The Art of Surviving the Flu and Writing


“Starve a fever and feed a cold.” It’s the only thing I could think of, besides dying, when I came down with the flu five days ago.

Since then I’ve found my self struggling to complete even the smallest of tasks, including getting out of bed or answering the phone. This illness has left me zapped and I lack the want to do anything – including write.

But it is now day five and I have to change things around. I must sit up right at my computer and tap out some sort of message before I fall over into bed, to suffer more fevered dreams and hallucinations.

The weirdest dream involved a radio friend of mine. She was in a large bed and I was in the bathroom.

When I came to the side of the bed, I asked if I could cuddle with her. She told me ‘no,’

She was on the far side of the bed, so I climbed onto the bed and lay down on the opposite side. When I awoke, my friend had changed her mind and was laying against me.

Then I woke up for real, only to discovered our lab was sleeping against me in the same position I though my friend was laying.

The first night actually began early Sunday afternoon. I had a severe tickle in my nose and figured it was wild hair that wiggled with every breath I drew.

Later that evening, my shoulders and head started to ache. It was at this time I concluded something bad was happening inside my body, so I took immediate action: hot lemonade with a shot of rum, several layers of clothing added by three or four heavy blanket, followed by sleep.

It’s worked before.

By early morning, I was freezing, but sweaty, exhausted from tossing and turning and ready to go step in front of a bus. I didn’t think the last part would really help, since I already felt like a bus had hit me.

Sleep – it’s basically all I did that day into the next.

By the end of 48-hours much of the general aches and pains had subsided. The only lingering effect remaining was a serious case of malaise and that headache.

Still, I couldn’t muster the energy to write. Instead I lay in bed creating stories and articles in my head, hoping that I’d recall them once I felt better.

But like many of the strange dreams and hallucinations I’ve had over the last few days, I find it hard to recall what I had planned so perfectly in my head.

Lastly, I haven’t had a flu shot since 1985, when I was still in the service. After that one, I decided never to have another because I was so sick I could hardly stand-up and I lost 15-pounds in less than a week.

Plus, I have tried several cures including those which are simply ‘wives-tales,’ to true homeopathic remedies – and nothing has resolved my suffering.  Plus, I don’t like going to the doctor and getting antibiotics because I think they’re over-prescribed and the reason the 24-hour bug lasts longer than 120-hours these days.

So I’m going to do what my old man would’ve done – pull myself up by the boot straps, roll-up my sleeves and get moving. As for the writing part – well – I’ll let you judge that for yourself.

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