It's flu - just get over it


Last updated 12:52 02/09/2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

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Listen, who's getting all these supposedly overprescribed wonder antibiotics the medicos are worried about?

OPINION: Everyone I know heading off to the doctor with colds, flu and the like, reports being sent off with good wishes and instructions to just, broadly, get over it.

Out here we have been battling with spot-infused flu for the past week and too sick to get out of bed - meningitis? (but no stiff neck); measles? (at this age?); shingles? (but spots aren't painful).

But eventually the doctor said look, it is only flu, like, get over it.

Only flu; a week of spots, blurred vision, headaches, night sweats, temperatures, evil dreams.

Hallucinations? No, not quite, but shakey feelings, faintness, lack of balance, car in the hedge and all that.

Just flu; and we fully vaccinated?

Doesn't mean a thing.

Seems there are about seven sorts of flu and we are vaccinated against the top two which we won't get but there are five others which we might. And we did. N0 5, I think.

It was there on a surgery computer, illustrated by a sick- looking person whose spots lined up with our own as did his manifold symptoms.

So see, this is flu, a variant but essentially just flu.

How long might this torment continue?

A good 10 days but since it took three days for the spots to incubate and another three to get to the doctor we were more than half way through, he reassured us.

Rest and Panadol make you feel better.

But even the Panadol is doubtful, new thinking apparently suggesting we are better to let raised temperatures fight the infection than automatically dub them down.

So just rest then?

That's about it.

Cool comfort, but the thought of bed became increasingly more attractive as we headed home.

So we might still say just a cold but not ever again "just" the flu in that dismissive way.


Flu can be dangerous, even life threatening, turning to pneumonia and all sorts.

But not ours. We are on the mend.

All those who fled as we shouted our flu warning can, friend and foe alike, return - soon, but slowly.

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