Student Perspective: “I survived H1N1”

Ever since last year, people have been freaking out about this so-called “swine” flu. All of the news networks have been preaching the disaster to come, and even last week President Obama declared H1N1 a national emergency. And this emergency has come to visit AHS.

If you have been in school these past few days, you have undoubtedly noticed that things are a little bit emptier than usual. Many students, like myself, have been home sick this week with the H1N1 flu, which surprisingly does not feel much different from any other.

This past Sunday, I woke up with nothing more than a headache, which throughout the day turned into a cough mixed with a little bit of nausea. I went to bed that night, hoping to be better by the morning. Unfortunately, Monday morning was the worst. I had a pretty high fever, my whole body hurt, and my head ached so badly that it was painful to even move my eyes. Breathing itself was not too fun either, as my chest burned with every breath and it felt, as one fellow sick-person nicely put it, as though “a fat kid was sitting on my chest,” keeping me from breathing as deeply as I usually could.

For all of Monday and most of Tuesday, I could not force myself to do anything but sleep. This was definitely not the fun stay home where you watch movies all day kind of mildly sick, but the kind where you honestly cannot wait to get better.

I finally got a doctor’s appointment for Tuesday afternoon, but was told that if I had the flu, there was very little the doctors could do about it. Their shipment of the vaccine, Tamiflu, was late, and they had been advised not to use the H1N1 test because it was not very accurate. Before I went to the doctor’s office, I was pretty sure that I had the flu; the only surprise given to me was that the burning in my chest was caused by something else – pneumonia.

After receiving the antibiotic and going home for more rest, I began on the road to recovery. On Wednesday I only had a mild fever and was feeling much better, though still not very energetic. I was able to get a bit of the mountain of work sent to me by my teachers done, and felt much better about staying caught up. Thursday I was forced to stay home because of my fever the previous night and my exhaustion, which still made me take frequent naps. Food, which had appeared absolutely unappetizing for the past few days suddenly seemed a bit more appealing, and I was able to force myself to eat more than the tiny amount I had forced down in the past few days. All-in-all, I was recovered with remarkably little damage.

Getting the flu certainly is not fun, but it is something that almost everyone experiences one flu season or another. Contrary to the fear of swine flu that has been running amok through our nation in these past few months, it is not very different at all from our traditional seasonal flu’s.