Call doctor at first sign of flu

  • Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dear Liz,

We are about to go stir crazy. The flu has rotated through the five members of our family and now with the bitter cold, well, we are about at each other’s throats. The kids are 7, 9 and 16. And, no, we didn’t get flu shots or mist this year. We sure will next year.

Going crazy

Dear “Going,”

Every time I say I’m going crazy, my husband says “well, you don’t have far to go.” By the time this goes to print, I hope your kids are back to school and there has been some sense of normalcy returning. If not, and to the many others in the same situation -- my sympathies and suggestions. The experts say the H1N1 strain of the flu is hitting the country, including the Lowcountry hard. You’ve heard about the prevention steps: frequent hand-washing, good rest and nutrition, avoiding crowds and of course, the flu shot or nasal mist. The intervention steps are immediate - at the first sign of symptoms which includes fever, aches and maybe cough - Call your doctor to get on the anti-viral Tami-flu, which will lessen the duration and intensity and help you avoid complications like pneumonia (which has been the cause of flu related deaths). Those within a family who have been exposed may be put on a preventative dose. Continuing great home hygiene, washing/sanitizing beddings, clothing and toys of the sick individual; airing out rooms, and cleaning commonly touched items like cell phones, remote controls, even light switches and door knobs. Avoiding touching the nose or face unless hands are clean. Good nutrition and lots of rest helps our immune systems as does moderate exercise and especially laughter. Rent the family favorite funny movies and laugh yourselves well and sane. Taking turns going out, even if it means bundling up and taking a walk can be a mood stabilizer as is reading by a sunny window. Ask your pharmacist for germ proof face masks - draw pictures on them and wear them as you play cards or board games. Take afternoon siestas.

Get an inexpensive balloon pump and blow up balloons to play volleyball with (while reclined around the living room). Accept help of church or other friends (with masks) to bring food or other treats. As my mother would say, “this too will pass....” But, in a lot of cases not soon enough. Keep your physician informed of any changes or concerns. Don’t wait. It could be life saving. Blessings of health and strength as we work ourselves through this season. In the 23rd Psalm it says, ...”He make the me lie down.” Sometimes having to slow down or stop can be a gift. When you are down, there is only one way to look. Get well, be well all!!

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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