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Have you ever had the flu? (your best guess if not sure)

Have you ever had the flu?  

234 members have voted

  1. 1. Have you ever had the flu? (your best guess if not sure)

    • Yes, more than once (with or without a positive test for it)
      95
    • Yes, once (with or without a positive test for it)
      79
    • Maybe - I'm not sure if what I had was the flu but it wouldn't surprise me
      19
    • No, but I try to avoid contact with the germs as much as possible
      4
    • No, and I do nothing special to avoid it (other than basic hygiene)
      25
    • No, and I'm often in places where the germs circulate (medical facilities, schools, etc)
      12


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I’ve never been tested, but I think I had the flu twice. Or something very similar. Once was in high school and I missed most of tech week for the fall musical. I can remember being half asleep but having vivid weird dreams about the funeral of the cardinal of Chicago that was on all the local news stations. The second time was the week before Christmas break when my oldest was in kindergarten. I dragged myself out to take him to school and it was like an out of body experience trying to talk to the school secretary about something. I really should have just stayed home.

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I voted maybe. I've never been tested, but I would guess I've had the flu. I would guess that virtually everyone has at some point. Sometimes people get *very sick* from the flu, but often it is hard (or even impossible as the CDC says) to distinguish between a cold and flu. And then on the other hand, two years ago my doctor told me there was a virus going around that would have you begging for the flu. I don't think symptoms alone are a good indicator, so I'm going to go with odds and assume that I've had the flu at some point.

 

 

 

 

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I’m always fascinated by illnesses and how they spread, etc! Like you, my MIL had never had the flu or a flu shot. She worked at a college and was therefore around sick students often. The one year I got the flu (confirmed, along with DH and DS), she came over and helped us survive...yet no flu for her. Then, BAM, last year she got the flu, confirmed by test. I find that strange and interesting. 60+ years and multiple exposures but no flu until last year.

My other strange yet interesting involves strep. I’ve taken care of my DC *numerous* times with confirmed strep. DH and I never got it. Then one summer (blech...summer illnesses are evil!), one DS got confirmed strep, then the other 4 of us fell one by one with it. And it was BAD for the two adults. DH and I were quite sick for weeks.

 

I’m analytical by nature and would love to know *why* to those two scenarios. 🤔

 

 

Me too.  I have heard that our immunity wanes as we get older, so perhaps that had something to do with it?  Or like Garga's scenario that there was something else in the environment the immune system was dealing with and it was too much?

 

 

Human body variation is fascinating overall - such a relatively new science with so much yet to be discovered.

 

I agree! And I always wonder why people react so differently to the same bug. I have a pretty large sample size in my house (family of 8). It rarely seems like anything hits us all with the same severity. I can never find a pattern to why some will get hit so much harder than others. It really is fascinating.

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I agree! And I always wonder why people react so differently to the same bug. I have a pretty large sample size in my house (family of 8). It rarely seems like anything hits us all with the same severity. I can never find a pattern to why some will get hit so much harder than others. It really is fascinating.

 

It is fascinating!  I've had the flu twice.  The second time was when my youngest was two years old.  She was all over me when I was sick - touching me, in my face, etc. - and I was too sick to get her off of me.  I was sure she would get sick, but she didn't.  Weird.  

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Twice I distinctly remember. Once when I was 18 and once about 6 years ago. The most recent one was relatively mild for all of us.

 

My mum seems to have some kind of resistance to getting flu and rarely catches anything else. She was at boarding school during the 1957 pandemic and was just about the only person to not get sick and I don't remember her ever getting it during my life. She worked in a school for 25 years and rarely got sick with anything.

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Never had the shot.

Never tested.

 

But last Christmas, I thought I was going to keel over trying to wrap the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve.  And, as usual, my mother-in-law didn't believe I was sick.   :wacko:

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I've had it twice that I can remember, once after the shot and once without the shot not long after dd was born.  I have only ever had 1 flu shot and after getting sick right after, I decided I would take my chances.

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I have never been tested for flu, but I am certain that DH and I had it fifteen years ago. At the time, we were in the middle of the adoption process for our first baby. The adoption agency called to request that we FedEx something to them that day. DH and I were both extremely sick. I tried to rouse him to see if he could take care of the paperwork, but I couldn't get him to do more than groan and turn over. I remember being glad that we didn't have the baby yet, because who would be able to take care of her?

 

It was horrible. I am prone to sickness and usually come down with the coughing crud once or twice a year, but even when I feel very ill, it doesn't compare to that time 15 years ago.

