That time I got the flu

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A few weeks ago I got the flu.  The real flu.  Influenza, not just a bad cold.  My symptoms were classic – body aches, fever, cough, and a sore throat.  I’m pretty certain I know precisely when the flu virus entered my body.  I was caring for a sick patient, somewhat up in the child’s face to swab their nasal passages for a flu test, when the kid coughed directly into my mouth.  Gag! In desperation I actually Purelled my face as I left the room.  Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and I should have been wearing a mask, but it was too late.

Spew! Credit: Andrew Davidhazy/RIT
Spew! Droplet spray from a cough.
Credit: Andrew Davidhazy/RIT

It didn’t take more than a day or so before I started feeling ill.  Being a relatively healthy person I figured I’d get through the ordeal with only supportive measures: namely, hydration and rest.  Heck, I thought this would be a good excuse to entrust the kids to my husband, lounge out on the couch, and get caught up on Netflix. … Read more

For anyone who has ever wiped out on a wood staircase

Nearly invisible and SO much more safe!

I have a wood staircase in my home that leads to a loft.  The loft is awesome!  It currently serves as the kids’ play-space which means we’re up and down the steps multiple times per day.  The dilemma? The stairs are slippery!  The number of times I’ve wiped out, coffee cup in hand, nearly breaking a limb, is embarrassing.  A neurosurgeon once said to me that the most dangerous area of a home is the staircase.  Why? Because it’s so easy to sustain a head or neck injury when you fall.  This makes me especially nervous for my 3.5 year old son who often forgets to hold the railing.

For years I thought about putting some sort of traction tape or carpeting on the stairs.  Not that it would completely eliminate the danger, but it would certainly minimize the risk.  Frustratingly, I was never able found a product that was visually appealing.… Read more

Just another sore throat, or could it be strep?

sick boy

It’s hard to get through the winter without having at least one sore throat.  Most sore throats are minor, more of an annoyance than anything else, and they tend to be the first sign of a viral cold.

But what if it’s strep?

Strep is a bacteria that commonly invades the throat and tonsils causing pain, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.  We care because strep bacteria can be pesky.  Left untreated, the bacteria can wreak havoc in more than just your throat by invading other parts of the body.  Some complications of strep are minor, such as an ear or a sinus infection.  Some, however, are more serious involving a collection of pus in the back of your throat called an abscess, a blood infection, heart disease, kidney inflammation, or a neurologic disorder known as PANDAS.  If you do not treat strep throat with an antibiotic, there is also a greater chance that you will spread the infection to someone else.… Read more

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