IT OFF! ~ LadyFisher

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