25 Things I Learned From Having The Flu

by Sherry Riter in Family,Health,PTSD,Sherry,The Redhead Riter

lit tealight candle codeine cough syrup
Since you already know how the flu started, let me tell you…

What I Learned From Having The Flu

  1. The beginning of the flu proved to me that older doctors are the best. They’ve seen it all when it comes to colds and flu, so you should just believe them when they say you are sick even if you don’t feel it yet.
  2. It is super intelligent to keep “sick food and drink” in stock at all times. On the way home from the doctor’s office, I stopped at the grocery store and purchased a ton of chicken broth and organic grain free (no corn syrup) fruit juices. I’m so glad that I bought enough to last through our sicknesses and that we still haven’t run out yet.
  3. Working from home is beneficial to your employer and it is also a great way to take your mind off all the pain. I worked around the clock on my work laptop the entire time I was sick. Not only did I accomplish a lot of tasks during all that uninterrupted time, but when I went back to work today, I actually wasn’t behind a bit. I’m sure people were surprised to see all those emails sent by me in the middle of the night.
  4. Another thing I learned from having the flu and staying awake for hours in the middle of the night is that people at my place of employment do not often send emails at 3:00 a.m. I wonder why? LOL
  5. If you have long hair, wearing it in a French braid is the best way to keep it out of your face while you’re sick. It is not only comfortable, but your hair won’t get in the way of unpleasant stuff like sweating profusely, blowing your nose a million times and vomiting.
  6. When you have the flu, it isn’t possible to eat fattening food. I learned that having the flu is a sure-fire way of losing weight. Yep. Six days without solid food may leave you a bit shaky, but when you start eating again, you can’t eat as much. I guess it is that stomach shrinking thing.
  7. Grain free (no corn syrup) popsicles not only taste delicious and healthy, but they help to cool down a temperature from the inside and relieve the pain of a very sore throat. Unfortunately, I was too sick to make my orange recipe, but it would have tasted so yummy.
  8. The same chilled organic fruit juices that keep you hydrated and work to lower your temperature, can also be heated to soothe a queasy stomach.
  9. A cold shower helps lower a high temperature, but a hot shower will relieve aching muscles. At the time, the aching muscles were driving me nuts, so I took lots of hot showers. Besides, does anyone really want to take a cold shower? Not me!
  10. Having a temperature for an extended amount of time can make you very dizzy. It is also a great excuse for being klutzy. Going forward, maybe I will just feign sickness every time I do something klutzy. LOL
  11. If you spill organic vegetable juice on the carpet because you are dizzy and lose your balance while getting up, don’t panic. Since it is “organic” vegetable juice, there isn’t a bunch of red dye in it, so cleaning it up isn’t that hard.
  12. High temperatures can’t always be controlled with medication and it causes terrible body aches.
  13. Bags of frozen peas or bags of frozen almond and coconut flour work great to cool off a throbbing temperature-flu-sinus headache.
  14. It is easy to go through a whole box of Puffs tissues with lotion when you have the flu.
  15. Nothing can smear eye glasses faster than a Puffs tissue with lotion. Those tissues sure do help when you have to blow your nose a million times. I just have no idea why I never remembered to take off my glasses before I grabbed a tissue and blew my nose!
  16. Wearing pajamas that are soft knit enable you to clean lotion smeared eye glasses. This was extremely helpful because I felt too sick to get up and clean them with soap and water at the sink.
  17. A barking dog, even a cute red furry loved barking dog, is not a desirable thing when you have the flu and a throbbing headache.
  18. Losing one’s youthfulness is a sad state of affairs. When I awoke Saturday morning and saw Alyssa had already beat the flu while I was still feeling like hot lava rocks that had been ricocheted off the jagged cliff like a rubber ball, I had two simultaneous feelings – I was happy that my daughter was well and depressed that I was old. Apparently youthfulness helps you get over sicknesses a whole lot faster.
  19. High temperatures make you hallucinate or maybe it was the codeine in one of my medications. On second thought, maybe it was the combination of the two along with the flu. At any rate, I heard and saw all kinds of things that just didn’t exist and it wasn’t any fun.
  20. When you get the flu and the Christmas tree is still up, thinking about taking it down never even crosses your mind.
  21. Even snow isn’t exciting when you have the flu. It snowed again while I had the flu. It wasn’t as much snow as the other day, but it still snowed enough to turn the ground white. I was so sick that I didn’t even care to look out the window. What a waste of a good snow!
  22. I didn’t actually learn this while having the flu, but it reaffirmed my knowledge. Alyssa and I whine when we are sick. Our whining doesn’t ever bother us, but it sure can aggravate other people. Actually, we both agree that whining makes us feel better. That’s our story and we are sticking to it.
  23. Thank God for dishwashers. When we were finally able to “do the dishes,” we filled the dishwasher with Mason jars. I’ve learned that the only “glasses” that are tougher than me is my Mason jars and I also like the way they look as a drinking glass. Alyssa has found them to be very forgiving of her klutziness too. Mason jars can not only be filled with ice to keep a drink cold, but they can be popped into the microwave to heat the beverage without worrying about cracking the glass. Let me just say that I think Mason jars rock!
  24. High temperatures dry you out! After a two hour nap that started at 2:00 a.m., I woke up with dried, cracked lips and an eyeball that was stuck to the underside of my eyelid. Oh my gosh did that hurt! My eyeball ached all day long. So not only did I have the flu with a temperature, but I dried out like a prune even though I drank liquids constantly. I foresee a Hypoallergenic Grain Free Deep Moisturizing Hair Conditioning treatment this weekend.
  25. This last thing I learned from the flu is very sad. If you enjoyed all the light-hearted fun and whining found in the first twenty four of the list, you might want to skip number twenty-five. I learned that having the flu is very depressing.
    While laying back on the couch, staring at the blurry ceiling with a fever that threatened to cause spontaneous combustion, muscles aching without anyone to massage them, and having a red furry dog as my only comforting companion, I had plenty of time to think about my life.

