Tuesday 12 March 2013


For someone with a chronic condition, I am absolutely appalling at being ill.  Oh, I can cope with the slings and arrows that MS throws at me well enough, but the first sign of a sniffle and I turn into a horrendous grouch.  Yeah.  Even worse than usual, if you can imagine that.

I first noticed that tell-tale tickle at the top of my lungs around this time last week.  I was still well enough to go running on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was sliding fast into a full-on coughing, snuffling, snorting bundle of fun.  I spent most of Saturday and Sunday in bed and, although I think I'm now on the mend, I'm in the middle of developing an unpleasant hacking cough and I also have even more of a Johnny Cash singing voice than normal.

The thing is that I don't really get colds.

Occasionally I'll get a bit of a scratchy throat, but that quickly passes on without developing into anything else.  I used to think that this was because I am supremely fit and eat an almost industrial quantity of fruit and vegetables every single day.  And perhaps it is....after my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis though, the smart money would be that I simply have a hyperactive immune system that squashes anything before it gets a chance to gain a foothold.  Whatever.  There had to be an up-side, right?

My goodness, did I catch this cold though.  I haven't been walloped by something like this in YEARS.  It is a touch unfortunate that it coincided with the exam I needed to sit on Friday and managed to ruin my weekend, but as long as it buggers off before I leave for Canada this coming Saturday, then I think I can overlook all that.

Obviously, because I'm a man and it's what men do, I've been pumping myself full of massive quantities of analgesics, painkillers and decongestant.  Unfortunately for my poor, long-suffering wife, I've also been transformed into an grumpy, uncommunicative pain in the arse.  Yup.  More than normal.  I don't do ill very gracefully, I'm afraid.  I don't like being ill.  I'm grumpy that I feel under-the-weather and I'm grumpy that I can't go out running and I'm rather afraid that I externalise that grumpiness at the people around me.  It probably wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't also epically unsympathetic when anyone else is ill around me.

I'm quite the catch, huh?

Still.  I'm on the mend now and I may even be stupid enough to attempt to go running with running club tomorrow night.... after I've injected myself with my usual dose of immuno-supressants tonight.  They're probably not going to speed up my recovery, right?  Unfortunately one of the things about MS is that being sick like this causes a spike in your white blood cell count, and that can sometimes trigger a relapse when my stupid body doesn't know what it's supposed to be attacking and goes for my nervous system rather than the cold virus.  Hence I still need to inject and risk that I may well wake up feeling awful all over again in the morning.

Also, I'm doing a little experiment.  I've been drinking hot water or green tea all day to soothe my cough.  I've been interviewing all day today, and one of the candidates suggested that I should try a little jamaican rum to help the healing process.  Yeah.  This evening I'm all over that idea.  Diluted, of course..... but still.  I feel better already.

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