So, there I was last Sunday evening, watching TV and looking forward to my first full week of clinicals at my new clinical site, my own doctor’s private family practice. I felt a little tired, and had a slight sore throat. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.
Two hours later, everything was different. I woke up sweating, with a very sore throat, and nose all congested. I started coughing. By the morning, my temperature was 101, I had body aches, chills, terrible headache, was coughing very hard, and just generally miserable. Okay, I thought, I have a nasty cold. Fluids, rest, vitamin C and cough syrup ought to do me. I’ll be right as rain in a day or two. The next morning I thought I was doing good, temperature down to 99, things on the mend. Not so fast…
The train hit me early afternoon, temp shot up to 103, I felt awful, coughing my lungs out. My throat hurt so bad from all the coughing, it felt like I was tearing it out. Every part of me ached, including my head. Migraines are nothing compared to this, what with coughing like that. I thought my head was going to explode. Quick call to the doctor’s office, Tamiflu called in to the pharmacy. Holy cow that stuff is expensive! Okay, time to realize, this is not going to be over so quick. The crappiest part of all this is, I had my flu shot this year, and this still happened.
What followed was days of hacking, continuous coughing, to the point of throwing up, no appetite, no energy, just totally miserable. I lay in bed with a cold washcloth clamped to my head, tissues, a trash bag, thermometer, cough syrup and stuff to drink all at hand. The temp came down to 100 and stayed that way for two days, then dropped to 99 for two more. Finally, this morning: a normal temp. I feel completely washed out, and I am SO TIRED of coughing. At least the throat doesn’t hurt anymore, but the term “stress incontinence” now has a real personal meaning. Of course, being a nurse, I listened to my own lungs (it’s hard to do that, I tell you, the tubing is not quite long enough on the stethoscope to do it easily) to make sure I wasn’t getting crackles or rhonchi.
Today, is the first day with a normal temp, I feel much better, just very tired, and I still haven’t gotten rid of the cough. My doctor, it turns out also went home on Tamiflu. I hope we are both recovered enough Monday that we can get back to clinicals and normalcy.
Having the flu sucks, it is like losing a week of your life.