Here is your influenza education of the day from your friendly neighborhood soon-to-be-nurse practitioner (NP). First of all, influenza is not the same thing as the stomach flu (pet peeve of soon-to-be-NP). Influenza is a nasty respiratory virus. The acronym FACTS can be used to describe the main symptoms. They include Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden symptoms. To be slightly more specific, the fever is usually pretty high (100+ degrees). People may also experience severe muscle aches, a dry (non-productive) cough, a headache, chills, and fatigue. A runny nose is more common in kids than adults, as are stomach symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Antibiotics are not useful for the flu since it is a virus. If you have symptoms, it is important to see your doctor or nurse practitioner (!) within the first 24-48 hours so you can start taking an anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu.
Positive notes of the day:
1) We got sick this week instead of the week we're going to Florida!
2) I start my family practice clinical hours next week instead of this week.
3) Lauren is healthy!
4) David had his worst symptoms over the weekend instead of during the work week.
5) Redimed is open on the weekends.
6) Leftover Valentine's candy is good for sickos.
7) Having every single one of the flu symptoms is a good review for any flu questions that may appear on the NP certification exam.
8) Lauren and I made it to church before I started feeling any awful flu symptoms. (Apologies to those whose hands I shook. That'll teach you to wash your hands directly after church.)
9) TiVo is great for the days when one wishes to stare at the TV for hours at a time.
10) Lauren was very busy today despite the rest of the family's inactivity. She played with dolls, wrote in her "journal," colored, played with her Princess Plug-N-Play game, and did a lot of cutting (a favorite activity). She also helped me make jello for Zachary.
* A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb
* Fresh air impoverishes the doctor. ~Danish Proverb
* Half the modern drugs could well be thrown out the window, except that the birds might eat them. ~Martin H. Fischer
* The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not. ~Mark Twain
* Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson
* Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. ~Mark Twain