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Got the flu

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
So, I went to my in-laws on the 24th. My sis-in-law brought her 5 kids. I noticed that sis-in-law's baby had a lot of snot coming out of her, and my oldest niece informed me that "she's sick, everyone in our family has been sick this week, there's been a 'flu-fever' thing going through our house."

That made me really upset! Why would you bring a sick baby to xmas? The baby doesn't care, she is like 14 months old and doesn't really know what xmas is and doesn't even yet grasp the concept of opening gifts. The kid was obviously sick, keep her at home! Sis-in-law's husband could have stayed at home with their sick baby. Ugh, it just made me mad. They exposed me to their "fever-flu" germs when they know I have a chronic illness and a wonky immune system! That just seems really thoughtless to me. They could have let their baby rest and recover, and kept me from being exposed, but they did neither.

I did get the flu shot this year (in Oct, so it had plenty of time to kick in) and I was holding out hope that my flu shot would keep me from getting sick, but no such luck. I had read that the flu shot wasn't a very good match this year to the flu strains going around, and I guess that was the case, because I definitely caught the flu. Chills, fever, massive joint aches, sore throat, sinus issues, the works. I'm finally starting to get over it, my fever broke last night so I was able to get some sleep. It was really miserable for a couple days though and it's still no picnic now.

I'm really mad still. It's one thing to expose a chronically ill person to a cold, but the flu is different. If it had hit me harder, if it had set off a flare, anything like that - I could have would up in the hospital. So not cool! Am I overreacting? Or was that way out of line for my sis-in-law to bring her flu-contagious baby to xmas?
 
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Cross-stitch gal

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Vancouver,
Sorry to hear that you're sick. :( But, thankful to hear that you're starting to be on the mend. Don't blame you for being upset. Hope you'll be able to rest up and be bouncing around as normal again soon!!! Sending lots of hugs your way... :hug:
 
I would think at very least a heads up the kid was sick so you could at least know right away would be a basic expectation. I would be upset. At very least could they have sequestered the child in a spare room, let them nap or something. I get you don't want to leave a sick one but having them around you is wrong.
 
Not over reacting.

I would have flipped out on the spot if I was in that situation!

Wow...I'm just in shock as to why anyone would want to bring a child with the flu around other people. Especially with the flu being in the news, due to the vaccine not being 100% and the fact that it's considered an 'epidemic' right now in like 36 states. Oh, plus the fact that one of the family members suffers from a chronic medical condition!

Yes...I would have definitely flipped, especially since the medication I take for my chronic medical condition is an immunosupressant!

Wow...

Well...I'm glad your starting to feel a little bit better and that it didn't land you in the hospital.
 
Location
SoCal
Definitely selfish and insensitive on your sisters part.
I don't think you should flip out if you can control yourself,
But let her and her husband know you are sick Due to their selfishness.
Maybe they will be more considerate next time
Me I stay away from people esp kids this time of year.
 

nogutsnoglory

Moderator
Yuck, so sorry! It's scary that the flu shot isn't very protective this year. Glad to hear you are on the way out of the flu jam though.
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
Thanks everyone. I thought I was getting better, but then I just sort of plateaued. My fever went away so I felt like I was on the mend. But, I'm still coughing up green mucus every morning, I'm still congested and my sinuses are really messed up, I just basically still feel pretty icky. I lost my voice on New Year's eve (wasn't even partying, I stayed home) and it still hasn't totally come back. So this flu is really nasty - everyone avoid it if at all possible!

This of course just makes me even angrier at my sis-in-law. I've had this flu for over a week now (I'm on day 9 I think) and this whole thing could have been prevented. She and her whole family are getting coal in their stockings from me next xmas!
 

Lisa

Adminstrator
Staff member
Location
New York, USA
Ugh...sorry to see you are still sick.....I had what felt like a cold start to take hold before Christmas, felt a bit better for a day or two but day before yesterday started with the coughing up crud, now my sinuses are full of green crud too...of course, I have been off work (vacation) this past week, and head back to work on Monday...hope I feel better by then - and hope you get feeling better soon Cat!
 

hawkeye

Moderator
Staff member
Feel better soon Cat. There was a bit of coverage in the news here over the past couple of weeks about the flu strain that is going around this year not being one of the strains in this year's vaccine.
 

