2017 flu season alert for caregivers!
A friendly reminder for caregivers: get your flu shot if you haven't already and check your supplies of Tylenol, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, herbal teas, broth pouches and rehydration packets, etc. as this winter's flu is a doozy. Last Wednesday I was perfectly fine until I found myself throwing up like there was no tomorrow. I assumed various Christmas indulgences had been far worse than I had realized and rallied for a couple of hours doing housework until a crushing fatigue suddenly hit, then fever, then fever and chills and dizziness. The next few hours were horrid. Unfortunately, my sibling that I share 24/7 care of my paralyzed father with had already left for a planned overnight away and had limited cellphone coverage while at a holiday party. Until she returned late that night (as soon as she heard my message), it was all I could do to get through the most basic care tasks. I found myself sitting down on the floor to rest a few times while helping my dad eat dinner, brush his teeth, getting him into his Hoyer sling to transfer him from his wheelchair to bed, etc. I'm so glad I at least had face masks and plenty of gloves to try to shield him from my germs as best I could. My father thankfully didn't catch my illness. Flu shots can get a bad rap and mine didn't prevent my getting sick. The fatigue, headache and muscle aches were severe. However, my symptoms stopped pretty abruptly after a couple of days and I'm completely OK now. I am thankful that I got a flu shot, and that I have a fantastic sibling who took care of everything while I slept for a few days and watched HGTV on the couch (a treat!). I pray that all caregivers on this forum will avoid this nasty flu -- with special prayers, concern and admiration going out to you 24/7 caregivers who are caring for your loved ones alone. Be well!