Sunday, February 11, 2018

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY AND LITTLE OFF THE TRACK



Hi everyone.  I am trying to stay above board.  A few health issues, and work deadlines, life as I want it to go.  Most of all, despite what so many of you say, I still want to be a disciplined blogger, someone you see on your feed or in your emails in a reliable manner.  Sometimes I do wonder if you want to listen to my droning on and on, but you all continue to give me support day after day, it can't be as bad as I think  ;-D


That said, I haven't the time or energy to make writing a post happen. And I sincerely want to get  back to the good old days of doing a post there times a week.

I am giving you a copy of a recent newspaper column I wrote, hoping it will appeal to all of you, inform you, and make you feel it is coming from the 'same 'ol Jane.  Right now its the best I can do, and I think it's quite relative.

I'll be back soon with the trials and tribulations of Blondie. :)

Jane

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This winter will undoubtedly be remembered as the one with the flu epidemic.  It's not just affecting our Chicago suburban area, it's entirely across the nation.  As I write this, there has been 126,117 confirmed cases across the country.  Experts believe we have not reached the epidemic peak as of yet, and we may exceed the numbers from 2014-2015, when there were 710,000 cases.  We must remember that these numbers do not include flu cases for those who have not sought medical attention.

At this time, there has been 53 pediatric fatalities due to the flu, one of which was reported in downstate Illinois.  The Center for Disease Control does not know how many people die from seasonal flu each year.  States are not required to report cases or deaths of people older than 18 years of age.

Health officials continue to encourage everyone to get an influenza shot, even now.  Manufacturers  claim there is a good supply, and doctors recommend that you try another pharmacy if your own is out of the vaccine.  On a personal note, I've been getting the flu shot every November since I can remember.  Yes, I do get a cold and sometimes the flu, however a much more mild type than I would have gotten prior to being vaccinated.  A majority of medical studies has shown this to be the case.

So, who does the Center for Disease Control recommend to get the yearly flu shot?  Infants, the elderly, pregnant women, those with diabetes, and anyone with heart or lung disease.

A lot of people tend to shrug off the flu under the belief that they have, "just a cold."  During this epidemic you may want to know the differences.  While both colds and the flu start out with similar symptoms:  Runny nose, sinus congestion, muscle aches, sore throat; cold symptoms come on gradually, as opposed to the flu which hits hard and heavy.  The flu will also cause fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, cough, and sore throat.

If you are diagnosed with the flu, there are some medications your doctor can prescribe to alleviate the symptoms.  Before using any over the counter medicines, you might want to ask your physician for recommendation.  Some meds should not be mixed with others.  People with high blood pressure might need to avoid certain multi symptom medication.  I might add, unless it is an emergency, your best bet would to be seen by your primary physician, rather than the emergency room.  Not only will there be a probable long wait, but you will be surrounded by all sorts of germs and viruses.  In some cases, you may be able to discuss your symptoms over the phone with your primary doctor and get recommendations for treating your bug.  And remember, get rest and plenty of fluids.

I think with any illness or disease, prevention is the front line.  Nothing beats what your own doctor can tell you, but with media, such as books, magazines and newspapers, you can pick up a wealth of relevant information.  Websites written by medical providers are extremely helpful as well.

So if we start at the very beginning of the whole flu topic, how is it spread?  I'll be the first at the head of the class raising my hand to share that once I had school age children, I picked up every single germ they brought home.  I was the one who caught the bug, and that's most likely because the kids themselves had been around germs day in and day out, and had built up somewhat of an immunity.

Germs are spread from person to person through airborne respiratory secretions, hence, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.  Unfortunately, the infected person may touch objects with their contaminated hands, and that surface can spread the germ to someone who touches that area, and proceeds to touch their own nose, mouth or eyes.

Some simple tried and true precautions are using antibacterial wipes.  If my hands are clean, it's unlikely I can get or transmit germs to myself or others.  I keep a tube of antibacterial lotion in my purse, and in several places around the house.  You might want to have some bacteria fighting cleaning products to use in the bathroom, and on items that are frequently touched, such as faucets, doorknobs, light switches, etc.  I also periodically wipe my cell phone down with a antibacterial wipe, as well as the bottom of my purse, and my car steering wheel.  Of course, no one is sitting in my car sneezing on the steering wheel, but I may have just picked up a slew of germs in a store, and that car is the first place I come in contact with.

