A Doctor Visit in Flu Season

Having written about flu season for the past few months, when I started getting head cold symptoms last week and got nervous. In addition, an arctic freeze struck Chicago which has kept me off my bike. I found that working out in the health club, I was feeling really wiped out from a light workout. I actually napped afterwards. That and the head cold symptoms were enough for me. I booked a doctor visit. Mr. Conservative wasn’t taking any chances. I had gotten my flu shot early, but didn’t want to take any chances.  As I recommended to readers, I had gotten my flu shot early, but didn’t want to take any chances. You can read further on How to Fight the Flu elsewhere in the blog.


Here’s how bad the weather has been, “Chicago’s coldest blast of air in 2 years is easing—but slowly. By midnight Tuesday, the area moved into a 55th consecutive hour of sub-20-degree thermometer readings and 46 hours with wind chills below zero. Tuesday’s 11-degree high and 1-below morning low put the day into the record books as the city’s coldest of the past two years,” according to the blog of Tom Skilling, the awesome local meteorologist.

The walk to the doctor’s office over a mile was a bracing start to the day.

My vital signs were as follows: Blood pressure: 126/70; Temperature: 98F; Pulse: 49 bpm. As usual my heart rate under 50 triggered something in the doctor’s computer. Livestrong.com says, “A pulse rate is considered normal if it falls between 60 and 100 beats per minutes when a person is at rest. The Mayo Clinic notes, however, that athletes who are well-trained can have at-rest pulse rates between 40 and 60 beats per minute. In the broader population, a pulse rate that falls below 60 beats per minute is considered low, a condition called bradycardia. According to the Heart Rhythm Society, there can be different reasons for a low pulse rate, including medications, a congenital heart disease and deterioration of heart tissue from aging…” Fortunately, I fall into the athlete category as a result of my near daily bicycle riding.

The doctor checked out my lungs and other body parts and decided that my tea drinking and neti pot use over the weekend seemed to have limited the damage of the cold and I definitely wasn’t coming down with anything worse. I wrote about using a neti pot last year during a cold attack.

Maybe I was just lucky in that I only had a cold, but with the country suffering from a serious flu outbreak and January and February being the peak months for flu, I hope you will be as sensitive about your symptoms as I was. You don’t want to take a chance on being laid up or worse. Don’t go to work if you are coming down with it and take a chance on spreading the disease.


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Filed under aging, flu season, flu shot, heart rate

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