 

We experienced what I believe was Norovirus twelve years ago. I think we picked it up on an airplane, because those of us sitting in the same row got sick first. It was a horrible intestinal thing, and different than what I think was the flu. Both were terrible, but the flu was worse.

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In the winter of 1986/87 and again in 1993, very sick. I wasn't tested, didn't know they were doing that "way back then," and I have never had the flu shot.

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I have had the flu exactly twice.

 

The 2 years that I took the flu shot because it was mandatory at work.  No, I know I didn't get the flu from the shot.  I got the flu a few months later and nearly ended up hospitalized both times.  I refused the shot the last few years that I worked in healthcare because of my previous experiences.  I opted to wear a mask through flu season, took care of multiple flu patients, and still never contracted it.

 

My DH however, has never had a shot, never had the flu, and worked for 9 years going into at least 2-3 different households a day through the flu season. 

 

The teens have had the flu multiple times.   No flu shots for them except when DS's health issues are flairing up a lot. 

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Never had the shot.

Never tested.

 

But last Christmas, I thought I was going to keel over trying to wrap the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve.  And, as usual, my mother-in-law didn't believe I was sick.   :wacko:

PollyOR, haven't seen you in a while!!! :party:

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.  And, as usual, my mother-in-law didn't believe I was sick.   :wacko:

 

I had that happen to me when I had the flu, too!

Edited by Kassia
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I have never had the flu. The kids have not had the flu. Dh has not had the flu in the 17 years we've been married. We are around lots of different kids. It really seems like tempting fate to type this.

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Yes, almost a year ago. The youngest kid had it (confirmed) and I had the same symptoms start up a couple days later. I had been feeling off all day but once the fever started I knew it would be rough. I slept for days and was still getting fevers five days later. We were all vaccinated last year, no one else got it.

 

DH had it in December. He was vaccinated. No one else got it then; some vaccinated, others not. So strange.

Edited by OH_Homeschooler
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I'm pretty sure I had it once back when my kids were little.  I was so sick with headache and fever I couldn't even lift my head off the pillow.   I'm pretty sure my fever was high because I was having some pretty weird hallucination type dreams (everything super big in my case).   I don't remember being sick for any longer than a week though and I don't remember if it lingered like a chest cold does.  It was at least 15yrs ago.    

 

I've had the stomach flu and your common cold but this was different.  

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I've never been tested--I don't think they did that in the 70's. My dad and I were chatting on the phone this week and talking about flu because it is rampant in CA and his local hospital ended up being mentioned in our OR paper. Anyway, he asked me if I remembered the two times flu hit our whole family when we were kids. I remember being sick and calling it the flu, but I don't know if I remember the specific incidences he was talking about. He's a doctor, so even without testing I'm sure if he said we were all laid flat with the flu it was probably the flu.

 

As an adult, I get a flu-like illness every few years--hits you suddenly, fever, sleep all day. But nothing that lasted more than a day or two, so probably not really flu. We've all gotten the vaccine for 18 years. 3 years ago I got bronchitis which turned into pneumonia and dd got a flu-like illness that turned into pneumonia, and it was a year that the vaccine was a poor match. I've wondered before if we had flu, but we weren't tested. And I know from perusing the CDC Flu Watch site that most of the tested cases are not flu, just a flu-like illness so it probably wasn't flu. Even at the peak of flu season only about 1/3 of the tests are positive for the flu.

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I've definitely had it a few times.  Not hugely fun but not the end of the world.  When we lived in NZ I think we got a version that doesn't make it up here, or it was slightly different in some way or something - at any rate, it was really quite bad.  Like, didn't know I could get that sick bad.  

 

I've never been hospitalized (or gone to the doctor, even) with the flu, though.  I don't have asthma nor do any of the kids, so that helps.

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Once at least that I can remember. Ds was a toddler and I remember crawling to his diaper stash with him to change him. I could not walk upright. Every joint hurt. Never saw the doc. Just improved on my own, thank God.

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I don't know about when I was a kid, but I had a confirmed case once as an adult. I had the flu shot that year and think it might have made it a little less severe. The trouble I have with flu shots is my insurance will only pay at a doctor's office, and I don't want to go and risk catching something. I am inconsistent about getting them as a result.

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I think I've had it twice. The first time was before I had kids, and I was so sick my dh even took a day off to stay home with me.  No positive test though because I didn't think I could even make it to the doctor's office.

