What To Do When You Get The Flu!?!

So finally, after three years and faithfully getting my flu shot every year, I got my (parden my french but sometimes there is just no other way to say some things) ass kicked by a horrible flu virus. It started as a head cold. Congestion, horrible sore throat, slight aches, etc. I took zinc and high doses of vitamin C as they recommend and it calmed down. Then I started getting exasperations on my asthma and somewhere in there got a second (or thought was a second but would later find out was just all in the same virus; have been to the Dr 4 times since 3/11/10) head cold and the asthma exasperations continued and I had to get two more steroid (that would make six shots in 5 months) shots. I got those several days ago. But this is the same virus that has knocked me on my arse the last weeks. The first time I was in, Dr Miller listened to my lungs and bronchial tubes and knew there was no choice but to do the steroid shots….again as I had bronchitis on top of the asthma, so this time said he is sending me to a pulminologist. :’-( (don’t want to go!!!!)  I know, I know… he really does care; both him and Collette my NP care a lot. He just said we cannot keep doing steroid shots at this rate. Dr. Miller is a specialist; i.e. he actually has like 400+ hours more than the other Dr’s there as he is a DO. I was not sure what it meant so looked it up and found out it was a notch *higher* than an MD. But right now I gotta get over this flu. One *important* note that I will mention again later (as to why) is that when I get anything; flu, cold, etc. is things hit me twice and hard and twice as long. More on that in a bit.

So that  Thursday I go to work. I feel terrible and my stomach is giving me fits. I have a low grade fever. I e mailed my supervisors to let them know if I auxed my phone on personal more than usual (let me go on the record stating I have the best of the best when it comes to supervisors; they care first and foremost. They listen, they will work with you on things, they will go to bat for you, they honestly care about each and every member of their team) so, I get an e mail from the manager of our team suggesting I go home if I am that ill. Well anyone that knows me and knows how skittish, and a worrier, etc I am, thought I was in trouble. So I e mailed her back asking if I was in trouble. Well, of course I was not. She knew how sick I was and was concerned for me AND others around me picking up the virus. I went and spoke and all was ok. So Friday I woke up, still just feeling awful. I did all I could to get ready and just lost it and broke down in tears to my husband. I said I can’t make it through an 8 hour day. So, I called Dr Miller’s office again, got in and he wrote me out through Monday…. actually his words were “I will write you out as long as you think it will take to fully recover because with your fibromyalgia and post gastric bypass this is hitting you harder and longer and is really going to take a while to get better.” I said “just till Monday and I will call Monday if anything changes.”  As referred to earlier in the post, if I have never mentioned I, of course, have battled fibromyalgia but what I have never disclosed and I am being very transparent here; My official diagnosis in 1996 was; Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. BUT, I don’t let it get to me or get me down. I will not EVER play the disability card and even though if I do get sick, it is 2 times harder for me, I am a fighter! I will not let some ‘condition’ dictate my life!

OK, so to cont…. the ‘cold like’ symptoms continue but are not that bad. Between Zyrtec D, losenges and lotsa Vit C and zinc, it is bearable. Well, early Tuesday March 16th I get a *very* rude awakening. I am in the bathroom for at least 30 minutes, maybe longer. And for the rest of the night into the morning and back and forth. I start popping immodium and keep popping (I just had to make it stop, it was so awful!). Bad idea, I find out later as I am STILL trying to get my insides straighted out. So I call out to work on the 16th and felt like the living dead that day. I popped 10, yes ten immodium (I know, I am an idiot). I somehow made it through work on St Pat’s day most of the day anyway, left early to go to urgent care only to be told yes, I have a terrible flu, nothing can be done except lots of fluids, rest and whatever I am allowed to take as a post RNY. I sat there for 2 hours in a dingy, creepy what used to be a hospital but is now a dingy, creepy ghost hospital when I could have been home resting.

Now it bears being said while all this is going on, I am steadily losing weight. Weight is well below 140 lbs by now. On St Pat’s day it was 137 lbs and today is 136 lbs. When I got sick before and got down to 132 lbs, I started getting bruised looking type marks on my legs and my husband said I looked pathetic. I was told by several health care professionals those are the first signs of malnutrition. Remember, with my weight, you always deduct 10 lbs for excess skin.

So, for anyone considering or who has had Gastric Bypass, DS, The sleeve, the band, etc; bear this in mind: when you find you ‘sweet spot’, leave a bit of room for when you may get the flu, etc at some point. I think one of the reasons all my Dr’s and family want me at 150 lbs is so I have wiggle room if I do get the flu and lose some weight. MY sweet spot; the place I feel really good, just right , etc is 140 lbs give or take a couple lbs each way. I am stubborn; yes I am Minnie Mae Coleman’s grandaughter! My biggest problem I have to work on, and I am working on it with my counselor Beth along with a million and one other things I am working on, is my body/ self image as when I drop a pound even though I know I am getting into ‘unhealthy’ territory, is when I do drop weight a part of me says ‘Yay!’. That is wrong, especially if you gain a few lbs and your NP says, “You have gained some weight” and claps her hands saying “Yay!!!!!!!”.

So anyone and everyone out there…. do what your Dr’s say. Find a way to know you are NOT fat. And I will try to practice what I preach. And as soon as I am back 100%, I will try to get back up to 140 lbs! 🙂

So, this is a PS of sorts. I wrote this all a few days ago and saved it to go over. I have a few things to add. On Thursday 3-25-10, I thought, “NO!” My headcold symptoms and intestinal difficulties were making a re-occurence. 🙁 By Friday I was nothing short of miserable and woke up Saturday 3-27-10 at 4 AM with a horrible ear ache and horrible congestion and a cough and could not get back to sleep. I had already left like 3 messages with Dr. Millers office on Friday and was told to call Saturday as they rotate physicians/ locations on Saturday mornings and see patients on an emergency basis. I figured my flu was making a come-back. How could this be? I was feeling so much better before Thursday. As for the head and earache… it is allergies! It is just pure irony that they hit exactly now (the  dogwood trees are all in full bloom!). He looked at my ears throat and listed to me very carefully (he knows my lungs and bronchial tubes well and how they should sound! 🙂  My tummy? I have continual issues with it and people…. especially those who spend a lot of time with me, have to understand that there is nothing I can do about that! It is what it is. I try to keep my fiber level out (very important post RNY patients!!!!!) but sometimes my day *is* dictated by how my tummy is doing and again, it is what it is.  Right now I have continued to drop weight still in what my hubby would say is the danger zone. Not trying! Taylor and I pigged out at lunch and Paul made his ribs last night with lemon meringue pie for dessert. Still…. I don’t know… just don’t know. Yes, there is that little voice that says, “Hmmm…. cool”. But when you know the ladies at Victoria’s Secret and get the VIP treatment  and they give you the swanky dressing room(I am the lady that lost 170 lbs!!! Whoa!!!! Yeah; the poster weight loss lady) as you buy your very first ‘push-up bra’ and you have 3 mirrors and see yourself from the back and are mortified for just a split… just a split second as you count ribs, while thinking “Whose back is that?”…. then maybe, just maybe ‘they’ are right.  Weight this Sunday morning; 134 lbs.  Sweet spot 140 lbs.; BMI 20.4 (with skin). I have some work to do.

One thing to consider if considering or if you have had RNY; remember, if you get a cold, flu, anything that takes your appetite away; either leave wiggle room or try to somehow keep your weight where it should be. Also body image; definitely my biggest issue; make sure you see yourself as you should. I know I have a long way to go but this is something I am working on.  It’s those little split second moments that show you. It is having good support of family and friends and mostly about, at least for me, God.