For some time I had realised it was probably only a matter of time before I contacted swine flu as it appeared very close.
As I write, my brain feels as if it has a timer and a small quantity of explosive C4 attached inside the cavity of my skull. In my left ear, I can hear the faint, rhythmic rush of my pulse. My right ear is a blur of jeremy kyle.
When I swallow, pain catches in my throat, and my glands in my neck are now the size of a small boiled egg. I begin to worry if it is quincy,but the web suggests otherwise. I search and find myself on the National Pandemic Website.I take the test….i know now my worst nightmare has come true..well one of them..
Every now and again my heart does a little, inexplicable, fillip in my chest, which makes me panic more and if I walk upstairs I become unpleasantly warm and clammy.
Like most people, when it came to the swine flu hysteria, I was not very much of the Keep Calm and Carry On sort of person. Probably will get it, but if I do, it will be, as per the press release, “mild”. At no point did I see myself struggling with the impossible dilemma, feed the child or sleep another 12 hours.
It came on very suddenly. The child had been in hospital on the weekend with fever but i never thought i would have been this.
I had gone to bed feeling weird,but this is fairly normal for me, and woke up with a sore throat. The headache that had been with me for about a week had intensified. I downed a couple of Neurofen, rang the office to say i would be dying over the next few days and not to expect me in. I felt bad, but reasonably sane.
By teatime, as I sat watching the wotwots with the child, I realised that I couldn’t really lift my head. Shooting pains were assailing my arms and chest, and the muscles in my legs were joining in. And I was hot, really hot. I took my tempurature, 39.7…..the next few hours were a blur.
I managed to call NHS direct,it took them nearly 30 minutes to then tell me to call my gp surgery,by which point was about to close in the next 10 minutes.After speaking with my gp and trying to pursuade her that this was a genuine call for medical attention she said those dreaded words, “i think you have swine flu”, she arranged for a prescription of tamiflu and said to send someone to collect it within the next 10 minutes. I have thought about this “flu friends” list for a while and it was still in construction,as to who i would need to rely upon during my hour of need…My father in law, now promoted to “flu friend”, collected the prescription and I took my first Tamiflu at around 6pm.
If I closed my eyes, I could definitely see chickens, pecking at my eyes with their yellow stripped beaks and hooked claws . . .
The next few hours are a blur. Getting the child ready for bed required every ounce of my willpower. Who knows what fabled delights I must have promised it in my delirium: trips to Disneyland, the entire Disney Princess collection,It eventually worked. With the child in bed, if not actually asleep (and a bit freaked out by my uncharacteristic generosity), I decided, inexplicably, to take a beechams…..1000mgs of paracetamol in two hours didnt seem unreasonable given the life threatening circumstances.
It just seemed like the right thing to do. When marc came home later he found me not quite asleep in his grey peacocks winter tracksuit, clutching a hot-water bottle and shivering under two duvets and a blanket comatosed.
Being a man of action, he brought up the laptop and logged on to the NHS Swine Flu symptom-checker again. I had every one of them. He took my temperature, using our superfast digital thermometer, and it was 39.8 degrees.
The night passed relatively uneventfully between dizzying trips to the bathroom and sweat-soaked sheets.
On day three, I woke at 6am my tonsils were so swollen that I couldn’t open my mouth more than half an inch. Yesterday it was announced that a six-year-old girl who died after becoming infected with swine flu suffered septic shock as a result of tonsillitis — and Dr Mark Porter, The Times doctor, said that there was evidence that influenza A infection such as swine flu could increase a person’s susceptibility to other infections…
So as i write this i am unsure as to what my future holds if at all i have a future,but one thing is certain,i will make sure it is the paracetamol overdose that kills me and not the bitch called swine flu…..