It’s the start of flu season, so I rang to get an appointment for us all to be vaccinated.
I was surprised when the Receptionist said she needed to check if I could have one as I didn’t fit the immediate criteria of over 65, children of a certain age & people with known breathing conditions like asthma.
I really thought I would be eligible, but the answer came back from the Doctor, it was a no. I’m not one to complain (ish) so I just shuffled off to Boots & paid for one.
However, I feel a flu jab should be offered to anyone who wants one, & here’s why.
In March 2012 I got flu. No big deal you might say, loads of people get the flu virus every year & survive. But here’s where my story goes on further.
My flu started much like anyone else’s, quickly! One minute I felt fine, the next I was laid up in bed with hubby called home from work to watch Harry.
A week later & there was no sign of it letting up. Then…..it got worse!
I started to become incoherent, just trailing off mid sentence & then looking at my Mum or hubby thinking ‘finish what you’re saying then’!
I was unsteady & during a bath my Mum had to sit on the loo seat & supervise me.
I just wasn’t right.
Jon & Mum got me to the surgery pronto!
I was referred straight to A&E, & after a lot of very worried looks & consultation with Jon I was admitted for observation. I ended up staying for 6 days!
I had to have a lumber puncture to determine what I had, it was not pleasant I was extremely distressed & very ill. They tested for all sorts of things but it came back with Post Influenza Encephalitis. Basically a brain virus caused by the flu infection.
I wasn’t a well girl at all.
But with the diagnosis came swift action & I was put on the right medication. Thank God!
The problems then came from the side effects of the lumber puncture. The worst headache you can imagine! The doctor described it as the worst hangover you could ever have. I’ve never had a hangover like that one!! I couldn’t lift my head without being sick.
The doctor prescribed coca cola for it as the sugar & caffeine really helped! The doctor endured a ribbing from the nurses as they’d never seen coke prescribed before!
Even when I was discharged on my birthday, I went home with the headache still raging.
In total I was unwell for a month. A month of not being able to look after my son. A month of my family having to drop everything & ferry Harry to & from nursery so Jon could work etc.
It was not a happy time for us.
Here’s where the good bit of the story comes in (& where I think God can make good out of every situation).
I was in a hospital ward of 6. The ones who stick in my mind are Nan & Olive. Elderly ladies, lovely.
It was through watching their care & my own treatment that I got an overview of the staff & how the hospital dept ran.
They did their best, of that I am sure!
I was next to a lady who passed away during my stay, I was able to pray quietly for her & her family.
I was able to pray for all the ladies, as needs became apparent. It was while in hospital in the pit of my own desperate situation that God revealed the pain in their situations too.
Goodness what an insular person I had become! This experience taught me such a valuable lesson in life. There really is always someone else worse off.
At least I had visitors. 26 in total over 6 days, & sooo many texts. I was so touched. Some of the other patients had 1, 2 or even no visitors at all.
I was also prayed for by the whole church. I felt loved in the midst of my desperation.
The nursery that sweet Harry went to gave him free childcare, for that week & for a bit of time afterwards so I could recover.
People cooked meals for Jon & sweet Harry.
People are so kind, when given the opportunity to be.
In regards to the NHS I think we have a way to go. The dept was over stretched & reactions not always as quick as they could have been. But all the doctors & nurses were so nice & really caring.
They do their best with the resources & time they have. At the end of the day I went in sick & came out better.
Yes I think everyone who wants one should have a flu jab for free on the NHS!
My illness mostly happens in old people & children, as per the vaccination criteria. I think we all know life isn’t that black & white!!
To finish though I am grateful to live in a country, that offers free health care, to the best of their ability & with sometimes limited or political restrictions.
If you’re eligible for a flu jab have one. If you’re not I’d advise you to pay for one.
Having flu is just not worth it.
Bless you all.
Until the next time friends.
Have a great day!