Saturday, October 3, 2009

On being under the weather


It’s that time of year – I believe it is accurately referred to as “flu-season”. People are falling like flies – one after another we must succumb to the superior force of the threatening micro organisms that so effectively disrupt our everyday lives. This year, in addition, there is the swine flu scare making even the moderately sore throat feel like a potential danger.

Normally, I'll fall at least twice a year. Once during spring, and once during autumn. It’ll start with my throat, move up to my nose, and before you know it I sound like I speak fluent French. The nasal voice I can live with; but the runny or stuck (or both) nose, the headaches as a result of this and the coughing are all more bothersome elements. It’s not comfortable having a cold, but I’ll survive.

Which is why it really annoys me that the news continue to report new incidences of the H1N1 virus every day, and how this makes me feel a little bit insecure – could this be what I’ve got? Even though I know that it is perfectly normal for me to catch a bug this time of year, it does admittedly make me a little bit edgy. Contributing to this is the fact that I’m in a foreign country, which not only means I’m far away from friends and family members I’d normally turn to in case of emergency, but it also means I am subject to a foreign health care system [*cough*orlackthereof*cough*] if it should get serious.

Now, I have of course already googled swine flu symptoms, and found that I don’t have that many of them. In fact, I don’t even have all the symptoms for normal flu (fortunately I rarely get the achy muscles), so the only conclusion is that this is nothing but my twice-a-yearly cold. Hence, I’m not really worried. It still is inconvenient.

Then again, when is it really convenient to get sick? Never. And after all, right now my position isn’t as bad as it could have been. I live with friendly and helpful people who would certainly take me to the doctor if I should need it. I am only a phone-call away from comforting words from home if I should need that. And being my own boss, there is nothing stopping me from taking a sick day or two (Friday was one).

Keeping this in mind, I try to put the “cozy” back in being sick (hm... This would make it “sickozis”, which actually sounds really bad...). After all, there is very little that is more comfortable than waltzing around the house in sweatpants all day, drinking lots of tea and eating chicken soup. I have the Kleenex supply of a talk show hostess’ wardrobe, I have several good books and movies awaiting me and I have nothing scheduled until Monday morning. Therefore I will take the opportunity to wallow in self-pity this weekend, and hopefully be all better by Monday.

Besides, there is a silver lining to this. I’ve felt this cold approaching for a while, hoping that it would turn out to be nothing. Nothing it was not, but at least I got it now, instead of a week from now, when I’ll be putting on my traveller’s boots and go west! *crosses fingers that I’m all better by then*

Currently listening to: Hallelujah by Nick Cave

Currently reading: Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Norman G. Finkelstein (though I did fall asleep during the introduction, so I’m not entirely sure this qualifies as “reading”...)

Currently missing: my sense of taste and smell


M.J. Nicholls said...

In the UK we milk sick days like prodigious udders.

Little snuffles become terminal illnesses. We tirelessly drudge up as much mucous as tears possible, using twenty big buckets to catch the gloop.

Then we take a week or two off. We're hard workers. **sniffs**

I wouldn't worry about the swine flu. If it's not in the media, it's not a threat. That's the rule.

Get well!

Cruella Collett said...

Thank you - I appreciate it. And don't worry that I'll worry too much about the swine flu (even if the reasoning doesn't stand since it IS in the media. A lot. All the time). I might take a leaf out of the UK book and milk this, though... ("prodigious udders"?!? *snort*)

Watery Tart said...

Urgh! I HATE colds! And I think the surest recipe for illness is being around new germs--every time the kids switch schools, we get a new batch of the crud--the germ monsters. So you are in a high risk zone, surrounded by not just germs from a different part of town, but a different country.

MJ, you crack me up. I know a few Brits, and they don't seem like big giant whiners to me!

M.J. Nicholls said...

CC: That's odd! In the UK, we barely hear about swine flu now. We're into the season of paedophiles and killers over here.

Jeez, my last comment was badly phrased. Missing words everywhere. See, Hart: very very whiny!

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - don't I know it. The funny thing, though, is that when I was in Japan, I didn't get a cold at all (though I had that funky stomach thing, but I'm ignoring that at the moment), so I reasoned that this probably meant that I wouldn't get sick in a warmer climate, since it does seem to be the change of seasons that does it at home. Not so much this time, apparently.

M.J. - I think that killers are integrated in the regular news here, as they don't appear to merit a season of their own. It would be hard to peg them to sesons at any rate, since you've got new ones all the time. The swine flu is more tangible that way.

*claps hand over mouth*
Jeez, what has happened to my diplomatic self? I'm all - sarcastic and stuff (especially stuff). Is this a virus related disease too?!?

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