Monday, December 31, 2007

Woe Is Me

Things got worse.

Last night, my heavy cold breathing became more laboured, and I woke up this morning with a very, very sore throat, an earache, and my upper teeth hurt. I couldn't talk or swallow without a whole lot of pain.

I was really hating that Vick's First Defense.

As the day went on, I simply couldn't rally... cold meds didn't help, my throat was on fire, my ear was painful to the touch, and my forehead was warm.

I was sick. *insert pathetic cough* Oh, yes, and there was the coughing that only served to hurt my chest, not move anything about. I had an entire population of phlemgish living in my chest, and no little bottle of stuff to move them out.

Finally, Loo rang the local doctor and made an appointment for me. With the exchange rate being what it is, I started to panic; what if I wasn't ill? I'd be spending my sad little dollars on nothing. I'd be healthy, and penniless! I've had colds here in the UK, but, I've never been so ill, I actually went to the doctor.... it was a combination of all of my symptoms and the worry of Loo's fiance, who is coming over and isn't in a position to be exposed to any infections right now.

Let's be honest...it was about the raging fire in my throat and ears that did it... I wanted a doctor and a warm blanket.

I filled out forms, and the nurse asked me if I was a citizen of Great Britain. I guess the laryngitis hid my complete lack of dialect. If I had been, it would have been a free trip, with my only having to pay for the medicine. Instead, it was a measly $50, including any medicine that might be prescribed.

I noticed there was a bookshelf of full sized books in the waiting room, rather than the usual stack of magazines I'm used to seeing in the US. This gave me a twinge of worry... I'd heard all the stories of bad health care in the UK, however, if this bookcase was any indication of how long my wait was going to be.... I was in deep trouble.

It turns out, they are sold to help pay for a piece of medical equipment for the practice. I heaved a sign of relief, then coughed and coughed.

The doctor examined me, and said what I wanted to hear.... I was actually ill! Hurrazah!! I! Was! Sick!!

My right ear was infected, with the left one getting that way, my throat is bad, and my lungs sound like little trains, chugging along, she said. Isn't that cute?

I am on some huge antibiotics, 500mg of something or the other, I am to drink large amounts of water, and to take deep English tub baths full of steam.

The English have wonderful bathtubs, long and as deep as a wading pool.... you fill them with hot water from a tank that seems never ending, pull the curtain shut, and-- relax. There is nothing as soothing when you are tired or irritable or sick as an English bath.

The showers suck... they are called 'Power Showers', an oxymoron if ever I heard one.... but, those bathtubs...oh, those bathtubs!

A long soak, warm jammies, more lemon and honey and a sleep in the big bed with the electric blanket helped me start to feel slightly more willing to live.

I've had two doses of my mighty prepackaged UK antibiotics already, and my ears and throat are not quite as consume all of my attention painful as they were...

Isn't it ironic that one of the best things about being sick is how above and beyond skippy you feel when you are better?

4 comments:

Bob Clay said...

I don't know if this will cheer you up.

About 10 years ago I started to work in a school. Here was an ex ruffy tuffy seafarer, government intelligence worker, been everywhere, seen everything, done everything ... working in a school. After two weeks I resembled a giant snotberg, wrapped against the universe in a barrier of conveniently placed handkerchiefs.

A small elderly lady, a biology technician, took pity on me. Her name was Helen, and you could see that in times gone by she had been the sort of Helen that could put mighty greek armies to sea.

She looked at me and told me this .... and I quote ....

"You just started working in a school. You will have two years of SHEER FUCKING MISERY with colds, and then you will never have another."

Buggeryfuck if she wasn't right.

Bud said...

I missed that last post, sorry. And more sorry that you're feeling like crap. Glad you got to the doc. I knew it wouldn't cost you that much. Besides, what price wellness, ya know? It's already the New Year in the UK so I hope it's started off well for you. Do I have that right? Times zones. I'm so confused.

constant_drama said...

Awwwww.... *hugs*

Anonymous said...

get well soon, and bundle up and lots of fluids and rest and NO going about here and there in the snow, and get well soon, okay

austere