Almost new (27.12.2018)
Happy holidays! And happy *almost* New Year! For 2019 & beyond, I wish you; happiness, health, laughter, and love – especially health!!!
As for me, it’s been a strange holiday time so far. There’s really no other way to describe it. First, on the evening of December 20th, one of my doctors put me on immediate medical leave.
Unexpectedly, to me; much sooner than what I’d talked about with my other doctors at the hospital – as a kind of remote possibility, if my symptoms didn’t improve. And for a much longer period.
This is all because of the same rare neuro-inflammatory & autoimmune disease that I’ve had since early 2016; although it wasn’t diagnosed until months later. A disease that has changed quite a bit over the past few months, and worsened.
I couldn’t even go say “Happy Holidays!” to my colleagues the next day; most of us had planned to work until lunchtime. I’d then have taken some extra time off over the holidays, to be back at the office on Monday January 7th.
So since Friday December 21st, I’ve been in an odd kind of limbo. I don’t feel quite ‘on holiday’, but it is the holiday period & I’d planned to be off work. Yet this time off feels… strange.
My husband also had some extra time off during the holidays, and we’d realized – as soon as I was placed on medical leave at 2000 last Thursday – that it would be best for me to stay super-busy for the next 2 weeks.
We’d decided, on the spot, to get together with more family & friends than usual. We’d finally use some of the movie passes we’d gotten for our birthdays, take long walks, and hopefully do some snowshoeing. We have a couple of great nature parks nearby, for those two last activities.
My husband worked on Friday the 21st, as I’d also planned to. I kept myself busy that day. I spent the whole morning at my gym; my doctor’s suggestion. He knows me well; that I love exercise, and that it can temporarily ease my some of the pain from my disease ,-)
After several hours at the gym – including time in the sauna (also for symptom management; I’ve never liked saunas!), I met my husband on his lunch break. Then, on my way home, I did the errands that I’d planned to do on my way home from work. If I’d worked that day.
On Saturday morning we got up early to pick up groceries, and my husband mentioned that he had a headache. Neither of us gets headaches often, so we figured it was just the pre-holiday rush at work that had caught up with him.
By that afternoon, though, it was clear that he had the flu. Influenza, not a cold. Despite getting the flu shot; we both got it in early November, at our offices.
He very suddenly had aching bones, chills, fatigue, fever, headache, and a nasty cough. If you’ve ever wondered how to tell a cold from the flu, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have this handy little chart on their website*:
He had 7 of the 10 indicators for the flu, all on the first day he’d gotten sick. I read up on the flu, and found out that I could be contagious for up to 24 hours before even showing any symptoms. And that I could spread the flu even if I wasn’t sick.
That was the end of our plan to keep me surrounded by family & friends during the holidays, so I wouldn’t dwell on being put on medical leave!
To avoid spreading the flu to our loved ones, we cancelled all of our holiday plans – even our big family Christmas dinner at my sister’s home.
This added to that “strange” feeling mentioned – we spent even Christmas Eve & Christmas Day alone. Staying in, because he felt so sick (and contagious!), when we’d usually be outside – doing winter sports.
He’s still feeling horrible today, on his 6th day of the flu, and I’m trying very hard not to catch it from him! Washing my hands constantly, washing dishes, staying away when he coughs.
Every few hours, I wipe all the household items we both touch with alcohol swabs. I picked them up at the pharmacy; little packets that my mom used before giving herself injections of insulin.
Doorknobs, faucets, handles (including the fridge, microwave, kettle, toilet!), light switches, even our tube of toothpaste! And I’ve been keeping up a steady stream of soup, tea, and snacks for him.
All in all, it’s already been a truly strange holiday period this year. And we’re still 4 days away from the New Year! I’m really hoping this holiday doesn’t get any stranger, between now and the 7th… and that I don’t end up catching the flu from my sweetheart.
All the best to you & your loved ones for 2019! Thanks for reading! As always, if you don’t want your comment to be public, just let me know when you post it ,-)