Feeling Funky: Flu or Fluke?

The trouble with being a hypochondriac these days is that antibiotics have cured all the good diseases. ~ Caskie Stinnet

I haven’t written much because I’ve been sick a lot of late in the non-hypochondriacal, funky non-flu fluke kind of way.

It all started when I got the Cruise Flu back in September. At least I thought it was the flu. Turns out it was just a fluke. The cruise flu, according to the CDC, isn’t THE flu. It’s a norovirus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sore throat, headache and fever and as the CDC explains, outbreaks occur more often where there are more people in a small areas such as nursing homes, restaurants, catered events, and cruise ships.

It looks like the flu, feels like the flu, smells like the flu and spreads like the flu, but it’s not the flu. Any similarity in symptoms are just a fluke.

I made a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch…

We TSA’s* returned from vacation and soon relocated to a new TSL*.

At our next TSL* there was some TSS* floating around and pretty soon I once again had vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sore throat, headache etc… as did just about everybody there except SA* Heidi and Henry VIII.

I divvied up my time between toilet bowl and the big red mixing bowl (which I just kind of carried about with me – handy-like).

For me, this second not-the-flu fluke lasted for, oh, off and on most of November and December.

Just before Christmas we moved to a new TSL* and after about a week I started feeling down right regular again, peppy even.

It was lovely.

Then, my the-first-Doctor-I’ve-had-in-5-years, called and said I needed to come in and have a physical. Feeling fairly fit and needing her to renew my RSL* Rx*, I complied and arrived at the office Monday afternoon. She listened to me breathe and looked in my ears. All clear. Her nurse gave me a cup, took some blood and told me to come back in a week for the 2nd half of the exam and test results.

Oh, and then she gave me a flu shot.

I’ve had flu shots in the past. SA* Heidi, however, refuses to get a flu shot. She worked in a hospital for 7 years. They required all employees to get a flu shot. For 7 years she got one and the next day, 7 years in a row, she was sick with the fluke flu.

Every year, rumors circulate claiming the flu shot can cause the flu. Every year flu shot authorities say it isn’t possible. They do list potential side effects of the flu shot as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sore throat, headache etc… Just like the cruise flu and THE flu but different.

As a night-shift SA*, I sleep in the day time (obviously). There’s a good bit of noise so I sleep with a sound machine chugging like a freight train by my head and ear plugs stuffed in my ears. My symptoms didn’t hit until Tuesday morning.

For the 3rd time, I have/had the not-flu-flu. It’s been back to toilet bowls and red bowls and bowls of chicken noodle soup. After a slight relapse this morning, I’m once again on the mend and can sit down without feeling like the cow who just ate the cactus.

Since I’m something of a non-flu pro now, here’s my advice:

  1. The flu shot? Shoot, I don’t know, that’s up to you
  2. Wash your hands 57xs a day until your skin falls off (if you’re like me, you’ll get sick anyway but it’ll just be a fluke)
  3. If you’re thinking of throwing up, take your ear plugs out first (I was really sorry I didn’t think about that ahead of time – I just about blew out my right eardrum)

I’ll leave you with this tale of just how far you can go with the flu and a fluke:

The patient went to his doctor because he had flu and the doctor wrote out a prescription for him in his usual illegible writing. The patient put it in his pocket but forgot to get the tablets from the pharmacy.

Every morning, for two years, he showed it to the conductor as a railroad pass. Twice, it got him into the movies, once into the soccer stadium, and once into the symphony. He got a raise at work by showing it as a note from his boss. One day he mislaid it. His daughter picked it up, played it on the piano and won a scholarship to the conservatory of music.

Be safe and stay well!


Decoder code:

  • *TSA – Top Secret Agent
  • *SA   –  Abbr for TSA
  • *TSL – Top Secret Location
  • *TSS – Top Secret Stuff
  • *RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome
  • *Rx   – Prescription

Black Friday Bites Back

Black Friday bites – literally – back to that it a minute.

According to articles in USA Today and National Retail Federation, I’m an atypical American woman because:

  • I only own 4 pairs of shoes
  • I don’t like shopping.

As a full-time TSA, my shoes serve to get me out the door in under 10 seconds when summoned, so those highly coveted higher than high heels are out. I have two pairs of not very high heels that I only wear on vacation, one pair of sandals I’m saving for my future life at the seaside and a pair of Nike’s that meet my faster than fast need.

Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.  ~Erma Bombeck

I’ve never really  liked shopping. I like the giving part but not the shopping. I especially don’t like shopping in frenzied crowds. But for some (I think men should be included here, too) shopping, particularly during this time of year, is a competitive sport. They’re calling it Brick and Click.

Today is Black Friday – historically THE BIGGEST SHOPPING DAY OF THE YEAR. Some folks love it! I don’t get it, but that’s OK. I know they’ve Gotta Go.



Black Friday, which I guess began yesterday, has not only claimed Thanksgiving but is stretching on through Monday (which already had its own special name). You can camp out overnight at the few stores that aren’t already open and be the first to race down the isles for a giant TV or a Furby. That’s Brick. Or you can shop on-line. That’s Click. Today you can shop on-line at places like CyberMonday.com, which will be offering a Deal of the Hour on Black Friday.

How weird is that? A site called CyberMonday.com featuring hourly deals on Black Friday.

I tried shopping on Black Friday –  once. This was maybe 10 years ago when it was safer. I stood in line forever to buy my Mom a present that she didn’t ever use. It was something for the kitchen that for some reason I thought she would like and would be worth the bruised ribs and the $8 I saved. It wasn’t.



I honestly just didn’t have that keen eye and savvy killer instinct needed to be a successful Black Friday shopper. (Clearly, since I got up at 4:30, stood in line for 2 hours and bought one unwanted gift.) But for those of you who are keen on Black Friday shopping, I’m passing on this warning I just heard on the news:

“If you plan on shopping on Black Friday we urge you to leave your children at home to protect them from possible injuries such as being trampled or bitten.”



Seriously? Well, something to keep in mind, all you Black Friday Brickers.

Only one shopping day left ’til tomorrow.  ~Author Unknown