Aside from using products, everyday habits to keep yourself germ free are easy to develop.  In public places, push open doors with the heel of your hands.  In elevators or at ATM machines, use one of your knuckles to press the buttons.  If you need balance on stairways or escalators, rest your wrist on the side.  If for some reason you have to rub your nose or eyes, use a Kleenex or one of your knuckles.  Some of this is common sense.

I hope that I have brought you up to date on any questions you may have had about this serious flu epidemic.  I certainly hope we have hit the peak and are heading down.  You can keep up with this on your local television news.

Stay safe, clean and warm.

44 comments:

CJ said...

Lovely to see your column, I really enjoyed it. And I can totally relate to children bringing home all the germs, there have been loads this year. I'm sending you my best wishes for your health, do look after yourself. Have a lovely Sunday Jane. CJ xx

ratherkooky said...

Sorry you are battling health isuues. We just had a family emergency and two houseguests came down with the flu one after the other. So far my husband and and I have managed to avoid it. Lysol spray hangs in the air and my hands are chapped from disinfectant wipes, hot water, and hand sanitizer. i eat three of those cutie oranges a day as my attempt to stay above it all. Whether it is that or just the grace of God, I don’t know, but at least they taste good.

laurie said...

excellent article!! I enjoyed reading your work, you write beautifully! Great advice as well, I hope what ever is troubling you health wise is soon gone and you are back to your bubbly vibrant self! sending hugs and best wishes,, its Ok,, I don't have the flu so hugs are ok lol,,,

It's me said...

It is not important how many times you post....but you post That is important ))). ... happy Valentine ❤️Love❤️Love❤️Love ❤️ Ria x

It's me said...

Mmmmmmmforget....❤️That cookies ❤️💋

Sue Silva said...

Hope you are good as new soon!

Susie said...

Blondie , This was a great article. Ted and I use our sanitizers in the car, and then wash our hands as soon as we get into the house after being out in the stores. Praying we make it through this flu season safely. I wear my glove while in the store. Hope you get back to yourself soon. Take care , blessings, xoxo, Susie
p.s. you are loved, you won't be forgotten.:):)

Karen Ann said...

Feel better soon, Jane, on all fronts - Happy Valentines Day, too - do something good for YOU.

Theresa said...

Take your time Jane, I'll be here waiting for you:) That was a great article! There have been lots of flu cases all around me. I am steering clear of them. A little girl at Church has had it, tested negative in the beginning but was tested again later and has it! She is better but still a sick little girl! Take care of yourself my friend, sending HUGS and PRAYERS your way!

Mereknits said...

Jane, of course we want to hear from you, you my friend are a delight. Don't putting blogging pressure on yourself. Blog when you can and when you feel up to it. Life and health come first. Sty well and Happy Valentine's Day.

NanaDiana said...

The flu is scary stuff. My husband saw two deaths last week in the hospital. Our youngest grandson had it but it was caught early with Tamiflu and he is back in school. His mom did not fare so well. She was sick as a dog and spent over a week in bed. It is awful. I don't know how I didn't get it (knock on wood) because I was there with my grandson just about every day.

I say blog when, and as, you can. People understand that! xo Diana

Maggie said...

Dear Jane, lovely to see you on my sidebar when I logged on again today, your article was very informative and I'm sure will have been well received by your readers. Here in France the flu vaccine is offered to the same groups that you mentioned. As we're over 65 the Senior Partner and I have them every year.
Sending Valentines love & xxx to you from Normandy, hope you feel better soon.
Maggie.

Mary said...

Excellent article Jane - you covered everything to do with the awful 'flu virus hitting hard this winter - your readers will hopefully take note of all they can/should do to prevent spreading it around! We ALWAYS get a 'flu shot as soon as they are available in early autumn. We have only had 'flu once in the early 60's when our entire family came down with it around Easter - OMG we were ever ill! Since then getting vaccinated has always been a priority.

Hope your get some brighter days ahead my dear, you do sound somewhat down - but then this is Feb. and in my mind always a dreary month. Hope A makes Valentine's Day special - he's a great guy just like my old guy, we have the best!!!!
I ended up in the ER Wed. night with another darned kidney stone - such excruciating pain - Bob actually at my side every minute for 4 hours, wouldn't leave after I screamed "I just want to die" - it was really awful! Feeling OK now but don't think I've passed it yet!

Love and big hugs.
Mary X

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Don't ever feel obligated to blog if you aren't feeling up to it. Your readers will be back when you are ready again! I always get a flu shot as well because my job has me mingling with the public on a daily basis. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to have a child die from the flu! Hang in there and I hope you are feeling better soon. -Jenn

Sonia said...

