HFT / It's the flu, but it's not

12:21:00 AM

Last January, I had a really bad bout with stomach flu. I had just returned from Baguio, and I felt something was wrong with my body. I was in the office when my stomach started to hurt really badly, so I made the decision to go home early. I wasn't sure how I was going to get home, though; I was feeling feverish as well.

My friend Chari brought me to the condo (we're neighbors), where I was locked up for the next five days, the first three of which were like hell. When she brought me food on the second evening of my ordeal, she was a bit shocked to see how small I've become. I lost 5 pounds in less than 48 hours. When I finally recovered, I've lost around 12 pounds. (I've regained it ever since, haha!)

It is, but it ain't
(photo from the internet)
I thought I had the flu. The symptoms were the same: my limbs were aching, I had fever, and I had the sniffles. I could barely move, and it hurts to try. I took Paracetamol for the fever. I chugged lots of water and orange juice, the latter of which, as it turns out, was a huge mistake. Since it was the stomach flu, I needed to stay away from fruit because the fibers will just induce loose bowel movement that could lead to dehydration.

When I realized I had the stomach flu, I made another mistake: I took Loperamide. It works for some cases, but when the patient has fever like I did, this is a no-no. This just made me suffer even worse. I was in the loo every hour. My stomach felt like it was being ripped away from the rest of my body, and this pain would wake me in the middle of my sleep. My arms and legs felt like jelly, and not in a good way.

Because I got sidelined, I missed my chance to fire the pistol to mark the start of the 3K category in the 7-Eleven Run, which was sponsored by Selecta. With the Condura Skyway Marathon fast approaching, I was already starting to panic. Not wanting to miss my first 10K run, I Googled stomach flu. I learned that it was a virus, so getting better was really just a waiting game.

In the mean time, I just focused on staying hydrated. I drank lots of water and Gatorade. I ate mostly crackers and porridge so as not to stress my tummy. I took two days off work and stayed at home. I rested, I read, I wrote, I listened to music. I took things easy. So by Monday, I was ready to get back to work.

The moral of the story is don't self-diagnose, and don't self-medicate. I could have Googled my symptoms right away, or better yet, I could have consulted a doctor. On the first couple of days of my illness, I ate the wrong food, drank the wrong liquids, and took the wrong medication, making my condition worse. So kids, I tell ya, don't be like me - unless you have a medical degree, of course.


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