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The FLU is a serious illness – BE RESPONSIBLE.

In 2009 myself and my three eldest daughters all contracted the extremely dangerous H1N1 virus – otherwise known as the Swine Flu.

The symptoms were immediate – starting with an extremely sore throat, followed quickly by a soaring high temperature, widespread body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing and congested head, nose and ears.  Honestly, I was scared for my children, and myself. It came on so quickly, was extremely aggressive and no amount of over the counter medications seemed to help.

 

Every year new strains of flu arise across the world – ALL can be as dangerous as the swine flu.

I am writing this post to plead, yes plead, with people to not go to work or send children to school if they or their child experience any symptoms that could be similar to that of the flu. 

There are thousands of people with compromised immune systems – this includes not just those with serious illnesses, such as cancer, but also pregnant women and new babies. While the “healthy” population may recover from the flu, many others won’t.

THE FLU KILLS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Would you like to be responsible for the loss of the life of another because you did not keep yourself or your child away from the public if you had had the flu?

When we got the Swine Flu I took every precaution to prevent anyone else getting it.

I rang my GP immediately. We were swabbed and the results came back as positive for the flu. I rang the school to inform them – and the next day the principal made a decision to shut the school down to prevent risk of infection for all other students.

This was the right thing to do. 

I then went about ensuring no-one else would get sick and tried everything to get us all better.

  • I text everyone and told them to stay away.
  • I set up our sitting room like a bedroom and moved all of us into it. Staying downstairs meant I could help prevent my husband from getting sick as we needed somebody well enough in the house to keep it going. He did not come near us. After work he would go to the shops, pharmacy etc. and dropped off the bags in the hall. He did the laundry every night and went upstairs afterwards. Yes, I was tired and unwell and the help would have been great but this was the right thing to do – he never got the flu.
  • Being in the sitting room meant I was near all my children at the same time and near the kitchen where all the medications, basins (for vomiting), food and water was. It just meant I didn’t have to go up and down stairs to get what I needed.
  • I opened the windows in our house every day to let fresh air in.
  • We had to go to our GP every second day as two of my children had compromised immune systems and needed their lungs checked to ensure they didn’t get pneumonia. We sat in the car outside the GP office until the receptionist waved us in – this ensured others in the waiting room wouldn’t get sick.
  • I used antibacterial agent on everything, all of the time, to help get rid of the virus from the house.
  • I washed the bed linen every day in 90 degrees water.
  • I burnt used tissue papers in the fire.
  • I ensured myself and my children coughed into our elbows.
  • I used a fan to help bring down the soaring high temperatures, and used cold baby wipes to put on their heads and under their arms.
  • I kept a medication diary to ensure I gave the right medications to the right child, at the right time.
  • I kept the water in the fridge to help cool down their temperatures and soothe their sore throats. I made them drink water at every chance I could.
  • I woke the children to stay on top of their medications to keep their temperature down.
  • I had to go to the hospital as I ended up getting pneumonia and I wore a face mask to prevent the spread.

These are only a few of the precautions I took.

Believe me, if you get the flu you will know it is very different to a head cold or any other bugs out there.

Please don’t use excuses for sending your child to school or going to work if you have symptoms of the flu.

You can get a letter from your GP if you’re worried about social protection getting involved if your child is missing school. Your employer can not fire you if you present with a sick certificate.

Schools should send letters home to parents informing them of same and with information on how to practice safe hygiene.

This is not about wrapping children in “cotton wool” – the Flu is a serious illness and can kill people.

We are all responsible.

Do your part.


Symptoms of Flu

  • High temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Diaarhea
  • Congested head, nose, throat, ears

If you have the flu please ensure you rest, drink plenty of fluids, use appropriate over the counter medications safely and ensure you practice good hygiene such as washing hands, disposing of used tissues immediately and coughing into your elbows. If you are concerned about your symptoms visit your GP or A&E but warn them in advance of your condition and wear a mask over your face to prevent the risk of spread.

 

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Prepare yourself…its cold and flu season!

Cold, flu, sick, unwell, sickly, cough, sneeze, blowing news, unwell, cold and flu season, flu shot, MediStori

It’s not just the weather that can affect us!