Great post Jane, I'm a nurse and I always love to see more information given to the public about the flu. This year has been brutal for so many and I've kept my elderly Mom indoors as much as possible and away from crowds, stores and restaurants. I haven't been a consistent blogger for awhile, especially since my Mom has moved in with us. I blog when I can and hopefully now that she is settled I will be able to share lots of things in the garden this year. Always fun to visit your blog so I'm happy when you post but don't stress about it if you can't get three out a week. Stay healthy and Happy Valentine's Day!!

Debra Oliver said...

great article Jane, you have some great tips. One that I read about just recently from an Oncology nurse was to do a thin coating in each nostril of the triple antibiotic ointment. It has zinc in it and it keeps pathogens from progressing up into the sinuses. But then you also have to wash your hands like crazy. I try not to get out unless it's necessary. My husband gets the flu shot but I've been told since I have active AutoImmune Disease to not get a shot. My immune systems starts a war with the vaccine they give, even though it's not alive. People that have autoimmune disease need to really research the pros and cons of doing a flu shot.
Don't worry about blogging so many times a week, I've had to get over that. just blog when you can and it's not stressful to you. Don't put undue pressure on yourself. Take care of yourself is the most important thing. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. xoxo Debra

Silver Willow said...

Still don't know if I had my worst cold ever, or a light case of the flu without a fever. Oh well, it's now 6 weeks past and I only cough ever so occasionally. :)

Rebecca Wrinn said...

You take your time and do what you need to do for YOU! We will be here! Great article, my friend. The flu has run rampant through our school. Thankfully, knock on wood, I haven’t gotten it!! Take care, my friend. Nice to hear fro you. Happy Valentine’s!

Stacey said...

Jane, would you believe that as of today there have been 62 flu related deaths in Dallas county alone? It Is Everywhere Here!! People are wearing masks when you go out and you wash your hands over and over. It's scary. Your article is so informative and well timed.

Dewena said...

I've often wished I could read your newspaper articles, Jane, so please feel free to do that here anytime you need to rest from blogging. Great info in this one about this year's scary flu. I have to admit I didn't get a flu shot this year after seeing so much about possible side effects, especially the Epstein-Barr virus. It's so hard to know what to do in the question of prescriptions when sometimes the side effects are scary themselves. But then again, all of these fatalities from the flu are horrible.

Andrea Nine said...

Great article Jane. I recently resigned from my career in Health Care and the epidemic has been so scary. Absolutely with the masses here, your readers shall return when you have new material, I think we all understand how busy, crazy, and just off course life can get. Blogging will always be here and so will your readers that adore you! xo

podso said...

Good information in the article, Jane. I'm sorry life is so challenging for you now. I think your readers will always be there for you. Spring is not too far away!

Scribbler said...

I am wishing you all the best, whatever challenges you may be facing. I am sharing this article as a wonderful public service reminder to everyone about trying to avoid infection or spreading it.

Lynne said...

Great article . . .
I will be reading you whenever you post..
Do not stress on the “how many.”
We don’t want you ill . . .
Go for some Hygge . . .

Lisa said...

Hope you get to feeling better soon!
Lisa

Junkchiccottage said...

Great article Jane. It is so sad to read the amount of people hurt by this flu especially the pediatric population. Being a grandmother to very young grandchildren this really hits home like I know it does for you too. Oh how I want an early Spring and a early summer to arrive. Hope you begin to feel better yourself. Take care.
Kris

Jeanie said...

Very nice article, Jane. And yes, the flu is nasty this year. I've been lucky but I'm sort of surprised, given how prevalent it is here in Michigan and my community. Do your best to stay cozy, get and stay well. It's a rough winter out there.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Great article Jane. I can't wait until this Flu Season is long gone. Enjoy your week and stay well.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I thought I was the only one who wiped down my steering wheel! :) Great info here! I've always heard you should wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday Song. That way, it'll give the soap enough time to kill germs. I'm a big believer in hand sanitizer too. Stay well! xoxo

Kathleen George said...

Life as we know it, most importantly health is number one, especially with this flu(s) going around. Yes, the Happy Birthday song! Stay warm and take care, Kathleen in Az
Here in Phoenix we have cold weather, 60, clouds and we're all excited about this, possibly rain! A few days of winter:).

anonimous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Great post Jane, thanks so much for all this great information. I am sticking close to home
and washing my hands a lot.

