Sunday, 14 January 2018

This British Bulldogs's got Brexit Flu!

Holy bloated bedbugs, Batman! I’m not under the duvet, I’m slammed against the mattress. 

Thankfully it’s been ages since the flu and I met up, so I’d forgotten how crushing this feeling is.

Unable to sleep for the last 48 hours, I’m dazed, incoherent and immobile. This bastard bug has me floored me, damaging my body from top to bottom. My head hurts, but you'd expect that. My toes are cramping weirdly. I’ve a rash breaking out over half of my body and a pain in my gut like I was stabbed with a stiletto.

My teeth are jangling and aching and in my middle, even my bloomin’ dangly boy-bit baubles are  - Ouch! Ohh! - tender and sore.

Stay warm, they say. Keep an even temperature and drink fluids all the time, they say. You have to flush your kidneys, to rid yourself of all the toxins, they say, which is all well and good, but these morsels of advice don’t go well together.

I’m drinking water by the gallon, but as a result I need to go to the loo every half an hour, which means leaving the warm cosy environment of my sick bed. Trouble is, on the way I go through a temperature change that brings out of me explosive sneezing fits.

I can’t help the fact that, at the best of times, I sneeze very loudly, and with the backing of this virus it now sounds like I've smuggled several tiny piglets into the bathroom, where I'm systematically strangling them.

In fact the only laugh I’ve had out of this illness so far was when the Snapper told me that one of my sneezes, amplified by the echoey bathroom walls, gave Lady Dog such a shock she fell off the sofa.

As the fever first hit, Storm Eleanor was raging outside, offering a hellish and apt soundtrack to my suffering. However, despite all my whingeing, I’ve not had it as bad as herself.

December was a difficult and demoralising month in the Adley cave, with obstacles to ambition appearing suddenly, constantly and randomly. My usually endless resolve and boundless optimism were already starting to fail me when, a week before Christmas, the Snapper came down with her first bout of flu.

Burning chest coughs and high fever kept her bed-bound for a week. Despite my own deteriorating health, I had to keep going, as our lovely doggie needs to be taken out for walks, peepers and poopers. 

Everyone took great pleasure in informing me that we are the bosses and the dog’s needs come second, but when you can you tell that to the dog’s bladder and bowels, let me know!

I knew I was running out of steam when I managed to prang my poor car’s rear offside wing three times in three different supermarket car parks on the same wretched morning. The signs were there, but I couldn't be ill.

Not while she was.

True to Christmas Miracle form, herself became well again, and we enjoyed two days of communal festive revelry. Then on Stephens’s Day (Boxing Day in this house) she fell ill once more, this time with what I suspect was the Australian Flu.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice to say she shrank and shrank, until I was really worried about her.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, it finally took control of my systems. Walking Lady Dog, I felt as if I was tripping out. Lady sensed something was up, as I tried not to fall over. She walked very slowly, looking up at me, as if to say

“Go to bed, you fool!”

Left with no choice but to seek reinforcements, I abandoned my stoic post on the Bridge and picked up my heroic friend Whispering Blue. A brave and loyal man, willing to risk his own health to help others, he stayed a week, looking after the dog as we looked after ourselves. With his arrival I could let go and finally allow myself to be ill.

I am, in fact, writing this in bed, a trembling snotball of a man.

It’s a rare experience that offers us nothing, and this illness has taught me a lot. All those vital things I was stressing about? They don’t matter any more. 
The tiny matter of our citizenship applications will have to wait. The chase for that massive payment is on the back burner, until I stop burning. Things I considered most urgent have been wholly let go.

“Remember that, Adley!” I tell myself, as I squash an ant strolling over my bedroom floor. 

No chance.

Thankfully this is not (yet!) anything like as bad as the Beijing flu that nearly killed me in 1993. I’m also grateful that I haven’t had the gastric nasties that came with her bout of Aussie flu.

Seems like this British Bulldog has got full-on Brexit flu. None of yer Johnny Foreigner bugs for me: just the good old-fashioned traditional cold, cough and fever, accompanied by an absence of energy that feels alien and utterly dispiriting.

A few months ago the Doctor decided that as I’d never presented myself with flu at his surgery, I didn't need a vaccination.

Now I wish I’d pointed out that I’d never go to the doctor with a flu virus, as there's nothing he can do, and yes please, stick me with your needle.

Some believe vaccinations only make things worse, encouraging viruses to mutate and disguise themselves, so that our immune systems cannot spot them.

It’s all very humbling. There’s nothing medical science can do to cure these viruses, and no war has killed more people than the flu.

Excuse me: I’m off to the loo to impersonate some more piglet murders.

Stay well!

©Charlie Adley

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