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Friday, January 30, 2015


I have two notions that are as important as I've ever provided.  First, though, don't necessarily take them too seriously, for these are based on a sample size of   Second, my personal doctor, who I saw yesterday, shrugged off, mostly with a smile, these potentially earth-shaking pronouncements, as did two medical doctors who reside at 15 Craigside.  Yet, there is something to what happened to me that deserves a re-telling here.

If you want background, scroll down to my Tuesday posting which reports on the fact that I contracted the latest incarnation of the flu.  I felt equally terrible on Wednesday, and because of excruciating ear aches, which made sleeping difficult, I took two Advils at 6PM, 36 hours into my ailment.  Almost immediately, my fever dropped, all my pains dulled and I went to sleep.  However, I awoke after an hour in cold sweat.  I took a shower, and went through the same routine two more times.  At 10PM, my fever had totally disappeared and I had an appetite.  IS IT POSSIBLE THAT TWO ADVILS CURED ME OF THE FLU?  My doctor suggested, while I'm the only two-day flu (nurses here kind of agreed I had the flu from the test measurements they took, but is not a positive laboratory confirmation) patient he had seen this year, it was "only" because I had a healthy body, which, actually, is praise enough.

Historically, I have had a running debate with medical doctors about taking any pill to reduce fevers or stop the flow of congestion caused by a cold or flu.  My contention is that your body is trying kill the virus and, if anything, you might want to further increase your temperature to help the process.  All medical advice today is to swallow something like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever.  Also, you don't want to stop the products of congestion from leaving your body, and you want to eliminate them, so I avoid those pills that try to dry you up.  Here is an incredible list of pharmaceuticals making companies rich, because you buy them.

Anyway, one of the nurses here recommended ibuprofen 9 hours into this infection to lower my fever.  For the reason above I did not, but I avoid pain pills and didn't have anything.  However, at that key point 36 hours into my ordeal, because of those excruciating ear pains, I called the clinic in my basement and asked for something, anything, so I could go to sleep.  However, to my shock...mind you, this is almost a nursing home...they don't carry any any medication.  So an enterprising nurse found a way to enter the small shop (which is stocked only with what is donated by patients here) close by and found a $2.50 small tube of Advils and delivered it to me.  The staff here tends to follow the rules and are very careful about taking chances, so she went far out of her way to help me.  She should get equal credit for discovering this simple Advil solution for the flu.  Mind you the Advil container looked kind of old, and, maybe the age had something to with its potency.  But the expiration was in 2019.

My second very important "discovery" was the result of a blood test I had taken on Monday (for I had my quarterly appointment with my doctor on Thursday), the day before the flu struck.  Turns out everything was fine, with my cholesterol count extremely good (170 with the high density lipoprotein about half of that), but there was an anomalously high blood urea nitrogen (BUN) count.  Turns out that there have been medical tests showing that the nitrogen level in your blood does go up just before Influenza A (H1N1).  Also, leukocyte counts and C-reactive protein levels were other predictive indicators for H1N1.  Fully 90% of influenza this year can be traced to Type A (both H1N1 and H3N2).  The whole point is that any person has been fighting this invader for days before you find out if you won or lost, and my blood test occurred at the crucial point 24  hour before any symptoms appeared.

Someday, someone will come up with a simple and timely test, like elevated BUN levels, to warn you that the flu is on the way and you need to do something now. Unfortunately, someone else still needs to find a better antidote for the ailment.  Mind you, there already are prescriptions like Tamiflu to reduce the flu length by 30%, but there could be :

Side effects include (ing) psychiatric symptoms, increased rates of vomiting, and headaches.[3][15][16]  

Nonetheless, perhaps Tamiflu taken a day before you actually get the flu might make a huge difference.

The current flu normally lingers for a week or more.  It is reported that there are as many as 61 million flu cases/year, meaning that the average person at this rate would get it every five years.  Flu . gov says it depends on the year, and a "good" year means only as few as 15 million might be affected.  If you don't have the flu yet, the incidence nationally is now dropping:

So to help settle the matter of that title at the top, let me provide the range of what really happened:
  • According to my personal doctor, I probably had the flu, but was healthy enough to shake it in two days.
  • Suggested the two medical doctors who live at 15 Craigside:
    • I probably caught a not so common two-day virus that was not really the flu.
    • Some prayers helped the process, and I thanked him for the effort.
    • Maybe it wasn't the flu----only 20% of suspected flu cases tested positive for the flu this past week across the nation---and I had no stomach nor throat problems.
  • I don't know what it is like to be really sick as I've been healthy for a long, long time.  Save for my emergency room visits, of course, and here is just one.
  • Perhaps I'm trying to balance my life by this week presenting how much I'm suffering, for I seem to mostly blog about my hedonistic lifestyle, epitomized by that decadent Champagne and Caviar extravaganza of a week ago.
  • My contention remains that, yes, I had a Type A flu, and it could have been coincidental, but those two Advil pills catalyzed the end of my flu in 40 hours, which is a period of less than two days, when this infection was supposed to incapacitate me for a week.  I'm actually tempted to go golfing today.
To double the mathematical accuracy, I will again use Advil, or maybe Ibuprofen, or something similar, the next time the flu bug strikes me.  But, then, that could well be a quarter century from now.

Super Cyclone Eunice is now up to 160 MPH, with gusts to 195 MPH, but moving away from Mauritius and Le Reunion:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your staement is probably correct: "My contention is that your body is trying kill the virus and, if anything, you might want to further increase your temperature to help the process." According to my doctor, he told me not to take anything even if my fever goes up to 104 because the body is trying to kill the germs. Added plus, he says at 103 degrees cancer cells die. Body can constantly cleanse itself of cancer if we take our temp up to 103 and beyond.