Category: Health

The 2017 Alberta Flu Bug Arrives at my Door

purple monster

purple monsterI shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days. Sincerely, The Flu.

I’ve been getting an Annual Flu shot since 2003, and up until now I have been flu-free. My luck ran out last Monday. I woke up feeling awful – fever, chills, whole body muscle pain,  intense fatigue, a cough, and skin so sensitive I could hardly stand to wear clothes. All these symptoms pointed to a flu virus.

The flu, in a nutshell:
At First I was afraid I was gonna die.
Now I’m afraid I won’t.
– Author Unknown –

For 3 days I shuffled from bed to couch and back to bed. By Day 4, the whole body symptoms had receded, but site specific rashes and inflammations popped up. I felt well enough, though, to get out of bed and go see the Doctor. He confirmed I had the flu. He pointed out that if I had consulted him earlier, he could have prescribed a flu medication to reduce the symptoms.  I pointed out that I would have consulted him earlier if his office had been mid way between my bed and the couch!

The very first blog post I wrote in November 2009 was about the H1N1 Flu (Swine flu), which had been declared a global flu pandemic.  The strain of influenza sweeping through Alberta this season is Influenza A H3N2, but with a twist. It was able to mutate over the course of a single flu season, which meant the effectiveness of my vaccine was decreased. The vaccine should have lessened the severity of the flu and hastened my recovery time, though. Other factors that affect the course of the flu are age, general heath, underlying medical conditions, immune system, nutrition, mental outlook and support systems.

Speaking of support systems, I have to thank The Car Guy for being Mr. Mom this past week; my Doctor, who, so far, has always erased my worst fears; and the pretty spring daffodils that are popping up in my yard… and Tim’s Iced Capps… and chocolate.

I’m also thankful this was the Alberta flu, not the Arizona flu. Or worse yet, the ‘in transit between Arizona and Alberta’ flu.

What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
For Bird Flu you need tweetment and for Swine Flu you need oinkment.
– SMSQuotesimage.com –

Have you ever had the flu? Do you get a flu shot?

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After a Flood – Responding to Stress

I read a study the other day that looked at post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in flood victims. The study observed the long term effects on residents of a flood in Poland in 1997. I was struck by the similarities between that flood and the floods here in Alberta – a sudden and huge water level rise; lack of adequate alert time; little or no time to deploy preventive measures; the permanence of disruptions and the lack of social and psychological support. Little or no financial compensation from any source was also a factor, and I expect that may be a reality for many of the residents of Hidden Valley too.

Now, I’m not going to make light of this, because I think it is important for each and every one of us to think about why we might be feeling the way we are today, and understand why we might still be feeling ‘off’ years from now if we don’t actively seek solutions.

We didn’t just lose our cabins or homes – we lost our community and all the things that meant. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the majority of flood victims in Alberta will eventually return to their communities. The residents of Hidden Valley will not.

I’m only mentioning all this because The Car Guy and I have been on this roller coaster ride of loss and adjustment for almost a year now. The loss of his Harley in the accident was the least of the issues we are still trying to come to terms with. The loss of the cabin, with no option to move it, or rescue much in the way of contents, is not a welcome diversion. But in relative terms, we are far more fortunate than a high percentage of the other people in Hidden Valley. I know that, and I send my best to all who have lost far more than I have.

People respond to situations like this in different ways. Some, like me, seek ways to laugh because eventually crying isn’t as helpful. Hidden Valley people are starting to replace their confusion and frustration with humour. One of the Hidden Valley residents posted this on Facebook: “I can’t remember how to hang out in my community. Is it wrong to walk around with a beer?”

I’m sure many others are finding ways to express what they are feeling in a way that makes others smile. If you hear of any, please let me know in the comments below!

Today would have been our Canada Day Parade at  Hidden Valley. Here are a few pictures of parades from previous years:

Happy Canada Day Week-end to one and all from my Hidden Valley Cabin on Lots 319/320. Have a great holiday, wherever you are all!

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Comforts Zones and Risk Tolerance

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.
– Winston Churchill –

I’ll keep this story short, then, with a few photos -not risqué, just risky.

Risk Tolerance and Comfort Zone – two concepts to think about now and then. At our house, The Car Guy is working hard to get back into his Comfort Zone, which for him is freedom from pain, and getting his neck brace off. (See A Perfect Storm.) Once that is achieved, he can start to think again about what his Risk Tolerance will be when the motorcycle is repaired!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
– Anais Nin –

We live in an area of the country called Hail Alley.  These white lilies have been in my garden for ten years or more, and without fail they get hit by hail either just before they bloom, or just after.  That doesn’t stop them from blooming as best they can, though. Plucky little flowers.

lawn chairs

The concept of reducing risk is not new. People have been managing risks in some form since human beings first decided to keep their hands out of the cookfire.
– Risk Management – BC Fire Academy –

Summer bonfires (with marshmallows) at the cabin.  The grandchildren are old enough now to whittle sticks with sharp knives and use said weapons for tasks that bother timid adults. (This is the best I can do for a bonfire photo – I was never at the cabin on the evenings the extended family had a bonfire. It was just that kind of a summer.)

Adventure without risk is Disneyland.
– Doug Coupland –

My nephews little boy has a bike now and while he can’t keep up with the big kids on their bikes, he can sure park it where they do. He wears a helmet, of course, but the pot holes in the roads at the cabin have unseated him on more than one occasion, and he can show you the bruises to prove it.

I’m stepping out of my Comfort Zone today – I’m going to the dentist. Yes, I am a risk taker! How about you?

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LEGO Surgeon Says, This is What is Wrong!

minifigure

The Car Guy was still in the hospital after his Motorcycle Accident when our daughter, The Nurse, gave her dad this Lego Surgeon. If you look very carefully at the x-ray in the Surgeon’s hand, you might see what is wrong with the patient.

We decided the x-ray showed a rib fracture, though if you turn the x-ray upside down, it might be a break in the clavicle. Since The Car Guy had both – rib fractures and a broken clavicle – the x-ray was fairly accurate!

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