They say you never forget the flu and Geelong mum Terri White is proof of that.
Three years ago the single mum of four found herself lying in her daughter’s bedroom unable to move after catching the flu virus. As a healthy person, Terri thought she’d be able to make it through winter without getting sick, until she did.
For Terri, the onset of the flu was sudden. While she had been feeling a little under the weather, her condition worsened very quickly.
“I remember getting out of bed in the morning and walking down my hallway. All of a sudden, I felt really faint,” she tells Mamamia. “I walked into my daughter’s bedroom and lay on her bed. I couldn’t move. I’m usually someone that can keep going when I’m sick because I have to, but my whole body was aching and I had a really bad fever. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick in my entire life.”
Terri was so fatigued she didn’t get out of her daughter’s bed for over 24 hours, not even to go to the loo. When she finally did get up, it took everything out of her and she was “absolutely exhausted” from just walking a few steps.
While Terri has never been good at asking for help (are any of us?), she says that as a single parent she had no choice but to ring a friend and ask for help with the kids.
“You don’t want to have to ask for help, but I couldn’t get up. I needed someone to supervise my kids and feed them. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything,” she says. “My son was only 15 months old at the time and I couldn’t leave the kids running around the house unsupervised. It was also really stressful trying to find help because my friends are all busy with their own kids.”
Terri’s greatest disappointment was having to miss her daughters’ dance concert, something she and the girls had really been looking forward to.
“The day I got sick my girls had their dance cabaret in the evening,” Terri tells us. “I had to ask a friend if she could take them. To miss my girls' performance was really disappointing. I’m normally a really attentive parent and I couldn’t be.”