Hypochondriac? Me? Never! P1030435

Its ’orrible. I’m ’orrible. Everything’s ’orrible!

Its me own stupid fault of course. Last week it was. Wednesday. Psyching myself up to wander into town (anything requiring the remotest effort requires me psyching myself up for it; a process that usually consists of a lot of slobbing around whilst consuming numerous coffees and fags… and mulling; let’s not forget the mulling) I do my customary trick of sticking nose outside front door to sniff the weather.
Just to give me some idea of what apparel I need to be draping over the old bod. Or, to be more precise, how many layers I need to be thinking of wearing. After all, Summer’s still a way off yet.

Hmm. Doesn’t seem too bad. A bit overcast maybe, but mildish (like it had been the previous few days) and generally sort of ok. Possibly a hint of rain happening later in the day, but nothing to worry about.

That’s it then. Sorted. Dress accordingly. No need to overdress… not today.

Bit more psyching up, then start the trek along to the bus stop.

About two-thirds of the way there it begins to dawn on me there’s a bit of a breeze blowing. In fact, wind would probably be more accurate. Tad on the chilly side too. But dammit, I’ve gone too far now to turn back for an extra layer or two. Sod it, it’ll be ok.

Waiting at the bus stop however it seeps into the old brainbox that the wind is definitely a bit chilly. Distinctly cold if truth be known. Underlined by the arrival at the bus stop of other folk kitted out with scarves, thick gloves, overcoats and all sorts of stuff appropriate to Winter. The sort of stuff sensible people wear in such conditions.
Possibly I’m a bit underdressed after all. Significantly underdressed.

But do I contemplate returning home for more suitable wear? Do I hell. Not a bit of it. Oh dear me no. Far too much like extra effort, that is. Foolish foolish me.

Not a lot else to say about the day itself really. Usual sort of nonsense. Wander around town. End up at The Bear. Abuse mate a bit. Periodically pop outside for the occasional fag. Outside in that wind. And The Bear’s back yard always seems a damn sight breezier than anywhere else in town. Veritable wind tunnel. Finally depart on shopping expedition. Then the bus back home.
But throughout it all, bloody cold. Can’t seem to get warm at all. And that wind has a real biting edge to it. All day long.

I first begin to suspect something’s a bit adrift Wednesday evening. Within a half-hour of being indoors I’m sniffing, snuffling, sneezing, and generally in a right old mess. Coughing, spluttering, spitting out all sorts of goo.
The sort of state that usually has me muttering to myself (in irritation bordering on anger more than anything else): “This bloody nose of mine. This bloody bloody head of mine. Full of shit!”
As you can gather, I don’t have a lot of patience with the old bod once it starts messing me around: “Bloody sort yourself out and let me get on and do stuff uninterrupted.”

Now I’ve played these games before. And what normally happens is that after a long hot bath (very hot… lobster-boiling hot!) and a good night’s sleep (accompanied by a liberal dose of whisky in a mug of hot milk) all trace of the chill, incipient cold, whatever, has totally disappeared. Poof! Vanished. Gone.

Not this time however. Following day I feel like crap. More the symptoms of proper ’flu than a cold in fact.
And no. I’m not one of those stupid people that describes every single chill, every little sniffle, as “flu”. Wimps and drama queens the lot of them. Don’t they know that real ’flu, proper ’flu, has a tendency to lay you out for days at a time, if not longer. It ain’t nice. I know. I’ve had it. Only once, but that was more than enough for me thankyou very much.

So, I’m not one of those people. When I say “flu” I mean the real thing. And this particular malaise had distinctly ’flu-like characteristics.

Couldn’t be swine flu of course. Cos we all know (if we listen to the media at least) that swine flu inevitably kills ya. And I ain’t dead. Leastways, I don’t think I am. Yet! And if I am then I’m damn clever, cos I’m managing to write this.
Anyway, swine are kinda small. “Human-sized”, a lot of ’em. And this lurgy that’s seized me is sort of big. So if anything its prob’ly brontosaurus flu or something.

To make matters worse, I was committed to a little jobbie over the coming weekend. Couldn’t get out of it. Couldn’t afford to get out of it. Even though the effort bloody near finished me off.

Monday I’m finally free of all encumbrances and so at last can get to grips with this ’orrible lurgy that has me feeling like something that’s been thoroughly chewed and spat out by someone. Someone particularly unpleasant… and prob’ly with halitosis.

