I recall the phone call like it was yesterday. It was 1999. My mother and father were away for a conference with my father’s work, standing in the happy crowds watching the fireworks over the water at Disney’s Epcot…when my father grasped his chest.
From there, a whirlwind transpired. Dad was whisked away by ambulance through the underground system at Disney…assessed…and delivered to one of the top cardiac facilities in the country for surgery and treatment of a heart attack.
I was at home, 6 months pregnant with my youngest, when Mom shared the news in her calmest voice…the one where fear and exhaustion can be heard through the softness. Not long after, when Dad was back home in Canada and feeling quite a bit better from his ordeal…I caught a flight to Newfoundland to spend a bit of time with him. But, not before the doctor insisted I have a flu shot to keep any illness at bay…as Dad was still quite vulnerable and in need of a little extra caution.
Until then, I’d never considered a flu shot but since…I’ve been quite diligent as “flu season” arrives…knowing that folks around me, with any number of illnesses, count on me to take care of myself.
This year was no exception.
In mid October, I received another “calm-voiced” call from Mom, letting me know she’d taken Dad to the hospital. What looked to be a stroke, kept us on our toes for a couple of days as multiple tests were run.
In the end, while a stroke was ruled out, Dad spent almost two weeks in hospital and now, two and a half months later, he’s still recovering from a damaged Vestibular Ocular nerve that they believe, was the result of a virus. He’s healing…slowly…and I’m grateful each and every day that things weren’t near as bad as they originally seemed.
I spent numerous days, working from his bedside, until a cold kept me home as I didn’t want to put his health, or the health of patients on his floor, at any risk.
Mom was a rockstar. Day and night at the hospital caring for Dad and keeping all of us informed with his progress.
Admittedly, Dad is no longer the only reason I get my flu shot at Shoppers Drug Mart each year as my own health is vulnerable with asthma and sinus infections. Quite frankly, I’m not in any position to get sicker than I do and with a vaccination available, I choose to take the shot!
For me, it makes total sense.
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If you’re not feeling well…here are a few things to keep in mind:
Should I stay or should I go? – Don’t be the hero. Know when a fever is too high and make sure to stay home if your temperature passes 100 degrees. Remember you should be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school.
Know the difference between a cold and the flu – Although symptoms are similar, a cold tends to develop gradually, usually over the course of a day or two and can last up to two weeks. Flu can come out of nowhere and hit hard, with a fever lasting a few days and weakness and tiredness potentially for several weeks. However, it’s hard to tell, so when in doubt just stay home!
Bump, don’t shake – If it’s just a cold and you choose to go to work, do your colleagues a favour – bump, don’t shake. According to research, shaking hands transmits 2 times more bacteria than high fives, and 10 times more bacteria than bumping fists.
Get vaccinated – No matter where you stand on proper etiquette, flu shots should be part of the plan, it’s your first defense against the flu!
Shoppers Cold & Flu Prize Pack:
To help take care of your family this flu season, Shoppers Drug Mart and Curtains are Open are hosting a giveaway…a chance to win a Cold & Flu Prize pack valued at $160. This prize package includes:
- $100 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card
- Life Brand Hand Sanitizer
- Life Brand Cough Drops
- Life Brand Vaporizing Cold Rub
- Life Brand Electrolyte Maintenance Powder
- Life Brand Vaporizer
- Life Brand Digital Thermometer
- No Name Disinfectant Wipes
- PC Chicken Noodle Soup
- PC Facial Tissues
- PC Feeling Soothed Tea
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and leave a comment on the blog post! You can tweet once per day for more chances to win! Good Luck!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart. As always, opinions are my own.