Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. On top of 20 days of flu and its complications I now have what I’m hoping is a scintillating scotoma expanding to cover most of my right eye. It’s not like I need to be able to see or anything. Where’s the fucking paracetamol? I know the hell that awaits me.
The aura stuff in a slightly odd way helps explain why I have borderline personality disorder. One of the causes is an invalidating childhood. I was 18 or so when I had my first migraine aura. The rest of the migraine symptoms didn’t start until the next day. I was downstairs with my Mum and brother and told them what was happening. I was terrified. I’d never experienced anything like that and had never heard of it. My Mum’s response was to laugh and accuse me of making it up to get attention or get out of whatever was happening the next day. She never believed me. The next day the rest of the migraine symptoms hit when I was out of the house. Blinding headache, vomiting etc. It was hell but I had to deal with it. It was only later at medical school that I worked out what had happened. She didn’t believe me then either.
So what about the 20 days of flu and complications? On New Year’s Day I came down with flu. It was definitely flu. I’ve had five colds between 1st October and 29th December 2014. I’ve gotten rather good at telling the difference. This was definitely flu. And just to add insult to injury I got it despite getting the flu jab. (Yes I know it’s not 100% effective and there’s more than one strain but it took many spoons to get that jab and I still caught the fucking flu. I’m allowed to be peeved at that.)
The flu itself was interesting. I was so feverish and in so much pain that I was having waking dreams/ hallucinations and was convinced that people needed to sort out the ley lines on my body in order to stop the pain. I asked my boyfriend to research this for me. Bless him, he said he would but in the meantime I was to take these paracetamol. 30 minutes later I was lucid again. That only lasted for seven hours when the fever and pain came back and I was posting nonsense on Facebook (as opposed to what I normally post?) Fortunately friends alerted my boyfriend because I couldn’t move or talk and he came and gave me more paracetamol. 30 minutes later I was lucid again.
The fever and pain and sore throat and sweating and shivers lasted about five days. I barely ate. I tried to drink lots but I don’t know if I managed that or not. Once the flu was gone I was left with the cough. The horrific hacking cough of doom which usually signifies an asthma flare-up. There’s a bloody good reason why I get the flu jab and that’s it. Flu = two months of asthma flare-up hell and then several more months getting my fitness back. I can easily lose six months to one infection.
Anyway, back to this year. I got a GP appointment for 9th January so I could get started on steroids for asthma straight away. The cough was much worse than previous times but I didn’t think anything of it. The locum GP listened to my lungs and checked my oxygen levels and said I did indeed have an asthma flare-up and a chest infection. A chest infection? Oh crap. It did explain all the yucky gunk I was coughing up. Seven days of antibiotics, five days of steroids, a stronger steroid/long acting beta agonist and a partridge in a pear tree later and I was able to go home. By that point I was coughing most of the time, I couldn’t handle cold air, I couldn’t sleep in the bedroom as it is always significantly colder than the living room, I couldn’t sleep lying flat, I could barely talk and when I started coughing it ended with me throwing up. This went on for almost 10 days. It’s day 20 of this illness and I still can’t tolerate cold air (I cough my lungs up), I still can’t lie flat so I’m sleeping propped up on the sofa, the slightest bit od exertion exhausts me and eating solids is problematic because I keep choking on food. I am much better than I was. The cough is now sporadic, I’ve stopped vomiting, I can move around a bit more and playing a few bars on the piano doesn’t leave me gasping for breath. It’s been a miserable start to 2015 and it’s by no means over yet. The cold air problem is a huge problem as the temperature outside is below freezing. The heating has had to be on most of the time because if the temperature drops below 20°C I start coughing again.
I’m really quite lonely too. My boyfriend and his flatmate have been the only people I’ve seen since 27th December. (Apart from a couple of meetings one on the day of my GP appointment and one on Thursday which as I had to collect something really important I thought I could handle it. I did sort of but I was completely wiped for the next few days.) I need female company. I feel completely abandoned. No one could come round at the start because of the risk of infection but now I’m so lonely. Boyfriend and his flatmate went roleplaying last night, I normally go too but the cold and two cats meant I couldn’t. I felt so left out and hurt and I know that’s not fair to them but I hate missing out on that game. I find it really hard to catch up if I miss bits. That’s the way my brain works. I fucking hate being ill. 😦