Interrupt the flow of the narrative at this point to obligingly provide a bit of contextual background, cos I’m helpful like that…

I ain’t the sort of person to have much faith in conventional 21st century British “healthcare”. GPs, hospitals, and all the rest of it… personally I reckon they suck. As does their very approach to healing… the “philosophy” behind it, sorta thing.
Ok, I readily admit there may be occasions when I really do need to call on their services. Broken bones for example. They’d prob’ly be ok at fixing those. Or where I genuinely need to have meself chopped about a bit. Or something that’s so desperately dire that I couldn’t get access to the stuff I’d need to sort it meself. (Curse the stupid legislation that covers the sale of “dangerous” substances.)
But as for anything else, well, “stuff ’em” is what I say.

And have said for some years now. Getting close to a couple of decades in fact. During which time I’ve successfully dealt with a number of fairly nasty little episodes that are best not even mentioned.

This “alternative” approach of mine, that has at its command an entire arsenal of herbal, homoeopathic, and essential oil remedies, is driven by a coupla things.

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! _G104180

Skepticism of conventional healthcare prompted by a really bad experience nearly twenty or so years ago whereby had I listened to the “experts” I would have submitted myself to a surgical procedure that, even one of those so-called “experts” finally and reluctantly admitted, would have been totally unnecessary. Fortunately good sense prevailed and I decided to not listen to ’em, and to treat it myself. Which is exactly what I did. Successfully!

Why did I not listen to them? Cos throughout the entire series of consultations and examinations that finally led to the pronouncement that “surgery will be necessary” not a single one of those GPs consultants or specialists bothered to listen to my thoughts on probable cause. Not a single one of them! Despite my trying to tell ’em, numerous times. Oh no. They knew best. Cos they were the experts. Patronising bastards! Well, they were all wrong. So much for “experts”. Heh heh.

Ok, maybe they’re used to dealing with folk who don’t actually have a grain of common sense or intelligence when it comes to matters medical… but that’s another flaw. The “conveyor belt” approach. Not looking at people as individuals but simply as bodies to be repaired. Which makes these so-called “experts” little other than mechanics really.

And the other thing is the “philosophical” background. Strikes me the entire approach to health and healthcare nowadays is fundamentally flawed.
Too much focussing on outer symptoms instead of inner causes. An over-preoccupation with “healthy living” and hygiene and insufficient attention to state of mind. (I’m inclined to think that this hygiene fetish really messes up the immune system. What chance have we for building our body’s defences when we make so much effort to avoid coming into contact with anything even remotely dodgy? Weren’t like this when I were a kid!)

And far too much shelving of responsibility for one’s healthcare onto others. Seems people run to the Doc at the merest hint of something wrong nowadays. Instead of giving the body sufficient time and space to sort itself out. Or trying to sort it themselves. Which frequently is surprisingly easy to do if one’s actually “in touch” with one’s body, and prepared to make the effort to try to sus out what’s really going on. Cos basically its all cause and effect. The trick is in identifying the real cause. And for that you don’t just need an understanding of how the body works, but of how the mind and emotions work as well.

To mention just a few examples.

From which you can deduce that I prefer a much more holistic and self-responsible approach.

So, what with me being a pagan-type person an’ all, you’d expect me to be into alternative type things, wouldn’t you? Self-healing, natural remedies and stuff. Quite right too. Things, for example, such as herbalism. And I am. Bit of a surprise then really (and a bit embarrassing) that I can’t tell the difference between one growing thing and another.
Fortunately, nowadays, witches wizards warlocks druids and other such weird people don’t have to worry too much about searching field and hedgerow for what they need. Cos most of what’s needed comes ready harvested, dried, and encapsulated… all neatly packaged in bottles… from places like health food shops. Whoopee!

Still means you sometimes have to break the capsules open to get the mix you want. But hey, that’s a doddle.

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! _G104193

Ok, maybe they’re not quite as effective as freshly grown and “harvested at the right time of day/year/phase of the moon” stuff… but they seem to do the trick.
Just as well really cos otherwise I’d be well and truly stuck. Or I’d actually have to start learning stuff. And that offends my innate laziness.

Essential oils are another thing. Yeah, it is possible to extract these oneself. In fact, many years ago (dammit, must be nearly thirty now I come to think about it), a mate and I occupied a few happy weeks messing around doing precisely that. What a right caper that was. Spent oodles on lab glassware and stuff… but Fate smiled on us cos we also managed to pick up a whole bunch of stuff from a retiring pharmacist. Had a bit of a laugh too. And a few “mishaps”. Oops.

Though we weren’t into the therapeutic side then. We were more into making incenses and stuff.

