The flu that everyone is talking about ravaged through the Carrier compound fast and hard last week. Thankfully, I have so far escaped the horrors that I've witnessed. Yes, I got my flu shot, we all did. But one person in our family still got so sick. Due to confidentially papers that I have signed, I cannot tell you who in the family got sick. But Dave, who is still home on winter break from college, and I are feeling great.
I will call our patient "001," since she is the first flu victim that we have treated. And the following is a log of what happened to 001 as she progressed through our latest real life medical drama "The Flu."
Jan. 14; 6:05 p.m.: 001 announced to anyone who would listen that she is feeling as if she is getting a cold. Later that evening, 001 had a color to her skin that resembled a green you wouldn't find in a box of 64 crayons. She started to have chills and was suddenly freezing. This is unusual for 001 since she is still menopausal, forcing the staff to freeze most of the time.
Jan. 15; 1:23 a.m.: Staff member awakened by a moan that only the deathly ill can make. Followed by a cough so severe that the staff member thought he was sleeping with Doc Holiday. A few hours later, 001 calls in sick to work. 001 is known around the house for her ability to always get to work, no matter how she is feeling. But 001 is wiped out. She was as sick as the staff has ever seen her.
Staff member heads off to work feeling as good as you can for a Tuesday. He leaves knowing that 001 is in the paws of Zelda the Wonder Dog because the remaining staff at home could sleep though a NASCAR race. As he leaves, he hears that groan and cough and thanks his lucky stars knowing that it could have been him.
Jan. 15; 10:35 a.m.: Staff member calls 001 while on break from work. He learns of body aches that resemble those felt by Lou Gehrig. Her voice is rough and smoky from the devil's cough. Staff member reported that he may have heard crying but it was the dog begging him to leave work and come home in case she needed to make any final arrangements. Yes, 001 was that sick.
Jan. 15; 4:10 p.m.: Back home from work, the first shift gives the second shift his report. Patient 001 is unresponsive and asleep in her bed. When awake, 001 is cursed by a range of symptoms, including chills, aches and pains and that cough that reminds one of a seal in the circus. She slept the whole night.
Jan. 16; 6:10 p.m.: Staff came home from work late. He was not in a good mood and found 001 still lounging around. Not knowing the flu is a 3- to 4-day thang, staff found that 001 was too weak and still too sick to get a rile out of her. She went back to bed and slept the whole night.
Jan. 17; 5:45 p.m.: Staff reports that 001 is still very ill. The aches and cough continue. However, she has turned badger-like mean as far as her mood is concerned. Staff goes to bed and sleeps the whole night.
Jan. 18; 7:20 p.m.: It's day four. Patient 001 is feeling a little better but she is still not 100 percent. She spends the day watching bad movies and is now quoting lines from that blockbuster, "Snakes on a Plane." It's at this point that the staff is checking 001's temperature to see if there has been a return of fever. This odd behavior is due to her illness. Where is the humanity?
Final report: 001 has slowly recovered and a full recovery is expected. There were very little medical bills since 001 refused any attempts to seek professional help. Even with the flu shot, 001 got sick, so be careful out there. It's the flu season, and it's a bad one this year.
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who is no doctor but knows gas better than an anesthesiologist.