How it feels to have H1N1

This is a special guest blog post by our Executive Director, Alanna Hendren. Unfortunately, she has H1N1 and has only been able to work from home. We wrote about H1N1 recently to in another blog post – stay healthy everyone, and we hope you get better soon, Alanna!

vaac3If anyone has looked for me around the office lately, you’ll have noted my absence (I’m sure its been quieter).  I have H1N1 and if I can use the experience for any positive good at all I hope to encourage as many of you to get vaccinated as possible.  H1N1 sucks.  This is the worst flu I’ve ever had and I can now understand how feared such epidemics must have been in earlier centuries.

The symptoms vary between people, but mine started with an extreme fever, chills, sweats, vomitting, an unbelievably severe headache and muscles that were so sore I could not figure out what was happening to me.  I didn’t have much of a cough or sore throat, so I thought it was something else, but I was still taking antibiotics for another infection, so that may have been why.  My fever was so high I was in a semi-hallucinatory state so I easily collapsed into a heap of denial.  But as this went on, I realized my immune system was not going to shrug this off easily.  I was also tormented with the notion that if I went to the doctor, I could easily infect others.  Besides, I was too sick and too cold to leave the house.

When you have this thing, there is nothing you can do but stay away from your loved ones or else you’ll pass it on and they could potentially die.  My kids are in the age group that is getting most severely impacted – college aged.  Clayton, has extraordinary good  health and luck as a rule so he’s still fairly oblivious to the whole thing.

Each hour drags by, fever rages. Dreams take on bizarre qualities and day turns into night without much difference.  TV is a constant recap of balloon boy and I can’t tell if that’s a product of my fever or American TV journalism is really that bad.

Finally, I phoned my doctor and he confirmed my suspicions and basically said there’s nothing that could be done and my body would just have to fight it off on its own.  Had it been caught within 48 hours, Tamiflu could have been prescribed, but there are mixed reviews on its effectiveness.  People vary widely in their reaction to this thing so its hard to predict what will help.

So here I sit – I must be feeling a lot better because I can actually type but I am still so sick.  For the last few days I haven’t been able to read or even watch TV.  My eyeballs were so hot it was hard to open my eyes.  I’m constantly nauseated and queasy.  My face is still grey and my tongue is all spotted and blotchy.  If that image alone isn’t enough to make you want to get a double dose of vaccine then you too may be doomed to suffer the curse of the swine.  Take care!

[On a side note, Donna Cain, our Assistant Director of Operations, will be setting up a time for free vaccinations for all DDA employees in the coming weeks.]


3 Responses to How it feels to have H1N1

  1. Susan says:

    Get well soon, Alanna. What a torturing experience!

  2. Anne says:

    Get well soon, Alanna. It was the worst flu I’ve ever had. The continual chill/sweat cycles are the worst!

  3. […] huge concern for the outbreak of h1n1, and our Executive Director,  Alanna Hendren, even wrote a first-hand blog on the experiences of catching that virus?  In all the hullaballoo about the h1n1, we forgot how […]

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