A cold virus laid me low for almost two weeks. My life has been on hold. Items on my ‘to do’ lists have been ignored. No visits from grandchildren. No housework – a bonus. I cancelled coffee dates. No blog post. I ignored the work I had planned.
The first evening, I sneezed. Three times in a row.
‘Too much pepper,’ I thought.
The following morning, my head ached. My nose streamed. I sneezed. Over and over again, paroxysm after paroxysm. I stayed in bed. By nightfall, my ribs hurt. Muscles I didn’t know I had in my chest complained when I breathed.
I accepted love and sympathy, coffee, toast and bowls of hot soup from John. Tried not to grumble. Tried to be gracious. Tried hard, even though I felt miserable, sorry for myself.
My illness was a simple cold. I hate to think what it would have felt like had it been the flu. I read in the paper that this is a bad year for the flu. Even people who had the vaccine have been stricken. Perth public hospitals are overflowing. Residents in aged care facilities are isolated from each other. The cold virus is virulent. It spreads easily.
John also spoiled me last time I had a cold virus. Three years ago. I began sneezing on the slow Spanish train between Madrid and San Sebastian. Somehow we’d booked the journey on a so-called ‘local’ train. The trip took nearly eight hours. We’d expected three.
We’d been travelling from early morning on the super-fast train from Seville to Madrid. Lunch in the in the dining car beckoned. But there was no dining car. Nowhere even to buy a hot drink. A single dispensing machine doled out chocolate bars, bags of chips and lemonade. Lunch was two Mars bars. Three hours into the journey, the machine broke down. Perhaps it ran out of goodies.
By the time we arrived in San Sebastian, I was miserable. Hungry. Ill. Thoroughly fed-up and grumpy. I was in the tight grip of an unmistakable cold virus.
Our hotel room was pink. Bright, bright pink and cream striped curtains, too close for comfort. Matching pink floral bed cover. Pink walls. I climbed into the bed and sank into utter luxury. Overnight, I used all the tissues in the bathroom and all those the in our luggage. I started using toilet paper to wipe my nose.
Morning, and John pulled the curtains back. Wonderful deep bay windows with a table and chairs that had been hidden. The room was twice as big as it had first appeared. Sun streamed in. Framed by trees, the ocean sparkled.
John went out to buy tissues. He came back with tissues and a pair of beautiful earrings. A get-well present. The hotel staff spoiled me with special food. Jugs of icy fruit juice appeared.
If I had to suffer a cold virus I could not have chosen a better place. My recovery was remarkable. I was soon out and about, soaking up the sun and sights.
Even a short viral illness can focus one’s mind. I had plenty of time to think. I’m now fired up to complete some projects and start others. The first will be an Australian Society of Authors Novel-writing Masterclass on Saturday. Looking forward.
Some facts about the cold virus
More than 200 types lead to your misery, but the most common one is the rhinovirus, which brings on 10% to 40% of colds. The coronavirus is responsible for about 20% of cases, while the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus cause 10% of colds.
Simple preventative measures we all know
- Frequent hand washing
- Keep hands away from face and mouth
- Use antibacterial wipes to clean keyboards, phones, tablets, taps, etc.
LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES. KEEP WELL.