Today was going to be a list of 2017 goals. Instead, I’ll be reviewing cold and flu remedies, because I’m got some horrible chest cold. I thought I’d escaped the plague epidemics that seemed to ravage the population over the festive season, but apparently not. My immune system held out this long, but it’s now finally given in. I’m sad. Hopefully I can at least help others in the same situation, give you some healing inspiration.
I had The Illness That Makes Your Head Feel Really Heavy. This is a real illness that has apparently been going round at my mum’s work, making people sign off sick because the intense weight of their head became insupportable. It also gives you all the usual annoying cold/virus symptoms. I spent the past couple of days lying around being weak and pathetic. Now I just feel like I got hit in the head a bunch, keep feeling like I might faint, and have a scritchy scratchy throat. I’m also really tired because I helpfully had a load of nightmares about being bashed in the head and screamed at.
Being ill makes me feel crazy and sad and frustrated. To swith to therapy-speak, illness (along with tiredness, hunger, and being wasted) is definitely a factor in increasing psychological vulnerability. This we learned in DBT in the form of a snappy acronym. DBT loves acronyms. This one is PLEASE, for:
ILlness (treat it)
Avoid mood altering substances
OK I lied about it being snappy. It’s pretty clunky as acronyms go, but it does describe the basics of taking care of your body. This is definitely something I’m getting better at, but it’s still more Bukowski than Buddhist. (And leave Burroughs and HS Thompson out of it!) But I do accept the importance of taking care of yourself – of not completely trashing the body that supports and carries you for your whole life.
The trouble is, I can’t really treat this illness, because it’s basically a really annoying headcold, which is not amenable to anything other than Cold & Flu pills and Tiger Balm (better than Viks vapour rub). Obviously these things don’t really help that much, so now it’s time to mindfully accept the situation.
HAH! Just kidding. It’s time to bitch and moan constantly and do nothing useful. It’s time to wrap myself in a fluffy blanket of free-floating anxiety and curl up on the couch, because outside is cold and the gaze of others makes me feel like I’m burning.
You can tell therapy is working somehow though, because I’m not getting drunk right now.
(I was supposed to be writing today.)
And yes, the Hatful of Hollow version is, and always will be better.
I’m not as ill as I was. I spent a day or two actually in bed, and a day on the sofa, unable to do stuff. I’ve now regained maybe 70% of lung volume? If I breathe too deeply it makes a gross crunching sound. I’m really displeased by this. I thought I would be better by now and I’m bored. Today I went outside for the first time in five days because I had actually started going insane. I went to the shop and bought a wine, because maybe that is the true cure.
Thankfully these aren’t the antibiotics that kill you if you drink any alcohol with them. Or make you instantly drunk and then vomit everywhere. If I ever get prescribed them, I actually quit. Quit what? Everything. Alcohol. Medicine. Humanity. Life itself.
I actually have stuff to be doing. I have a poetry gig. I’ve got two ten minute sets at this event.
I AM NOT PREPARED AND I AM NOT OK.
Also I was meant to be writing a novel this month I think.
And some other stuff. Like, stuff healthy people do, while they breathe and laugh and have lives.
I was meant to go to the annual Halloween rave/riot and to my friend’s party and I even missed out on a Calais refugee aid co-ordination meeting. I am missing EVERYTHING. And you should all be glad of that, because my cough sounds really disgusting and you don’t want to hear it. I don’t know if I’m contagious. Just going to wait and see if my family all get horrifically sick within the next few days. If they do, I’m going to be the absolutely most hated person in this house. I am the plague bringer. I brang you a plague. Enjoy it!
And ain’t none of them good for parties.
Amoxycillin, prednisolone, ranitidine.
Ibuprofen, echinachea, evening primrose oil, herbal sleep aid (hops, Valerian & passionflower – about a quid from Wilko. I prefer something stronger but I do appreciate this stuff too. It do work.)
As seems to happen lot these days, I went to London, had a intensely excellent time, Anarchist Bookfair then catch up with mates I haven’t seen for ages.
Of course I must pay for all my joy, so i came back extremely sick. I blame the cat. I am so tragically allergic that I generally require medical help after staying with a kitty for over 36 hours. I spent 11 hours behind enemy lines this time and and was destroyed.
Some of my friends were already so busted that they were trying to carry out a clandestine (sorry for busting your cover guys) antibiotics swap to try get at least some kind of help for everyone’s chest infections and fresher’s flues, so I assume I caught something from them in a perfect timing to combine with the cat asthma Catsthma? Can I call it that? Or is that too cute for a disease that had me coughing up blood and for once in my hypochondriac life, actually wondering whether to call 111 or whatever.
Learning curve: asthma is scary as fuck. Pain crushing your chest, gasping for breath through the froth and gunge that suddenly seems to be filling 90% of your airways. You’re dizzy and confused from lack of oxygen, trying to keep talking just to prove that you still can and that means you can’t be dying.
Next day, along with the pills up there, the nurse gave me my own inhaler, and may we never be parted.