The Diary of a Ginger Hypochondriac

Fear is a Luxury…..but so is insanity


October 2009

The Swine Flu Hell…

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.swine-flu

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…..

“Pressing the Button”

Following my Heart Event Monitor being fitted, i though i would complile a few stats….

"Press the Button...Press the Button"
"Press the Button...Press the Button"

Button pressed: 17

Presses left: 3

heart attacks overted: 3

Angina Attacks: 2

Angina Attacks that turned out to be Anxiety: 2

Cigarettes smoked since monitor: enough to bring on heart attack

Aspirin Consumed: 120 mgs

Symptoms researched: 152

Times have almost strangled self with wires: 6



The Affliction of the Afflicted….

First of all, I must apologize to my blog, I have recently had a two week heart event monitor fitted and must press “the button” everytime i get a “twitch” or palpitation, define “twitch”..heart attack,angina??

My new obsession is pressing “the button”, but i only get 20 presses?? your talking to a servere hypochondriac and ask me only to press the button 20 times…i have a week left and have pressed it 13 times..7 left….im not sure how i will manage…Tankgirl

Second, I’m dying. And not that it did, but my absence was not meant to convey a period of wellness. Actually, it wasn’t meant to convey anything at all, except that I’m a lazy procrastinator. Writing hasn’t been all that appealing to me lately. In reality, nothing has been all that appealing, except for drinking, so that’s what I’ve been doing; throwing back bottles of wine amidst fits of hypochondria.. It essentially feels like being repeatedly hit in the neck with a crowbar.

Among other things, I’m wholly convinced that i have thyroid cancer, my goitre “small growth in neck” has grown, although i havent had the time to evidence this theory im sure it has, my throat feels tight and i look like the elephant man

Also, I’m suffering from what I’ve determined to be Multiple Sclerosis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, due to the crippling pains that have been plaguing my arms,neck and shoulders. I’m talking stabbed with an ice pick pains, that leave me in tears.

Oh, and I simultaneously have lung and spinal cancer.

So, um, yeah. Basically, I’m a basket case right now…but hey whats new?

Why I hate dentists……

I have quite the large assortment of fillings in my mouth. Twelve  to be precise, and all in an attractive shiny silver, instead of white composite, (because the nhs was too cheap to care that my mouth would eventually look like a scrap yard). And the fillings aren’t there because I don’t brush my teeth, I do, daily, honest, I just have a fear the dentist.

I havent been for ten years,when i was 6 i remember having a tooth out,i was knocked out with a big black mask placed over my mouth and being held down. But I digress. About three months ago, one of those lovely, shiny fillings fell out. Okay, honestly, it became “loose,” and lodged in the crevasse between my other tooth and a small piece of kebab, and I picked and pulled, with dental floss,tweezers and tooth picks and everything else I could get my hands on, until one beautiful Sunday afternoon, I pulled that little piece of scrap metal and left over kebab smooth out of my mouth and left a gaping hole in my molar.

I hate you
I hate you


Now fast-forward three months. The phone book lays open on the table. Bottles of codeine, Nurofen Plus and Nightnurse are strewn across the floor. I lay wriggling in pain on the sofa as the exposed nerve in my molar feels like it is being repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick. In true procrastinator style, I still haven’t called the dentist for my filling that fell out three months ago, and I’m paying for it in pain. If I can’t make it through the weekend, which is a very real possibility, I’ll be paying for it in pounds too….

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