UnXmas

Banned
I don't know, I understand why people think that way - it's like when they tell you not to visit relatives in hospital if you have any illness symptoms, it sometimes sounds so practical that it seems heartless. Having said that, I have a nephew (about a year older than your niece - this was the first year he really got Christmas and was insanely excited - certainly wasn't like that last year) prone to all sorts of minor and not so minor ailments (he had a lot of antibiotics as a young baby, has steroid treatments for allergies) and everyone's concern is always with protecting him, not just from giving him our germs, but from not making him participate in social activities if he's not feeling good. So I'm more surprised your sister-in-law didn't want to stay away for the baby's sake - she may feel sentimental about family Christmas gatherings, but sentimentality often goes with protecting sick kids too!

But if she's not had the experiences of illness that you have, it may be very hard for her to see your point of view. It also depends on how often the family get together, how much value they put on Christmas - not that these affect the basic science of the risks that were taken, but they do affect how generous you may be in forgiving your sister-in-law perhaps.

Have you, the baby or any of the other people who got sick been assessed by a doctor? Is it possible she'd taken the kids to a doctor and got told it was just a cold? Or that what you have is actually not what the baby has?

We got everyone together at Christmas. My nephew was well but one of the adults there was sick with a stomach bug. A couple more people got minor symptoms later, and joked about how he'd given it to everyone: but in the past he'd been criticised for backing out of things claiming illness, so sometimes you just can't win. It can be hard to get everyone well in the Winter, especially with multiple kids, and it's often impossible to know who gave what to whom (e.g. I'm in the hospital so often, renowned place to pick up germs, so maybe I carried something and gave it to others even though I didn't get symptoms myself?). Sometimes it's obvious - if the baby was obviously really ill, really unhappy, and you'd informed the parents clearly about your own situation - but other times it is a hard call.

I'd recommend constant updates on everyone's state of health in the weeks and days leading up to a gathering. That's what we do, though we all live close, so it's much easier as there aren't travel plans to make, and we could switch and have a later date if the planned one had fallen through. But call, text, whatever regularly in advance and ask for a run-down on all the symptoms everyone has. If you think it would be awkward, I guess you could make it sound like you're just enquiring to find out how the kids are doing, and if doctor's visits or flu or colds are mentioned, you can make the decision to stay away and, if it's easier, say you're doing so because you are unwell if you want to avoid saying you don't want to catch things from other people.
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
It was pretty obvious that the baby was ill. As soon as they walked in the door, that was when I noticed and mentioned that the baby had a lot of snot coming out of her nose. The rest of that day, the baby continued to produce an impressive amount of mucus, she cried a lot, sweated, napped fitfully, and just generally acted sick and unhappy. I have no doubt that the baby had the flu and passed it on to me.

My sis-in-law is kind of a flake. She's also had some issues with her marriage in the past - she and her husband have had some rocky times and he's skipped out on coming to xmas more than once. So it's possible that, since he actually agreed to come to her parents' for xmas this year, she didn't want to ask him to stay home with the sick baby. Also, sis-in-law and her husband have 5 kids total, and I think the baby, since she's the 5th kid, doesn't get a lot of consideration. The baby has 4 other kids to contend with for attention, and even a sick baby doesn't seem to get a whole lot of attention in their family since there's so much else going on.

As for me, yep, it's the flu. I haven't been tested to be 100% certain, but given that it's flu season, my symptoms fit, we're in a flu epidemic with high flu activity in my area, and when I emailed my doctor my symptoms and another doctor responded and said it's the flu - it's almost certainly the flu. I'm still sick, nearly 2 weeks in now. I had to go to a meeting at work today and I could barely speak (I lost my voice almost a week ago and it still hasn't come back) and I couldn't stop coughing. I can barely sleep at night as I'm up for hours coughing, so I'm exhausted all day. My doctor is inundated with flu patients and he only wants to see the really serious cases, so I've been advised to self-treat by staying hydrated, etc. I can be seen if I get worse or remain sick, but I know there's not much that my doctor is going to be able to do (my co-worker went to the doctor for her flu symptoms, and was given antibiotics! Which is ridiculous as the flu is a virus! And antivirals only work if you take them on the first day of symptoms). So I'll just continue to tough it out.
 

UnXmas

Banned
In that case I would have thought your sister-in-law should have kept the baby at home; sick kids shouldn't be forced to participate in that sort of atmosphere (excitement, maybe unfamiliar people, etc.), it could have given the baby a rare chance to get some peace and be home with one adult and no siblings for once!

Are up you up to going to meetings? Are you sure you won't pass your 'flu on to others at work?

