I am finally almost over a nasty flu that has made my life miserable for two weeks. I am guessing I picked this bug up at the tail end of the holidays while I spent time in southern Ontario. By the time I got back home from the holiday, I developed a sore throat that gradually worsened. At first I could feel an aching in my throat in the mornings and, as the days progressed, I noticed it moving up to my nasal passages. The sinuses around my eyes, nose and cheeks began to fill and it gave me headaches and I had trouble breathing through my nose.

I became concerned when my flu seemed to get worse after a week and I felt some rumbling and aching in my lungs every time I coughed. During this time, I became weaker and weaker every day. It was everything I could do to get myself out of bed with neither the enthusiasm nor the energy to do much beyond sleep. I ended up on antibiotics to clear up the problem in my lungs.

This particular flu was a difficult one to beat. Even after two weeks of sickness, I still feel the lingering infection in my nose and throat, although I am able to work and walk around now.

I talked to many people while I was sick. It seems that many people suffered with this particular flu this year. My brothers, who are strong burly men, came down with the flu so bad that they had to stop work for a few days and that is a big deal as they run their own business. I know that when my brothers have to stop working on their trucks, tractors and heavy equipment because of sickness that this is a sign that they have come down with something really bad.

When I chatted with mom, she described to me how difficult the flu was for everyone on the coast when she was young and growing up on the land. As sick as they became in the wilderness, everyone still needed to head out into the cold to collect firewood, gather food, tend to the trap lines and generally maintain the home to survive. I can imagine what they must have had to endure in circumstances much more severe and austere than mine. To be sick in the extreme cold is uncomfortable and dangerous. The cold gives a burning sensation when you are exposed to freezing temperatures and causes convulsive coughing.

During my ordeal I made sure to stay indoors and away from others. I did not want to pass on this sickness to anyone else. I also did not want to add to my illness by picking anything else up in my weakened state.

If you are sick with this year’s flu and you are having a hard time, public health officials suggest that you stay home to avoid passing on the flu to anyone else. Drink plenty of fluids; especially hot fluids to help relieve some of the symptoms. Wash your hands frequently to avoid passing on the flu or catching it in the first place.

I suggest taking plenty of vitamin C as a supplement as many alternative health professionals report that it helps to boost your body’s immune system to fight off any disease. If your lungs are very affected and you have a high fever then you should seek medical aid. Senior citizens and those who are in regular contact with seniors are advised to take the flu shot. Clinics for the flu shot are held annually and they are publicly advertised in every region. They are free.

Although the flu may not be a big deal to most people, it is actually a dangerous illness for the very young and elderly. Health Canada estimates that 4,000 to 8,000 Canadians die every year from pneumonia that developed from the flu. This fact should help us to remember the importance of not spreading the flu to others in the community. So if you are sick, stay away from senior citizens and the public at large, get lots of rest and stay put so your body can fight the flu and just think about how good it will be when you are back to normal.