Tracy Hughes, Salmon Arm Observer editor

Failing with the flu

Why is it that whenever you get some time off work, your body decides that it's time to get sick?

I know I’m not the only one.

But seriously?

Why is it that whenever you get some time off work, your body decides that it’s time to get sick?

Last year, I had some days off in the first week of January. Promptly on Dec. 31, 2016, I started to feel a bit chilled and my throat felt scratchy. We were visiting with relatives in Kamloops but by the next day, I was begging my husband to drive me home. There I promptly curled up in bed with a box of Kleenex and a heating pad for multiple days in a row, subsisting on Neo-Citran and chicken soup.

But this year was going to be different. My days off were filled with plans for skiing or skating and snowshoeing. I was going to relish all that is good about winter in the Shuswap and enjoy some quality time with my children.

It was not to be.

Suddenly, as flu is known for, I started feeling a bit off… and then the aches started and the fever hit. I felt as though a cement truck was sitting on my chest. I pulled the comforter over my head and placated my children with no restrictions on screen time and letting them eat cereal out of the box.

Now, seven days later, I am back at work, still weak, still coughing, but still hoping that my usual vitality will overcome this virus and I can get back to my usual routines without feeling like I’m dragging a 30-pound weight from my ankles.

I’m pretty confident from reviewing my symptoms, I have been suffering from a form of influenza – or the flu. And, before you ask, I did not get vaccinated this year… or last. But you better believe I’m going to work it into my schedule this coming fall, in hopes of avoiding a three-peat of the last two years of illness.

A quick check of Interior Health’s website notes the most effective way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated and adopting additional preventative measures, such as proper hand hygiene and proper sneezing and coughing etiquette.

I have also rounded up a few more reminders form the good folks at Interior Health to help you avoid getting sick.

• Wash your hands, wash your hands and wash your hands!

• Cough into your sleeve or elbow or use a tissue.

• Avoid sharing cups, utensils or towels.

• Dispose promptly of used tissues.

• Stay home when you are ill.

• Keep common surface areas, such as doorknobs, light switches and keyboards, clean and disinfected.

• Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.

As I recover, I wish you all a flu-free start to the year.

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