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! _G104192

Only problem there is, again, you really do need to be able to distinguish between one growing thing and another. Mate was brilliant at it. Me? Bloody useless.
Just can’t remember things, that’s the problem. Mainly names. Can’t remember names of things. Not names of growing things at least. Or what they look like. Sadly lacking in the “associate this plant with this name and then bloody well remember it” department. Usually remember my own name well enough though. Sometimes.

Fortunately, like herbs, essential oils can be bought ready-to-use from various suppliers.
A bit of a caveat here though. You have to be careful where you get them from. Cos they have a shelf life. And they have to be kept at the right temperature. Of which a lot of stockists seem totally unaware. Like they’re unaware that they shouldn’t be letting customers keep opening the bottles and sniffing the damn stuff… and then not replacing the caps tightly enough! So what you end up getting is something that may still smell as it should, but in terms of its real therapeutic potency, well, just forget it.
Consequently, whenever you can, buy from a reputable supplier, buy fresh stock, and store it yourself under proper conditions (temperature-controlled and with caps screwed tightly on… er… and away from light as well).

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! _G104201

What all this means is that I keep a fairly substantial stock of alternative type “substances” around the old homestead… for just in case.
Nor am I averse to the odd bits and pieces (conventional medicines) that can be bought over the counter from various pharmacies. Well, at least until the stupid do-gooders regulate even that.

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! _G104199

Far as I’m concerned those damned interfering do-gooders should regulate themselves out of existence. Taken all the fun out of life they have.

Right, that’s the “narrative interruption” over. Now where was I?

Oh yeah. Suffering. Badly.

So, time to tackle this bloody ’orrible lurgy for real. Which I does. And spend most of Monday (day and night) in bed.

That bringing us rather neatly to today, Tuesday. Wake up bright and early and, after the obligatory fag and coffee, spend a little time poking and prodding meself. Figuratively speaking. See if everything’s all present and correct. And functioning as it should. Or as best I can expect at my time of life.
Hmm. Still not quite right. Not as such. But distinct and noticeable improvements.
Temperature’s down. Though the bed stinks a bit. Mainly from all that gunge I plastered all over me chest. Possibly from some of the stuff I sweated out as well. Dammit! Means I’m gonna have to move washday forward a few months.
All those nasty aches and pains have abated quite considerably. I can at least move without discovering bits of me I never knew existed.
And that really disgusting stuff I seemed to be constantly coughing up from deep inside seems to have… er… vanished somewhere.

Though I’m sure you didn’t really want to know all the gruesome details… but isn’t it nice to share?

In fact, relatively speaking and all things considered, I’m now feeling quite chirpy. Which, in a rather perverse way, is a bit annoying cos it means I could have gone on a little photo-jaunt that had been arranged but that I’d cried off from earlier in the morning believing I’d still be feeling like something found in the bottom of a rubbish bin. Something ’orrible found in the bottom of a rubbish bin.

Oh well. Just have to find some other way to amuse myself. Maybe indulge in a bout of self-pity then? Used to work a treat in the halcyon days of my youth.
Only problem with self-pity is, it gets a wee bit tiresome when there’s no-one around to appreciate it.
Moaning and groaning to an empty room and unheard cries of “Woe is me” aren’t really all that satisfying. Not what you’d call “rewarding”. Not when there’s no-one around to mop your fevered brow and indulge your every whim. And believe me, I have lots of whims. Most of them not being the sort you’d want to mention in polite company.

Hmm. So, fed up with that game decide it must be time to tell the whole tale on-line. Thing is though, its all a bit boring. A bit mundane so to speak. Really need a hook to hang it on. Something to spice it up a tad.

Photographs! That’ll do the trick. Then I can legitimately post it on the old photoblog. Heh heh.
And for me to start messing around with cameras and stuff again must mean I’m well over the worst. D’you know, I haven’t even looked at a camera in the past three or four days. Not a real one. Did have a coupla dreams (hallucinations whilst in the throes of fever?) about them though.
Anyway, if I’m tinkering with cameras once more then obviously things are looking up. Jolly good.

[Brief interlude whilst pics accompanying this post are taken, processed, uploaded to Flickr blah blah blah]

Oh bugger!

I suspect this pic session screws up playing the “Woe is me” angle. How can I be “Woe” if I’m able to knock out a few pics? No chance now of some nubile young gothette stumbling across this post, taking pity on me, and volunteering to come and nurse me back to health and the… er… other enjoyments of life. And just as I was beginning to get quite drawn to the idea. Sod it. Hoist with me own petard again.

