I have a nasty winter cold, I’m sure many of you do as well. This cold is so bad I’m starting to wonder if “man flu” can cross gender lines. It started out as a normal head cold which made me feel rubbish for about 4 days, then last Tuesday I thought I was well again. Only to wake up Wednesday morning sounding like a bad impression of Kermit the Frog. Friday followed with a character voice change to something between The Mime and Minnie Mouse! I spent most of the weekend trying to get well for Monday (today), no joy on that front because I woke up in the night thinking someone let off a grenade in my throat! What the Hell is this bug?
I’m at that fun stage where I cannot taste anything and swallowing takes great mental strength to prepare for the next thundering shock wave. I just tried to eat my dinner (minestrone soup) and the timing it took to breathe, take a spoonful of soup, chew and then breathe again could have been plotted on a project plan with a Gantt chart.
Enough already I want my body back.
Today I felt as if I was part of a lab experiment conducted to test the human threshold for the number of meetings sustainable in one day, without totally losing one’s mind. We have all had days with marathon meetings or even back to back meetings that test the capacity and robustness of your bladder. Today took things to an all new, almost unnatural, level. My day started at 07:00 and my first meeting at 08:00 just like every day however today once finished with the normal 3 meetings on the trot routine there was no break, then before I knew it 1:00 came and went with me still in meetings. By this time I was beginning to wonder if going to the loo while on mute was even remotely acceptable or professional. By 1:20 with an afternoon of more meetings ahead a miracle happened and my meeting ended 10 minutes early. My bladder was overjoyed! I even had time to get to the canteen for coffee before the afternoon barrage started. Mercifully my last meeting ended at 6:30. I’m not sure if I passed the endurance tests because by this stage I was babbling incoherently!
Today we had the pleasure of having our eldest granddaughter with us for the day. As Monday is our “take Nonna to Northampton day” Ellie got to come along for the 1 1/2 hour ride. Ellie was rattling through the various subjects of conversation (as defined by a 5 year old), such as school, friends, little sister updates and then we got…”when we were with my mummy’s nanny last week, she cooked dinner and she poisoned me! ” At which point Pam and I exchange curious glances wondering where it’s “story” came from. She went on to say that she woke up in the night and was sick. “It’s okay to be sick in a bucket because the bucket will catch it.” By now Pam and I are in stitches! Ellie was still going on about the intricacies of being sick in the top bunk while your little sister is asleep in the bottom bunk. All said with her very serious tone. Ellie then realised that neither of us could speak because we were laughing so hard. “Being sick is no fun you know, I don’t know why you are laughing.” There you go sorted out by a 5 year old.
This week I have had a new experience and one I do not wish to ever repeat. As humans we have evolved over millennia yet we still have a couple anatomical oddities, one the appendix, two the gallbladder. It is the latter that I had an unwelcome experience with. One has to ask why do we still have this organ that we can function normally without. Yes, it has a job to do but the liver is pretty good at holding its own, in the bile production stakes, considering we no longer have a need to digest such things as roots and bark. Yet the gallbladder remains and for many of us becomes an evil enemy causing literal gut wrenching agony. It is mostly due to these little stones made up of cholesterol and other biological goodies, that decide they fancy a vacation to another part of the body. So they pack their bags are hit the road. Their first stop is the bile duct and for some of our bulkier tourists this is a very tight squeeze. So tight in fact that it creates, for the owner of the gallbladder, excruciating pain that lasts over several days. Finally, when the human owner is ready to perform self surgery, using a steak knife and a hand held mini vac, the little bastards squeeze through and are gone on their merry way. The relief is tremendous, you come out of this pain filled fog back into the sunlight. Then it hits you, what if the remaining gallstone population decide to move on. The thought sends tendrils of dread through me. I can honestly say that never before have I wanted someone to cut me open and rummage around in my abdomen but the thought of those little bastards coming back makes it sound like a reasonable idea.