Thursday, 3 November 2011

'Am I still ill?'

So, I shall attempt to explain the saga of my continuing poor health. Forgive me if I go on a bit - I will try to stick to the abridged version. To start at the very beginning, I guess I need to go back to the end of July. This is when I first started to feel unwell and thought I might be coming down with a bad cold. At the time I was about to get married so put it down to the stress of last minute preparations and carried on regardless.

The wedding was amazing and off we went on honeymoon where I soon developed a cough. Again, it was nothing out of the ordinary and I assumed the air conditioning in our room was to blame. On our return home I was understandably tired but this was to be expected after long haul travelling. About 4 days after we came back it was my birthday and with impeccable timing, my body decided this was the day for me to feel really bad. I spent the day zonked out on the sofa or in bed and cancelled all plans. I was too ill to even have a birthday drink which I found most upsetting. This was the beginning of the end for me and my body.

After a week or so of feeling really rubbish I went to the doctors and was given antibiotics for a chest infection. The very same day I started taking them, my back went into a nasty spasm, leaving me in constant pain for several days and nights with no respite. It is no exaggeration to say I have NEVER been in so much pain before or since and hope I never experience such horribleness again. So it was back to the doctors, who seemed completely unconcerned and told me I'd probably just pulled a muscle whilst coughing.

Luckily the spasm went completely after a few days but I was left with aches and pains all over my body. As my cough was starting to improve and the doctor was not bothered by my symptoms, I just assumed my body would recover with a bit of rest. I began to feel a bit better and as the end of the school holidays was approaching I thought I would be fine to start back in my job as a teacher.

My first week at work and I was still coughing, snotty and had swollen feet alongside general aches and pains. I tried to put up with it by taking vast quantities of Ibuprofen but in the end went back to the doctors and was prescribed some even more hardcore antibiotics - this time for a sinus infection. Again, the doctor seemed unfazed by my many aches and pains so off I went and carried on working to my best ability.

I found that as well as the aches and pains, I was finding it hard to concentrate and my memory was starting to play me up. I had a constant fuzzy feeling in my head which I assumed was my sinuses and was still experiencing swollen soles in my feet on a daily basis. In hindsight I'm not quite sure how but I managed to carry on at work like this for several weeks. I kept heading back to the doctors but each time was told my body was recovering from a nasty virus and that I should rest.

Eventually, something had to give and one Wednesday morning I felt so rough and dizzy I had to go home. That was the end of September and I have since had about 5 weeks of rest and still my body is unwilling to let me do more than light pottering and short walks. If I attempt to do more, I get dizzy and worn out and spend the next day aching and knackered. On the plus side I can feed and clothe myself and am not confined to bed but then this makes me feel guilty that I am not properly ill and should be back at work or doing something more constructive.

Believe me, I have tried to do more and even attempted a return to work on Monday. This was a bad idea and caused total meltdown of my body. It has taken me 3 days to recover back to where I was before. I now don't feel quite so guilty at being stuck at home as I realise there is no way I can physically carry on as normal. I am coming to terms with the fact that this may take a while longer until I am back to normal and so am thinking of ways to relieve the cabin fever of being stuck indoors for most of the time. When my body allows it, I do try and get out and about for some fresh air and a change of scenery but my confidence has had a bit of a knock and I feel nervous about being out by myself in case I start to feel really tired.

And so ends my rather long essay. Be thankful this is the short version of events! I haven't even touched upon having to change doctors due to the poor care and general rudeness I experienced. Not what you need when you're already feeling awful. Perhaps that's a story for another day as I think I've bored you enough already. If you've made it this far then give yourself a gold star for persevering.

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