Finally there is a light gleaming ahead of me in this endless exhausting tunnel I’ve been slogging through. My head spins at the thought that it has actually been 22 days since I mentioned that my throat hurt to my husband as we got ready for bed. I can count on two fingers the number of times I have slept since then without Vicks Vapor Rub and socks on my feet. Honestly, the jar of Vicks is almost gone.
I didn’t bother to go to the doctor because I knew what I had. A dear friend had unwittingly exposed me to the flu the week before. Don’t worry, we’re still friends. It takes 1-5 days after being exposed to the flu to develop symptoms, and unfortunately for me it was five days. I almost escaped unscathed!
Thanksgiving week is kind of a blur of being in bed and cooking dinner on Thursday. On Thanksgiving day my oldest daughter and I took the entire day to make our dinner in shifts of make this, lay down for an hour. Get up and make something else, and lay down again. By that time she had also come down with the flu. My sweet husband volunteered to make dinner, but his idea of dinner was grilled steak. I’d rather have that when I actually feel like eating, thank you very much!
The day after Thanksgiving my husband asked if I wanted to get out the Christmas trees and decorate them. I said something like not really which he interpreted as Yes please! So in came the trees and the ornaments. Uh, yay? Our trees are up now, but I still haven’t put away the pumpkins or pulled out the rest of the Christmas decorations. Ladybug keeps asking when are we getting them out and I keep answering sometime before Christmas Eve.
What a dark grey week that was… literally dark and grey. It rained the entire weekend. I remember that because there were concerns about flooding. Although, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t got a clue where.
Eight days after this started I began to feel better. My exhaustion had lifted quite a bit, which I think had a lot to do with the fact that everyone was a school and I finally had a day of complete and total rest, except the two or three loads of laundry I did. I was out of clean pajamas. My congestion felt under control. My cough had mostly subsided. So I did the mostly wonderful and liberating thing I could think of to celebrate. I slept without the vapor rub and socks. It’s shocking how wonderful it feels to sleep without socks after eight nights of enforced sock wearing, which, in turn, really is better than coughing all night long.
Apparently that was a very dumb move for how intelligent I actually am. I woke up the next morning so congested that I could not even hear out of one ear. I won’t get into all the disgusting details. Instead I will merely say that my eight year old Ladybug that I was completely angry with her for the next week because, like a lot of deaf people, I kept raising my voice and asking what every time she talked to me on the wrong side of my head, which was every time she spoke to me. The poor thing seemed to think I had it out for her.
A very special friend had died the week before and I had every intention of going to her funeral, but by the time it rolled around that afternoon I had so much sinus pressure in my face that I ended up at the doctor’s office. The poor nurse had to keep repeating herself because I couldn’t hear her well enough to understand half of what she said. Hmm, it appeared that the flu had turned into one of the worst sinus infections I have ever had.
I am totally turning into an old lady right here since I am detailing my ailments for you. It’s the only thing I have to talk about for the last three plus weeks of my life. The flu was nothing compared to the sinus infection. With the flu I rested a lot (okay, almost all the time!) but with the sinus infection I was completely and totally done in. My husband took over getting up early to take Honeybee to Seminary and getting the kids to school. He ended up making dinner more times than I care to admit. The house looked like a tornado hit it. It might have smelt that way too, but I wouldn’t know. I haven’t smelt anything in weeks.
My antibiotic finally kicked in and I started to feel a little better each day. I got up one morning and actually ironed some pants for my husband to wear to work. The next morning he woke up wretched with the raging burning sore throat I’d experienced at the beginning or my flu. I actually convinced him to stay home from work. He spent the next three days in pajamas. But on Monday he felt pretty good and went to work.
Legoman woke up Monday with a stomach ache and ended up staying home that day. He never misses school so I figured it was bad if he wanted to stay home. That afternoon Butterfly came home from school and told me that her throat still hurt. (In my defense it wasn’t even red when I checked it! Which I did like three days in a row!) So the next morning I sent everyone to school but her, and the two of us went trudging back to the doctor’s office. And it was the flu, strain B in fact.
So she camped out on the sofa from Tuesday to Friday. Ladybug joined her on Wednesday. Legoman joined them on Friday. On Saturday the girls were both much better, but Legoman didn’t do much of anything on Saturday and Sunday morning. He was feeling much better this morning and went to school.
In the meantime, my antibiotic finished the day Butterfly was diagnosed with the flu. I felt so much better again that I didn’t feel like crying when I discovered she had the flu for real. Unfortunately, I made another huge mistake that night and slept without vapor rub and socks.
Boom, the next morning I wake up not feeling great and it continued to get worse every day. My ears hurt, my throat hurt, I was tired, etc.. all while the last two people in the house decide to catch the flu. By Saturday I decide that the antibiotic didn’t really do much in the long run except make me nauseated occasionally. My husband took me back to the doctor’s office.
Now I am on a steroid to see if that helps cut the congestion, which will in turn calm down my throat and ears. I have a prescription for a broad spectrum antibiotic in case I get worse again. That honestly made me wonder if they really don’t want to subject me to another doctor office visit. I swear I covered my mouth every time I coughed!
I missed our Christmas celebration at church. Legoman and I picked our way through baked potatoes and some jello. I didn’t get to see my girls sing in the Nativity program. That was sad.
I started the steroid. It is starting to help my congestion. I decided to use the vapor rub and socks for the foreseeable future. I will resist temptation the first night or two that I think I am ready to quit using it. My feet really relish the chance to be sockless for about an hour before I go to bed, but I’ll be strong and keep using it.
Now, if the steroids will just let me sleep (3 1/2 hours last night!) maybe this saga of sickness will be squashed. But I will settle for sleep derived for a few days if I can finally breathe and sound like a normal person. Maybe after the laundry marathon (I’m on my fifth load so far today!) I will get out the rest of the Christmas decorations for Ladybug.
In 22 days we’ve had six cases of flu, one sinus infection, and a horrendous case of lingering congestion and exhaustion, but I really am beginning to see a light at the end of this tunnel. That just may be my Christmas miracle this year!