You may remember that I was too tired to post an episode of my serial the other night.

Then I woke up feeling much perkier yesterday.

But by 9 pm, I felt completely exhausted, and could hardly keep my eyes open.
I was in bed and asleep not that long after 10 pm.

I slept for over 12 hours, without stirring. When I got up late this morning, I felt as if I hadn’t even been asleep. As the day went on, I did my usual stuff on the blogs, feeling sleepier than ever.

But Ollie has to go out. So I had a bath, got dressed, and took him over to his usual favourite places. After 30 minutes, I had to sit down on a fallen tree, and could easily have stretched out and slept on it. But I had to press on, for Ollie’s sake.

After 90 minutes, I was so tired, I had to come home.

I don’t have a cough.
I don’t have a high temperature.
I don’t feel unell.

But I found this online.

‘According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough.’

Oh dear…

I will let you know what happens. Meanwhile, there may not be any more blog posts from me today.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

A Heavy Cold

All I could think about today was the fact that I have had a bloody awful heavy head cold since Wednesday.

I presume that having to sit with no heating on and windows open when the living room was being painted made me susceptible.
A niggly sore throat on Wednesday morning soon turned into hot watery eyes, sneezing, and occasional fits of coughing.

That night, it was hard to sleep, so I started taking regular doses of tablets to reduce the effect of the symptoms.

Three days later, and it shows no sign of improving, or going away. At least it isn’t Flu, as I don’t have any aches and pains.

What I was actually thinking about was how quickly we forget what it was like before the cold overwhelmed us.

It seems as if I have always had this, and it is impossible to remember when I felt perfectly fine on Tuesday.

I know, it’s just a cold. No big deal. It will pass soon, hopefully.

But it got me thinking.

Virus Attack!

No, not a computer virus.

Well, they finally wore me down.

For two weeks, Julie has had a bad cold, and persistent cough. Despite having a flu vaccination, no doubt her job at the Doctor’s exposes her to many people with their fair share of infections to pass around. Then there is our grandson. Just started at school last September, he seems to have a permanent wheezy cough, runny nose, and occasional high temperatures.

Last weekend, he came to stay for two nights. Naturally, he had a bad cough and cold, and so did Julie, at the same time. Whatever he passed on made her even worse, but I skillfully managed to avoid too much close contact, and thought I had escaped.

Pleased with my good fortune, I continued my usual routine. Shopping, walking Ollie, everyday tasks, and finally getting to the Post Office in town. Then yesterday, I woke up with my eyes watering, and a heavy sensation in my head. I felt colder than usual, and once up and about, I was soon sneezing constantly and powerfully too. In the back of my mind, I told myself ‘You’ve got it’. But I clung on to the hope that it would pass. It didn’t, of course.

By late afternoon, my nose was streaming, competing with my eyes. A dry throat that could not be assuaged by copious amounts of fluids, then sniffles, snuffles, and the start of an annoying cough. Not long after, my eyes started to heat up, as if tiny people were lighting fires behind them inside my skull. Some Paracetamol kept the headache at bay, but the familiar symptoms continued to combine. By dinnertime, I felt like I had been run over by a bus, and had little or no enthusiasm to eat, just shovelling it down in the hope of warming my chilled body.

I was considering going to bed very early, but managed to hang on until 10:30 pm, before collapsing into the welcome softness of my bed, and the oblivion of sleep. Of course, it’s just a cold. Even though I get them rarely, I know enough to realise that it is nothing to go on about like this.

But I’m a man, and any lady might tell you, it is always much worse for us.

The Symptoms Supermarket

I haven’t published a post for some time now, as you may (or may not) have noticed. Other than commenting on other people’s blogs, and keeping up with emails, I have not written anything for six days. There is a reason, though I hesitate to tell you what it is. I have been unwell again. I seem to have written a lot about being unwell lately, and I am sure that you are all getting a little tired of reading about my medical problems. I know that I am. As soon as the debilitating vertigo took itself off for a spring break, I felt reinvigorated. Helped by a change in the weather to warm sunny days, I was convinced that April was going to herald a blog-fest of enjoyable walks, photo opportunities, and happier news from Beetley.

