God I hate being ill.
I’m nasal at the best of times but couple that with an inflamed passage (nasal not anal) and sneezing and it’s hard for people to dissect what I am saying.
“Did you have a good weekend?” I politely ask people within my immediate radius.
My colleagues just hear “DIIIID YOOOD HADDDD A DDD WEEKDDDDDDDD?”
“Oh you don’t sound well Sarah.”
“And you look shit!” Inner Sarah chimes.
Yes, thank you for that impeccable observation everybody.
As I scurry off to get hot water and saying ‘Excuse me’ like I’m speaking through a Tannoy I notice I am being avoided.
I’m riddled. It’s coming out of every orifice in my face. My eyes, ears, nose and SOUL are leaking out of me.
One eye, beyond my control, has completely closed and I’m having to walk with my arms out in front of me as I can’t see where I’m going and I’m a bit wobbly on my feet.
My zombie-esque perambulation culminates in an ALMIGHTY sneeze in the tea room.
If looks could kill. Anyone would think I’d been licking people’s keyboards and drinking the communal milk from the carton for all to see.
I decided I needed to go home.
So off I went, driving my car that bit slower, taking more care at junctions because my eyes are uncontrollably watering and it’s like my windscreen is a kaleidoscope.
I make it home and hibernate. I am horizontal for the next 2 days. I’m not exaggerating when I say my hip was hurting because I hadn’t moved in hours.
Naturally, I started to get concerned about bed sores and had images of me being covered head to toe in Sudocrem getting carried out of my house by paramedics, legs and arms akimbo because i’d slipped into some sort of conscious rigamortis.
Another sweaty night being sick meant I needed to shower (much to my partners delight).
I ask you this. Have you ever contemplated how exhausting a shower actually is?
Maneuvering the soap around your face, washing your feet.
Why isn’t our bodily hair all gathered in one place so you can remove it all in one go, like mowing a lovely square, walled garden?
I have to bend down, cock a leg up and reach above my head. My god. I was ready to retire after. Either that or embrace the fuzz and hibernate like an animal.
Gather twigs and leaves and grow my leg hair to conserve heat and muster up a nest somewhere in the loft.
Then came the most exhausting task of them all.
Drying my hair.
It’s one of the only times I’d considered if a buzz cut would suit me. Luckily there was a Snapchat filter at the time which confirmed I’m more Shane Ward than Sinead O’Connor without hair, so the drying began.
Minutes slipped into hours, days into weeks. All I could think was how does Cousin It cope with the flu?
Another day passed and I got up to go to work. I was full of beans and hopped out of my pit to freshen up. As I stood and stared into the abyss (bathroom mirror) the room began spinning. A crushing headache was impairing my vision and balance. I can only assume it hadn’t been ready for full impact when I was in bed. It felt like it had been brewing, like a pocket of wind in the bowel and was only released when I was upright and awake.
I decided to stay home again but knew it was imperative I got some fresh air. This was day three in the same room and I was eager to breathe fresh air which wasn’t polluted with my sweat, bad breath and a faint whiff of Vicks.
I get dressed and step outside.
Big coat, hat, gloves.
There is frost everywhere. I mean everywhere. Even on my letterbox (not an innuendo). It is misty and foggy (two great names for cats) and rather beautiful.
I breathe it in and it makes me cough, those three seconds of fresh air were plenty.
Wham, bam, god dammit maam I’VE BLOODY LOCKED MYSELF OUT.
Shit on it. I pat myself and feel my bank card in my pocket.
Right. I can walk up to the cash point, get some money, bribe a stranger to use their phone and call my mum.
I get three quarters of the way to the cash point and realize my phone is in my other pocket (leave me alone, I’m not well!).
So I call my boyfriend, he calmly suggests I call our landlord who lives five minutes away.
My landlord confirms he is willing to ‘come and rescue me from the frost’.
As promised, around five minutes later I see a distant figure gliding towards me through the fog. A scarf is flailing in the wind, his breath looks like he is smoking an entire pack of B&H at one go as it billows out of his mouth into the air.
“I’M HERE! I’M HERE!” he proclaims at quite some volume.
Is he ice skating down the path?
Is it Heelys?
No, no he is on a bicycle. Oh god I’m still really not well.
And then the drama is all over. I’m back in the warm.
I return to my pit, cursing my own need for a ‘change of scenery’ and apologize to my pillow.
“I’m so sorry I left you. You were right, it was too soon.”
Now, this may be the day nurse talking, but it really felt like the pillow was hugging me back.
Then I slept for 3 hours.
When I awoke, still with my hat on and keys in my hand I did feel better.
Next time I want fresh air I’m just going to crack a window. If it’s good enough for a terrier in the back of a Mondeo in Tesco’s car park, it’s good enough for me!