I am sick. Sick, sick and more sick. I have a cold. I know, only a cold. But I forgot how bad a cold can make you feel. I bought a box of tissues last night and took it with me instead of the traditional bottle of wine to L’s for dinner, where a little mound of tissues grew higher beside me as the night went on (L is a kind and tolerant hostess). I finished the entire box about 12 hours later. This morning I awoke at around 4.30 am because I needed to blow my nose. I also took some generic Maximum Strength Cold and Flu stuff for my fever and congestion. It didn’t seem to do anything much for my fever or congestion, but it did succeed in keeping me awake (now I see that it also contains caffeine). I lay there feeling truly miserable, until around 9 am I felt marginally better. I felt a bit like Beth in Little Women, lying awake with the fever, and I could imagine that Hannah the nurse/cook was beside me saying, ‘The fever’s turned. She’s sleeping aisy. Praise the Lord!’
I don’t think I am an especially good patient. I can manage serious things, such as I’ve had once or twice, with relative equanimity, but when it comes to a bad cold, I don’t really suffer in silence. I also like to use as many remedies as possible: Lemsip, hot honey and lemon drinks, paracetemol, Lockets, vitamin C, echinacea etc etc. Being sick can be quite an expensive business. But I think the worst is over. Tonight I’m going to employ the final weapon in my armoury: very hot Indian food. I can just about breathe through my nose again, so the signs are good.