2 minute readHealth & Safety, Preparedness

So You’ve Got the Flu. Now What?

Chills, a high fever and severe body aches. These are just a few of the symptoms that are associated with the flu. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Initially, I thought I’d just caught a cold. My nose was runny and my throat was irritated, but I realized I something was a little off when I started having chills. Even though I felt cold on the inside, my skin was alarmingly warm to the touch.

After doing a quick search on redcross.org, I learned that I’d likely caught the flu. From who, I don’t know, but I did know I wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. If you’re one of the many Americans who is unfortunate enough to catch the flu this winter, don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you recover.

Stock up on Supplies
I hate having to get up and go to the store when I’m not feeling well. So as soon as I realized I had flu symptoms, I checked to make sure my medicine cabinet was stocked with things like facial tissues, cough drops and nasal spray.

Table with a pair of glasses, facial tissues and a mug on it

Get Some Rest
Sleeping is one of my favorite things to do on an average day, but when I’m not feeling well, I take it to a whole new level. Getting an adequate amount of rest will help your body fight the infection, so reschedule that brunch with your friends for next weekend and hit the sack. If they’re really your friends, they’ll understand.

A bed in front of a window

Drink PLENTY of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water when you have the flu will help rid your body of toxins and keep you hydrated. If you get to the point where you’ve coughed so much that your throat gets really sore like mine did, drinking warm water or tea can help put you at ease.

a table with a cup of tea on it

Record Your Symptoms
I like to keep a list of my symptoms and their triggers handy in the event that I have to describe them to a healthcare provider or pharmacist. The more accurate the information is, the better the diagnosis will be.

a notebook with a pencil on it

See Your Healthcare Provider
After a couple of days of dealing with my flu symptoms, I went ahead and scheduled an appointment with my doctor. During my appointment, I described my symptoms and my doctor ran a few tests to confirm that I did in fact have the flu. I left the doctor’s office with a prescription in hand that kicked my flu symptoms to the curb after just a few days. Hands down the best decision I’ve made so far this year.

It’s also important to see your healthcare provider because many other illnesses have symptoms that are similar to the flu. Your healthcare provider is in the best position to help you get to the bottom of your illness. Even when you’re tempted to self-diagnose and rely solely on online resources…don’t.

Stethoscope, pen and file chart on a table

Keep Your Personal Items Separate
I wouldn’t wish the high fever and body aches that come with the flu on my worst enemy, let alone people I care about. To keep others from becoming ill, remember to keep your personal items away from others and wash your hands, especially if you don’t live alone.

two toothbrushes in a cup

Stay Informed
For more information and flu prevention tips, visit redcross.org or download the free Red Cross First Aid App. You’ll be so glad you did!

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  1. Don’t wait days to call or see your doctor or nurse. Tamiflu only works if started early, i.e., first day, of flu. This is especially important if in a high risk group.

    Most importantly, a reminder to get flu shot every year.