It all started with a tickle in my throat but, I thought, “Not me.” I had been a very responsible person and gotten that flu shot my husband had been bugging me about. Nope. Not me.
But the coughing didn’t stop and in classic denial, I said to myself “It’s only a bit of dust or an allergy and I’m safe because I’d gotten a flu shot.”
I kept on coughing.
Flashback: Just a day earlier, my husband and I had been staying in a lovely hotel in Washington DC, wrapping up a joyous week long family celebration and sightseeing. I was sure that I had taken all the necessary precautions; the flu was not part of my plans.
Before our flight to Washington DC, I had arrived at LAX, loaded up with Purell and sanitary wipes and attacked every surface near me.
When I got on the plane, I wiped down the tray table, turned off the air vent above me and even wore a face mask. Definitely not chic, but no flu for me, thank you.
I had heard that those of us over 65 were the most susceptible to the virus. But I said to myself, “I’m not 65, I’m 77.” and returned to my book, comforted. Was it the flu? Nah, not a chance.
Once we were settled in DC, I bundled up and traipsed around in the freezing cold. The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool was frozen, as were large sections of the Potomac River. People were actually walking on the ice and trying to skate.
We sauntered around the city for five days, enjoying some of the more familiar and less familiar highlights of our capital which I’ll write about in another blog.
Just prior to boarding the plane back to LA, I was coughing a little and I noticed my head felt stuffed. I bought some Afrin for the plane ride home.
We landed at LAX. My ears were stuffed and I couldn’t hear. I started shivering and I realized that I had a fever. We got home and I took my temperature. Yes, it was way above 100.
I was woozy and couldn’t unpack.
I took two Tylenol and passed out on the bed.
The next morning, my throat was so swollen I could barely talk, ears so stuffed I could barely hear, head so achy I couldn’t think and I still had a fever. But I couldn’t have the flu. I had gotten a flu shot!
My husband took me to the doctor, who took culture swabs and told me to start taking Tamiflu.
At home, I drank large glasses of hot water with lemon and honey.
I tried tea but it didn’t have a sharp enough taste. Chicken soup? Too sweet. I
needed some spice. I wanted pasta bolognese. Crazy, right? (was I pregnant?)
I couldn’t read. I couldn’t concentrate. In fact, my coughing was so bad I broke a blood vessel in one eye.
It all got to me and I needed some distraction so I started watching Netflix and Amazon Prime. And you know what? They helped. The shows became the chicken soup for my soul. So, I hope you don’t get the flu, but if you do, here is my current list of shows to help you heal.
Dries It’s all about Dries Van Noton a brilliant Belgium clothing designer with a garden that will take your breath away. It is so exciting to see how he puts his patterns and clothes together. Look at his garden and drool.
Somebody Feed Phil. You gotta love this guy. He’s is best known as the creator, writer, and executive producer for the sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. There’s such a sweetness about him. He loves food and people. You watch him travel to Bangkok, Thailand and Tel Aviv, New Orleans and Lisbon with humour and a passion for food.
HARROW – A Very British School Loved learning about how children in one of Britain’s finest public (private) hard to get into schools spent there priviledged time there.
The Durrells in Corfu. I delightful tale of the famous Durrell’s sojourn in Corfu. Each member of the family is eccentric in their own way. Writer, naturalist, exhibitionist, and ?????
The Great British Baking show. I’ve watched these shows over and over. I find them so relaxing I fall asleep and then watch them over again so I don’t miss anything. You don’t even have to be interested in baking to enjoy the show.
• • •
Five days later, the doctor called and the lab confirmed that I did indeed have the flu as well as a secondary sinus infection. I won the daily double with a bet I never placed.
• • •
Have you had the flu yet this season? How bad was it?
What are you doing to avoid the flu?
Have you watched any of these programs? You don’t have to be sick to watch them. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy them even more.
PS. Another show I must recommend. I watched it before I had the flu. I adore Peaky Blinders. You must use subtitles or you’ll never understand that 1919 Birmingham English accent. It’s a violent show with heart. Get past the first two and then you’re into it.