    I’ve turned fifty years old and it is more than highly likely that I won’t live another fifty years. There are so many things that I haven’t done and it is too late to even attempt to do many of them. I’ve also made so many mistakes that I can’t go back and undo, so I have to live with the consequences of those bad choices.

    Above everything in life, I wanted to be a mother and wife. There’s nothing better than loving and being loved. So while my body radiated so much heat that even Bella didn’t want to lay next to me, I thought about how alone I was and that there was no hand to reach out and hold for comfort. I never dreamed that I would be alone at this stage of life. I think it is a terribly sad thing that I’ve married twice and still ended up alone. It has depressed me so much that I’ve actually considered giving up blogging and writing.

    Today I started to feel a bit better physically. I stretched out on the couch when I got home and started watching Nathan Fillion in the American crime drama television series called Castle. It’s about a best-selling mystery novelist and NYPD Detective who solve various unusual crimes in New York City. Since it is a clean story line with mystery, intrigue and love undertones, I find it to be an easy show to watch and it helps me escape.

    Anyway, I relaxed and restored enough energy that I was able to cook dinner. I started thinking about all the things I need to accomplish over the next month and sat down to write a post that ended my blog. Like I said, I’ve been rather depressed. But after I started writing, I realized that I couldn’t dump my blog.

    Over the next month, I won’t be able to blog everyday like I have for the past three years. I really have some major things to accomplish. Since PTSD places limitations on my abilities, I am going to have to really concentrate in order to get all my responsibilities finished. When everything is caught up, I will go back to the normal posting pattern. Well, that’s the plan for now.

All in all, having the flu was a pretty miserable experience and one that I do not want to experience again any time soon. The realization and depressing nature of my loneliness exacerbated by PTSD isn’t something that I will be able to shake easily. It is such a bummer. However, it is a bummer that I must somehow live through because this is my life.


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D January 31, 2013 at 2:11 am

I’m very glad that you’re feeling better, & also that you didn’t end your blog! I’m sure I’m not alone for having missed you & your cheerful, thoughtful, & beneficial posts!



2 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Thank you Skip!


3 Ruth Hill January 31, 2013 at 10:26 am

I am glad that you are over the flu. It sounds like you had a pretty bad bout of it!


4 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Thank you Ruth!


5 Sue January 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Hi, we have been sick around our house on and off these past months too. It keeps hitting us. While we all will miss your posts, I think it is so great your going to take a bit of a break to get things done. I often think of doing the same thing. XO to you during your well-deserved, much needed time off.


6 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Thank you Sue!


7 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm

No, Redhead Riter, you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT GIVE UP WRITING YOUR BLOG! You have to perish that thought immediately! What are you trying to do, give me an anxiety attack? (Not to mention all your loyal readers.)

Whose blog could I read and love so much that many times you inspire me to comment not once or twice but multiple times on the same post? Please do not even consider giving up writing your blog or I am going to be very sad! 🙁


8 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:53 pm

LOL You make me laugh Joan!


9 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Obviously, I have a lot to say about this post so there will be multiple comments by me! 🙂


10 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm

That doesn’t surprise me. 😉


11 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:33 pm

I’ve gotten use to your whining. Whine all you want, only don’t ever again entertain the thought of giving up your blog! I, and all your loyal readers, will be very upset! More upset than you could ever imagine. Where would we all go to get our daily fix of humor, entertainment, or pathos? (I threw the pathos in because I have to agree with you that at times your life does suck – but who among us have perfect lives that do not suck? (Just pointing out that everyone’s life sucks at times.) The thing is that very few of us are so brave as to honestly and courageously blog about it on the Internet. That’s why I have even come to think of your whining as endearing, because you are revealing the many sides of your personality and your vulnerability. 🙂


12 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Thank you Joan. Yes, I do kind of lay it all out there, don’t I?


