It started a week and a half ago with a sore throat. As is normal for me, this became an earache, and then the whole thing dropped down into my chest for a congestion party. Weakness, exhaustion, dizziness. Last Wednesday the doc diagnosed a “non-specific viral infection” (how often have I heard that recently), possibly brought on, and certainly exacerbated by, stress.
Work has been very understanding. In addition to the sick leave I took while I was, well, sick, I’ve also taken a week off to try and get my head back together.
On Friday we rented a car and drove down to Northumberland. We found a wonderful little hotel, the Crown Inn in Humshaugh, a few miles out of Hexham. Unfortunately, I woke up on Saturday morning with a rotten headache. I thought it would go away with some breakfast and tea, but it didn’t happen.
We spent the rest of the day in and around Hexham. Abi assures me that we had a good time, but it’s all a bit of a blur for me. The headache just kept getting worse and worse. Every time I moved my eyes, turned my head, or shifted my posture, I’d be struck down by a vicious pounding right behind my eyes.
Saturday night was awful. Double-doses of paracetamol and ccodeine weren’t helping. Thinking that I might have been dehydrated, I was drinking vast amounts of water. And if I wasn’t just lying on the bed, in the sweltering heat, trying not to toss and turn for fear of the hammering pain, I was getting up every hour to pee. Which, of course, started off the cascade of rippling violence throughout my brain.
By morning I was exhausted, soaking with sweat, still in agony from my head, but now also from my overworked kidneys, and incredibly bored. (I hate it when I’m so ill that I can’t even read.)
Oh, and then I had to drive us back to Edinburgh. Gah.
We made it back and I collapsed. I managed to sleep for a while, but if anything, my head was getting worse. Abi called the emergency doctor service. They reckoned that I was too ill to come to the medical centre, so the on-call doctor came out to see me. She diagnosed an opportunistic bacterial infection in my sinuses. (I hate bacteria. They come in and kick you when you’re down.) So now I’m on antibiotics and some new painkillers, and I’m glad to say that I’m feeling a lot better.
Last night, after the first of the antibiotics had kicked in, and the pressure behind my eyes had relented a little, I almost thought I was fully recovered. But that was probably just because the pain before had been so bad, and any respite felt like nirvana. Now, I’m just back to feeling weak and exhausted again. My head still hurts, just less. I’m still coughing, and still feeling congested, but the phlegm isn’t luminous green any more.