WASHINGTON (Feb. 27)—Earlier this month, I experienced a bout of the flu so foreign to my system that during the ordeal, I wondered whether I would recover.

It started off about three days before a visit to the Caribbean in freezing cold New Jersey, so I thought some bed rest and fluids would do the trick. Wrong! This strain was so pervasive that it zapped all of my energies. Even though I had adjusted the room temperature to a whopping 82 degrees, I still had the shivers and queried whether the heating system was operational. There was no coughing, no sneezing, but body aches, fever and churning stomach pain. And for the curious, yes, I did have the flu shot in the fall.

During my three-day self-confinement, I mustered the strength to visit a doctor, who revealed I had classic flu symptoms and prescribed the exorbitantly expensive anti-flu medicine Tamiflu. After a day or two, no change, but I figured my upcoming visit to the Caribbean would help, with the much warmer temperatures and pleasant island breezes.

I struggled to get on board American Airlines’ nonstop service to St. Thomas on a cold New York morning. I slept the entire flight and, at last, landed in the warm Caribbean with much more manageable temperatures to fight this bug. As I had business matters to take care of, one of my primary concerns was not to contaminate my colleagues, so hand sanitizer and limited exposure was the first order of business.

I must hand it to the management and staff of Sugar Bay Beach Resort and Spa for their attention as I struggled through my first evening on the island with a soaring fever and aches and pains. No doctors were available during my “midnighthour,” but the management team, led by the dedicated Natasha in guest relations, ensured I was comfortable and delivered some nutrition so I could make it through the following business day. Such caring professionalism was admirable and a testament to the resort’s commitment to the guest experience.

They say with the flu you have to let it run its course, but I am almost certain that a combination of the attention of the resort staff, my family and business colleagues, a dip in the ocean and some good ole praise and worship helped me lick the flu virus in quick time. After day five, I started to turn the corner. 

I have been taught by my pastor, the Rev. A.R. Bernard Sr., that “every setback in life is nothing but a setup for a comeback,” and while some may say it was only the flu, this one was rough. I am, therefore, thankful for good health and to be on the comeback trail.

Through this sickness, I am reminded not to take anything or anyone for granted, and in everything, to give thanks to God and count it all joy. 

Have a blessed week everyone, and be in good health.