I was out two weeks with the flu. There are tests some physicians use to diagnose the flu but I didn’t take any tests, so how did I know that I actually had the flu and not a common cold?

Well, there is often some uncertainty about the correct diagnosis – flu or cold – and mistakes abound. Confusion is quite common because there are many symptoms between the two illnesses that overlap, and many of these symptoms may not be specific. For example, I had a sore throat and was using a box of tissues a day during the throes of my illness. You can have those with flu or a cold.

But there are differences that should facilitate distinguishing the two entities. I got sick fairly suddenly. That points decidedly to influenza. All at once I was taken down and bedridden – and stayed in bed for almost two weeks straight. During that time my back, neck and other joints were killing me. Plus my muscles were aching. All of those things, based on their intensity, are also the likely signs of a flu. And then consider when this occurred – in flu season, when the virus is lurking and waiting to pounce on some delicious victim (me!)

So I did what Dr. Marcus Welby or Dr. Kildare would have recommended. (These are TV doctors of yore … which probably date me, so I better add a newer one – Dr. Doogie Howser.) They, in their infinite wisdom (I can hear their voices – that’s how sick I was) reminded me to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Which I did, and I stayed away from the club for two weeks so as not to contaminate anyone else. ( I’m such a good boy. Somebody hurry and get me a mirror so that I can kiss it.) Lao Du