Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I told you I was ill.

“Alice, you are being slightly hysterical”.

“I am not being slightly hysterical”, I screeched, slightly, well hysterically, “I am ill I tell you, bloody ill” and as if to demonstrate my point, I swooned onto the sofa.

“Alice! Get up! For God’s sake woman, pull yourself together”.

“I can’t”, I moaned, the sweat trickling very unpleasantly down crevices I never knew I had.

“Well go to bed then”, he insisted, “I’ll make the kids dinner”.

“There’s a stew in the fridge”, I said feebly as I dragged my body upstairs and that is where I remain, four days later. I’ve missed work, an opportunity at my son’s school, the Red-Head’s ballet recital and all my exercise classes. I’ve missed the PTA meeting, my weekly quiz night and a night out with Mags. That is how ill I’ve been.

Mags however has made no secret of the fact that I’ve brought this infirmity upon myself.

“I bloody knew this would happen”, she said storming into my bedroom one morning, “Let me tell you for the first and last time, you are doing too much exercise”.

“But...” I interrupted.

“No buts. You have weakened your immune system with all those classes you do and now this running thing. It’s ridiculous. You didn’t even walk before and now you are running eight miles a week”.

It’s a very recent thing, I’ll agree, but running is free and out in the fresh air. I don’t go far, in fact it’s a bit of an embellishment to call it running, more a slow trot.

“Loads of people do exercise Mags”, I said wearily, “I don’t think that jogging around the block would make me feel as deathly as I do.”

“A build up would though”, she replied firmly. I just lay there, no fight in me whatsoever as she went on and on. What could I say though? She had dropped everything to come to my assistance and to dress my two young girls and take them to school.

The little ones came in to kiss me goodbye and I lay back on the pillow alternating between the most shocking sweats that left my bed soaking wet and the most terrible shivering that ached my bones as I was so rigid with cold.

After the third day of isolation and my t-shirts being wet enough to be entered into a Miss Wet T-Shirt competition as Hubby so sensitively put it, I thought I really ought to call the doctor. Did the receptionist working there actually see herself as James Herriot’s wife or someone like that because you’d have sworn I’d rung her in the middle of the night and had inconvenienced her as her reply to my weak little request to see a doctor was thus, “Had you not considered contacting us a little earlier?”

“Excuse me!” I replied and wanted to add, hey lady, you are providing me with a service to which my husband and every other poor sod spends thousands in taxes on. It is not midnight, the doctor isn’t your husband and he doesn’t have to drag himself across moorland to visit me. But I didn’t have it in me. Eventually she found a doctor who would deign themselves to see me at “Three twenty”.

“Any chance of a home visit?”, I dared ask, “Only I can’t drive and no way could I walk to the surgery. I really do not feel well”.

“Certainly not. Our doctors are very busy. You will have to make alternative arrangements.” Generally speaking I would have cried at this point but given that I’d sweated so much, there was no more moisture left in me. I spat feathers instead.

Three twenty was a tricky time. Everyone was collecting their kids from school and Mags, God bless her, was not only picking up her own and my youngest ones but she had also taken the dog for the day. It would have been beyond the power of human kindness to ask something else of her again.

Suddenly Hubby breezed in and I’d never been more delighted to see him, “Oh wow, you came home to me. Oh thank God”.

He looked a little sheepish, “Actually sweetpea. I’m not hanging around, I’m off go-karting”.

I looked at him blankly. Then, as if a further explanation was needed he added, “It’s a team building exercise. Er, for my staff”. I could understand if they were pulling themselves across ropes and doing various other assault course high-jinks, after all things like that are often called for in times of conflict. But go-karting? I’ve read few reports of military personnel who have returned from Vietnam, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan describing how tough the go-karting was. Hubby refilled my glass with water and went. Abandoned, I considered the ‘alternative arrangements’ left to me. Dad had gone away for a couple of days, my brother was sick himself and everyone else was at work. Then I thought of my uncle Dave, and with a hand quivering with from my uncontrollable shivering I picked up my mobile and dialled his number. I told him of my request, “Sure doll”, was his reply.

The female doctor was very kind. I explained that I couldn’t understand what it could possibly be; my body was fighting some sort of infection but what? I didn’t have a sore throat or bad ears although I did feel sick. My back hurt but that was probably because I’d strained it in Bodymax class lifting far heavier weights.

“I did bring you a urine sample though” pointing to a brown bag on her desk, “As my innards are the only part of my anatomy left to consider”.

“Oh, that’s what’s in there! I thought it was whisky”. She popped a dip-stick into the glass tumbler and immediately jumped back, “Oh my goodness it’s off the scale. You have a nasty kidney and urinary tract infection”.

Slightly hysterical indeed? Hubby looked suitably shamefaced.


Mary Alice said...

Hope you are feeling wonderful again soon. That is no fun at all. And good for you...running!

dl said...

Poor old you! Presume, by the time I'm writing this, the antibiotics have had their effect and you're back on two feet?

I'd love to be able to say something to in defence of the karting extravaganza, in the interests of male solidarity, but... er....

Best wishes,

Sally said...

Poor you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FULL sympathies.
I do hope that you are feeling better now.

Who exactly do these doctors visit on their home visits? It's never us when we need them either!

Alice Band said...

Thankyou all for your kind wishes. It totally floored me but I'm rockin and rollin again now!

Eloise said...

Bless your heart, Alice! I had a kidney infection once and it was the worst pain I've ever experienced (so bad, in fact, that several days later I delivered my oldest child 20 minutes after arriving at the hospital having no CLUE I was even in labor because it was no where close to how bad I'd felt with the kidney infection!).

You have my complete sympathy and warm wishes for a speedy recovery.