The Diary of a Ginger Hypochondriac

Fear is a Luxury…..but so is insanity

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….

At Death’s Doorstep…..

I woke up yesterday morning with severe back pain. Not fucked up liver back pain from too much drinking the night before, but spinal tumor, cold back, muscle dystrophy, I’m going to die, back pain. I figured I just slept wrong and carried about my business, drinking wine and eating salmonella  infested kebab, and assumed that if I made it through the night without gastrointestinal combustion, the back pain would be gone.

It’s not. It’s worse.

A typical day
A typical day

I literally cannot move my head without sharp, crippling pain shooting through my left shoulder blade into my neck. It’s unbearable. If my attempt at self-medication with Solpadine and Nurofen doesn’t work, I’ll be forced into accident and emergency before nightfall. I can only live in such agonizing pain for so long.

The scary part, aside from the horrific stabbing sensation when I reach for my wine or turn to look at the TV, is that the area of my neck and back where I’m experiencing the pain, is not sensitive to the touch. Nor does it hurt when I move my arms.

Marc thinks the pain is stress induced. Or, a possible attempt to foil our plans to do the garden on Saturday. He could be right, or, I could be right and the tumor is about to engulf my soul….

Swine Flu Parties…..

Am in shock today having heard both through a friend and news that people are holding swine flu parties.  These parties as exciting as they may seem may not be a good idea.3495754080_352651d3e2


The reason behind it is because if you get swine flu now, then later on in the year when it becomes more virile and stronger, you would have built up a certain amount of immunity. I however am not convinced.

I mean…. What do you wear to these so called parties: a mask,dress or Body-bag?

Are you expected to take part in any games such as pass the viral tissue or musical dead people?

Do you take a bottle or a box of tamiflu?

I for one will be RSVPing all invites with a very large NO….and a few swear words…..

Masks worn: 15

Doctors appointments: 2

Swine Flu invitations received: 1

Swine Flu invitations declined: 1

Glitter and Eyeballs…..


Blood pressure: 120/75.

Bach’s Remedy drops: 3.

 Boxes of tissues: 5.2.

Plasters: 1

Eye baths: 6

Day started badly, am clearly allergic to Glitter. Experts warn of glitter reaction on eyeball. Having got some in my eye earlier from works party am convinced glitter-induced anaphylactic shock is setting in. 

Disaster averted by drinking mugs of wildly expensive herbal tea from wholefoods market and sitting in bath of aloe vera. Slightly miffed that hypoallergenic decorations have not helped in averting  rashes.

Terrified of news that whole body CT scans increase cancer risk. Have been begging my doctor for one over the last ten years. Can never be too safe, but what if the worst happens? And how would I know now the spoilsports say we can’t have them? It’s a cycle of despair.

On another pre-emptive note, wonder if should book in for genetic testing before entire industry collapses under the weight of scientific scrutiny. Desperate to know if have fat gene.   

Met mate for lunch. Am on pre-detox-detox-prep so just water and 3 almonds for me. Instead, i opted for the BBQ Chicken, Kept thinking about recent Food Standards Agency warning not to wash chickens before cooking. Utterly illogical in my eyes. Would far rather risk splashing bacteria about the kitchen than consuming factory-worker-hand-germs. Yeuch.

Mind wanders to last night’s works party. Gout a definite concern. Drank huge amounts of Cider,but this was accompanied with blackcurrant,so covered on the vitamins front, and now I have an ulcer. Soothing mouth gel is a godsend but worried about sugar content.

Note: Must ask GP if  she’s avoiding my calls over possible knee tumour. She insists it’s a bruise, but expect she’s merely bitter after I correctly self diagnosed adult ADHD last week.

Olanzapine and incontinence pads…

Went to see consultant today about my tyroid, i have a goitre and thyroiditis..this is it finito…will update soon..just on verge of panic attack and find it hard to type whilst shaking like a dementing elderly mental patient on olanzapine with an incontinence pad one size too big…


Swine Flu Leaflet and “My Flu Friends”…

great read when dying...
great read when dying...

I got home yesterday to find the highly anticipated swine flu leaflet had fluttered through my letterbox. The leaflet itself was in immaculate condition with no creases or folds,however,my praise for this little book stops here.

I begin to read the leaflet,carefully turning each page without adding any creases or folds. I find several interesting pieces:

1. What have the UK governments been doing to prepare?

Leaflet answer: we have a stockpile of antivirals to cover half the population 

my answer: what about the fucking rest of us?


2.Is there a vaccine i can have?

leaflet answer: not at this stage

my answer: No, probably because you’ve spent all the money on your fucking second home allowances…


3. What can i do to protect myself and others against Flu?

Leaflet answer: follow good hygiene..catch it, bin it, kill it..

my answer: who said anything about helping others? stock up on tissues and kiss your arse goodbye


4. What else can i do?

Leaflet answer: Set up a network of Flu friends..these are friends or relatives to help you if you get ill,for example; they could collect medicines,food and other supplies for you.

My answer: what if your so called “flu friends” are in the half of the population which haven’t had anti-fucking-virals, cus there ain’t enough??


5. Do i need a face-mask?

Leaflet answer: Evidence shows that these basic face masks don’t protect people from becoming infected..

My answer: So,what the hell do i do now with the 400 i have just bought from B & Q?


After these most helpful of  questions it concludes:

Numbers to call if you are worried (0800 1 513 513),or want to check symptoms,of which,i have already done so its a bit fucking late.

But at least its free,so if you die,you can rest assure that BT wont send you a massive bill.

So, it advises to set up a “flu Network” of friends that can help you if you have it. I’m not being funny but who in their right mind would wanna pop round your house and give you shopping etc,if you are up to your eyeballs full of swine flu, i can assure you that i fucking wouldn’t.

So am i a good swine flu friend? the answer is clear and obvious… no fuck off and save your own bacon……

Leaflets Burnt: 1

Flu Friends recruited: nil

Tamiflu Pre-orders: 3

Face masks Sent Back : 400


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