Wednesday, January 16, 2013

See Your Doctor as Soon as You Have the Flu

"If you are very ill with the flu, see your doctor immediately." This advice sounds very simple and straight forward, especially this year when  flu season is rather severe. We are given this advice year after year, on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers. But how easy is it to follow this advice.

As anyone who has ever had the flu knows, when you have it you feel like you are at death's door. You don't feel like getting out of bed, like eating or even going to the bathroom. You feel terrible! So how are you going to muster up enough strength to get out of bed, shower, get dressed and get your butt to the doctor?

Fifty years ago following this advice was rather easy. When you had the flu you simply called your doctor and he came to your house. Not any more. Now you have to go to him! We are told that we must get to the doctor within the first day or two of onset of the flu, so that the medication, such as tamaflu,  will be effective.
When the flu hits you, it is during these first couple of days that you really feel terrible.

If you have a family you have to get your husband or wife to drive you to the doctor's office, where you will wait in an overcrowded waiting room infecting everyone there with the virus. If you live alone you have to get a friend to take you to the doctor's office. If you can't have a friend do that, then you have to somehow either take a taxi or public transportation to the doctor's office. All the way there you will be coughing, sneezing, sweating, freezing and almost dying, while you infect everyone near you. If you live alone in the country, where there is no public transportation and you are unable to drive, you either have to call an ambulance or suffer alone until you either get better or die.

You may think that getting to the doctor's office is the most difficult part of having the flu and having it treated, but you are wrong. Have you tried to make a doctor's appointment?  It's not that easy. Often times the closest appointment date is off in the distant future, long past the 1 or 2 day window for getting proper treatment. You have to beg and plead, pass out or feign death in order to get an appointment during the current flu season.

Getting an appointment and getting to the doctor when you have the flu is extremely worrisome, especially for those who live alone and for those who live in the country. You best bet is to get the flu vaccine, when it is first offered. This way you can avoid the hassles mentioned above. It only hurts for a few seconds, and contrary to many myths, YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU FROM THE VACCINE. If you haven't already received it, you should get it now. It's better to be safe than sorry. Stay healthy.

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