Uh oh! Flu’s going around – wash your hands!

I have a cold today, it’s moved into my ears, and I can’t hear anything but the sound of my own body functions. I keep asking my husband “is the tv on?” or “did you just say something?” and “what?!!?”   Every now and then one ear pops open, with a gurgle and a buzz, and I catch a snippet of sound. Then, more sloshing and bubbling, and my head seals up like a Mason jar. 

What?!!?

Thank goodness for lemons, although, I’ve been stripping mine into the trash can, there’s soooo many. They get ruined by night after night in the 30’s, so now the task is, get them off the tree before the blossoms start to appear for next year. But, I froze lots of juice and still have a couple of bowls of softening lemons in my house. They smell fantastic and you can cut and squeeze one into a glass any time you want. These are fantastic for a cold – citrus is about the only thing that seems to penetrate this wall of snot.

Our grapefruit are getting ripe too, I ate a whole one yesterday in sections. The smell is so good – I ordered a tiny bottle of grapefruit oil from Lucky Vitamin. Grapefruit oil is like natural perfume, mix it with a little rosemary oil, it’s incredible. In the meantime I’ll keep downing these grapefruit. Makes your hands smell good, but not sticky.

I don’t know what it is that’s “going around” out there – friends of mine complained half their family had “flu”, but only for a couple of days. When my family gets the flu, we’re out for about 5 days each. My husband usually toughs it out in a day and a half, but he sits down a lot after that. I have been bedridden for seven days, and have spent seven more walking around the house holding on to furniture. I’ll never forget that one – I read “Cinderella Man” and “Boys of Summer” – BoS alone was an epic. I never get time to read a book like that unless I’m too sick to sit up. The next time I got that sick I read “Man in Full”. All great books, I almost wish I could get sick again so I could read another book, I wouldn’t mind reading “Man in Full” again (Tom Wolfe).

Remember to wash your hands Folks, and don’t hang around sickies like me. Don’t come over to our house, that’s for damn sure! I remember when my kids were little, we got the throwing up flu from some visiting relatives- you know, projectile vomiting, can’t hardly hold down water. Our cousin’s kids had gotten sick in the car, and she had thought it was just carsick. But when my kids started to puke three days later, I knew we were in for it.  My husband didn’t get it, and was working all over the mountains, so we were on our own. We called S&S to deliver some groceries, and I told them I’d leave the check in the mail box and watch for the boy to leave the bag there. The delivery boy was a nice kid,  came right up to our door, came in the apartment, talked to the kids, etc. A week later when I hobbled into the store, Joyce told me, “everybody’s had it.” I couldn’t help but think, I sent it back with the delivery boy!

I’m not recommending flu shots, that’s your choice. They can’t seem to guarantee that the shot they’re giving is for the flu that will come, and that seems kind of stupid to me – “Oh sorry, we gave you the wrong shot, you may get some form of flu anyway…” You’ve got to be kidding. 

My grandfather was at Fort Lewis, in Washington State,  in 1917 – what a hellhole. They took a plot of land from some native Americans and sent 60,000 boys in there to train for WWI.  The camp was “hastily constructed” – meaning, pit toilets, laid out among pup tents. You slept in your own filth and that of your comrades. The “Spanish Influenza” hit shortly after the camp was constructed, it go so bad, the camp was quarantined for the better part of a year. Doctors and nurses died, it got so bad, my great grandmother and other mothers had to travel to the camp to take care of the ill. Some of them died too.

I can’t get the numbers because there’s no mention of that year-long epidemic anywhere. But, I do have pictures my gramps took with his little Brownie camera, I know it happened.  My grandfather went home, never made the war, and never regained his previous physical strength or size. I have a picture of him somewhere, months after he was released, wearing a suit he’d bought previous to the war. It just hangs on him in the photo, as though he’d borrowed it from a much bigger person. He remained a very small man, but always bought his suits in the old size, as though he expected to grow back to his original stature.

Yeah, the flu can kick your ass, take it seriously, take care of your family, and check in on your friends. If you get sick, or know somebody who’s exhibiting the symptoms, check in here and we’ll keep loose track – anonymously, of course.  I haven’t seen anything on the news, but I have the feeling we’re on to something here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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