So here I am, making a nice recovery from recent arthroscopic shoulder surgery, going to physical therapy, wearing my big black sling with lots of Velcro and padding, when BLAM--I get attacked by the second round of Type A flu I've experienced in just five months. The first time happened before the vaccine was even available (and yes, I did get the vaccine when I got well). Both my daughter Hannah and grandson Noah had been pretty sick with this miserable illness recently: high fevers, coughing, muscle aches and crushing fatigue. Noah was back to normal after a few days of rest. Apparently half of his Pre-K class had it, too. Hannah took longer to recover and missed a whole week of work, which was a big deal for her.
I had the whole gamut of symptoms, including a wracking cough that still hasn't gone away. I went through boxes of tissues and gallons of water and ginger ale in an effort to stay hydrated. Every bone and muscle ached and the site of my shoulder surgery hurt even worse. My appetite flagged and I rarely got out of a horizontal position. Taking a shower required every ounce of effort I had. I often felt slightly dizzy. Thank God for Andy, who pitched in to clean up the kitchen, grocery shop, fix meals, do laundry and take care of the dog. Alison brought over soup and a pasta casserole Hannah made, but made a hasty exit so she didn't pick up any germs.
Andy began going to Hannah's house to feed Noah in the morning and get him off to school, so he wouldn't be around me. Frankly, even the happy noises of my grandson would have been too much to bear at that point. There were two doctor visits to rule out bronchitis. A trip to Walgreens nearly ended in disaster when I became sweaty and felt faint. Mostly, I was so desparately tired that any effort to do anything was just too much.
Finally, this morning, I woke up feeling a little better, like a fog had lifted. I took a shower, put on something besides the tired sweatpants and cotton hoodie I'd been wearing nonstop and decided to have Andy take me to the nail salon for a badly needed manicure. The feeling of fatigue and need for a nap lingers, but I think I'll be completely out of the woods by the weekend and can resume life as we know it.
I'm already thinking about spring, planting flowers, cleaning up the patio and pool and enjoying the warmer weather that will soon come our way. Stay healthy!
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.