Your doctor can help you understand if it is a cold, the flu or something worse…
Like many people during cold and flu season, I am in a constant state of worry about my health. I carefully avoid anyone who is sick or might be getting sick. If I hear someone mention feeling under the weather, or I hear them sneeze, I am out the door! The cold weather tends to keep everyone indoors, however, and with the easy spread of germs and all of the sick people, it’s no wonder that the winter is a dangerous time for pesky illnesses like the cold and the flu!
Over the holidays I was heading out of town, coming down with something nasty and completely unsure of what to do. Did I have a cold or the flu? How was I to know? After all, they both start with a sore throat! Or maybe I had something even worse? Needless to say I was concerned and knew that I would shortly be surrounded by friends and family that I didn’t want to infect. Not knowing what to do, I texted my doctor. We had a conversation about when my symptoms started, and I explained how I was feeling. It was easy to chat back and forth, and I left our conversation with a solid idea of what to do. It was so nice to talk with a doctor I could trust.
The actions you take in the very first few days of an illness can affect both the duration and intensity of your illness. My doctor explained to me that periods of contagion can vary. In my case, we figured that if I left two days later than originally planned, my family would be less likely to catch my illness. We also discussed some specific actions to help speed up my recovery.
My doctor and I stayed in touch over the next few days. She not only saved my holiday trip, but took the time to give me some great advice for the rest of the winter, like how to maintain a healthy diet, good ways of incorporating exercise into my busy schedule, how to get good a good nights rest and, most importantly, how to avoid getting sick in the first place!
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(Special thanks to guest blogger Skjelse for submitting her experience to First Opinion.)
Photo credit: http:http: //www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/hard-exercise-reduces-flu-risk-3249982