I’ve always been lucky enough to be a relatively healthy person.
Despite a childhood being thrown (mostly headfirst, at speed) from ponies, I’ve never broken a bone, and the parents’ laissez-faire attitude to many happy hours spent playing outside in the mud, or with a variety of four-legged creatures seems to have resulted in an allergy-free adulthood thus far. Days off school were few and far-between as I remember them, and bar the occasional winter cold, I’ve never had much cause to gripe.
Or, I hadn’t – until the end of 2009 when my previously robust immune system appeared to pack its bags and leave me to fend for myself.
I was feeling a touch under par one Friday as I sat at my desk in my previous agency, but having never missed a day’s work, I wasn’t planning to start then. I also had no intention of a scratchy throat and a bit of a sniffle stop me heading down to Renowned Military Academy for their winter ball.
Which it didn’t – I duly arrived, had a whale of a time, ceilidhed my little heart out, drank too much and had an hour or so’s sleep.
It was as I was spluttering my lungs out over the guest of honour in the pew in front of me during the Colours to Chapel service the following morning that I thought I might have overdone it just a touch, and as I sweated and shivered my way home that night I conceded that I probably wasn’t entirely on top form.
48 hours later, I was diagnosed as having H5N1 flu.
I spent a fortnight in bed, and then two further weeks at home, and it’s safe to say I was the illest I have ever been.
That bout of flu now appears to be the gift that keeps on giving: I don’t think I now go longer than a couple of months at a time without picking up some sort of bug. Along with countless sore throats and sniffles, I’ve subsequently had a bout of flu that had me off work for a fortnight (missing a trip to Paris into the bargain) and a lung infection that saw a delightful trip to A&E at University College Hospital in the spring.
As I write this, I’m at the end of a double-strength prescription of antibiotics for a throat infection that may or may not be linked to a case of glandular fever, all kinds of tests for which saw me spend a delightful forty minutes at the GP’s yesterday whimpering like the haemophobic trypanophobe that I am.
So if anyone has any magic remedies that’ll improve the situation, I’m all ears. Which, at the rate I’m going, will be the only working part of me left.