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Who Let The InfluenzaOut?

Nov 26, 2007
There are five seasons - spring, summer, fall, winter - and flu. Soon television, radio and newspaper reporters will be tracking the path of fevered wheezings across the country; and we'll be updated about how many achy, nauseous victims have been left in its wake.

I thought I was one of them. I woke up feeling like I needed life support from the Energizer Bunny. I looked pale and my eyes were watery. Happily, it wasn't the flu. Those were allergy symptoms. It seems I'm allergic to David Letterman.

When it comes to viruses, however, I'm prepared. I have everything I need - which is aspirin. I take two aspirin as needed for fever. That's all. Then I put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my life and ride it out.

My husband on the other hand - the hand clutching the pharmacy-full bag of flu medications - tries to fight it. The only difference in our stationary, viral, voodoo dances is that he recovers in three days and I recover in seventy-two hours.

Take two aspirins and call me in the morning, feed a cold and starve a fever, drink lots of fluids, get plenty of sleep - I don't need advice when I'm sick. I need help. Thankfully, that need is covered by the "in sickness and in health" part of John's and my wedding vows. When I start complaining that the laundry doesn't smell April fresh or that Mr. Clean needs to wash his hands, John knows I'm getting well.

Then staying well is the goal. That requires good nutrition, daily exercise and sufficient sleep. In our house any take-out bag that isn't greasy on the bottom provides good nutrition and running - as in errands - is my daily exercise. It's getting sufficient sleep that's the hard part. Because sleep deprivation is now recognized as a problem, sleeping late should be considered preventative medicine.

I wish there'd been preventative medicines when my sons were growing up. For the first six years of their lives, I saw pediatricians more than I saw babysitters; and when they started school, things got worse. They brought home more colds than PTA notices.

Nevertheless, respiratory or intestinal, twenty-four or forty-eight hour - all flues have one thing in common. They make us appreciate how well we felt the day before we got sick. Yes, the flu season's started. Unfortunately, no reporters will be telling us when it will end.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
Take a minute to make yourself smile at
http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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