Take care of yourself - I know doctors often can't treat this kind of illness, though they can prescribe things to relieve symptoms if the things you're able to do for yourself aren't cutting it. You probably will just have to tough out a lot of it, but lozenges (for sore-throat), paracetamol (for aches and pains - may be called acetaminophen where you are), Olbas oil (for blocked noses and congestion) and Vicks rub (for congestion, sore throat and catarrh) can make it pass less unpleasantly. All those can be bought over-the-counter probably. Paracetamol does nothing for me personally, but it is supposed to. I love Olbas oil and Vicks rub, any Olbas or Vicks products actually, they smell so gorgeous and always remind me of being tucked up in bed as a little kid because my mum used to put them on our pillows when we had colds. But do go to your doctor if you're dehydrated or if things aren't improving - you have other health problems so you're a priority: your doctor should make time to see you if you need to.
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
I doubt I'm still contagious at this point. According to the CDC's fact sheet about the flu, it says you can spread the flu 5-7 days from the onset. It's been about two weeks for me so I am pretty sure I'm fine to work. Nobody in my work area has gotten sick (it was a co-worker from a different floor/different department who said she got antibiotics). So I'm fairly confident that I'm no longer contagious.
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/family/fluandyou_press.pdf

I actually did stay home sick yesterday. My boss is concerned about me especially since we had a teleconference on Tuesday and I could barely speak during it. She basically told me to stay home on Wednesday, and since the weather was so bitterly cold, I took the opportunity to stay home and rest and not go out in the cold. I think that helped a bit.

And yeah, my 5 nieces and nephews apparently very rarely get "alone" time. My oldest niece is 11 and she said the chaos in her house drives her crazy and she never gets time to herself - I told her that she could come visit me for a weekend every now and then if her parents say it's okay, and she seemed very happy at the prospect of having an entire weekend away from her siblings. (I don't have any kids, it's just me and the hubby and our dog, cat, and gerbils so our house is nice and quiet and generally chaos-free.) So yes, it would probably have been really nice for the baby if she had been kept home and got some quiet alone time to rest. It still baffles me that they didn't keep the sick baby at home.

And yeah, I've been doing mainly OTC treatments. My hubby swears by Nyquil so I've tried that (didn't do much). OTC cough syrups don't do much either. Acetaminophen did help bring my fever down (my fever was 99.6 - my usual body temp is in the mid 97s, so even though they say that "normal" human body temp is 98.6, for me my fever was about 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than my normal). I did some digging through my medicine cabinet and found an old bottle, half full, of codeine cough syrup from when I had bronchitis 3 years ago. Even though it's a few years old, it still seems to work, that's been the most helpful thing I've found so far. (It's by prescription only here so I probably should have consulted with my doctor first, but I don't think there's much codeine in it and it seems fine.)
 

guest20

ellazmeanie
Dunno if it's the flu jabs I have each year but considering all I have wrong been donkeys since I had a cold or flu since I came off prednisone and rest of meds and quit smoking n toking hardly a sniffle have bottle of gaviscon in the cupboard unopened ;) glad your on the mend though cat is that your cat btw :)
 

Cat-a-Tonic

Super Moderator
Yes, that's my cat. :) I took that photo when she was about a year old, and she's almost 12 now. She's the best, she follows me into the bathroom and purrs for me and keeps me company when I'm in there. My husband thinks it's weird but I find it comforting.

Yeah, prednisone can mess with your immune system. I was on Entocort (which is a similar medication, it's a steroid like pred) for 8 months and just came off of it in October, so it may still be affecting my immune system too. I had multiple colds when I was still on Entocort. I get my flu shot every year and usually I'm fine, but this year they said the flu shot isn't very effective and I guess they were correct about that!
 

guest20

ellazmeanie
Had a tortoise shell tiger since a tiny lil kitten right up until 2013 september aged 18 had to sadly get her put to sleep it's not weird at all tiggz was my best friend through out and kept me company,she followed me up to the kitchen then straight back down to the bedroom with such eagnerness and glee sat by me on the loo even peeked in ;) and she was the best foot warmer miss the lil furball
 

UnXmas

Banned
Apparently "young children and people with weakened immune systems" can still infect others after seven days from the onset of their own symptoms.

( http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm )

And I agree about the cuteness of your cat. I've always been a dog person, my dog forces me to be as she'd never want to share her house with a cat. ;)
 
My family went though this exact same thing this Xmas except we were the flu contagious people. We decided not to go to any celebrations and just stay at home so not get anyone else sick. Which was the right decision. I am on remicade And refused to get the flu shot and somehow managed to not get the flu, while my wife and daughter both got it bad. Not sure how that works.
 
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