Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sleeping With The Enemy

I was ready to go to work this morning. I'd laid my uniform out, made my lunch, ensured all the meds I'd need for the day were safely in my bag and my alarm was set. However my lungs had different ideas and during the night decided to play up to the full extent of their ability.

I woke up around three feeling extremely cold and yet sweating and a couple of breathes alerted me to the burning sensation in my chest that just seemed to get worse each time I breathed in. I staggered to the bathroom not really sure what I was doing, grabbed my very thick bathrobe, put it on and climbed back into bed where I shivered and ached until dawn.

This wasn't supposed to happen. I was feeling fine yesterday and then out of the blue my body lets me down, again! This morning the overwhelming fatigue is back and it took all my energy to have a shower while Peter called the doctor. I'm off to see him in about ten minutes and am really hoping he can at least tell me what's going on, even if he can't treat it. I don't understand why my body always decides to ambush me at night. I suspect it's when I'm most vulnerable and I take my eye, ever so briefly, off the ball.

With New York's finest February 2002

Well I appear to have GP with a sense of humour, either that or he was practicing for some doctors talent show. He told me that if I expected to get through winter unscathed I'd need to walk around in a 'space helmet'. He then suggested that we'd both be better off if he just signed me off sick until April. And he rounded everything up by telling me to keep warm and get plenty of fresh air. Well with the weather as it is that might be a tad difficult at the moment. On the serious side I do have a temperature, which is why I'm feeling so cold all the time, and my ears, nose and throat are all inflamed. On the plus side my lungs are, so far, clear. The conclusion is that I have a virus rather than an infection. This is good news in some ways but bad in others. With an infection you get antibiotics, with a virus you have to just ride it out. I have been given some antibiotics which I'm to start 'if you feel worse in the next 24 hours.' In the meantime I'm to drink plenty, take paracetamol to bring down my temperature and rest. If I'm careful I might just get away without it getting worse. So I've been signed off for a week, not what I wanted but if it means avoiding an infection it has to be done.

The memorial wall around the site of Ground Zero February 2002

So I'm back to being a lady of leisure and this has spurred Andrew into full carer mode. When I suggested getting a bit of lunch together I was sternly told to 'sit down, I'll do it'. It's going to be a long week.

It's September the 11th today and the shadow that haunts this day is still dark and all enveloping. I remember very clearly watching it all unfold on the TV as I was sitting in the living room marking. I've no idea why I wasn't in work. I can only think it was when I was teaching night classes and so had the day free. Every horrible moment is etched in my memory, as I'm sure it is with others. I cannot imagine how those that lost people in the attack must feel. How do you go on with the mundane of everyday life after something like that? The fact that people have and have done so quietly and determinedly shows that the human spirit can more or less survive anything fate throws at it.

My thoughts are with the victims and their relatives.