My dear friend, Cyber Twin, Compatriot, and All-Around-Wonderful Guy, Fla_Medic took ill suddenly. I have cross-posted his blog entry from Avian Flu Diary because what he recounts is a very important lesson. Not only for everyday, but most especially for PanFlu.
Many Flubies, myself included, are planning to make up PanFlu medical "kits" that we will use should we become infected with no one around to minister to us. The severity of FM's illness from an "average" and "mundane" virus exposes the weakness and, perhaps, utter foolishness of self-treatment, for PanFlu.
It was especially sobering for me because I know how knowledgeable and capable FM is. The fact that he was rendered "senseless" enough to neglect his critical hydration needs is a message in and of itself.
I think I will have to make a "cyber date" with FM after he fully recovers to go over a more specific plan of attack for our "flu kits". Suddenly, my plans don't appear to be too sound... at all.
Thirty-six hours ago I was hit, and hit hard, by what I suspect was a norovirus. In the space of an hour I went from feeling fine, to having a severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Being a sensible type, I figured if I laid down for a couple of hours, I'd feel better. So around 6 pm Thursday night I took to my bed. I didn't bother putting any medicines, or a water bottle by my bed, after all, the kitchen was only 30 feet away.
The next 24 hours are a feverish blur. For the first 12 hours, I was afraid I was going to die, for the following twelve, I feared I wouldn't.
I managed to make more than a dozen semi-conscious runs to the bathroom, but the kitchen, 30 feet away, was too far to manage. I knew I should be drinking fluids, and desperately wished I could reach my phenergan and loperamide to control the nausea and diarrhea, but it was simply beyond my means to get to them.
I'm pleased to report that after 24 hours of delirium, I managed to finally get to my meds, and to start taking fluids. And twelve hours later, I'm in better shape. Not well, by any sense of the definition, but getting better.
There is a lesson here, for me, and everyone one else.
If you live alone, or with someone who isn't likely to be a good caregiver, put a `flu box' under your bed, an arm's reach away. I desperately wished I had some basic meds and some sports drinks at hand. I could have saved myself considerable misery over the past 36 hours had I done that.
As a paramedic, I should have known better. I should have been better prepared. But honestly, I never considered that a simple virus would knock me flat like this one did.
The good news is, I've learned my lesson. I'll be better prepared the next time.
posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 4:26 AM