 

Second time - again no positive test, but oldest child did have positive test (I took her in because I thought it was strep - oops!). A couple of days later younger sibling and I get sick too. We weren't as sick as first child, but I'd amped up the Sambucol by then.

 

I believe my dh has had it several times. He doesn't believe it though because he gets the flu shot. But he gets pretty sick for a long time - but he won't go to the doctor, so no positive test. 

 

I don't ever want to get it again. I felt like dying was better. And then I was easily tired for a long time after that. 

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I think I had it once, but was diagnosed with bronchitis and didn't revisit the doctor after that.  I had to have an emergency medical procedure, for which i was put under anesthesia, when I was already sick.  I don't know if it was the combination of bronchitis, extreme stress and the procedure......or if it was the flu, but I really think I got the flu in the hospital on top of whatever I started off with.  

 

My entire body hurt so bad, all the way to the bones (literally) and I remember being so sick, I was afraid to be left home alone (24yo) because I was afraid I may not wake up.  I asked my husband to wake me every few hours so he knew I was conscious. I still remember  vividly how much the body aches hurt. 

 

I have worked in pharmacy for 18 years, and we have got the flu shot every one of those years, and some years prior.  My kids have attended schools, sports and churches.  Dh works in offices with other people.   We are all high risk of encountering it, but so far we have been lucky, other than the above story. 

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Huh, I just assumed everyone has had the flu at one time or another!

 

I'm sure I've had it several times in my life.  When you feel so sick, there's not one thing you can do to feel better.  As someone else said, it's not like being sick so you lie in bed to watch television.  No, you're too sick to watch television.  Every inch of your body hurts, even your eyeballs.  And then the high fever, and the chills.  Ugh.  The last time I had it though was when my youngest was a baby, and I just laid her down on a blanket on the floor next to me and her siblings (the oldest being 7) took care of her.  My dh had to drive home on his lunch hour to change her diaper.  I couldn't even lift my head.

 

I got the flu shot starting the next year, and have not had the flu since.  

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I had it once when I was six, at Christmas, and I infected a whole house full of visiting extended family. I had it again when I was a teen, and I was so sick I had to crawl to the phone to annswer when my mom checked on me from work (phones had cords back then). These were both before flu shots were available. I have not had the flu since. I did not get flu shots in my 20s. I got them religiously in my thirties and forties.

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As near as I can remember, the last time I got the flu was back in college, and I’m now 55!

 

Now, I’ve had the bad cold/“crud†many times, and this year I had the worst cold I‘ve ever had. I had strep throat as an adult maybe once.

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I have had it heaps of times. I have never been tested. Here they don't bother to really test to see if you have the flue, just tell you to get lots of rest and stay hydrated.

 

Why test? It won’t make any difference.

 

I had bronchitis every year form age 3 to age 16. Now when I get the flue I get laryngitis

 

I had the flue mildly last winter - (the Aussie flue? That is traveling around the northern hemisphere now) I was pretty washed out with a cough for about 2 1/2 months afterwards. 3 years ago our whole family had a really bad dose. I lost 5 kg that week just though sweating. I was pretty crook. I was teaching in a classroom that week (where I got it from) the one day I sent 10 kids home. They were just so ill.

Edited by Melissa in Australia

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once as a kid (I'm assuming it was flu)  I was ridiculously unwell and don't remember much of it, apart from raging temperatures awful aches and sleep walking.  I was staying with my grandmother because my mother was in hospital.  All I remember of the Dr visit is him telling grandmother "just tell her mother she has a cold, that's all she needs to know". 

once as an adult (again, assuming, dr said sounds like it, don't come in) verrrrrry unwell for 10 days, probably a month more before I was really back to close to normal - while family had it that time.

once as an adult (confirmed by swabs) "swine flu" when they were testing people.  It was confirmed but was the most minor of my three experiences - unwell for 3 - 4 days and back on top of things after about 10 days.

 

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I got the swine flu in 2009! Boy was I sick. I don't even know what happened to the kids while I was sick (we were homeschooling, and no family here, they were age 9 and 6). DH must have handled it for the 4 weeks I was in bed.  The swine flu gave me a esophageal fissure that took 9 months to close, and led to a sinus infection, chest infection, and eye infections.  Strangely, neither my dc or dh got it.

