Sunday, February 11, 2018


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. :)



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.