Monday, February 11, 2019

Life Post: A Cold? The Flu? Who Knows?

Considering I have year round allergies (dust mites) that I'm constantly dealing with, I'm okay with the fact that I really don't get sick that often. My allergies provide me with a near daily struggle, especially in the winter when I'm indoors more and can't open the windows to air out the apartment, so I don't need to deal with an illness on top of that.

Every year, I get a cold or two, but I can't remember the last time I was sick besides that. I've had health "issues" sure. I've needed cavities filled, still deal with severe acne, and those sorts of things, but those aren't illnesses. I've been lucky in that regard, which I was reminded of recently when it came up that I've never had the flu.

Last year was the first time in my life that I got the flu shot, so I can't explain exactly how I avoided the flu my entire life, but I have. It's nothing short of a miracle now when I'm surrounded by kids at work. This year has proven that even with the shot, you can't always escape the flu.

My friend got diagnosed with the flu yesterday. The previous night, I'd been with her and another friend, and while I shrugged off any concern I might get it at first, I began feeling sick by that night. Cue a whole day of me growing increasingly worried that I might have caught the flu. Since people are contagious 24 hours before they start showing symptoms, it wouldn't have been surprising if I had.

I waffled back and forth between thinking I had to have it to being sure that I was just paranoid. That wasn't just my emotions but my symptoms coming and going. This morning, I woke up hours before my alarm because I was too miserable to sleep anymore, but once I was awake, I felt better. Then I felt worse again, and over and over.

Eventually, I cracked and messaged some people saying that I thought it was a possibility, and long story short, I was tested for the flu. The verdict? I don't have it. What I do have is a cold.

It's some strange timing that I would develop a cold at the same time my friend got the flu, but that's happened. As I write this, my head feels like it's about to explode, but I know I'd feel much worse if it was the flu. I was sure of that before going to the doctor, yet I was paranoid. I've never actually had the flu after all, so while I'd been told about how terrible it was, I have no way of knowing what it actually feels like to have it.

I hate asking for help because I feel like I'm burdening people, so of course I feel guilty for someone needing to take me to the hospital when it wasn't the flu. (Though I did at least get cold medicine out of it to make me feel better.) I know I probably shouldn't. No one's tried to make me feel guilty, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel just a little guilty.

It's strange not really knowing if you have something or not just because descriptions of how it feels can't compare to actually feeling it. I can try to imagine the flu, but I don't know if I'm imagining it right. I get enough colds that I wouldn't have doubted this was one except for the timing. Like with many other things, I've just been told, "You'll know when it's the flu," but today is a testament that the saying doesn't mean I'll really know for sure.

If I ever do get the flu, I might be in bed for days and still be convinced it's not actually the flu after this.

Anyway, I'm off to take another dose of my cold medicine before my head actually explodes.

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