I've been itching to write something for the last few nights, but I've hit a bit of a blank. The problem is that all I have thought about for the last ten days or so, is the flu. It has consumed my waking hours and even my sleeping ones. But who would want to read about the flu ? Never mind think about it ? Well tough, I've got the flu, I'm cranky and I don't have a life, so here I go.
I thought I was the smart gal, getting a flu vaccine last autumn. I was after getting a lecture from the nurse in my GP's surgery about not getting my bloods checked regularly enough. 'You should get the jab, you know. Your immune system is low'. 'Right', sez I, sleeve rolled up. My arm swelled Popeye-esque for a week and I had the familiar, achey feeling. And then I forgot about it. Until ... Easter weekend !
Myself and the twinnies headed on a road trip to visit friends and family in Sligo and Mayo on Holy Thursday. Bags packed with new clothes for the kids. Goodies at the ready. Delighted with myself I was. I'd further plans for hitting Wexford and maybe even Cork. And then it hit me between the eyes last Saturday. Influenza. In Mayo. In my friend's house. Oh Holy Harry. It seems that the strain of flu in the vaccine that I had was a different strain than the one currently doing the rounds. Brilliant !
The car journey road back to Kildare was an endurance test. `I bought cough sweets, cough bottle and pain killers in Roscommon and knocked them back in the car, cough bottle straight from the bottle. The twinnies realized that I was proper sick and willed me along, saying 'it will be okay Mam', in the same affirming way as I speak to them when they are sick.
I took to the bed when we arrived home and pretty much stayed there until Wednesday. Sleeping Beauty wouldn't get a look in with me. I could barely stay awake long enough to go to the toilet. Easter Sunday, the Bank Holiday and the fabulous weather passed me by. My favorite time of the year, a lovely time for children and I didn't give a monkeys. In fact, I couldn't bear the light, so I skulked around looking for the darkest, coolest room in the house. I looked at Facebook status updates enviously. The whole country was out and about having way too much fun.
All that I was interested in was how many hours was it until I could take more drugs to ease my temperature. Even when I was lying on my back, and defying gravity, my nose streamed. In the end, I plugged my nostrils with two tissues. I looked like a woman possessed.
I went back to work on Thursday, probably a few days too early. On Monday I was still spluttering when I arrived at a site visit at a school with 17 artists. One of those meetings that would more work to rearrange than to go ahead with. The friendly builder who I had met on a previous visit acknowledged that I didn't sound very well. 'I was the same myself … I was sick for two days'. 'TWO days ?', says I, 'I wouldn't call THAT the flu. I was barely able to walk for FIVE days'. I realised that I was getting competitive about who was sicker. Me or him. It was ME, obviously, but I did feel a little silly. Sorry Tommy.
I 'think' that I'm usually a pretty good soldier when I'm sick. Well, not this time. The flu has turned me into a self pitying moany git. If you ask me how I am, expect a five minute lecture, focusing on awfulness of it all. Don't expect any optimism. And certainly, don't expect me to ask you how you are doing. You are obviously not as sick as me. Or as cranky. So don't bother.
Bless my little twinnies. They were good as gold, despite having THE most uneventful school holidays to date. They could have torn the ass out of eating Easter Eggs while I slept, but they didn't. Leon was my regular 'do you need an Actimel ?' supplier and Mya sought out extra packets of tissues for me. I just wished that they were old enough to make me hot drinks and perhaps, give me piggy backs to the loo. You really need an adult gofer when you are sick. I must remember to have one on site next time.
Despite all of this, I did manage to get myself together to get dressed every day, to bring the children to the local hotel for hot food, and to break the monotony of the of walls. I felt like an alien in a Sci Fi film, whose sole aim in life was to cough on the punters in the hotel and infect them with my lethal virus. Especially the beautiful people going to the Rugby Club dinner dance. At least I took the tissues out of my nostrils.
Any positives to this flu craic ?
1. I guess that I could consider it as a honey and lemon detox. I didn't touch any chocolate over Easter. It is such a joy to get my appetite back. I demolished a bowl of Rice Krispies at the weekend. I could have been in a 5 Star restaurant.
2. Not that I do it THAT often, but I haven't been able to/can't shout at the kids. I've had to resort to alternative forms of communication. There has been a lot of hand gestures. A fortnight long game of charades. They think it's hilarious.
3. I usually treat myself to some new clothes for Easter. I probably saved myself a fortune … if you don't add up the meds … and the medicinal trips to the hotel. Think of the diesel money that I saved too !
I am 90% better now and I've got two days to be 100%. Or preferably 110%. I'm off on a gals night out on Saturday for my friend Dolores's 40th. I doubt very much if anyone will want to hear my sceal. I've bored the pants off myself as it is.
Hope you didn't catch anything from me via the WWW.