renaissance, painting, the nightmare, john henry fuseli, lying down

When flu won’t f*** off

Being gravely ill is obviously a very frightening thing. But what about being unwell and cast low and somehow unable to conquer it? It seems to be happening a bit. You know, sore throat, bit of flu, day or two in bed, tummy bug, weird, throat returns, anti-biotics that don’t work, snotty cold, cough, cough, cough, headache, post viral exhaustion, more coughing, why am I still so incredibly snotty, deaf in one ear, so tired and so on and so forth for… let’s say six weeks. By which time you haven’t seen your friends because you can’t go out and they don’t quite believe that you are still ill because who is ill for this long?????? You haven’t done any exercise in over a month because you can hardly breathe so you are flobby and defeatist. Your face threatens to fall off every time you do your shoelaces up because of – presumably – something dull that happens to other people like sinusitis. You cough through every meeting because you just can’t not and you’re usually the one irritated and repulsed by those persistent little ‘tick’ coughs. You’re blue. You’re lonely. Climbing the stairs is a huge effort. You feel old. But there is no sympathy because you’re just a bit pathetic. That’s all.

Then you see a proper doctor (you may even have gone private in desperation) and you are prescribed the right (rather than the cheapest) anti-biotics and you finally give up and go to bed for an entire weekend and on Monday morning you are OK. For the first time in six weeks. And it is over. And no one remembers your mini-plague but you. Because you found it rather scary. Just a hint of something to come

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