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The flu is a terrible birthday gift

OPINION

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January 14, 2013|By Doris Dadayan, @dorisdadayan | For RedEye

Flu-cation, anyone?

I just celebrated my birthday face-down on my bed in a pool of sweat. Delusional. Out of my mind. I was a sick person, more sick than usual, you guys. (That's so sick.)

I was curled up in a fetal position, cuddling a box of Kleenex, sniffing Emergen-C and pouring green tea on my head. Ahhh, relief. I saw it on Pinterest, so I totally had to try it.

Yup, it was my birth-flu-day. And it wasn't a hangover, oddly. The jerk could have at least brought me a gift. Ugh. Whatever. My most productive moment was when I self-diagnosed my flu symptoms on webmd.com. I could proudly say I had ’em all! Yes! Apparently Google can now predict the severity of the flu based on the increase in flu-related search terms. God, I love Google.

Texts and phone calls came in all day from friends wishing me a happy birthday. It was a total "I hate my life" kind of Facebook status day that got only a few "likes."

With a temp of 101.2, I remember spooning with my computer in bed, but I believe he was pretty sick too. I think I actually caught the flu from him. And when the mail came, I crawled down two flights of stairs, got my bills and passed out by the front door. I may or may not have been pantsless. With rain boots on.

Between naps I watched "Contagion," laughing at Gwyneth Paltrow, deciding right there that I also had contracted the virus. A new life form, born in the bloodstreams of some diseased jungle animals, was passed on to me. Fun!

On the upside, I had barely eaten in days, so I was kicking ass on my resolution to lose weight. I was flu skinny. Jealous? Plus, catching up on "Gossip Girl" episodes was great. I briefly hoped to be sick for a few more days to continue with "Downton Abbey"! I was totally on flu-cation.

Then reality hit again. At one point, I sang "Happy Birthday" to myself twice while washing my hands, as you should to avoid getting viruses like the flu. When Mom came by later with birthday flowers, balloons and cake, she said with a look of horror, "Wow, you look like shiii ... ," and bolted out the door.

I was quarantined. A leper. Was I the one responsible for Chicago's flu epidemic? If only I had coughed and sneezed into the crook of my elbow, the epidemic would be greatly reduced! Did I contribute to making Chicago one of the worst cities with the flu right now? Oops.

When I finally forced myself back into the office, I was put in a tiny room with no windows or computer. I was covered in sweat and about to die in advertising for real this time.

So yeah, if you can avoid the flu, do it, and don't buy into the hype of getting a great flu-cation out of it, ’cause it's just not worth it. Instead of hating, I should have been vaccinating. Boo.

I do have to give the flu some credit because it made no deceptive advertising claims and fully delivered with all the symptoms. So ... Tamiflu, anyone?

Doris Dadayan is a RedEye special contributor.

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