This week, for the first time in my life, I came down with the flu.

Every year during flu season, at least one person in my life would come down with the flu. Everyone else would automatically become overly sympathetic upon hearing that Person X had the flu.

To be honest, deep down, I didn't understand.

I knew the flu was bad. I did.

But if something is this prevalent it can't be that bad, right?


It is that bad.

It all started on Tuesday evening.

I went for a run, then came home for dinner. Everything was going well. As I was eating, I started to feel sick.

"I just need to eat better after running," I thought,

So I went to bed early.

I woke up Wednesday, still feeling sick. Convinced I just had a bad cold, I sent an email to my boss that I would be out for the day but I swore I would be back on Thursday. The response was a simple "get well soon".

After a little more sleep, I relocated to the sofa and flipped on the TV. It was on TLC.

It would stay there for 3 days.

As Wednesday morning wore into Wednesday afternoon, I began to realize that this didn't really feel like a cold. Something felt...different, worse.

So I grabbed my phone and started doing some research. I would have grabbed the laptop my phone was sitting on, but that took more effort so I just settled on the phone.

Flu fun fact #1: the federal government has an entire website devoted to information about the flu. It's super handy when you think you may have the flu.

I poured over the list of symptoms, the comparison to the cold. As I read, I broke down and finally accepted the truth.

I had the flu. Well, have the flu.

I'm still sick. Oy.

I sent another email to my manager apologizing and explaining that I had the flu and would probably not be returning for the rest of the week.

The response was markedly different: take as much time as you need. Do whatever you need to get better. We'll cover you.

After sending the email I needed a nap.

Post-nap, I did a little more reading about the flu online and quickly learned that unless I was high risk or the victim of a severe case, I was to stay home & drink liquids until I felt better. Symptoms will peak in 2-3 days, with lingering exhaustion for 1-2 weeks.

Flu fun fact #2: the flu is exhausting. Like crazy exhausting. Going to the bathroom is a ton of effort. Sending an email is a ton of effort. I didn't even change the channel for 3 days because that was a ton of effort. I lost 6 pounds in 3 days because eating was a ton of effort so I didn't really do that so much (FYI: not a great way to lose weight. I know that sounds awesome, but it's not. At all).

Bedtime rapidly became around 8 pm as I just kind of gave up on being awake around that time. Typically around 6:30 (don't judge me) I would crawl back into my bed, grab my tablet, and watch 30 Rock on Netflix until I fell asleep.

Flu fun fact #3: the flu isn't a "cute" illness. This is not the time to have the new boyfriend come take care of you (or really even a friend that isn't a very close one). You will look an unwashed, smelly monster for several days straight. You probably will only brush your teeth once a day and that once a day will be right before bed.

Today (Saturday) I finally woke up feeling semi-human.

Naturally I decided that meant I could totally run all my errands.

I could not.

I did it but by the time I was done, I needed yet another nap.

Flu fun fact #4: the flu hurts. Not the congestion, sore throat hurt of a cold. The aches and pains that they talk about in all those flu commercials are not a joke. My back hurts just thinking about how bad it hurt earlier this week.  Does that even make sense? I don't know. I have the flu.

After my first experience with the flu, I can positively say I will never miss a flu shot again.

I know it's not a good match this year. I know that it probably won't always be a good match.

But that's no excuse.

Get your flu shot.

Do whatever you have to avoid/lessen this hellish disease.


For my exhausted, achy, snuffly, cold, self, please get your flu shot.

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