Paying the price for taking Swine Flu lightly

Posted: November 3, 2009 in H1N1, Jeff's Blogs, Swine Flu

November 03, 2009

As I lay in bed last night, I couldn’t help but remember all the times I’ve underestimated or goofed on the swine flu over the last 6 months. It’s a media ploy to get attention, it will never begin to kill or infect as many people as the regular flu does, I won’t get it because I live in a small town and I’m young and relatively healthy, it’s a bunch of bloody rampant paranoia that I sure don’t need or intend to take seriously. These are all thoughts that swirled around my mind.

Swine Shirt 1The thing is, I was lying in a hospital bed in isolation with the swine flu & pneumonia barely able to breathe at about 2:30 this morning when I had these thoughts. This is the one two punch that is landing people like me in intensive care units with intubation across the country and now it has a firm grip on my throat.

When I got what both myself and a walk in clinic doctor thought was just a nasty cold last week, I treated it as I would any other. I stayed in bed and took a mountain of vitamins. I stayed there for 6 days and when I could no longer take more than half a breath despite guzzling both Buckleys and Benylin, I finally broke down and went to the hospital.

Despite my symptoms, you still could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard the diagnosis because I was just that convinced that it wasn’t going to happen to me. Mind you by that point I was weak enough that you could have knocked me over with a tiny gust of wind anyway but that’s not the point.

With a handful of pills and a after a lengthy vapour treatment, I was sent home with 6 prescriptions to try to get some sleep, but with a stern warning that if it gets any worse at any time I must come back.

Were I not so bloody ill, this would likely be a much more in depth editorial, but I don’t have it in me. I do hope this can serve as an early warning to someone out there though that it’s not such a bad idea after all to go to the ER when you think it might just be a cold but have most of the symptoms of H1N1.

I figured I’d feel like an ass for doing it, so I laid in bed for 6 days while the Swine Flu festered and pneumonia developed and now I can’t take 2 steps without stopping for air. Stairs are out of the question, sleep is difficult at best, and the worst may be yet to come.

So let me have learned this one the hard way for you, and don’t mess around with Swine Flu.

Jeff Parkinson

For more info see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s H1N1 resource site

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Comments
  1. wendy says:

    a very good posting, going thru it all myself now, just trying to get rid of the pnemonia, double of course. been going on for a month and have been to hospital a few times too, but not in icu as u were
    keep spreading the word

  2. caledoniawakeupcall says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I did not wind up in the ICU, but I have been hospitalized twice now for it. The pneumonia is of course proving far worse and far more difficult to deal with than the H1N1 ever was which is not something I expected.

    After 3 rounds of treatment for the pneumonia, I’m on steroids and sterioid inhalers which is of course a joy, but there is finally some minor progress.

    I hope people will take away from my experience that the side effects (in my case bacterial pneumonia that won’t die) make ignoring possibly having the swine flu a very dangerous mistake.

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