Chicken Soup for the Flu Plague

Have you gotten your flu shot this year?

I got my flu shot, along with half of my children. But it didn’t save us from being hit by the flu plague over Thanksgiving break. The flu hit us like a mac truck, just leveled our family into a wheezing, coughing, whining mess. I was patient zero, and just as I was recovering from what I thought was a bad cold, I infected everyone else.

sick kids on couch
The flu leveled the kids, tying them to the couch for marathons of Christmas movies. Not a bad place to be, minus the aches and pains.

The worst hit was poor Baby Sophie who writhed in pain, clutching my shirt and pulling my hair, for two days straight. Thanks to a generous New Jersey pediatrician who agreed to see us and prescribed Tamiflu, we escaped without a hospital visit. We were lucky. She was diagnosed with Flu Strain A which is the most severe and the category of H1N1. I learned a few things about the flu that I thought I’d share, so that you might be spared the flu plague.

  1. Get the flu shot as early as you can. Like September, or even August early. The flu shot takes up to 2 weeks to kick in. I came down with the flu three days after my shot. Too little too late.
  2. Don’t wait to get treated. If you think you have the flu, get tested. Don’t wait. Tamiflu only helps if you take it in the first 48 hours of symptoms.
  3. Why take a chance? I, like many people, almost didn’t get the flu shot this year. After all, it’s not full-proof, there are strains which are not covered, and you can get sick after getting the shot. I’ll never hesitate again. If it can prevent us going through the last 10 days, it’s worth a little shot.
  4. More flu facts. Here is a list of symptoms that can help you figure out if you have a simple cold or the flu. The biggest difference is how fast the flu comes on. With a cold, you feel under the weather for a few days, but with the flu, it’s like you got hit by a truck. Suddenly, you’re a zombie.
Onions, Carrots, Celery and Chicken bones… the best medicine available for the flu!

Now we’re healing. The bathroom is acting as a steam room, but all the big kids are back in school today, fever and headache free. I packed their lunch boxes with steaming thermoses of chicken soup to get them through the day. It may not be medicine, but it sure makes them feel better. And just having it boil on the stovetop makes me feel better, like life is finally getting back to normal.

Chicken Soup for the Flu Plague
  • Bones from 2 Roasted Chickens (either homemade or supermarket bought)
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • spices to your liking
  • salt and pepper to your liking
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and celery, and saute for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and spices.
  5. Add the chicken bones and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low to bring to a simmer. Cook for an hour.
  6. Strain into a container once cooled. Remove the chicken bones. Put the vegetables back into the broth.
  7. Optional: pick the meat from the chicken bones and add back into the soup. I often skip this part and just add a little leftover chicken into the soup. Picking the meat off the bones takes a lot of time and often yields yucky looking meat the kids turn their noses up at.

4 Responses to Chicken Soup for the Flu Plague

  1. Great post. Glad you are all feeling better. I would add only that the person who exposed you to the flu probably did not get a flu shot, or did not get one in time. The importance of flu shots can’t be overestimated. Refusing or neglecting to get one can put not only yourself, but also immunocompromised people (babies, like yours, or cancer patients, or elderly people) at risk for their lives. People who claim it’s about their individual freedom don’t understand the concept of herd immunity. Your story about a household of sick people at holiday time drives the point home. Thank you for sharing it, feel great fast, and enjoy your soup!

  2. I’m so glad that you are all on the mend! Sounds like a terrible ordeal. I’ve never had a flu shot and your story made me more confident than ever about my decision to avoid them. Your coming down with it just three days after the shot would make me very suspicious…

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