 

Ruth in NZ

Edited by lewelma

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We're fairly positive I've had it once though I wasn't tested. This was when oldest was 2. I went to the doc  but he just sent me home for rest and fluids and didn't test for anything. 2 days later DD was sent to the hospital and they confirmed h1n1. I was told to go home and stay home because chances were very high I had it, too. By the next day I couldn't have gone to see her even if I had been allowed. I couldn't move. She was in hospital for 3 days and still got better before me because they caught hers in time for tamiflu. It hit her very fast and she went from playing in the morning to lethargic and almost blue by afternoon so she was able to get the shot within about 12 hours of onset. 

 

One other time when I was pregnant with oldest I was very sick for 3 weeks. I really have no idea if it was flu or if my pregnant body just didn't handle being sick, but it was quite miserable either way. 

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I haven't ever been diagnosed with the flu.  Every time I remember being sick enough to go to the doctor, it ended up being a bacterial infection (tonsillitis when I was little, then strep in my teens, bronchitis or sinus infections or pharyngitis as an adult).  Never flu.  Viral infections were either common cold or "children's diseases -- chicken pox, fifth disease.

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Supposedly, you can't get the flu from the flu shot and it is 100% totally confirmed scientifically unrelated that some people get the flu after the flu shot. In that case, I am either a medical wonder or I haven't had the flu.

 

On the other hand, if you can, in fact, get the flu every time you get the flu vaccine, then the illness I got about 7 days after receiving the flu vaccine the two times I got the vaccine, and never any other year, was probably the flu.

 

I have never gotten the flu other than that.

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I don’t think any of us (dh and 2 kids) has ever had the flu. We don’t really take any special precautions. We get flu shots most years (only dd had one this year, she got it because I had her at the dr for a UTI in October when they were giving them out). We’re not particularly good about washing our hands 🙄. I do keep wet wipes in the car and try to pass them out when we get back in the car after an activity. In general we’re just very lucky and rarely get sick.

I’m pretty sure I just cursed myself.

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I had it about 15 years ago. I felt so awful that I wanted to die. It was horrendous, and I have gotten a flu shot ever since and thankfully haven't gotten sick again.

 

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

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As far as I know, I have never had the flu. I haven't been ill with anything other than a cold for 5 decades. I suppose it is possible one of the colds was really the flu, but no fever, no body aches. Of course I can whine about a cold with the best of them😆

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I've had  "flu like illness" twice that I can remember and one case of RSV.  I'll take the flu over RSV any day.  But,  there are 6 of us total, and we've only had the flu confirmed twice among all of us and only had flu like symptoms about 4 times over the years. 

 

Hubby and I did the flu shot before kids and  nearly died.   We did our duty, got vaccinated, came had home, and that afternoon were in bed. I believe we both had Gillian Barre syndrome but were too sick to get help and too sick to think about calling 911.  We just laid in bed and periodically nudged the other and said breathe, I don't hear you breathing.  My hubby did call the doctor around day 4 when he "woke " up and that guy said just get rest and fluids, I'm sure it hadn't been that bad.   I remember I had trouble walking for awhile and kept dropping things for a long time. Hubby has had nerve issues in his feet (tingling and random pain) ever since too.  So we do not do the flu shot.   I was forced to do it one year for a job and again had flu like symptoms by the afternoon.   I've said no ever since and just take the punishment from work for not getting it. Hubby can't remember what he had for lunch much less what happened yesterday and 25 years later he vividly recalls being horribly deathly ill after getting a flu vaccine.

 

My second son caught rsv as a baby and that landed him in the hospital. So I stayed at the hospital as sick as the baby and the nurses/dr took pity on me and gave me medicine too and hubby stayed home with the other kid and did nothing but stay in bed for 4 days.   Oldest son had flu confirmed in highschool and second son had flu confirmed as a toddler.   

 

Now this year, pretty much the entire staff of my floor at the hosptial has been sick with confirmed flu and most of them received the flu vaccine and were sick within three days of it. Several of them are on round two of flu.   We have at any given time (we are a surgery floor so they try not to put flu pts there) 5-6 flu pts with flu each shift..  I mask and gown up and wash hands every single time and have lucked up so far.    From my experience, best way to avoid the flu is wear a mask, wash hands frequently, wipe down doorknobs and faucets everyday, and take high amounts of Vit d and Vit c.   I think it works better than the flu vaccine.

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I have never had the flu. The kids have not had the flu. Dh has not had the flu in the 17 years we've been married. We are around lots of different kids. It really seems like tempting fate to type this.

 

I felt the same thing just from posting the thread, but my mind is the very curious type so...

