Wednesday, 2 November 2016


I hate being ill. I mean properly ill, as opposed to a few sniffles or a day or two feeling a bit under the weather.

Four weeks ago, I had a virus. Four days of almost-flu, followed by feeling better but left with a cough.

The cough persisted. Sometimes, it was so bad I couldn't catch my breath and I was retching. Then it would ease off for hours and I thought it'd gone. Except it hadn't. It became an irritating dry tickly thing...and yet I knew there was no point going to the doctor's because coughs caused by viruses can take up to six weeks to disappear.

Except that things changed on Monday night; I got a pain in my back, assumed I'd pulled a muscle through coughing.

Tuesday, the pain had moved into the ribs on my left side, just at bra-level under my arm. As the day progressed, the pain got steadily worse. Every time I coughed, it was like someone was jabbing me with a sharp stick just below my left breast...and when I sneezed once? I nearly leapt off the sofa.

By this morning, the pain was unbearable. I left my bra off, because even the pressure of the elastic hurt my ribs. Movement caused a deep ache from the bottom of my ribs on the left hand side right up into my shoulder, and I had to hold myself tight every time I tried to cough.

Definitely not normal - so I made an appointment to see the doctor as a matter of urgency.

As I described my symptoms, and then had to pause to hold myself and cough, I saw her shake her head. "That does not sound good," she said.

The diagnosis? My lung was crackling...chest infection. Pneumonia was mentioned, in passing.

Treatment? Painkillers, Strong antibiotics for five days, a chest X-ray (still waiting to hear about that), and rest. Lots of rest. Follow up appointment in a week's time.

That's when I started bawling - poor doctor, she wasn't expecting that - because I felt so rough, and I knew I would have to let people down. Tonight, I should have been giving a talk to a group from church. Tomorrow, I should have been running a creative writing day for twenty Y6's. And sitting in that doctor's chair, I knew I would have to cancel both.

I know that folk will be understanding...I know I can rearrange...I know I have a responsibility to myself and my family to let myself take the time I need to recover. Even if it's 'just' a lung infection, rather than the 'pneumony'...

But it doesn't stop me hating being ill because I'm restricted in what I can do and am so stupidly tired by the simplest of tasks...

Ah well. Soon be fit as a fiddle again.

I hope.


  1. So sorry to hear about this. Pneumonia is a nasty thing.I do hope you get better soon. I'm sure Y6 will understand! xx

  2. I thought, for a bit, you were heading for a diagnosis of shingles - another frustratingly debilitating affliction. Hope you get well soon.

    1. Thanks Sandra - I've had shingles in the past and that was horrible! The prickling pain...ugh! Strangely, that hit just before I was due to go to camp for the weekend with my guides - had to pull out of that event, too. Perhaps it's my body's way of saying 'slow down'? Gives me a dose of something I really can't ignore...?