Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Influenza Invasion

Who knew that this fuzzy little critter could wreak such havoc on the human body?

It all started last Thursday with a little cough.  That innocent cough quickly turned into the sounds of a barking seal, accompanied with body aches and a general feeling of grossness (yes, even a doctor can use big fancy medical words!).  By Friday night there was no doubt, influenza 2012 was raging war on my body.  Here are a few random thoughts and lessons from my week under the weather.

1. It is possible to be chilled to the bone despite being bundled under a one foot layer of clothes.  As my fever spiked Friday night I found myself adding layer after layer, yet I just could not stop shivering.  The final tally was long johns, flannel pajamas, hoodie sweatshirt, gloves, heated rice pack wrapped around my neck, two layers of socks, slippers, heated blanked on "high" setting, and fleece blanket.

2.  Just as you start to break the chill and fall asleep, you awake dripping in sweat and burning up.  This cycle of chills/sweats continued all night long.

3.  I've always admired how a dog can sleep all day and then still sleep well at night.  I've just simply never been someone to sleep the day away.  Saturday, however, I spent 20+ hours of the day passed out either in bed or on the couch.  That amount of sleep puts even Bailey's sleep schedule to shame.

4. Ortho night float is considered to be the "worst job in the hospital."  You can imagine my luck to have been assigned a week of nightfloat + 24 hour Thanksgiving call + 24 hour Saturday after Thanksgiving call +
five more days of nigh float beginning Sunday.  The only thing better is doing it all while battling the flu.  Just another reason I love my job!

5.  Dragging yourself from couch to shower can be an incredibly strenuous task that requires stopping mid way up the stairs to catch your breath.

6.  Despite the exhaustion of the task, a steamy hot shower can be more therapeutic any medication.

7.  It has been six days since I last had any form of exercise.  Without a doubt, that is a record.  The last time I took more than two complete rest days was first year of medical school when I had a femoral neck stress fracture.  This is the girl who gets out for a run even when she's feeling a little under the weather.  Sadly, I cannot even fathom attempting a swim, bike, or run quite yet.  Welcome to the off-season.

8.  My diet currently consists of 75% peanut or almond butter and 25% toast.  Vegetables are completely unappealing.  The good news is that for the first time in six days I woke up hungry.

And that essentially sums up my life over the past week.  Fortunately, I can give thanks today that I am beginning to gain the upper hand on Influenza vs Crystal 2012.

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