Hands pushing away virus

Cold and Flu Season

The time of year is upon us when the temps are dropping, the holidays are approaching and the terrifying “F” word is among us.

Flu Season

I know that most parents do everything in their power to avoid sickness in our home but as a family living with spinal muscular atrophy I remember the extra precautions and preventions our family did every season.

I am not a doctor and would never replace what their suggestions are for you or your loved one living with SMA, but I share from my personal experience and the 33 years my family has avoided and often dodged the flu.

Tips for staying healthy

My top 5 tips for staying healthy this season would be:

  1. Keep up on all flu vaccines. Ask your doctor when you can take your next flu shot even if it seems early in the season
  2. Take your vitamins, drink lots of fluids and eat healthy. The best thing we can do is keep our immune systems healthy during this cold season.
  3. Avoid sick people. I know that seams like a big DUH. But I have learned it’s ok to ask anyone you’re about to spend time with if they or anyone in their house hold is fighting a cold or anything even if it’s “just allergies”. If they are, it’s ok to reschedule.
  4. Dress for the cold. Don’t become a hermit this fall and winter but be sure to keep that chest and head warm!
  5. If you do end up getting a cold this season don’t panic! Drink lots of fluids and electrolytes, get lots of rest, be sure to have your equipment handy such as nebulizers, cough assists, therapy vests and anything else you may need for a cold and have a plan of action with your doctors.

Our resilient bodies

I have had my share of common colds that ran theircourse. I have also had many hospital stays and even scares of pneumonia but I would say our bodies are more strong and resilient than one may think.

A positive mindset and preparation truly go a long way. I remember spending many days in the hospital as a child and learning that my attitude and mindset often played a big role in my recovery. I learned my body and how to tell when I was “coming down with something” so my family and I could take action soon.

Being proactive

The sooner we took action, often the lesser of symptoms OR the quicker the recovery. If I felt a sore through or running nose approaching I would double up on vitamins and liquids. I did as much as I could to prevent respiratory infects and made sure that if it was in my chest I kept things moving as much as possible.

I know getting sick with SMA can be a scary thing. But don’t let this season hold you back and be sure to know that the flu, RSV and other colds do pose as a threat to those living with SMA however I do believe we can take action to keep ourselves healthy this flu season.

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