It’s that time of the year again; the days are getting shorter, leaves are falling from trees, weather is getting worse (though we all have to admit October had some beautiful weather, talk about an Indian Summer!) and to top it up, the cold and flu season begins!

Though many people hate this time of the year, I personally love it; even if it is dark when I get up in the morning and when I get home, because for me, Christmas makes it all worth it – but that topic is for a totally different blog! One of the biggest downers of this season, I feel, is that colds and flues become commonplace and at least one person you know will have one of these viruses throughout the winter months.

cold, flu, sneeze, unwell, sick, contagious, cough, MediStori, virus,
A person sneezing

Now if you’re like me and my family, we’re super sensitive about getting sick (we all hate it, who doesn’t?) so if we know anyone who is in anyway sick with either a cold or a flu, we basically disengage from them completely, to save ourselves. It’s very common in our family to be like this with each other, our friends and even our significant others (We REALLY don’t like getting sick, haha).

Like many people already this year, I experienced my first cold of the season a few weeks ago, and thankfully it wasn’t the worst cold I had – but still, who likes being sick?

Nobody – especially me!

My already heightened sense for avoiding getting the cold or flu can make me seem rude as I try desperately to stay away from any person I interact with who happens to have any symptoms. Just this morning I was on a bus on my way to work, and the women sitting in front of me coughed a lot (without covering her mouth – come on!) which resulted in me keeping my scarf around my mouth and nose for the rest of the twenty minute bus journey!

Cold, flu, sick, unwell, sickly, cough, sneeze, blowing news, unwell, cold and flu season, flu shot, MediStori
Constantly blowing your nose is one of the many downsides of getting a cold or flu

There are many ways (apart from staying away from people!) which are way more convenient to prevent yourself from getting sick however. Regularly washing your hands is one thing that can prevent nasty little germs from getting into your own or others systems. People should also cough or sneeze into the crease in their elbows as coughing into your hand can just spread the germs (I wouldn’t have cared where the lady earlier coughed into to be honest so long as it wasn’t the air I was breathing in!) Another way to prevent yourself from getting sick is to ensure you get enough sleep (8-10 hours is generally the healthy amount – but let’s be honest that Grey’s Anatomy was worth losing an hour of sleep for!)

You can also choose to give one other boost to your system by choosing healthier food options, and additionally get loads of vitamins in to you (ask your pharmacy for guidance) – although sometimes that brownie, while watching Grey’s Anatomy is worth getting sick over haha!

There is also one other really effective way of preventing the flu, which is often overlooked by the “healthy population” and that is by getting the flu shot!

There are many misconceptions about the flu vaccine, which I admit I also believed until quite recently. Firstly, it is not only for the elderly, the young and people with chronic diseases – these people are only asked to get it done as they in the high risk group and so need to take extra precautions. But the jab can be taken by anybody. I feel it would be very proactive if everyone got the flu vaccine, as it would decrease the risk of spreading the virus, especially to those most vulnerable, as mentioned above.

The second misconception that many people believe about the flu shot is that it actually gives you the flu and all the terrible symptoms that goes along with it. Though there is some truth to this in the fact that you may experience symptoms – as some people can experience low-grade fever, headache and muscle pain – the jab does not give you the flu. Some of the most common side effects of the flu vaccine are soreness and swelling where the shot was given, but this goes for every jab, including travel and tetanus vaccinations.

Let’s be honest, if you’ve ever had the flu (or even the dreaded man flu!) I’m sure you would agree with me in saying that you would rather experience a sore arm over being bedridden for weeks or even catching a virus that can be life threatening for elderly people or for those with chronic conditions.

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Even Barack Obama gets a flu shot

So be weary this cold and flu season and take precautions to protect yourself from getting sick – maybe not as careful (and crazy) as I am, but even just to try to be aware of yourself and your surroundings.

The MediStori Movement is focused on being proactive rather than reactive.

Try to be this way with all contagious illnesses, including the flu – wash your hands regularly; cover up your coughs and sneezes; eat as healthily as you can (within reason); sleep enough (at least 8 hours) and finally get the flu shot, if you can.

I know I’ll be doing all of these (and more) this winter season, and would love (for my safety, if not yours!) to try and do the same.

Anything is better than getting sick, right?

Thanks so much for reading,

Alice 😀

 

The truth about Manflu… Enjoy!