Wednesday, February 23, 2011

While My Catarrh Gently Weeps

I can tell you the last time I had a really bad cold. It was April 2009. The last time I had a chest infection was October 2008. I have been reasonably blessed with phlegm related good health for a few years (just a shame about my bones, eh?), therefore the current bout of snot related nastiness was always destined to be green, sticky and unmovable.

I sort of blame myself really. I'd had a mild chest infection the week before and had gone to the pub quiz much against my better judgement; had sat in a damp car listening to the second half of Spurs versus AC Milan; gone back to work - sat in an office with people dropping like flies from coughs and colds and then, the day before my big interview at Northampton Academy, my new mate Billy, who works at the Queen Adelaide egged me into going for a couple pints last Thursday night. Roger, my usual Thursday night squeeze was off seeing the Penguin Cafe Orchestra or something like that and with my interview on the Friday putting paid to my usual Friday lunchtime drink with One El, I saw this as an opportunity rather than an excuse to take it easy.

On the drive up to Kingsthorpe, I noticed that the tickly cough, for which I had consumed 18 antibiotic tablets, seemed to have returned, but not put off by this sometimes tell tale sign, I went and had a couple of pints and as the hour wore on I found I was feeling a bit hot, a bit sweaty and a bit pooh. Friday arrived and I knew I was coming down with a cold rather than anything else; so I dosed myself up with Lemsips, went to (and failed to get) the job interview, came home and my health fell apart about 3.45pm on the 18th.

By the time I took the dogs out, I was sneezing, coughing and feeling generally shit. By the time the wife got home I felt like a sack of the aforementioned shit and went to bed before midnight on a Friday night, for the second week on the trot and not for a shag, but for sleep. The wife was up at 4:00am giving me paracetamol and I was trying desperately to warm up. My biggest fear at that point in the morning was if the chest infection came back it was a weekend and I'd just finished a course of antibiotics - emergency doctors are, by and large, massive fuckwits (although I'm sure it's not entirely their fault).
I emerged from bed at midday on Saturday, looking and feeling like something from a HP Lovecraft story and sat on the sofa with a blanket over me all day. The wife knew I felt crappy because I wasn't actually making a lot of complaining noises. Her theory being - the worse you are the less noise you make about feeling ill. There is a degree of absolute truth in that assessment. However, by Saturday night, I'd started to feel like the back had been broken. I was feeling human again and figured that with a bit of luck I could be well enough on Sunday to a) go shopping and b) entertain Neil and Jenny.

And that is exactly what I did on Sunday. I went shopping; prepared the dinner, felt human enough to go for a walk with the wife, Neil (her brother), his girlfriend Jenny and the four dogs of the apocalypse. And for 40 minutes everything was fine. I threw a ball for Marley; knackered my trainers and figured that by Tuesday, when I was due back at work, everything would have cleared out. Oh, how wrong could I be...

As I said, I can only blame myself. By the time the walk was drawing to a close, I'd stopped talking and was getting some anxious looks from the wife. She'd noticed a sheen of sweat on my brow and the fact I was now hanging back. I was sweating profusely and feeling really quite horrid. By the time we got home, the only thing I wanted to do was change my clothes. my winter raincoat's arms had already started to feel damp, that was because my sweatshirt had darkened in colour, as had my green t-shirt. In fact, you know them action films with Bruce Willis, where his t-shirt is soaked with sweat, radiating out from armpits, middle of the back and between his abs? Well, that was me! I was soaking wet.

I managed to get through dinner; our guests went home and I sat, quietly, watching TV until the wife went to bed. I then sat in this office for an hour and had a little blog while my Lemsip kicked in. Monday morning arrived and I felt as bad as I had on Saturday. I figured going for the walk was a mixed blessing - yes, I needed the fresh air, but ultimately it had been detrimental. I watched 2 dreadful films and a documentary (both of which I blogged about) and cooked a veggie stew that was apparently very nice. I couldn't taste much.

Yesterday, I was supposed to go back to work; my second extra long weekend on the trot spoiled by ill health. However, I felt awful, was bunged up beyond belief and figured that going to work would only aggravate a bad situation. I sat and watched some films - The Blood on Satan's Claw which was pooh and Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home which wasn't. By 3.30, I was thinking I felt a little better, so I took the dogs out for a walk - bad move. By the time I'd got home I felt pretty crappy again and to prove just how ill I felt, I opted not to go to the pub quiz - the first one I'd missed since late September 2009 - heck, I didn't miss it when I prolapsed my disc and was quick to ridicule Roger for missing one recently because he was being a wuss...

I sat in and watched Spurs get humiliated by Blackpool and then watched a 1963 Hammer film called The Damned, with MacDonald Carey, Shirley Anne Field and Oliver Reed - what a bizarrely grim movie that was! If people behaved like that in 1963, I'm glad I was only one.

That brings us nicely to today. I got up early to go to work, felt like shit again and phoned in sick. I still have this god-awful sinus headache that has been there now for 4 days and has meant that I've had a headache for 7 of the last 10 days; which hasn't been nice. I'm pretty sure my body has just invented a new shade of green and Catarrh isn't just another Middle East country facing revolution...

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