Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Defining "The Flu"

Three days after coming down with a nasty stomach bug, I am finally starting to feel a lot better and want to thank everyone for their kind comments regarding my health and recovery. I also want to thank my cheeky little British friend Claire for her lovely post and cartoon rendering of my - shall we say - dilemma? Please bear in mind that Claire is suffering from another nasty sinus infection and perhaps that it what is affecting her sense of delicacy hence the rather graphic depiction. Oh wait ... no ... Claire has no sense of delicacy when it comes to some things but that's one of the things I love about her! Do stop by and wish her well with her bout of "sinus urination" if you get the chance!

Meanwhile, I also wanted to thank a couple of other folks for setting the matter straight regarding a stomach bug versus The Flu. I had lamented that after having now had a nasty upper respiratory infection/head cold and a stomach bug both in less than a week what was the sense of having gotten a flu shot and both Lee and MightyMom set me straight on the difference:

Lee of Tar Heel Ramblings said:
"Just a little bit of information that won't make you feel any better. What you have is almost certainly not the flu. Believe it or not, but there is really no such thing as "stomach flu." Flu symptoms include fever, body aches and sometimes a rash. But rarely does it involve vomiting or stomach upset.

What you have is probably not a virus at all, but rather a bacterial infection of some kind. Hence the nausea and vomiting."
NinjaNurse aka MightyMom of My Wonderful Life stated:
"NinjaNurse is obligated to inform the public of the following:

The flu shot you got does nothing for what folks call "flu" which is really a stomach virus (GI if you want to be specific) because that isn't the flu. It also does nothing for head colds as that is an Upper Respiratory Infection and isn't the flu either.

The flu is a disease caused by the influenza virus. It causes cough, congestion, fever, fatigue (extreme), generalized achiness, runny nose, and decreased appetite. It lasts 7-10 days. So, as long as you've not been in bed for a week going through 2 boxes of tissue a day and feeling like you were hit by a semi .... your flu shot worked. Be thankful!"
Ah-ha, well, yes, I guess that I did know that what with working in a medically-related field and all but for some unknown reason I have always called it a stomach flu. Obviously I am wrong in doing so as a quick check of Dictionary.com produced this definition of influenza (the full word for flu) that is even more chilling than what NinjaNurse depicted:
Main Entry: in·flu·en·za
Pronunciation: "in-(")flü-'en-z&
Function: noun
1 a : an acute highly contagious virus disease that is caused by various strains of orthomyxoviruses belonging to three major types now considered as three separate genera and that is characterized by sudden onset, fever, prostration, severe aches and pains, and progressive inflammation of the respiratory mucous membrane —often used with the letter A, B, or C to denote disease caused by a virus of a specific one of the three genera influenza A that has been widespread in the United States this winter —H. M. Schmeck, Jr.> b : any human respiratory infection of undetermined cause.
Alrighty then - that sounds much worse than what I have had recently as I can't even pronounce orthomyxoviruses never mind want them floating around in my system! Plus influenza has been known to wipe out large amounts of people at various times in history so I am going to be thankful that I did get my flu shot and keep my fingers crossed that it works!

Whatever it was that I did have - whether you want to call it a stomach bug or a stomach virus or I'm sure some sort of more colorful description that Claire could come up with - it wasn't fun and I'm still kind of afraid to eat real food for fear of setting my intestinal system off again but at least I was able to get back to work yesterday for my usual 16-hour Monday shift (hence no post!) and am going to be able to enjoy some of the incredibly out-of-season warm temperatures that are predicted for today.

In the meantime, though, Amanda has been home from school for two days with an upset stomach (lucky for her it remains simply upset and not active) and I've heard that my good blog buddy and all-around-nice-gal Ms. Maggie Moo is also home sick from work today with an equally upset stomach. If you get the chance, please drop by and wish her well.

And as for all of you who wished that Jamie would not get sick with this bug herself but be a carrier for it down to Florida - shame on you and what a lovely thought!

Update: I just found a post called Watch Out for the Norovirus over on The Boomer Chronicles and it sounds like exactly what I had! Well, except for the vomiting because as I told Rhea in a comment I left, "
I didn’t have the vomiting as it seems to take an Act of Congress for me to be able to just throw up and get it over with and Congress failed to meet during my time of illness ..."

Isn't it nice when you can put a name to what ails you? Well, a name other than that of one's ex-spouse??


