On Wednesday evening I was suddenly struck with flu like symptoms. I was tired, my muscles ached, I felt nauseous, I had a balled up feeling in my throat, and I couldn’t stop shivering. We took my temperature and it was high. Not throwing me in a bath of ice cubes high, but high enough not to be normal.
I rang the NHS direct swine flu helpline and went through a checklist of symptoms with them. Unlike my previous encounters with NHS direct it was a relatively worthwhile experience. There was a point when the pleasant and chatty nurse on the end of the phone described my muscle aches as being “a real killer” and we both had to pause for a while to ponder her amazingly poor choice of words; but all in all it was a reassuring and professional conversation.
Basically she told me it could be swine flu or it could be some other random viral illness. I was to isolate myself at home, pop paracetamol, and only emerge a day or two after the symptoms have subsided.
I must admit I did have some dark thoughts that night. Thoughts surrounding the possibility of infecting my children and hoping it would me that died rather than them. Evan worried me in particular. He’s not only under five but also has a history of breathing difficulties, both factors that place him squarely in the at risk of serious complications category.
In fact Evan had actually been running a temperature on Wednesday night, and had started complaining of feeling ill around the time I did. I had discussed this with the NHS nurse who advised to contact my GP if I was still concerned in the morning.
On Thursday I felt about the same, although the temperature and shivering was gone, possibly due to the paracetamol (Why are there no asprins in the jungle? Because the paracetamol). more importantly Evan was markedly better than he was previously, but we still shipped him off to Kerry’s parents rather than Nursery just in case.
Today being Friday I feel a little better again, although I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as 100%. And the report from the out-laws is that Evan is bright and breezy. To be honest I’ve had flu before and it felt a damn sight worse than this so I’ve either got a very mild case, or probably more likely something else entirely. If it hadn’t been for the media hysteria I’d have just struggled through.
I was supposed to be working this weekend but I’ve called in sick. I could probably push through it and go in if I really had to. But all the advice is not to do that and I often spend quite a bit of time in A&E and hospital wards and wouldn’t want to infect potentially vulnerable people (not to mention my colleagues). I do feel a bit guilty about it, if I don’t go in then some poor sod has to cover my shift, but never the less I think I’m probably acting appropriately.
So now I’m here at home alone for the weekend. Kerry and the kids had a couple of days away with her parents planned and as it doesn’t look like I’m dying we saw no reason why it shouldn’t go ahead. The novelty of having time to myself without any pressure to do anything wore off five minutes after they left however, and now I’m bouncing off the walls (albeit in a lackluster sickly sort of manner).
It probably hasn’t helped that I just watched a documentary about apocalyptic fiction we’d had recorded on Sky+. As much as I am a fan of 28 Days Later and Day of the Triffids et al, it’s probably not the wisest thing to be watching in a house on your own while you’re potentially suffering from an illness the tabloids have been screaming about for the past month or two. I keep looking out the window and half expecting a atomic mushroom or hoards of zombies rushing towards me.
Ah well. Time for another paracetamol, a pot noodle, and a marathon Laurel and Hardy session to cheer myself up I think. There’s nothing like watching two men try and push a piano up a set of stairs to keep thoughts of the end of the world at bay.