Hypochondriac? Me? Never! P1030437

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
This entry was posted in Photography Chat, Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Lurgified

  1. imetam says:

    I hate doctors and won’t go to them. I know, I know, but I won’t. I see no point in it. I don’t trust them. I am scared they are poisoning our bodies with their pills. Just listen to or read the side effects of all those crazy pills doctors prescribe. Also, never seems to surprise me that someone will be on a round of antibiotics for a week or more and then end up sick AGAIN a month later. That’s usually the case with sinus suffering folks. Always sick. Always got something up their nose.

    Of course, as you know, we are into herbalism. Matter of fact, we buy a lot of our herbs from a local health food shop (others come from a very good online shop). If I feel I need an antibiotic (which, i’ve not had to take in years), I’ll use echinacea. I drink herbal teas, take vitamins, eat well (and what I mean by well is organic, fresh, grass fed, free range, hormone free, antibiotic free, etc…) I know, I am boring. I do have pizza on occasion, and I love mexican food…LOVE IT!, but for the most part, it’s only fresh good food for me. I enjoy being healthy. I can’t stand to be sick. But if I do get sick, I use herbs and give my body time to heal…which means LOTS of sleep.

    I am glad you are feeling better. And I am sorry I wrote a book in comments. 🙂

    I am glad

    • fotdmike says:

      The book’s fine 😉

      And describes pretty much my own approach… apart from the eating bit. I don’t eat anywhere near as much “healthy” food as I should. But on the other hand, I don’t eat very much anyway. That’s another pet grumble of mine. That folk tend to eat way too much. Seems to me that if one’s conditioned to eat less then whatever one does eat (in terms of healthy stuff at least) is actually more beneficial/effective. My staples at home tend to be fruit and cheese mainly, with the occasional plateful of pasta. Problem is, when I’m out and about I usually end up eating junk food.

      The thing with docs is, when I think back to the times I did visit them in the past I’m hard-pressed to recollect an occasion when they’ve done something for me that I couldn’t have done myself… had I the knowledge at the time! So that, it seems to me, is the key… find out for oneself how the body works etc.

      As regards their predilection for prescribing drugs, so many times have I encountered examples of people being caught in an escalating spiral of a veritable pill cocktail, where they have to take one drug to counteract a side-effect of another drug they’re taking; then a third drug to mitigate the effects of the second, and so on. The end result being of course that their own body chemistry gets completely screwed up and the drug-dependency takes over their entire life.

      And you’re right again about those bloody antibiotics. Poison the lot of ’em. Talk about screwing up body chemistry… oh boy are they good at that. To say nothing of how ineffective they become with repeated use.
      Yeah, like yourself, if I really need something along the lines of an antibiotic (rare though those occasions are) I’ll resort to echinacea.
      As regards anything else, I’ve always found a good basic “medicine kit” is vitamin C, zinc, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil. With aspirin and TCP on standby from the “orthodox” side. And honey. Honey’s excellent for a lot of things. Oh… and salt. Natural salt that is. Proper sea salt.

      And sleep. You’re right on the sleep too.

      Oh, and let’s not forget the whisky either! Its amazing what a good strong dose of whisky will sort out.

  2. forkboy says:


    I confess that as I’ve moved firmly into middle age I spend less time getting to the doctor when something appears to have gone awry. I’ve adopted a similar “wait ‘n see” approach which has, for the most part, been just fine.

    For me the moment came when my current doctor (who I very much like) suggested I see a specialist for the oft-occurring problem I had with my sinuses. The specialist checked me for allergies and found nothing of note or interest. He then suggested I have a CAT scan of my head because “You may have a physical problem with your sinuses.”

    Mind you, I had been treated for almost two decades by doctors who simply assumed my particular problem was allergy related, but none ever suggested I be tested OR have my physical structure checked.

    And sure enough the CAT scan revealed that one of my nasal passages was damn near shut on a permanent basis and it was, oddly enough, the side I had the vast majority of trouble with. Surgery ensued and things have been so very much better since.

    And I couldn’t help but think how funny was your statement “Couldn’t be swine flu of course. Cos we all know (if we listen to the media at least) that swine flu inevitably kills ya. And I ain’t dead. Leastways, I don’t think I am.” I thought living in Bedford was one of the sure signs of death?


  3. Pingback: Service announcement « Adventures of an Idiot – occasional ramblings of a photography freak

  4. Pingback: Cyanide? Sounds right up my street! | Adventures of an Idiot – occasional ramblings of a photography freak

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