Or: Blame it on the bogies
Work had been hectic so I’d decided to take a week’s leave, with plans to spend a few days relaxing in Napier. Accommodation and travel were booked and I was all ready to go away for a lovely seaside holiday on Monday.
Then I got a sore throat.
But sore throats, they’re nothing really. All you need is some Strepsils and they’ll clear up, right? Except it didn’t clear up, and I just ended up feeling worse and worse. It was the penultimate day before my holiday started and I realised I wouldn’t be able to go to work the next day.
So I spent that Friday in bed, in a weird mix of blowing my nose, sending a million emails to work with “what to do when I’m away on holiday next week” instructions, and dealing with the news that – WTF – Michael Jackson was dead. Jesus, Michael Jackson, you think you could have picked a better day for it?
I was still optimistic that I’d have my seaside holiday. All I needed was a couple of day’s rest, right?
But Sunday evening came along and I wasn’t any better. I was lying in bed surrounded by a mountain of tissues, feeling awful, and coming to the realisation that I was in no fit state to travel. And even if I could teleport to Napier, the seaside holiday could only involve lying in bed, blowing my nose.
Twitter transcripts show I was falling into a pit of despair:
@robyngallagher Sick and now miserable for bonus emo action! Will I be well enough to go away on holiday tomorrow? Respiratory system says no.
9:06 PM Jun 28th from web
But while looking at a list of symptoms of swine flu, I noticed that depression was a possibility. I figured the same probably applied to whatever was ailing me. Which made me feel better, as it made me feel worse.
My bedridden days were occupied by going through my League of Gentlemen DVDs, including the commentary tracks and special features. Then the gods of television gifted me the first couple of episodes of of “Psychoville”, the new series by Reece and Steve of the League (clowns, dwarfs, eBay). I rounded this out with the latest series of UK Big Brother (Russian ladyman, lovesick Indian, furry-hatted toff). It made up for the human interaction I’d been missing.
Slowly, as the week passed, I began to feel more human. I set myself small daily tasks – walking down to the shops, seeing a movie. I found myself seeing “The Hangover” in a cinema full of other coughing, spluttering people; my people.
Finally I went to the doctor and he said I had a viral respiratory infection, but probably not swine flu. OK, so we call this a swine cold. I was prescribed some bad-ass cough syrup with morphine in in. Aw yeah.
I’m now at the stage where I can keep the runny nose and the cough under control with the help of the coff-b-gone and some nasal spray. But venturing out into the outside world is still a bit weird.
Walking along Cuba Mall today, it felt like I was one of the few the survivors of an apocalyptic virus, returning to the society where nothing would ever be the same. The streets, oh, they were cold and empty. I returned to the comfort of my bed, and blamed it on the opiates.
My holiday has been postponed.