*Written pre-COVID19 UK outbreak and subsequent measures* Despite my husband’s protestations to the contrary, I am rarely ill (shut up, husband, I’m not). Since I’ve improved my fitness and began to eat a healthier and less processed diet over the last couple of years, I don’t seem to pick up many viruses. But when I do contract something, I like to do it big-time. As you may have guessed, I have currently fallen prey to a virus and would consider myself…sick.
Now, before you get all panicky and start sharpening your pitchforks, I am HIGHLY unlikely to have contracted the Coronavirus. I haven’t been to China or Northern Italy – in fact, I haven’t so much as stepped outside the North Wiltshire area in over six months. We’re in the throes of another standard British winter, and OTHER VIRUSES DO EXIST, y’know. I may live to regret saying this, but I’m stick of all this media panic-mongering. I’m just ill. And tired. And I want to lie on my bed all day and watch period dramas on my laptop. I wouldn’t even say I have the flu, because I’ve had my flu jab, and if there were a fifty-pound note lying on the floor at the foot of my bed I would certainly be bothered to go and pick it up (that’s a standard medical tool of flu diagnosis, that is [and if you think you’ve heard that gag before, you probably have because it’s in one of my books – but it’s my gag and I reserve the right to use it more than once]).
What’s more, I haven’t even taken a day off work. I’m not sure that’s something I ought to be proud of, but you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. And if we all took a sickie due to a chesty cough, Britain would grind to a halt – and it’s not as though I actually work with sick people. I feel the weight of responsibility is very heavy on me. Usually, I find the nursing profession is rather unforgiving to its own when it comes to illness; your leg must have pretty much fallen right off in the night before your colleagues will accept that you really can’t come in. And even then! Therefore, due to many years of ‘I’m going to have to manage’ training, I don’t go off sick lightly. Having said that, nobody is thanking me for my heroic diligence and brave martyrdom right now. Because of the Coronavirus, you just so much as cough and everybody dives into their bag for a military-use face mask. I had a bit of a coughing fit in Sainsbury’s the other day, and you should have seen the alarmed faces of other shoppers in the dairy isle. Again, OTHER VIRUSES DO EXIST, y’know. Honestly, I may as well admit defeat and stay in bed – nobody seems to want to be around me.
I know, I know – I’m feeling rather sorry for myself today. But I haven’t slept properly in about a week. Every time my head touches the pillow, an uncontrollable bout of coughing and spluttering starts, which can only be stopped with a large drink or a cough sweet. But my mouth has now become too sore to have any more cough sweets. I’ve taken to propping my pillows up so high that I’m practically in a seated position all night long. But it’s a bit like trying to sleep on a bus (for the record, I can’t sleep on a bus); you’re far too upright to nod off. So repeatedly, I wake up in the night finding my upper body has slipped down due to exhaustion, and yet another period of ‘hacking’ starts. I’ve had to move to another bedroom because my husband simply wouldn’t sleep if I was there thrashing about beside him trying to get my fiftieth coughing episode of the night under control. By the way, I apologise for the overuse of the word ‘cough’ in this blog, as I do hate to overuse words, but my thesaurus doesn’t seem to have an alternate. And ‘barking’ and ‘hacking’ really need to be followed by the word ‘cough’, don’t they?
So, at the time of writing this blog (Thursday 5th – my day off, thank God, I’m literally good for nothing today), I’m lying on my daughter’s bed procrastinating. That’s where I’ve decamped to whilst she is off skiing – I hope she doesn’t mind. I’ve not long finished stacking the dishwasher, cleaning the cat trays, putting out the recycling (my husband could have done all these things, but I’m saying nothing). Oh, AND completed a 20-minute ‘yoga for when you’re sick’ session (because I’m SOOOO frustrated about the lack of exercise that’s gone on in my life for the last ten days or so – I can literally see my hard-earned abdominal muscles wasting away). But even that burst of activity has done me in. Everything feels like too much effort. I even had to miss my beloved choir practice last night because I literally cannot sing (I made an attempt in the car yesterday – nope, can’t do it). But remember, I couldn’t possibly have flu (don’t forget the fifty-pound note test) or I wouldn’t even be able to function as inefficiently as I am. And remember (again), the Coronavirus is super-unlikely too, because (at the time of writing) there have been no reported cases in my town yet. So, I‘m just hoping that my health improves a little bit so I can get back to normal. But the good news is that my appetite has been largely unaffected. And there’s no weight-loss going on here. No change there, then.
NB: OTHER VIRUSES THAN CORONAVIRUS ™ ARE AVAILABLE