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In Case You Weren't Sure, the Flu IS Different This Year

(photo credit, Smithsonian Magazine)

I'm sick.

This is my sixth week being sick.

It's tiresome, like a relative who comes to visit, but won't leave.

For more than a month I have had a low to middling level sinusitis and respiratory infection that seems to have taken up residence in my entire respiratory tract. Not much coughing, or much mucus production. Just scanty, tenacious stuff. I also get sinusitis headaches, and my eyes get gritty a lot. Sometimes I feel it in my bronchi, sometimes I wonder if it's in my lungs too. I cough occasionally. The main effect is that I'm tired almost all the time. These days, I need to take a nap in the afternoons, which I do not generally need to do. I'm not sick enough that I can't do things; I just can't do many things. It is slowly, oh, ever so slowly, seeming to improve, but honestly it's so slow that I cannot see progress day to day, or even week to week at times. My homeopath is having fits because my symptoms are so common and nondescript.

This is also the second time that I've been sick like this during this season. I got sick prior in the start of September and back then I was acutely ill with what I thought was flu, but which may (?) have been COVID. I never tested myself because my symptoms were not at all COVID-like; they were flu symptoms, but then they persisted after the acute fever stage, and went on and on and on. So in the second week of being sick I did a home test. It was negative, but it would have only been a surprise if it had been positive.

But one nutty thing, and disturbing for me, is that in both of these bouts with "flu" I've had severe sinusitis. I used to have severe sinus infections. Really severe. They were so bad that I had begun to worry that one would kill me. For 25 years I had them, but until this year I had not had a sinusitis for almost 15 years. Homeopathy knocked them right out immediately after I started treatment. It feels as though this flu has reopened that susceptibility and is holding it open somehow. It's as if the flu has undone the good work that my homeopath and I have done over the last 15 years.

So, I'm afraid to ask: is this "long flu?" It is a thing, and not just a thing for this year's flu. Woodrow Wilson was suffering from severe cognitive effects from a bout with the Spanish flu, a week before the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. He abandoned many of his positions opposing reparations and capitulated to the other European countries who wanted economic blood. So you could perhaps blame WWII on "long flu" symptoms (Smithsonian, 10/2020).

Of course it could be that I'm just getting older. I am 61 after all. But I'm generally much healthier than other folks my age.

An astute homeopath will say, "Oh well, you still have the susceptibility," and of course this is manifestly true. But what I'm seeing in my flu cases this year is startlingly similar to what I've seen in COVID cases, which is that these viruses have a wider range of ability to find and interact with individual susceptibilities than what I'm used to seeing. I'm seeing whole families come down with the flu and kids express stomach symptoms and adults express respiratory symptoms, and it takes the adults forever to get back to normal, weeks, if not months, later.

The informal "genus" remedies I've heard about are Bryonia, Kali bic Euphrasia, and Phosphorus. Let me know in comments if you know of other remedies that you've found helpful this year.

One bit of advice that I got early from one of my friends was that folks, adults and kids, need more support for this year's flu than they have in the past. So I've been very quick to offer help to my clients for flu acutes. Of course, persistent symptoms that come out of a flu bout are revealing susceptibilities and are part of that client's chronic case. So far none of my acute remedy choices are touching my longer symptoms.

Be safe out there.

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