Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Having spent a few hours awake last night, my frequent and 'productive' cough not only preventing me from sleep but also leaving me retching, I decided that I would visit the doctor again today and beg for antibiotics, cough mixture and a prognosis. He was a kind and patient man who examined me thoroughly and listened attentively to my symptoms and the course my illness has taken. "I think," he declared, "that you have been all the way to Africa and come back with 'flu." On further discussion, he admitted that he thought it is, in all likelihood, swine flu. On the one hand I always find it encouraging to have a label if I am ill and a description which I can easily give people, but on the other hand I am concerned that I will now be a pariah and may have infected my family. In the basesment of my mind, I am aware of the huge blessing of the NHS, how amazing it is that twice this week I have been able to access excellent medical care within a couple of hours of deciding that I might require it and have easy access to the drugs that I need. However, all the other storeys of my consciousness are filled with feeing very sorry for myself and thoroughly miserable.