Date: January 21, 2018 05:08PM
I always get the shot and feel like I get reasonable protection from it most years (including years when I had known close contact with a flu victim and did not catch it), but every few years it seems the vaccine is not a good match for one or more of the dominant strains going around. Last time that happened I came down with the flu. I know that year's predominant strain was an H3N2, like this year's is, but don't know how similar the two strains are to each other.
It was awful. Started suddenly with high fever, chills, feeling like I could not get warm, and just feeling very sick in general. A few hours later I noticed body aches and a bad headache. A day or so later I developed a sore throat, nasal congestion, and a horrible cough. My chest hurt. I had some nausea for a couple of days but think that was mostly due to the fact that ibuprofen would not keep my fever down until it was okay to take another dose and when the fever shot back up uncontrolled I felt sick to my stomach. These symptoms lasted a solid week, after which the fever went to just barely having a fever, the nausea and sore throat went away, and the body aches were milder. The headache on and off, congestion, coughing and fatigue lasted probably another week. The cough and fatigue lasted through week 3, after which the fatigue was much less. I coughed for three more weeks before it cleared, though I didn't feel sick once the cough was all that was left, just tired and coughing. I did not take Tamiflu because by the time I was diagnosed I had already had symptoms for more than 48 hours and they said it would do no good. My child who is high risk for flu complications due to underlying condition, was given a Tamiflu prescription even though he was flu-free because there was confirmed flu in the household. He took it and did not catch it. Not sure if that was due to Tamiflu or him getting just enough protection from the shot to squeak by or luck or a combination of all of that.
As miserable as all that was, the worst of it was worrying that I would spread it to my high-risk loved one. I isolated myself in my room, washed my hands raw, came out wearing mask and gloves while he was at school to disinfect any surface I might have touched, hauled myself out of bed to run outside for coughing fits in an attempt not to have so many droplets circulating inside a closed up house, and worried myself absolutely sick. It may not have taken so long to clear up had I not been so intensely stressed about him catching it and being unable to rest because of that(??). It seemed like it took *forever* to get over it.
My sympathies to anyone who catches this. It's bad. Hopefully people who have it will stay home, take good care of themselves, and not spread the misery around, especially to those most vulnerable. Take care.