Ramblin Man – The flu

Being out that long means I would have to implement Plan B for getting the papers out. Problem with that is, there is no Plan B.

■ David Porter / Contributed

Now that my wife and I are putting out three newspapers a week, some of my friends have asked, “What happens if you get hit by a bus?”
That doesn’t seem probable. I’m much more likely to get hit by a car or a truck or a train, but I suppose a bus is possible. This week, I felt like I did get hit by a bus — a bus called influenza.
I don’t know where I picked up the flu virus; I don’t get out much. But when it hits you, it hits like a ton of bricks. And it’s persistent.
I got home from the office last week after the third paper was done and took two sinus pills and went to bed. I finally woke up 15 hours later, had a bite to eat, took two more sinus pills and slept for another 15 hours.
I thought, surely, that will do it. But I woke up from the second nap with a 102 degree temperature and paralyzing back ache. I needed to get this bug knocked out; in a couple of days, I would be back on deadline.
I started reading up on influenza and learned that it can hang on for a few days or a couple of weeks. I can’t afford to be sick for a couple of weeks.
Being out that long means I would have to implement Plan B for getting the papers out. Problem with that is, there is no Plan B.
This flu has gotten me asking a lot of questions of myself. Questions like, what do you want your obituary to say? Where do you want to be buried? And, can I still fit in my old blue suit?
Granted, I’m one of those guys who always thinks he’s dying when sick, but I don’t think I have ever been this sick in my life. Usually, I can muster through a cold in about three days, but we’re going into day 5 now and there’s not been much change.
I wonder if there’s a market for mucous. If I could sell the stuff, that would mitigate the unpleasantness.
I went online to read up on influenza to see if there’s anything else I should be doing. From what I’ve been able to gather, there’s not much one can do about it except let it run its course. And try not to make anyone else sick.
No, I didn’t get a flu shot this year. In retrospect, maybe that would have been a good idea. I’m certainly not anti-vac and if I was 10 or 15 years older, I would be sure to get a shot. But I’ve only had one flu shot, several years ago, and it made me sick, so I’m a little gun-shy.
Everyone handles medicines differently, I suppose. For me, the side effects are often as bad as the symptoms. Take for instance, the two sinus pills that knocked me out for 15 hours. That’s what they do to me.
It’s not just sinus meds. Once, after surgery, the doctor said I’d be ready to go home in an hour. Four hours later, they were still trying to wake me up. Once I get to sleep, I like to stay asleep.
Plus, while I’m taking the sinus meds, everything I eat has a metallic taste to it. I have a very fine-tuned equilibrium; you can’t go changing one thing without putting everything else off-kilter.
This flu virus is ridiculous this year. Try to stay away from it, and if you have it, keep it to yourself. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and stay home. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.


Copyright 2018 by David Porter who can be reached at porter@ramblinman.us. On the bright side, I’ve saved a ton of money on cigars this week.

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