My body had other ideas.

During a feverish and sleepless night this week, my imagination supplied me with a possible scenario. I envisioned a huge superstore, where bodies go (without the knowledge of their owners) to choose what to inflict upon us next. Alerted to the latest offers, two-for-one deals, and seasonal ‘must-haves’, they wander the aisles, wondering what to drop into their metaphorical baskets. I expect that my own body made such a trip soon after the vertigo disappeared. First off, it would have joined the queue at the customer service desk, clutching a folded receipt. Of course it was expecting a refund, at least a partial one anyway. The vertigo had been promised to last at least a year, possibly a lifetime, but had only managed to hang around for six weeks. Not good enough, and not as sold. Once that argument was over, a stroll around the Spring Specials provided everything needed to lay me flat, just when the weather was better.

Heavy Cold?
I’ll take one, please. Full strength, if you have it.
Add an irritating cough at half price?
How about some ‘flu symptoms too? Aching legs and arms, gruff voice, and trouble clearing the throat?
Who could turn those down?
At the end of the rows are those tempting specials, the racks turned the other way, to catch your attention.
Runny nose that won’t stop?
Have to have that, and in ‘Extra-Annoying’ too.
Occasional nose-bleed, guaranteed to alarm and embarrass in equal measure?
In the basket.
What about something that only gets progressively worse, despite all the tablets and cough-syrup?
That’s for me!
If that’s not enough, there’s a real offer over in the ‘Blocked Heads’ department. A head that feels like it is full of loft insulation. In ‘Difficult to shift’ option perhaps?
Two of those, please. I will be needing a spare, just in case.
And how about something to combine them all at night, just to make sleep impossible?
Now you are talking my language.

So when you next wonder where it is all coming from, how your body is able to assault you constantly with all manner of illnesses and conditions, you have your answer. The Symptoms Supermarket.

Coming down with something

When chatting to people anywhere, if the subject turns to feeling unwell, you will often hear the phrase “I think that I’m coming down with something.” I have said this myself, and hear others using it frequently. Until recently, I gave it little thought, but when I heard someone say it a few days ago, it struck me what a strange phrase it is. It has the feel of an old manner of speech, like the form of words you might find in the novels of Charles Dickens, or perhaps could even be spoken by one of the minor characters in a Shakespeare play. In that respect, it appeals to me greatly, and I am glad is has survived though the ages.

I am guessing that it would be hard to translate into a foreign language. I imagine perplexed German or French students studying English, trying to work out what this could mean. I am also wondering if Americans would get it, and if it has travelled across the Atlantic with the rest of our language, or remains uniquely British. I am trying to try to think of some other phrases like this, not regional, but understood by anyone in the UK. It doesn’t actually suggest illness, yet we all know instinctively what it means. Looked at in isolation, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is nonsensical. In similar uses, you could hear, “I am coming down with a friend”, and presume that the speaker was visiting you, in the company of someone else. If someone said “I am coming down with those things”, you would automatically assume that they are bringing things to the place where you happen to me. But when they say “I am coming down with something”, you never question the immediate idea that they are unwell.

When I woke up yesterday, I wasn’t feeling my best. I couldn’t exactly describe any symptoms, although there was an ache in both my back and shoulders, and I felt cold inside my body. After getting unduly stressed about the leaks above the wood-burner, I went out with Ollie, for a long walk. The weather had changed, and though it was still damp, we walked in bright sunshine, in the company of a regular dog-walking friend. I got back when it was almost dark, feeling inordinately tired and cold. Unusually for me, I put the heating on early, and when Julie got home from work, we had a simple meal, that involved little preparation or cooking. By 8pm, I could feel myself getting sleepy. The backache persisted, and my hips also began to hurt. Walking around was reduced to a shuffle, and I couldn’t get comfortable on any of the furniture. I gave up, and went to bed at the unheard of time of 9.50pm.

I didn’t wake up this morning until almost 10.45. I had slept for over twelve hours. My aches are still there, though not painful enough to warrant pain-killer tablets being taken. I feel a bit shivery, and my head feels fuzzy.


I think I must be coming down with something.