Two weeks ago, I went to my regular CXWORX class Saturday afternoon at the gym and then came home to relax. A few hours later I wasn’t feeling well at all and told Tom I’m passing on the wine tonight and am going to rest. By the time I woke up on Sunday, I had a fever, aches and major chills that alternated with full body sweats. The flu had struck and I was miserable.
Here are 7 things I realized after having the flu!
7 Things you realize after having the flu
Luckily I don’t get sick very often but when I do, it’s not pretty. How do you know I’m really sick? No wine and no gym. Actually I haven’t had a sip of wine since I got sick because even two weeks later I’m still not 100% (flu turned into a bad cold)! What’s worse? I missed the gym for a full week!
Here are 7 thoughts after having the flu:
It takes a long time to feel truly better.
Although my fever was gone in 4 days and I was way better by day 5, my flu turned into a bad cold and it took a long time to feel close to normal. Only today, 14 days after my symptoms started, is my regular appetite/energy level back to nearly normal. Sometimes viruses linger and prevent you from feeling 100% for weeks.
Whether it’s the actual flu virus or just flu-like symptoms, it sucks.
Chills, aches, fever, yuck, yuck, yuck. I stayed in bed as much as I could but had to drag myself out to walk Dagny. I managed but it wasn’t easy. I don’t know if I had the legit flu or just a flu-like virus, but regardless, having the flu knocked me down hard!
Can’t be sure Boiron’s Oscillococcinum really works.
Oscillococcinum is a very popular homeopathic product in France for flu prevention and then shortening the duration of the symptoms once it’s a full-on flu. You pop open a tube and then put the little sugar pellets under your tongue for them to dissolve. I took it once I started feeling sick but not sure it shortened the duration of the flu. How long would I have been sick without Oscillococcinum? I don’t want to know!
What you need to know about going to the doctor in France >>
You’ll lose strength in a week.
The last time I skipped the gym for an entire week was…. uh…. never? I don’t even know when I’ve been this down and out. Even with stomach bugs, I’ve recovered way quicker but this flu (no stomach trouble thank goodness) was brutal! I feel like my muscle strength took a major dive after not lifting anything heavier than Advil and a cup of juice for a week. First day back at the gym was rough and I had to lift much lighter weights than usual.
Tamiflu isn’t super common in France.
It exists, but unless you have a super severe flu or a compromised immune system, French doctors don’t hand out Tamiflu as easily as American doctors do.
Maybe it’s time to get the flu shot.
After getting knocked down for a week, I think I may consider the flu shot next year. I am not anti-vaccine at all but have heard stories of people getting sick after the vaccination or that it’s reserved for older people. But if it’s recommended by my doc and could possible help me avoid this next year, I’m going to be first in line next flu season. Why the heck not?
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Everyone is sick.
Once you get back to your regular routine, you’ll notice that people you come in contact with will have just been sick themselves, are going to get sick, or know someone who was just sick with the flu. France, USA, wherever, seems like tons of people have come down with something!
Hope you’re all feeling good! Having the flu is never fun.
Pssst, in case you missed these recent posts:
Interview with Cathy of Le Tasting Room (best wine tour I’ve ever taken!)
How to get native speakers to correct your mistakes
6 Perks of living in small-town France
Don’t get the flu shot next year! The flu virus mutates every year, but when you got the flu, your body is usually able to recognize the virus through 10 to 15 years of mutations. If you’re considering getting the shot, wait for the next 10 years 😉
OK, so after you have a bad flu you’re supposed to wait? Is the shot for people over 60? I don’t really know much about it!
I looked into it closely in 2009 for the H1N1 because I was pregnant then, and they were recommending the vaccine for pregnant women, which seemed dangerous to me. I found this: http://www.atoute.org/n/article134.html which led me to decide not to get the vaccine. Plus, now I figure I’d rather be sick every 10 to 15 years than get the shot every year (at least, until I’m old and at risk of complications). And let’s not forget that the vaccine is not 100% effective…
I’m at the tail end od a chest infection, coughing up lots of shit and felt tired, cold, bunged up and I totally lost my voice. Didn’t bother going to my GP as there is normally a 2-3 week wait for an appointment unless it’s urgent. GP’s in the UK don’t tend to prescribe anti biotics or other meds as often as French doctors (according to my French prof)
Anyway I’m feeling much better now but haven’t been to the gym for a fortnight! Shameful.
Sorry can’t advise about flu jabs…over here the elderly and diabetics get them and I’m not either yet!
Glad you’re feeling better now — your sickness doesn’t sound fun either! French doctors will load you up with so many little boxes and bills that you’ll be finding stuff years from now in your medicine cabinet. I think it’s a little excessive at times. I was never given a mouthwash, eye wash, nasal spray or anything else by my GP in the US for regular illnesses but seems like I get all kinds of goodies here!
It has been several years since I last got the flu but I remember it well, though I wish that I didn’t. It was the worst thing. I am so glad that you are feeling better now though.
Thanks so much, I think I’m like 99% now. Hope it feels like spring in Canada!!
Lillian @ The Smalls Abroad says
Some of our worse cold have come since living in France. Luckily I only get hit once (maybe twice a year) but my husband has gotten a cold at least once a month since November… not cool at all. I’ll have to look into Oscillococcinum. He’s desparate to be cold free and will try anything. the Cold Fx we bought in Canada hasn’t helped. Whatever I caught this year was nasty – put me in bed for 2 days. Another reason to look forward to spring/summer.
When I first moved here, I got a horrible flu/virus and was the sickest I’d ever been (not gastro but just fever of 104 for several days, chills and aches). My doctor said that our immune systems aren’t immune to the same viruses in France and that to build up the immunity, we have to get sick — kind of like a new baby coming into the world. It’s common for foreigners to get really, really sick way more than they would at home. Sure explains it!
I think my immune system is abused at this point. I hope your husband is cold free now and enjoying the nice weather!
Eugh, I also had the flu with all the same typical symptoms: it hit hard and fast, had a fever for five days, and absolutely no appetite for about ten. Definitely getting the shot next year. Apparently a lot of mutuelles reimburse and if you can avoid, why the heck not? It’s AWFUL. I also ended up with a bad case of laryngitis+sore throat afterward and I’m still coughing almost four weeks later.
Yuck, so sorry you were in the same boat. And yes, seems that after the flu, we get hit with a cold or some other secondary illness. Is winter over yet? Hope you’re feeling better!