Influenza A: My Story of Survival Part #2

Posted on January 21, 2014


Friday January 10th, 2014: I woke feeling hungry, actually hungry. I was not ready for a full meal, but I knew I needed lots of nourishment. So I drank two glasses of orange juice, had a cup of yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast. Jello and pudding for lunch. Mac and cheese for supper. I could not think about eggs or potatoes, both were what I ate when I first got sick and the potato is what I could not keep down Wednesday.

**I should say that the way the sick stomach happened. I ate a baked potato for supper that night. It sat heavy and I was not taking any supplements, except for Emergen-C…I forgot to mention I drank three of those per day when I was acute. So I could not think of taking an enzyme to help the food digest. AT 3:00 I woke up with a start, you BAM…wide awake. I had “the taste”. You know the one. It precedes anytime you are going to throw-up, no matter what the reason. My husband says “What’s wrong?” . I replied, “I am going to puke.” I got up and you know the rest of the drill. THANK-FULLY it only happened once. That is where people get in trouble, If you cannot keep anything down, or your stomach hurts too much to even drink, you dehydrate. Then your heart chemical get all out of wack, your veins shrink and collapse, kidneys don’t work. The other worry is pneumonia. Thankfully I think I have avoided that…not 100% out of the question yet, but I think I am going to make it without that complication.***

Friday (con’t): The fever was gone for sure, and the sensitivity of my skin. I noticed because it was like a switch flipping. That is when I felt a glimmer of hope that I might be able to outlast this viral enemy. I took a three hour nap. Still had a cough, very tired, achy, sweat, no appetite, burning in lungs, throat and stomach.

Saturday January 11th, 2014: Woke up hungry again. Had oatmeal for breakfast. More soft and liquid food for the day. A two hour nap. That is on top of 12 hours of sleep overnight. I felt better and my appetite was coming back. But I still did not feel like I could eat anything more than pasta. I made some homemade potato soup, which was very good. We were burned out on chicken noodle. More pudding, more jello, more yogurt. We changed the sheet for the third time in one week, that is how much sweating I did. By this time the laundry was starting to really pile up, having to change clothes everyday because, you guessed it, sweating. This day, the sweating seemed to be less, actually not all of the time. The cough was changing, not so deep or so often. The headache was back (not sure if I mentioned it, but there is a really severe headache that came and went and came again also).

Sunday January 12th, 2014: Restless. Headache was gone. Only had sweating once. Cough was more rattly but less burning. Still very tired, but I only napped for about an hour during the day. Stayed up until after 9:00 p.m. Had to wrestle with the decision of going back to work. I finally decided that if I could not eat solid food yet or stay up all day without a nap I could not go back to work. So I called my boss at home. He was surprised I was still going to be off, but he seemed to understand. If he had felt like I did, he would know, waiting was the smart thing to do.

Monday January 13th, 2014: I got up a 7:00 which was 2 hours earlier than any other day in the past week. Two pieces of peanut-butter and jelly toast, plus my daily dose of orange juice, yogurt, pudding and jello. I called to get my excuse written for an extra day. We had to go get it so we stopped by Subway. I was excited about trying to eat something chew-able after seven days. Gregg had asked for pepper cheese, which I wondered about, but thought should be okay. I never thought it was very hot before. This time, the first bite burned from my mouth to my stomach, so I took it off. I ate 2/3 of a 6″ sub. It was hard to chew and very filling, but it sure tasted good. Still stiff, achy, cough and very tired. Strength finally felt like it was coming back. (The monthly womanly visit started today as well…oh joy!)

Tuesday January 14th, 2014: Got up at my regular work time, well 5:30. Had my juice and peanut butter toast (no jelly on work days). Gregg just HAD to go to the auction to work, so I stayed home one more day. I did some laundry, the dishes and started the process of picking up the week’s worth of stuff that was laying around. Ran the sweeper. Had pasta with Parmesan and olive oil, plus Italian spices. Yogurt. Corn chips and sour cream. I stayed up until around 9:30. I felt pretty good, tired but good. We had Chili’s for supper, Gregg went and picked it up. A pretzel roll bun chicken sandwich. With fries. I ate most of it, but not all. My stomach was still off. Tired, cough and burning in my stomach and esophagus, stuffy head. These were the symptoms I still dealt with.

So, I went back to work Wednesday January 15th. The stairs made my legs burn when I got up them, but I did it. The day lasted forever, but I made it through without having to go home. I was very ready to get home and rest. I did not go to bed though. I stayed up until 9. Every day has been a bit better. I still have a cough, stuffy head and sore throat. I still feel more tired than usual, but my stamina is coming back. And my appetite. Over the course of the week, I lost 15 pounds. Yes 15 pounds in seven days. That is A LOT of sweat. And a low calorie diet, due to being unable to eat anything that you have to chew. I lost an entire size in all of my clothing. That is the only “good thing” I can say about the whole experience. And it is not good…no one needs to lose any weight that way. Some things about me have changed. I drink orange juice everyday, I never drank orange juice before, it was too much for my stomach. Now I crave it and have to have it. I really feel more compelled than ever to take good care of my body. It seems very important to exercise and eat the best things I can to keep me healthy.

I will have to address the issue of the flu shot, but not until next year. I am torn, as I would not want to give anyone this horrid illness, but feel I should be immune now, so why put that in my body when I do not need it. I am glad I do not have to think about it now. As for those of you reading this, make your own decision about the vaccine. It makes sense for people who worry about getting it for whatever reason. It also makes sense for people to not get it, if they are concerned about health issues that might come from getting it.

This is the sickest I have been in my grown-up life. I remember twice as a child I was so very sick, once with chicken pox. I could not walk for a couple of days. Once when I was very small I had bad flu, with it coming out both ends. And it must have been bad, because I remember that and I was only like 2-3 years old. This was scary. For a couple of days I did not know if I was going to get past the stage of needing to go to the hospital and hopefully live or not. I do not want to go through anything like this again. I am still coughing, still run down, and my throat and head are still stuffy and sore. Oh and my scalp is very tender in spots, like of you pull your hair too tight in a spot or wear a hat too tight. Not sure what that is, but it is annoying.

Please take care of yourselves. If you get the flu or think you have it, sleep, lots and lots of fluids, eat liquid/mushy stuff, sweat the fever out and stay home until you get your strength back. You can get another infection because your resistance is low…so you cannot be too careful.

I want to sincerely thank everyone for sending me prayers and well wishes. It is because of you all that I had the extra strength I needed to get through and get well. You are all very dear to me and I love you.

Be well. All The Best, AmberrLena


Me on Day #5, feeling like death was sitting on my chest

Me on Day #5, feeling like death was sitting on my chest




Me today, day 14 of influenza A feeling better

Me today, day 14 of influenza A feeling better