Unfit for duty

After posting about being too hot or too cold yesterday, last night saw me having to retire to bed when it was still light outside. I had felt a little strange all day, with aches and pains around my hips and back, and had already taken some pain-killers, to be able to take Ollie for a walk. The unrelenting damp had affected the joints in my hands, and I couldn’t seem to get comfortable, in any position.

By early evening, I also had a splitting headache. I couldn’t concentrate on my nightly news fix on TV, and after cooking and eating the evening meal, I was soon checking the clock, to see if it was too early to call it a day, and collapse into bed. Just before 9 pm, I took some more tablets, apologised to Julie, and went to bed, securing the chinks in the curtains against the light from the garden. I must have had something wrong with me, as I slept right through, without any disturbance, until 8.30 this morning.

I woke up feeling as if tiny evil goblins had spent all night hitting me with their little hammers. Every bone and joint aches, and I am walking like a 100 year-old lady. There is something lurking inside me, some unnamed virus, only staved off by nearly twelve hours of sleep. My head feels wobbly, and barely attached to my body. If it had nuts and bolts securing it, Frankenstein monster-style, I would definitely be tightening them up by a few turns. One thing is certain, I won’t be getting much done today.

In 2013, I wrote this post, about how it feels to be ‘off sick’, when you are not actually working.
https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/reporting-sick/ After a lifetime of having to call in a sick report, to a manager or company, it feels very different when you only have yourself to answer to. There will be no ‘phone calls from someone supposedly ‘checking on my welfare.’ No callers at the door, to ensure that I am actually at home, and nobody to have to see afterwards, for the ‘back to work interview.’ With no more six-monthly appraisals to endure, I will not have to listen to a list of all my days taken off sick, and whether they were certificated or not. There will be no dire warnings about exceeding acceptable sick time, or perhaps not being paid on the next occasion.

Despite being free of all this, I still feel absolutely awful, so it doesn’t help that much. I will still have to take Ollie out, though for a shorter time than usual. I then have to drive him over to the Vet in Swaffham, for a review of his skin problems. I have also just cancelled my shift at the windmill tomorrow, as I can’t face the stairs, feeling like this. The first time I haven’t turned up in six months, so not bad.

I’ll just have to take more tablets.

Reporting Sick

I haven’t been well for the last few days, so have been presented with a dilemma. How do you call in sick, when you are Retired? During all those years at work, it was simple enough. You didn’t feel well, so you rang a number, informed the company, and that was that. Now there is no employer, so how does that work? Of course, I don’t actually have a deadline to meet, and Julie is well aware that I am ‘poorly’. However, there are still the everyday jobs to get done; a bit of cleaning, shopping, taking Ollie out, that sort of thing. I just don’t feel up to much of it, but there is hardly someone to call in to cover, is there? I am left with a strange feeling of guilt, a house that could do with a good clean, and the weird experience of being off sick for the first time, with nobody to answer to. I did manage to wander around for an hour with Ollie yesterday, but had to have a lie down afterwards.

I know that this is only a Man feeling ill, so doesn’t account for much. Men are notorious for laying it on a bit thick, and this reputation is deserved, in my experience. Women are often more resilient, and seem to be able to cope much better with minor ailments, and still being able to get on with life. With me, as with most men, as soon as something doesn’t feel right, or stops working as normal, I go into full shutdown, and have to wait until it passes. I believe that the answer to this is simple. Women are ill more often than men, and with good reason. They have a lot more things that can malfunction, and a regular monthly excuse to feel unwell, into the bargain. Most men have little or no idea what is going on inside a woman’s body, and what’s more, they don’t even want to find out.

Women are just more resilient. They can get the kids off to school, lunches done and packed. Get themselves ready for a day at work, go out and do it, collect the kids again, then come home, do the housework, and get an evening meal ready. And all this, during a real bout of ‘Flu, or screaming ovaries, or throbbing gallstones. Men just don’t work in the same way. We stop. It all just stops, as we cannot even contemplate the next chore, the scheduled task, or tomorrow’s plans. We are ill, and that’s that. Nothing improves until the illness is over, and even then, we might need an extra day, just to be sure. Nothing to be proud of; it is just how it is, and will always be.

I woke up at 3am on Sunday, with a griping pain in my stomach. The day before, I had felt as if my joints were made of Meccano, and my head was best described as ‘fuzzy’. It got steadily worse, and by Monday morning, I was sure that I had been run over by something in my sleep, or beaten by ghosts with baseball bats. The griping pain had also increased, and I had to consider the possibility that an eagle was trapped in my gut, clenching its talons, in a bid to escape. I was back in bed by 10.30pm last night, cold and exhausted. Julie is getting some shopping today, and has told me not to be out too long with the dog. It is a real case of ‘Man Illness’, classic in every sense. It feels real enough to me though, and I’m not getting any younger…

The Blog is similarly in a state of malaise. Constant, seemingly pointless viewings of ‘Some Japanese Films’ continue, and the spam section is full of adverts for ‘Dumpsters’. Two posts remain in ‘Drafts’, with me lacking the enthusiasm or will to complete them. The only thing on the up is the weather, which is bright and sunny, and unseasonably warm. That can’t last, of that I am certain. So fellow bloggers, please accept this as me ‘Reporting Sick’. I will see you on the other side of whatever this is.