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Can the flu kill you? We never got the flu shot, then my husband almost died of the flu

A few weeks ago, at the age of 36, I received my first flu vaccine . I never thought about it before this year. Many things have changed this year.

In January, my husband Charlie and I got the flu. We thought we would get it out in a week and get back to normal, but one week turned two and we did not get better. I took Charlie to the emergency room in the middle of the night on January 27th. His fever rose and he was curled up in the corner, apparently hallucinating, babbling incoherently. Although I felt sick, adrenaline and the urge to protect him took over. Within 1

5 minutes of being admitted to the emergency room, Charlie was placed in a medically induced coma. In these 15 minutes my world came to a standstill.

It turned out that Charlie was no longer just dealing with the flu; This was pneumonia . But Charlie's body was obviously not satisfied with pneumonia . While we had curled up on the sofa with chicken broth and popsicles, there was a hostile takeover in him. A streptoinfection slid into his bloodstream, spread rapidly, and poisoned every organ until it was septic. One by one, his organs died. The doctors said that if we had waited a few more hours, Charlie would not have survived long enough to get to the hospital.

I would not wish for anyone the next 36 hours.

Charlie was 38 years old and healthy Until a few days ago.

And in less than an hour since we had decided to go to the ER, he was in a tiny hospital room in a coma, and had room for a visitor and a dozen machines to keep him alive

Total organ failure. Regular blood transfusions. Septic shock.

Three sleepless days in the waiting room and alternating layers beside his bed. And a doctor told me to start with the funeral preparations so that "I was not blind."

Charlie's mother made me go home for a few hours to rest. When I woke up, my back hurt so much that I fainted when sitting up. A friend urgently treated me. She carried me out of the car into the waiting room because the movement hurt so much. I also had pneumonia, and the strong pain I felt in the lower back might have been due to my kidneys starting to shut down, the senior nurse said. She encouraged me to go to the hospital, but I refused.

"We can not both be there," I said. "Someone has to be ready to take him home soon." I had a high fever. Nothing had gone down.

I could not see Charlie for the next 10 days while going through antibiotics, so the germs I carried with me would not spread to him and kill him. When I recovered, everything started. The person I relied on for more than half my life was not there. I did not know if he would come back. Our friends left soup and Gatorade on the porch. I refused to see anyone, paranoid, I would also send her to the hospital to die. I slept on the sofa. it was too strange to be alone in bed.

Charlie was still in a coma when I was released on 10 February to see him. I sat down next to his bed, waiting for the doctors to stop the drugs in a coma. And then he waited a few more days until he woke up and returned to me.

The first thing he wanted to say about the suction and breathing tubes in his mouth was that he swayed between drugs and was awake: "I love you too. "I told him that I had loved him in the ER two weeks ago when he went down. It was the last thing he remembered, and he answered as if I was just saying it a second before.

We spent Valentine's Day in the intensive care unit playing "Real or Not Real" – Charlie would tell me something he was thinking about, right? I dreamed in his coma and I would tell him if it really had happened.

The next weeks in intensive care were slow.

He still had a breathing tube and was attached to machines that forced his kidneys to work and lay "food" in his stomach that looked like a bottle of pancake batter. Charlie hates pancakes.

February was a purgatory of waiting and small victories. I appreciated the improvement in how long the doctors made plans for Charlie's care: four hours, twelve hours, two days. It seemed that the longer the plan, the better the odds. One of his doctors asked him, "What causes you pain?" And he pointed to me with a wink. At that moment, we knew that his humor was intact and he actively struggled to get better. I rolled my eyes and helped him hold a pencil again. He managed to make the hospital staff laugh with inappropriate laughter.

Charlie had lost 40 pounds, almost all muscles. But he was awake and stabilized. As the doctors had described it, while it was comatose, it had been shut down together with every other organ. The neurological pathways that linked his brain to his muscle memory had been inactive and broken for so long that the wiring had crumbled and he was as helpless as a toddler. He had to learn to speak again, hold a pen and feed himself.

The next few weeks he spent in the intensive care unit to lower his constant fever and to constantly convert the bacterial fluid surrounding his lungs. He had another operation to implant a tube through his stomach into the stomach to "eat" because his esophagus was so weak that he could not swallow without strangling.

In March, Charlie started physiotherapy at the hospital to re-run. Three machines were still attached to him, and I or a nurse dragged them along as he first shuffled through the hospital room and finally through the halls of the third floor of the intensive care unit. After his organs had recovered and worked independently, he spent three weeks in a physiotherapy hospital to ease his transition to "real life." 19659023 Charlie arrived in the hospital in early February

Charlie came home in April, two days before his 39th birthday, with a stomach tube, a stroller, a shower chair, and dozens of medications.

He had been in hospital for a total of 58 days. For most of the first day at home, his cat was sitting in his lap, purring and looking up at him in total adoration.

There were two more months of physical therapy, home nurses and weekly specialist visits. In May, the thousand-meter-long view faded. It took another week until he laughed. They do not realize how common and important these little things are until they just are not there. He was getting stronger and stronger slowly. He grew a beard. He was confident to fit in smaller pants. We celebrated with ice when he made it to the block without a walker.

He did not return to work until September, when he said he felt like himself.

Everything in our lives looks normal now. You never thought that Charlie almost died a few months ago. We sometimes wake up both at night, disoriented and afraid that "normal" life is a dream and he is still ill. We know that this part will take a while to heal; It's hard to let go of the paranoia you needed to survive.

Although I'd like to tell you what we went through, it was a coincidence, but it was not.

In an average flu season, there were more than 200,000 people hospitalized. Between 12,000 and 56,000 people will die. These numbers are easy to reject until you are someone you love.

The flu season 2017-2018 was particularly dreadful: 710,000 people were hospitalized and the CDC estimates that more than 80,000 people died some of whom were considered a typical risk group like older people. The rest would have been like us – young, healthy. In addition, a record number of influenza vaccine users were treated last year. Coincidence?

It's just the beginning of the flu season 2018-2019, and you do not want Charlie to have happened to you, or someone you care about, believe me. So if you're someone like me who's been refraining from getting a flu shot, or if you're for some reason holding back from getting them, then forget about the excuses.

As you may have heard An Influenza Vaccination does not guarantee that you will not get the flu . It helps to make sure that the flu is not that heavy. An Influenza Vaccination does not make you sick with the flu . Your arm may be painful at the injection site, and you may have a low-grade fever in one day, but these are minor inconveniences compared to the adult flu. To hate needles is no excuse anymore. This year, the nasal vaccine is back after being on the market for two years to make improvements. The effectiveness is now equal to the setting.

Talk to your doctor about these things and about any other skepticism or hesitation that you may feel. Your health and the health of others are at stake.

Charlie and Lindsey pose with their cat

Charlie and I received the flu vaccine this year because none of us wanted to get the other through what we've experienced so far.

If you are reluctant to get the shot for your own health, consider how it benefits someone. Do it for the immunity of the herd. Do it for the people who would be sitting at your hospital bed. Do it for the people you love.

I want to do my part to help someone else go through what we went through. Charlie and I started tweeting about our hashtag #GetAFluShot experience, and we were overwhelmed with the answers. Dozens of people who have never tried a flu vaccine said they got one of us. I would like to believe that at least one of these people will not be in the hospital this year. Because of our history.

We were lucky. Eighty thousand people were not in the last year. Do not bet on luck.


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