Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day, Chinese New Year, and the start of Lent.
Can it really be February already? Where has my life gone?
H1N1 is not a UK postcode. But, it is a destination. A very bad destination!
Dear Reader, this is a cautionary tale.
Swine flu is no joke. The past two and a half weeks of my life are a largely a blur wherein I have struggled valiantly to remain conscious and vertical; somehow managed to move house, and miraculously gave a coherent, week long series of Shakespeare lectures at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
I can honestly say, I did these things, and much more, only by the assistance of the legendary “force” of Luke Skywalker/Star Wars fame.
Just over three weeks ago, I went to the leisure club one evening for a swim. As is my wont, following my dip in the pool, I rewarded myself with a ‘melt’ in the steam room. While in the steam room, I was joined by a chap who had just finished his workout in the gym.
As one does, we chatted about the bad weather, and the need to work out more. Shortly within the conversation, my steam room companion revealed that he has had swine flu in the past few days.
Germ-phobe that I am, I was seized by panic and dread instantly. With tact and moderate haste, I excused myself from the steam room. I assured myself quietly that my worst imaginings were unfounded and purely irrational. However, less than 3 days later, I was laid low completely with a high, raging fever.
Day after day, as the illness wore on and on, I blamed myself -- for not getting the swine flu vaccine. The NHS has been quite adamant about encouraging people to get the vaccine; particularly, those with long-standing conditions, such as asthma, and those in special circumstances, e.g., pregnant women, and those trying to conceive.
In fact, early on, the NHS went so far as to release a statement recommending that women who were thinking of/planning to conceive seriously reconsider, and postpone attempts to conceive due to the potential dangers of swine flu.
My GP – a wonderful lady doctor, originally from South Africa – urged me to get the vaccine, but I thought I knew best. I thought the whole swine flu thing was “much of a much-ness,” that people were making a great deal of fuss over nothing.
I was wrong!
I have never felt so awful in my life! There were times when I wondered, quite sincerely, whether I could or would ever get better. Sounds quite dramatic, I know, but it is very true. Three weeks later, and I am still recovering.
The one, superficial benefit from all this is that I have lost nearly half a stone (roughly 5-7 lbs.) of weight as a result of this health nightmare.
Tough lesson learned.