 

If I've ever had the flu, it was definitely so mild I didn't realize I had it, esp due to all the descriptions.  I can't recall ever being too sick to do anything or wanting to just stay in bed or similar except for two incidents that were labeled as bronchitis (in my youth) and pneumonia (as a young mother).  Both cleared up within a day or two of starting antibiotics, so I feel certain they were indeed bacterial and not viral.  I see a bit of sickness at school and work alongside those sent home for illness or returning to work because they feel they must.  What they have for symptoms, I don't get.  It will hopefully stay that way after this thread!

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I voted "maybe" because I have never gone to the doctor to get a diagnosis for any illness other than strep.  But I believe the answer is yes.

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I'm another that has never been tested, but I do remember one time when I was sick with what we all assumed was the flu as a kid.

 

Confession: my memories of it are happy. I'm sure I was miserable at the time, but everybody took care of me, I was the center of attention, I got to sleep in my parents' bed, and I got to drink limitless Gatorade, which for some reason I thought was a treat when I was a kid, even if I had to vomit it up. Making memories!

 

I don't have time to look it up, but doesn't exposure to a particularly virulent flu strain seem to grant greater immunity to other strains of the flu in general? I wonder if people who seem naturally "immune" to the flu received some benefit from maternal antibodies? Or something? I know my grandparents who lived into their nineties never got sick (until they died), and my parents claimed it was because if you've survived enough bad illnesses, you built up a good immune system. (Don't worry, we still get our flu shots. Because why roll the dice that you are going to be the one who survives?)

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Yes. I didn't get a test or anything but I'm certain it was the flu. I've never felt so sick in my life. I honestly don't remember it that clearly. I remember the fever and hugging the heating pad to my chest and my husband coming in and turning it down, and me turning it back up when he left. I couldn't even sit up in bed without feeling like my head was going to split in two. It lasted several days but most of that was a blur.

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No I don't think I have.  I'm not that careful.  I always wash my hands when I come home from being anywhere, but other than that I don't really take any precautions. 

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I'm pretty sure I've never had the flu. My kids have never had the flu. We've only gotten flu shots 2 years, when my youngest was sick as an infant. My youngest has never had a flu shot. DH has had the flu a couple of times; he also reacts to the shot with a mild flu-like sickness. He chooses to get the shot annually. I'm not overly careful; we up Vitamin C during flu season and wash hands when returning to the house. That's about it. I don't have a problem with flu shots; I just forget about getting them until the flu is everywhere and then I don't want to tempt fate by taking my healthy kids to the doctor for a shot.

 

I also am one who has never had strep, nor have my kids. We get all sorts of colds, bronchitis, sinus infections, one kid is prone to pneumonia, but no strep. Youngest had a horrible case of RSV as an infant, but she's actually one of the healthier ones around here now. 

 

Now, I'm off to throw salt over my shoulder and knock on wood because I typed the above...

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We've had both confirmed and unconfirmed cases of the flu.  After we had it the first time, it became really easy to identify.  We've been down hard with a high fever for a good week every time.  I am a huge fan of the vax.  None of us has ever gotten it after getting the vax.  Knock on wood since I know this year wasn't a great match, but still a little protection is better than nothing.  Also a huge fan of elderberry syrup.  Whipped up a batch today I will be dosing us all on.

 

My kids have done a lot of germy kid activities which I think has been the source every time.   My kids have happy memories of the flu too!  LOL.  Lay on the couch with slave labor and the TV/technology indulgence of your choice. 

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I only had it once that I felt it was dangerously bad.  This was in the late 90s.  I couldn't sit upright without extreme wooziness.  There were no stomach symptoms or nausea, just extreme exhaustion and weakness and fever, chills, etc . . . I couldn't DO very much at all.  I remember one week where DH would stay home until my toddler's naptime, then go to work in the afternoon.  I would have to cope with her on my own from 3-6 p.m.  She was a model toddler citizen, but this was still so hard.  I would just fall asleep as soon as dh hit the door because the effort to stay away took all I had.  I was on-my-back sick for about two weeks and it took me a month to get back to normal after that.  

 

I'd had the flu before, but nothing this severe.  I had a newfound respect for the flu after that and fully understood how it could kill people who weren't very healthy or strong to begin with.  Luckily, Dh and Dd didn't get it even with Dd being a toddler and trying to be ON me all day.  I'm very rarely sick, but that was a real doozy.  Dd turned 21 this week and I'm still a bit put out that I was that sick for that long.  

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