Thursday, 23 July 2009

Swine Flu - have I or haven't I? And where is summer?

There is one thing worse than being ill in the winter and that is being ill in (what we Britons laughably call) "summer". I had a very nasty bout of flu at the back end of last year. I was bed-ridden on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (and it felt like 2 weeks, rather than 2 days) and it took until well into the New Year for me to get back to feeling anything like healthy. Nevertheless, one of the "benefits" of suffering such an illness is that the immune system (assuming one is otherwise healthy) builds up the antibodies.

So when I got what I assumed was just a summer cold, a few days into our holiday in France, I thought it would go away after a few days. A persistent cough, sore throat, swollen glands and a mild temperature hardly amounted to a ruined holiday and I was able to largely enjoy it as much as any other, without feeling too bad. But the last few days have seen no improvement - in fact, I'm feeling a lot worse. The sore throat is not there, but the cough (sometimes dry, sometimes not) has got worse, I feel generally lousy and now my joints are feeling a bit weak and tender. So I have experienced most of the symptoms of Swine Flu over the last 2 weeks, though not necessarily at the same time. And - it has to be said - none of these symptoms have been anywhere near as debilitating as the ones I suffered at Christmas.

So........ do I have it, or don't I? I honestly thought the doctor was joking the other day when he said I may have it. Still, I returned to work, as scheduled, on Tuesday. But this morning I felt lousy enough to call in sick because, whatever this illness is, it really is starting to get me down. My theory is that I have avoided going down with full-blown, certifiable Pig Fever because I still have a certain amount of immunity left over from my Christmas illness. Which all serves to make me feel like a bit of a fraud - I'm ill, but I'm hardly dying (I hope)! It's just that all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep until it goes away.

And the exasperating thing is that nobody else in the household was affected by the illness I had at Christmas, and none of them are affected by the current one either. Which may of course be either a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps it would be better for them to get it now, rather than a few months hence, when it is likely to be much worse. Either way, this whole Swine Flu thing has become a big pain in the backside, not to mention a little worrying in its evolution. Still......... it may help to bring the unemployment figures down and reduce the state pension bill, whilst at the same time boosting the coffers of the drug companies. I do like a nice conspiracy theory!

Of course, I might be inclined to feel a bit better if the rain would go away. Anybody know what happened to this great summer we were supposed to be having?

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