  1. I always called it the stomach bug-but I would like to know what intense pain in the tummy region without any "relief" is called. :(

    Annoying comes to mind....

    I'm glad you are feeling better!!

  2. Anonymous1:14 PM EST

    Whatever it is called, I am sorry you have been sick and I hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. could it have been a food poisoning of some kind??? it does sound like noro though but that is VERY contagious so the girls would probably get that on like the second or third day you had it. yuk. so sorry honey...

    smiles, bee

  4. I know what's been wrong with you honey - you've been poorly sick and jobbing thin! Nasty. xx

  5. Anonymous3:02 PM EST

    Glad you're feeling better...Hope Amanda gets better, too! heading over to see Maggie...

  6. I hope this flu isn't spreading around all your blogbuddies!

    Glad you are feeling better, Linda!

  7. Two of my favorite people down at one time. Glad you are improving.

  8. I call it the GACK. GACK is such a useful word. It can be a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective.

    Glad you are beginning to recover from your bout with the GACK.

  9. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better! We've got that bug going around here too... seems like everyone has had it or has it - I don't think I want to leave the house, because I haven't had it yet!

  10. You've had a hell of a run. Great to hear you are on your way!

  11. Well Linda you provided the inspiration, I just went with it :)

    My sinus urination has some what dried up now, but thanks for your lovely words.

  12. Whatever it is, when you're writhing it pain, it doesn't really matter. You just want it to end!

  13. I'm glad you're starting to feel better. I hope Amanda just has the upset stomach part.

    And I sure hope this isn't catchy! I've had enough of being sick, dang it all!

    Brain Foggles

  14. What ever it is I am glad you feel better. I had a friend who informed me about the difference between flu and GI problems. I was slightly insulted that she said a lot of it was picked up in the kitchen. But since we were all prone to GI stuff I decided that it wouldn't hurt to not use a wooden cutting board without bleaching it between usings,now I use bleach to clean everything in the kitchen and we don't get it as often as before. So I guess my kitchen was not as clean as I thought. Anti bacterial can also slow down the norovirus.

  15. Linda, hey thanks for the linkylove. That's cool. influenza is much yukkier than most folks realize and yes, fatal to something like 1/3 of the population of USA in 1918. I once had an interesting conversation with an anti-vaccine mom who stated in a group she was leading that we were healthier before we invented vaccines....(uh...what was the life expectancy then?) she asked (rhetorically haha) what did people do before they came out with the flu vaccine anyway? I piped up (as I am known to do) --- kinda loudly--- with "They All Died!!! It's called the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918!!!"
    Well, you can imagine how that went over!

    MAGS, it's called GAS. no kidding. the only time the intestines feel pain is when they're distended by either being plugged (obviously not) or by GAS. some folks call it cramping, but that sensation is the gut trying to make the air bubble move, which is hard...ever tried to push air??

    feel better soon!

  16. Looks like we're both finally "on the mend" here kid! Thankfully! Sure am glad I didn't have all the added features that you had though -mine was just the run-of-the-mill garden variety head cold that always leaves smokers (like me) with a little extra present when it departs - a lovely cough, ya know. Now - no more of these colds and such, kiddo!

  17. glad you are feeling better! hope you are enjoying some of this springlike weather we are having in CT


  18. I thought I left a comment on your site. It appears I did not (GRIN)...

    I hope you feel better now ! Even my Bible Study Teacher Is Sick !

    I need you to add your voice with ours, to tell Ed, he was LATE (not in so many words).

    So, please fix yourself up for a good keyboard chat'r this week ok?

    Personal Note : You seem to have caught Lynn's (Co-Author) attention (all good) as she is monitoring the situation.

    Lastly, I enjoy reading your site. Instead of searching for it, I have linked to it , so our News Team can find it faster.

    Keep up the good work, OS9USER

  19. Anonymous2:18 AM EST

    I hope you are feeling better as soon

  20. Anonymous6:36 AM EST

    The positive side of having a stomach bug is weight loss ! :) I recently lost 6 lb in a week.. unfortunately I've put it straight back on.. :)

  21. y'all keep that nasty bug in the northeast, ya hear?

  22. Anonymous5:24 PM EST

    I had second thoughts after posting my comment. I kind of felt like a smarty-pants-know-it-all. Regardless, I'm glad you're feeling better and the nasty bug has moved on!


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