Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014
Flu Lands Pregnant Eldorado Woman in the Hospital Twice
WSIL -- Local doctors say Southern Illinois is in the peak of flu season right now. This year, many people who might think they're too healthy to get sick are coming down with the virus.
"I would not wish that experience on my worst enemy," insisted Emily Shaw of Eldorado, "At one point when I was at my worst I thought, there is absolutely nothing worse that can happen than this."
The flu was the last thing the 27-year-old expected while she's expecting.
"Just coughing, headache, kind of feverish and light headed, a little queasy," she described her symptoms.
Shaw said it all started New Year's Day. Her 6-year-old daughter had strep throat at the time, and her illness escalated quickly.
"I woke up and tried to go to my bed. Couldn't make it from the couch to my bed," she said.
Shaw was 13 weeks pregnant, so she initially attributed her symptoms, like nausea, to her pregnancy, but she became concerned and ended up at the local emergency room.
"I was absolutely pouring sweat. I had been vomiting for like 14 straight hours at this point, and I just knew something was really wrong," she explained.
When she was discharged with four different medications in hand, she didn't think it would take long to feel better. Monday she tried to put in a few hours at work.
"I was sick the whole time I was there. I threw up in my car. I couldn't breathe," she recalled.
Shaw quickly returned to the ER, where she was given an IV and a flu shot before she left.
According to Doctor Erica Kaufman, Shaw is just one of many young adults who've ended up at local hospitals.
"Fairly young patients, 20s to 40s who have been extremely ill," Kaufman said, "A lot of them requiring intensive care units."
Kaufman said pregnant women tend to be hit extremely hard with the virus. She recommends they get a preservative free vaccine, so they don't end up in a scary situation like Shaw's.
"I was concerned about the baby, about being dehydrated, and just about the intensity of my symptoms and not really knowing where I had gotten it from or anything like that," Shaw said.
If you haven't gotten a flu shot yet, doctors say it's not too late. The flu season is expected to last through March or April.
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