Urgent Care - Gardendale
210 Fieldstown Road, Suite 124
Gardendale, AL 35071

Influenza is far from a "cold" although many people use the terms interchangeably. Influenza is a serious and at times debilitating illness. Ask anyone who has had influenza and they will quickly point out that it is nothing like a cold.

If you are reading this, you may have just recently been diagnosed with influenza and are at least well enough to be online. Most people with influenza do not begin to feel better until 3-5 days into the illness. Most of you are otherwise healthy and not used to being sick the way flu makes you sick. The trickiest part, once you get past the "feel like i'm dying and just wish i could" stage is the convalescence. Convalescence is never required for a common cold and rarely for other viruses. Not so with influenza.

Influenza is notorious for episodes of relapse and this is most often due to rushing back to work, school, or, usual daily activities. The way to avoid this is to accept that for a time, maybe 3-7 days after you have begun to recover, you will need to shorten your daily activities. This is the convalescent period.  If it's work, this means work only until you're tired and can't think of anything you'd rather do than crawl into bed and sleep. The same with school or other activities.  If you have gone several days without a fever and start to get one again, you have overdone it. When it comes to your job, it's a good idea to let your employer know you've been diagnosed with influenza, give him/her a planned return to work date, and, tell the employer that you have been advised to work limited hours for the first week back and to go home when you feel tired. This is the way to prevent relapses or complications from influenza.

A couple of other facts about the flu: sleep disturbances during the worst of the illness are common. So are bizarre or frightening dreams. During the first week or two of recovery, many people also feel depressed for no reason they can pinpoint. It's the flu you just had that's doing it and it goes away within a week or so. The theory is that those awful headaches are due to mild brain inflammation that comes with the illness and as that inflammation resolves, the upset to your brain is experienced as depression. The fact is, it happens. The reasons why are conjecture.

Take influenza seriously especially if you've never really been "sick" like the flu can make you sick. Pay attention to overdoing it as you get better and when your body says "quit for today", that's what you need to do!