ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Lost December: Living through the FLU in winter

Updated on February 27, 2014

My Lost December

On December 20th of 2013, I was taken ill and I was admitted to a hospital for pneumonia and bronchitis for the remainder of the month, through January 1st, 2014. I would like to share some of my experiences through this and some suggestions for you, my readers.

Photo Credit to:

Being stubborn is not healthy

Listen to your body.

I do not like to visit doctors. It is not that I do not like them, nor do I feel intimidated by them. I am just a person that likes to try to resolve problems on my own and in my own way. Flus and colds are no exception for me, as well as minor injuries.

Most things I can work through with no problems and I have some training, having been a Marine, in tending to minor wounds. I have even, in one case, sutured my an injury on my arm on my own.

All this being said, I recognize that there are times when there is no question as to the need to break down and see a doctor. That is where this article is going. To point out that I made a foolish mistake and hoping that I might be able to suggest that others not do what I do.

When you get sick, it is important to make sure that you are not putting your pride above your health or the health of those around you.

In my case, this is what happened. I did not want to see the doctor, even though I could tell that my flu had turned into pneumonia. When I realized the fact that I was waking up three or four times a night soaked in sweat from the constant fever I was running.

It took all that and the pure exhaustion that I was feeling for me to break down and see my doctor. Within two hours, I was in the ER and waiting for a hospital room to open up.

Admitting that you are sick

Listen to your loved one

Hard headed... if you were to talk to my wife and ask her for a brief commentary on me and how I am about being sick, that is what I think that is what she would tell you.

When I finally broke down and went to the doctor, it was at the direction, mostly, of my wife. I would have probably kept trying to tell myself I would be getting over it soon and kept taking NyQuil and Musinex. But she was the driving force in getting me to go.

I am not sure why I am like this about being sick. I know that, from an animal point of view, sickness is also a sign of weakness. So the sicker of the species is more apt to die out. But since I do not expect that any of my fellow technicians are going to see me being sick as a chance to advance with the company through some form of “Promotion through assassination”, I think I was safe there.

No, in my case, I think it was more of something that I think I father would have said, or an action he might have taken. Something more along the lines of, “I do not have time to be sick, I am too busy!”, Or some similar nonsense. I just could not admit that I needed to be sick right now.

Then there is also that part of me that refuses to admit that I am no longer twenty-something and pushing fifty, and no longer a model of youthful masculinity.

My wife is laughing at that last part. Perhaps a little TOO hard.

Going to the Doctor

Listening to your Doctor (Almost as important as listening to your wife.)

So... this sick guy walks into the doctors office...

Yeah... I did. And the moment the receptionist saw me she handed me an over the ears surgical mask. Probably in the hopes that I would not single-handedly start the next plague and send all the other people in the office to their respective doctors.

And after about thirty minutes of waiting, I was taken back where I was weight, temperature taken, a breathing test and some other various tests run. I was then led to one of the exam rooms to review their collection of ancient Hot Rod and Ladies Home Journal magazines.

When my doctor did come in to talk to me, she pointed out the fact that I was having a very hard time breathing. I was running a pretty significant temperature and that there was a great deal of gurgling in my lungs.

More X-Rays and tests later, she advised me that she was sending me across the street to the hospital to be checked in.

Truth be told, at this point I was so exhausted from the coughing and sweating that I did not complain. Meanwhile my wife, who was there with me, had this “I told you so” look on her face.

Stay out of the Hospital!!

There're SICK people in there!

Mercy Downtown and Mercy Southwest are possibly the best hospitals in Bakersfield. That is my opinion, anyway, and this recent experience on my part has done nothing to diminish that feeling.

Understanding the above, I have to say that hospitals are the place I would want to be the least, when I am sick. Especially when you think of the number of other sick people there and the fact that there are always stories about how there are “super-strains” of things like Strep and E-Coli that are being found in hospitals, and to top that off, they are becoming antibiotic resistant.

But I would like to talk about the people, not the problems, with my stay.

I do not like going to the doctor, I do not like going in for tests, I do not like my blood being drawn and I do not like hospitals. But my recent stay at Mercy Downtown was not entirely unpleasant, in spite of the fact I was so sick I barely recall the first four days there. The nurses were pleasant and I never felt like they were doing their job “Just Because”, they really seemed to CARE and did what they could to help.

Nurses are the backbone of the hospital, I have no doubt about that. Yeah, doctors are the ones that make the good money, provide the diagnosis, issue the meds, and make the occasional appearance and spend a five to ten minute period with you, then move on to the next. But it is the nurses that REALLY take care of you. They have to clean the messes, deal with the troublesome patients, put up with the complaining and whining. They are the ones that REALLY deserve the kudos for what they do.

In fact, when I got out of the hospital, after nine and a half days in, one of the first things I did was have my wife drive me to See’s Candy and we bought them about three pounds of chocolates. I was still very weak, but I wanted to do this for them because they did such a wonderful job.

So STAY OUT OF THE HOSPITAL… but if you have to go in, remember that your nurses are the ones that make things happen… treat them like GOLD.

Live Healthier

Again... listen to your loved ones...

When I got out of the hospital, and I looked back on the ordeal, I decided that I was going to do everything in my power to not let this happen again. This required a serious look at how I was living and what I was doing right and, more importantly, what I was doing wrong. The latter of which I found there was a great deal of, I was just refusing to admit it to myself.


This was the big one. I realized that I was eating crap. Well… Not LITERALLY, but the foods I was eating were certainly not good for me. While they tasted good, they were garbage. We were also eating out at restaurants a great deal and I was consuming about seven to eight sodas a day.

Since I had already lost a great deal of weight in the hospital, I decided to use that as my catalyst to keep the weight off and lose more.

Thus I am eating better, exercising and trying to lead a less stressful life.


I am working hard on this part. When you have lived your live thriving on a certain level of stress, it is hard to change. Add to this the fact that I have a three-year-old son, and you can see that the thought is easier than the task. But so far, I think I am doing it well.

This is also were the exercise comes in. Most people will tell you that a great way to relieve stress is to work out, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is factual. If you are troubled about something at work, or something has fired you up and you need a release, then working out is the answer. Whether it is a good run, power-walk, sit-ups, whatever. If it required physical exertion, then it is better than letting the issue fester, causing you stress.

Point is, get rid of the stuff that makes your life miserable. That is what I am doing, that and living for my family. This is something that I lost sight of and now am working to make sure that they are the center of my life.


Enjoy life. Stop living for your work; yes, it pays the bills and a good career means you live well, but too many of us live for our jobs and then do not enjoy life. Constantly running and trying to make sure that we have enough money for this or that. Tell you a secret… You are wasting your life.

Most of the truly enjoyable things in life are right in front of you. Your family and friends are chief among those. Engrossing yourself in work can distance you from them and then, when you look back at your life at retirement, what have you to look at except all the missed opportunities.

Live now… there will always be other jobs, you only have one family and one life.

Thank you for reading this. I hope you enjoyed it and took something away from it.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)