13 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Well, I have to get back to my sucky life so I can’t comment anymore on this post. I got a lot of sucky things I have to accomplish today! So as much as I enjoy spending my time commenting on your blog life is calling out to me to spring into action!


14 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Actually, my life isn’t that sucky. I just didn’t want to make you feel so alone in your misery. You know the old saying, “Misery loves company.”


15 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:56 pm



16 Joan January 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Actually, I think 2013 is going to be my best year ever! And I think 2013 can be your best year ever too, if you stop thinking about all the things that you can’t do and start concentrating on all the things that you can do! There is a book inside you just waiting to be written. You know which book that I am referring to. Write it and your whole life can change! 🙂


17 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I will write the book, I promise.


18 Young Werther January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Good you stayed home to rest, too many try to soldier on, totally inconsiderate and come into the office to ‘share’ the flu.

Only watch Nathan Fillion when he’s playing captain in Firefly (or Serenity). Have all the DVDs 🙂


19 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 9:59 pm

The American corporate world not only encourages, but expects everyone to go to work no matter how sick they feel. It is a sad state of affairs in my opinion.


20 Bev January 31, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Glad you are back and getting over the flu. I have been hovering around hoping to hear from you…missed you. Take care of yourself, Sherry. And yes, working from home has lots of advantages at times. Gee, You sure did learn a lot while you were battling that virus! Puffs with lotion are the only way to go with a cold and I am also a member of the “wiped my glasses” with them ;(.


21 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thank you Bev!

Isn’t it just amazing how MUCH of a smear one swipe of the lotion wipes makes on the glasses? No wonder it does so great on my delicate skin. LOL


22 OneMommy January 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I have learned that one about Puff’s with lotion and glasses… Nothing like being dizzy from a fever and have blurry glasses… Hope you continue to feel better!


23 Sherry Riter January 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Thank you! Love my Puffs with lotion even though I think I hit my glasses just as many times as I blew my nose! LOL


24 Sandy @sandrakay01 February 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I’m happy you’re on the mend. I have never read such a descriptive account of the flu that made me feel as though I was right there with you and going through it myself!! I’m glad you were able to find a minuscule amount of humor as you wrote about your miserable experience. I can SO relate to the smeared glasses. I just started to wear contacts and I’m predicting somewhat of a disaster considering I lost one of them in less than two days. Most of all the flu “does” lead to depression and when the PTSD kicks in, for lack of a better word, it stinks. ((((HUGS))))


25 Sherry Riter February 3, 2013 at 7:03 am

You lost one of your new contacts in two days?! LOL Oh boy! I think you would be better off with glasses and Lotion Puffs. LOL LOL

Yes! When depression starts, PTSD kicks in and it is in high gear. I’m still not well. I’m going to have to get more meds today because it is definitely settled in my lungs and doesn’t want to vacate. Darn old flu germs!


26 susan February 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I have never read your blog. But, I currently have the flu. Yesterday, after the fourth day of laying in my bed or sofa, how depressed I felt. I googled “does flu cause depression.” Blammo, your blog post came up. You affirmed, what I was feeling. I am sorry that you are going throught this yucky stuff. I hope that you can feel better soon. When you have some energy, try to get out into nature and clear you mind. Our heads were filled with snot! Yes snot! The snot caused us to have pounding headaches and depression. It helped to bring on bad thoughts. So do things to clear your head. Play music that you love, go to a great spot that you love. Get the snot out of your head and reboot your mind. That’s what I plan to do……..tomorrow when I have more energy. I wish you luck rebooting! I hope that someday you find that special someone to commit to, that will bring you fructose free juice and a hand to hold. Please stay well.


27 Sherry Riter February 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I’m so glad you found me Susan, but sorry that it is because you are so sick. I still haven’t recovered and I’m on day 14 with bronchitis that is trying to become pneumonia. Today I feel absolutely terrible. The only things I’m moving is my eyes and fingers. I don’t hardly want to even breathe! I’ve been to the doctor three times and am taking around 10 medications. I feel like I’m dying. LOL How’s that for dramatic? LOL

When I get well, I’m going to run outside twirling, singing and laughing like Julie Andrews did in the Sound of Music.

I hope you get well soon! I’ll be looking for your healthy return! 😉


28 Greg Moore May 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Thank you for your flu column. I am almost 49 and went through everything you did in the last month. I find at this age that I seriously thought about dying, I felt so bad, and it did add to my depression. You are a lovely, intelligent lady. Don’t give up hope on anything, including love. Get out there and hopefully someone who you deserve will notice you.


29 Sherry Riter May 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I’m sorry you had the flu too. Ugh! Thank you for your sweet comment. {{{hugsss}}}


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