Real Man Flu

I have had the flu. Everyone says they’ve had the flu at some point, but not all of them are correct.

I am sure I did. I have never felt so horrible. I think back all the years I’ve been writing this, and I write about illness relatively rarely, thankfully, as apparently I seem to be quite lucky and not suffer it too much. If I get one cold a year that’s about normal, and sometimes not even that.

But I don’t ever remember feeling like death warmed up and writing about it.

Last Saturday I suddenly noticed, thanks to my Fitbit, that my pulse was oddly high. I mean, three digits, constantly. I could feel a headache building, but I thought nothing of it, as I’d been having quite a few of those recently. I’m trying to control my caffeine intake, and it’s led to lots of sleepiness and withdrawal symptoms. Not that I drink much coffee, it’s just that I seem to have become very sensitive to caffeine, so I’m trying to get down to just one caffeinated beverage a day…

But on top of this I’ve been getting horrible migraines, that sit behind my eyes all day, making me feel like I want to gouge them out.

So I have been feeling a little sorry for myself recently, and it all seems to have been since the New Year.

I ignored the symptoms. I went to a shopping centre with J on Saturday afternoon, where I stood bored in an Apple Store for 90 mins whilst J changed his phone for a new one. Yawn yawn. The pain was rising and rising, and all the while the back of my throat was getting tighter. I did start to wonder what was going on. The pulse was now more like 120. I started to feel warm. Very very warm. And tired. Super tired.

I went to bed very early for me, especially as it was a Saturday. I felt truly terribly bad. I knew something was wrong, I just hoped a good sleep would help. But sleep well I did not. I had a fever. I tossed and turned, feeling like I was being boiled alive. The banging in my head continued.

Eventually it became Sunday, which was painful, but less so as I relented and took some paracetemol. I don’t like taking things, but this was severe. I’ve never felt as bad as I did then. The pain in my head, the fever, and now I was developing what felt like a thousand razor blades at the back of my throat. Nothing would shift it. Coughing increased and became painful. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Thankfully, it was Sunday so I didn’t have to.

Sunday night’s sleep was equally evil, as I coughed and coughed all night. My throat became so dry and sore, and it began to feel like there was something stuck at the back of my throat constantly. It wouldn’t go. Swallowing itself became extremely painful. The hacking, barking cough carried on. But I had to go to work. No one else runs our business. J can’t do it on his own, he just can’t. But I felt “better” than Sunday or Saturday, so I felt like I could chance it.

Monday went by and by the evening I was starting to think if I could just get a good sleep it would be all over. But that didn’t happen, and by Tuesday the coughing and dry throat thankfully began to subside, but in its place began The Phlegm.

I have never had to visit the toilet so many times, between washing my hands and our old friend micturition. My hands became cracked, sore and eventually bleeding. My nose was red rare and my sinuses were on fire, so much so that it was painful to keep breathing, meaning I spent most of my Tuesday and Wednesday with my mouth open, which made my mouth dry, which made me drink more water, which made me go to the toilet more, etc etc. It really was a phenomenal amount of purging. It was exhausting. And all the while I had to keep working, including whilst sounding like Barry White on the phone. I had to look after the office on my own as J was out on site. Luckily,

By Thursday the worst of the symptoms were over, and I could start to think life would be over. My head still felt full of crap, but it was flowing out of me less readily now, giving relief to my poor bleeding hands. The phlegm became thicker, and each round of getting rid of it felt like the pressure in my head was dropping. This was a big relief…

The bad news, by Wednesday J started with the symptoms. We’d done all the usual disease control protocols, as we call them, but clearly they were not enough. This was a very bad one. I feel really bad, because J seems to have been hit even worse. He has barely moved from bed, and not been in work Thursday or Friday, and now again on Saturday. But he says it’s a little better this morning. I suspect that means he’s amount to move out from the coughing and sore throat phase to the phlegm one. But at least it’s progress…

Another crap weekend ahead then. Par for the year so far I suppose.