I have been out of sorts and not posting much. I read the post but don't have the urge to do a post. To be honest, I just haven't felt that good. I guess my age is catching up with me LOL.

Take care of yourself and keep busy. Hoping your weather turns warm soon.

Hugs,
Mary

Kim said...

Jane, I'm in the same boat. I love blogging, but things come up and it's hard to keep up the pace. Post when you can, friend. I love to catch up whenever you pop up in my feed. xo

baili said...

will you believe that i have same issues here though weather is not as harsh as in your part of land yet winter is winter and has it's own side effects


hope you feel better soon my friend!

glad that you shared such excellent piece of writing
i was not aware at all that people can die out of flu either
i agree that school is a place from where a child bring germ to house and then whole family suffers with this disease as i am speaking through my own experience .
here very less people take flu shots as it is not a process begin by health department like they do for some specific diseases

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day and feel better soon! Great article. I keep the lotion in my car and try to remember to use it after every trip inside a store.

Art and Sand said...

Steve and I both got colds, but they went away pretty quickly.

Knock wood that the flu has stayed away from us.

Share my Garden said...

We have been experiencing similar flu problems where I live in the south west of England, involving hospital admissions and serious overcrowding and stress. I had a flu jab and have been skulking at home to avoid too much contact. Your article is very good. I wear gloves if I'm in town so that I don't pick up germs. I notice that people rarely make use of a handkerchief these days - I would be lost without one. They sneeze into the air or into their hands, small surprise then that infection spreads.
I hope that you will soon be feeling on top form. A little spoiling for Valentines Day should help!

ann said...

I've not been the best at blogging lately either. I am trying to get more disciplined. I hope you are well. On a side note, I have never taken a flu shot. All those years that I worked at the University I never caught the ugly illnesses that the students carried into the classroom and my office, but get around my grandchildren with their runny noses and I'd catch their colds. I wouldn't say that I have had the flu because have, but I seldom even catch cold. I hope my good resistance holds out. Happy Valentine's Day.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'm a bit of a germophobe so I do most of these things when out in public. I sometimes use the edge of my shirt or jacket to open bathroom doors if a wastebasket isn't nearby to put the paper towel in. I just recently heard that those hand dryers you put your hands into are a good place to catch germs so I don't use them. Hope all the flu bugs go away soon, it's getting to where I even hesitate to go out and I love to get out when I can! Take care, Jane, and have a Happy Valentine's Day. xx Cheryl

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Good to hear from you no matter what the form. Your article was thorough and informative. It drives me crazy when people "brag" that they never get the flu shot. Huh? How is that a good thing. I, too, have had a hard time keeping up with my blogging goals. There always seems to be something more pressing to do, but I always intend to get back on track. Stay healthy!

Cindy Noble said...

Good information, Jane. My husband got the flu shot for the first time ever this year and I am so glad we both got the shot. I read your last blog but was unable to post a comment so I posted one on your IG account under that yummy food pic you had up. I had to play around with my Google settings so hopefully this will work. Enjoy your writing. GO USA!!!

A Joyful Cottage said...

Sorry you've been sick, Jane. :( Dennis and I always get a flu shot. I also avoid use of public restrooms as much as possible, and when I do have to use one I make sure to wash my hands with hot water and soap and leave the water running until I have dried my hands with a paper towel and then use the towel to turn off the water. I also open the door with that same towel and throw the soiled towel into a trash receptacle if there's one by the door, or find a place to dispose of it outside the restroom, if necessary. I'm manic about this, but I've gotten terrible colds in the past that I'm certain came about because of all the germs in public places. Also, I up my dosage of Vitamin C in the winter and try to get some sunshine or take Vitamin D. We do what we can, don't we? Take care. xo

Beatrice Euphemie said...

Such important information, Jane. I like the idea of using your palm and knuckles and carrying the anti-bacterial soap. I caught a little bug from my grandson, but luckily it was not the flu. I always wipe the grocery cart handle, too. Who knows if that helps, considering everything you touch in a store could be contaminated, but it makes me feel like I am doing something pro-active. Hope you are feeling better. I've been on the couch for days watching the news while I recover. Now I want to move to a far-away planet. Haha! xx Karen

Terra said...

Prevention is key, and that includes hand washing and wipes, as you mention. But the bad news is, recent studies show you can catch the flu by breathing in the germs someone has breathed out, with no sneezing or coughing or touching needed. Yikes.