Thursday, 6 August 2009


Guess what - I've got swine flu - probably. I've not had a blood test to comfirm this, because the NHS aren't doing blood tests anymore, but I've got a fever, most of the symptoms and an inability to stay out of bed for more than half an hour or so at any given time (unless it's to lie on the settee to re-watch The Wire Season One).

Now, don't get me wrong: I hope I have got swine flu because the 'experts' say that once caught, it can't be caught again, and I'd much rather have it now and not when it returns in the autumn, possibly hooked up with a nasty little friend, such as bird flu, and then the world really will be in trouble.

It's been a funny old time for me since we returned from Morocco at the beginning of July. I brought back with me a tummy bug and only the fact that our seats were in close proximity to the aircraft loo saved me from severe embarrasment.

In fact, I had to almost crawl through Gatwick Airport (and was asked by an official if I was okay, which I thought was very thoughtful) to get through baggage and customs to find a Boots shop, thankfully open, for anti-diarrhoea tablets and rehydration sachets. And then I moaned most of the way home in the taxi in a pathetic kind of way.

I took about a week to recover from that and am now seriously wondering whether I should include incontinence pads in my luggage next time we go on holiday...just in case. This actually has been a consideration of mine since John and I caught bacterial gastroentoritis in Portugal some years ago. I won't go into the details - you probably think that most of this blog is 'too much information' already but hey, these things are important and can affect us all and someone needs to write about them - but suffice to say that we left a very large tip for the cleaners and I'd love to know what cleaning products they used because they really were effective.

So, I'm over the tummy bug but then I start to feel 'not quite right' but soldier on for a couple of weeks until one of my ears starts to hurt like hell so I go to my doctor, who pronounces ear infection and gives me a course of antibiotics, which seem to do the trick.

But once the course has finished, I start feeling 'off' again and get an appointment to see the duty doctor at my surgery, convinced that I just need another course of antibiotics, which is usually the case for me. Have you got a temperature she asks me. No I reply.

So, I waltz into the surgery, past all the large signs saying 'DO NOT PASS THIS POINT IF YOU HAVE A TEMPERATURE' and wait with all the other patients until it's my turn.

I then tell the doctor what my symptoms are, assure her I just need another course of antibiotics and allow her to take my temperature to prove my point. Only...I've got a temperature. Great. This sounds like flu, she says, but I still push for the antibiotics (stupid fool that I am) and reluctantly, she gives me a presciption. I'd already decided that I didn't want tamiflu because I've heard that the side effects are unpleasant, including feeling/being sick.

I take the antibiotics and for a day I feel much better and then I don't. And then my head feels as if it's going to burst, my throat is razor-sharp sore and I'm having difficulty breathing. This is turning out to be not nice at all.

After almost a week in bed, I felt sufficiently better to have a short swim and walk the dog. Big mistake. Cause I can hardly move today AND the sun is out and I'm missing it. If you want to feel sorry for me, then feel free, and if you want to offer up a healing prayer to God, the Universe, The Virgin Mary or anyone else, then also feel free. And thank you.

P.S. My blog doesn't have a spell check and I've used some very big words that I know I've mis-spelt and aren't in my dictionary, so give me a bit of slack, I beg you.

P.P.S. Almost forgot to include my main message, which is: if we do not farm animals humanely, with plenty of space and conditions for them to live a normal, healthy life, then we are going to continue to get these nasty, deadly viruses. Mankind's fault again so don't go blaming God.

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