THE FLU! I Learned My Lesson The Hard Way

Ok, so let me level with you. Are you ready?

Grab a coffee.

This is a super long and very detailed story about the flu I got last week and which then ruined my entire weekend. When I got to the very anti-climactic end of me getting better and going back to work on Tuesday…I wondered why I even wrote it in the first place. To tell you to get a flu shot? So lame. But it’s long, damnit, and took me awhile.

So, read it or don’t.

To leave you like an itty bitty teeny tiny sliver of value, I included some of my favorite books and podcasts I’ve read and listened to lately.

Maybe the flu rendered me permanently stupid.

Here we go…

I had so many plans last weekend. Bike rides and coffee dates and hikes in the sunshine. They were all FOILED when I went home early from work on Friday with a raging headache and woke up in the middle of the night with the full-blown flu.

Like, the bad kind of flu (not there’s a good one). Body aches, unshakeable chills, a fever that felt like my forehead was on fire, waves of nausea. Thanks to my sister’s urging, I took myself to urgent care on Saturday morning. After I checked in, I waited, slumped over in a chair by the window, for about an hour and half listening to a dad read a book to his kid OUT LOUD in the small, quiet waiting area. And his kid was definitely old enough to read. My head pounded even harder.

After they called me back and took my vitals—100* fever!!—I spent another hour in the fetal position on a table with the crunchy paper in my own exam room waiting for the doctor to take a look at me. I threw my scarf over my face to block the fluorescent lights burning through my eyes to the back of my head.

I was in a world of hurt.

It didn’t take her long to diagnose me with the flu. Apparently it’s very bad and very contagious this year, so she wasn’t surprised by the amount of people coming in. The urgent care facility had even run out of flu shots. The doctor sent me on my way with a prescription to Tamiflu and Naproxen—the good stuff. I dragged myself across the street to my grocery store’s pharmacy but had to wait another hour and a half for my prescription to be filled after it got a little lost in the system. I was so dizzy and in so much pain I started crying and shaking in a ball in the waiting room chairs.

In a daze, I somehow made it home, crawled into my bed and under the covers.

It was 1:30 in the afternoon.

For the next four hours I tossed and turned in agony. My face burned, my head pounded, my bones felt like they were breaking. I had taken the Tamiflu but forgot about the Naproxen. Around 7 p.m., I took that, too, and, within an hour, I felt immensely better. My fever broke, my chills went away and, after three days, my headache finally lifted.

Thank goodness for modern medicine. I couldn’t even imagine riding that out. I stayed in bed until the next morning—Sunday—when I was feeling just a little bit better. I hadn’t eaten anything the day before, and still wasn’t very hungry, but I managed to get a mug of oatmeal and berries down with my medicine.

The doctor told me to limit my activity level and try not to go to any public places to prevent the spread of the flu virus since I was likely still contagious. I had slept beautiful sunshiney Saturday away and was desperate for fresh air. Instead of a long, hilly training ride I had planned with a friend, I went for a walk around the block then picked up more Powerade at the grocery store. (I used sanitizer!)

^^^ I drank no less than 10 of these of the course of 3 days.

By the end of the day, I was completely wiped out and got in bed early with my latest read. I’m flying through it and highly recommend it to any cycling fan!

Following doctor’s orders, I worked from home on Monday but was able to head back into the office on Tuesday. With just one day left on my medication, I’m feeling almost back to normal today and I just can’t wait to be 100%.

The point of the last too many words? GET A FLU SHOT. GET A FLU SHOT. GET YOUR FLU SHOT, PEOPLE. Let me learning my lesson the hard way be a lesson to all of you.

Like I mentioned, here are some of my favorite reads and podcasts to make this post even slightly helpful or valuable other than to scream at you to get inoculated.


The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger

One Way Ticket: Nine Lives On Two Wheels by Jonathan Vaughters

Modern Love by Daniel Jones

This article on fasted training, specifically pertaining to female athletes by David Roche

This piece on missed connections from Man Repeller


Kara Goucher’s episode on For The Long Run

ALL of the Work Play Love episodes. Seriously. Every one. Lauren and Jesse are the best couple. They’re funny, smart, and both equally driven towards their own goals.

Also ALL of the Today, Explained episodes. They’re bite-sized and easily digestible bits of news and short stories mostly about politics but also about the world we live in. It’s not biased or subjective. It’s the facts without an agenda and that’s one of the reasons I keep listening.

What are you reading and listening to these days? 

2 Replies to “THE FLU! I Learned My Lesson The Hard Way”

  1. So sorry you had to endure this. (Got my shot in October.)

    I’m on a nonfiction binge. Bill Bryson (although his 20+ year old stuff is really sexist), This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (tales of an intern/resident in UK national health hospitals). And Labyrinth of Ice by Buddy Levy about an arctic expedition in the 1880s. Also, for podcasts I’m partial to Off Camera with Sam Jones and 10% Happier.

  2. oof, reading this post made me feel like I was right there with you. SO glad you are on the other side. If I may offer a small bit of advice, get yourself a relationship with a general physician (even if only for a yearly physical), so if you ever have the terrible misfortune of getting this again, you can save yourself the trouble of hauling your bones out of bed for more than a run to the pharmacy. Last time I was that sick, I called my GP and was able to get a prescription called in over the phone, bless. I hate urgent cares with every fiber of my being.
    But anyway, the point may be moot now that you’re firmly team flu shot! 🙂

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