Celebrating Thanksgiving with Influenza A

November 22, 2012 in Categories: by

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I am pleased to have the energy to write a little this morning.  I am through the “acute phase” of the flu and find myself feeling very thankful to be on the other side.  That one was not fun.

My oldest daughter started it all Monday morning.  A moderate fever, cough, runny nose and headache that gradually got worse.  By overnight Monday, her fever was 104F and I had broken out the Tylenol which was barely touching it.  She had severe body aches and stomach cramps. She threw up Tuesday morning in the pediatrician’s parking lot.  We spent five hours between the pediatrician’s office and the children’s hospital on Tuesday, ruling out more serious possibilities and finally getting a positive diagnosis of influenza A.

Overnight Tuesday night, my daughter’s fever lowered to 102 and her need for Tylenol stopped.  She was barely drinking and refusing to eat, but now that we knew it was the flu, we could feel somewhat confident that we had another day at most like this.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a cough and scratchy throat.   And a sense of foreboding.  I was ravenous at breakfast but shortly after my temperature started to go up and my energy level started to plummet.  Then the joint aches set in.  I do not remember ever having such intense joint aches with any flu ever.  My spine, hips, and sacroiliac joints were so painful that it was difficult to sleep, even though I was exhausted and barely able to stay awake.  I went to bed with my oldest mid-morning and basically didn’t get out of bed until this morning (except for potty trips, a bath with epsom salts, eucalyptus and peppermint oil in the afternoon, and getting up twice to reheat some bone broth).  I remember feeling intensely angry with myself for getting dressed because it took so much effort to get back into my pajamas.  By evening, I was experiencing intense stomach pain that I can only liken to pitocin transition contractions without pain meds (yes, I know how those feel too) but without the predictability and without the joy of a baby at the end.  I did take prescription anti-nauseants that were in our medicine cabinet, but I successfully avoided taking Tylenol or NSAIDS.  I would have taken a pain-killer if I knew it wouldn’t reduce my fever (or increase gut permeability), but I so wanted my fever to stay up so I could get better as quickly as possible (and it was only 101.5F), that I suffered through the pain for the greater good.

Both my fever and my daughter’s fever broke around 3am.  She had some paleo toast this morning, but I’ve only had some bone broth and some tea since my stomach is still sore (although more like a dull ache now and I may try some solid food soon).  I still have a headache and cough and feel weak, but the joint aches are just an echo of what I experienced last night, and I’ve been upright for over an hour already, which is pretty darned impressive, if you ask me.

There’s nothing like illness to change your mindset about things and draw into focus what really matters.  This is definitely not the same list as what I would have written a couple of days ago, but this is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • that my freezer was filled with bone broth and bones for making more
  • that my daughter waited until we arrived at the pediatrician’s office and was out of the car to throw up
  • the incubation period of the flu, which means that I didn’t get sick until my daughter was starting to do better
  • for my wonderful mother-in-law, who happens to be visiting and watched both kids while I slept all afternoon yesterday and made supper last night when I couldn’t
  • Tinkerbell and The Great Fairy Rescue, which my kids never seem to tire of
  • that all of this happened after the birthday weekend so my youngest was finally able to have a birthday party (her first was cancelled due to a stomach bug and her second was cancelled due to a leak in the kitchen that meant our floors were completely ripped up)
  • that I didn’t have a turkey thawing in the fridge so it’s very easy to postpone our Thanksgiving dinner until I have the energy to make it, but that my fridge and freezer are still well-stocked with food so no one needs to go to the store
  • that my medicine cabinet was well stocked with prescription anti-nauseants
  • that my yoga class was cancelled yesterday so I wasn’t tempted to go to yoga and see if that might make me feel better
  • my wonderful husband, who was able to come home from work early, put the kids to bed without me, and run out to the pet store for cat food (which I was supposed to do yesterday)
  • that my mother-in-law and husband got  flu shots and seems to be fighting this off very well so far.  I think this is what my youngest probably had a week and a half ago that only lasted 24 hours with her, but I’m still on “flu watch”.
  • for all the well wishes that I received on Facebook for you lovely people.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving free of illness, stress, and catastrophe and instead filled with joy, relaxation, celebration, appreciation, goof food, family and friends.


So, so sorry to hear that. Feel better soon, Sarah. Thank you for all the information and support you provide, you’re high on my gratitude list for sure.

I didn’t know you were sick! That sounds AWFUL; glad to hear it’s headed in the right direction now. Funny how these things change our perspective on what’s important, and focus our attention on the small stuff that holds the world up.
If/when this happens to me, can you share how you decided to give your daughter Tylenol but let the fever burn the bugs out in yourself?
Best wishes for a speedy return to full power.

Thank you! My decision was completely based on how high the fever is. My youngest had this flu (or another bug, I guess that actually remains to be seen) about two weeks ago. Her fever stayed around 102F, so we didn’t give her anything (and she got over it in 2 days). My oldest’s fever was at 104F (and still creeping up, which was terrifying, and not staying down with baths or cold compresses), which is why we brought out the tylenol. She was also refusing to drink and had thrown up which had us very worried about dehydration. The tylenol brought her temperature down to 102F and made her feel well enough to drink small amounts of water. As soon as her fever leveled out at 102 without the tylenol (on the second night), we stopped (so, she had a moderate to high fever for three days, but only tylenol for about 24 hours, and is still running a temp of about 100F today, which is day 5). My fever didn’t get higher than about 101.5F, which is why I let it run it’s course too. My rule of thumb is under 102F, I don’t give anything, although really, it wasn’t until we hit above 103F that I actually pulled out the Tylenol.

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