In-flu-ential In-flu-enza

I have been absent (yet again) due to some prime time influenza. I have no idea how I got it. …well, I kind of do. You see, the flu is a respiratory illness. This means, if someone coughs, sneezes, breathes, spits, talks, etc on or near you (within 6 feet!) you will get the virus. Again, this is because their “germs” (or better yet, their germ droplets) are either breathed in or inhaled by you. Super. Contagious.

I like to think back and try to determine when on earth I was infected. Doesn’t everybody? You will get symptoms 1-4 days after being exposed to the virus. I started coughing on Wednesday, March 19 (that was my only noticeable symptom). This means that I came in contact with some sick person (who may or may not have known they were contagious) Saturday/Sunday through Wednesday. I have no idea who you are, but Thank you!!!

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

First, I want to apologize to everyone I infected. You see, with the flu, you are contagious 1 day before you even notice you have symptoms through 5-7 days after you get sick. I must say that I was at work on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, … and Friday. Although I apologized for this one already, I wanted to say I’m sorry again to my dearest wife. I can’t control covering my coughs at night …. and those pesky germ droplets must have flew up, got dispersed by the ceiling fan, and were inhaled by her. Because just a few days later, she got the flu. Dang!

I went to the doctor’s office on Monday (still contagious, mind you), and I had to wear a mask. I can thank my wonderful sister for capturing photos of me while I was sick.

[Me. This was posted on Facebook because my sister “loves me.”]

I was given antibiotics, and 2 inhalers, and basically told to rest. So, I tried. But it’s hard, and I felt rather guilty resting, especially because my sister Reychl drove 12 hours from Michigan to Nebraska to visit me!!

[Proof that I was resting! And more proof that my sister can be so cruel with her Facebook posts!]

Now, back to that previous “thank you”!

Sometimes something as awful as in-flu-enza can be in-flu-ential (you see what I did there?) Sure, I had a fever that never wanted to leave me, and body aches that shook my bones to their core, but my sickness was inspiring! I was wearing myself thin with all of my research and the stress that comes along with a Ph.D. programme, and this flu told me, in it’s own germ droplet kind of way, REST! Take some time out for you!

And that is exactly what I (tried) to do. I stayed home the entire next week (mostly because my sister was in town – that is a post for another time!) I have a cough now and a sore throat, but that is it. The only person I got sick (to my knowledge) was Kristi. Talk about success!

Plus, now I feel rested (in a weird tired and worn out kind of way).



P.S. Want to know more about influenza virus infections, vaccines, etc? Go on over to the CDC website!
P.P.S. I’m allergic to the flu vaccine, so I can’t get it.
P.P.P.S. This is the first time I ever got the flu. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.


  1. Oh you poor thing! I didn’t know you were vacc-allergic! How awful! And shame on people who CAN get it for NOT… you are the person for whom herd immunity is SO important. But I AM super glad you listened to your body (and your doctor and your sister) and spent some time actually resting. I got the piggy pigs while I was in grad school too and I’ve never been so sick before or since… it took me a long time to fully rebound and I even relapsed at one point! Many, many days off, which is super weird in the midst of a PhD, but clearly necessary. I hope you are feeling back to your old self in no time! Flu is no joke!!

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