Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Diary of a summer virus

Day one: you wake up with a sniffle and the ghost of a sore throat. You don't tell your husband because it was thirty five degrees yesterday and, though he warned you against it, you slept all night under a damp towel and a full strength fan.

Day two: your daughter asks what's wrong. Daughters are perceptive. Nothing, you tell her. Only a summer cold. That night you sleep in the lounge under the air conditioning.

Day three: you take two Panadol and head into work. It's going to be forty four degrees. You hope the library air conditioning is working. It is in the work-room. But less so in the library. You take two more Panadol. Drink lots of coffee. Spend the day going between library and chilled workroom

Day four: you barely sleep for coughing. You wake feeling like your throat has been sand-blasted. Of course, you're going to work, you tell your husband. You rise. Down more Panadol. A strong, full, plunger of coffee. No effect. Your legs wobble. You think perhaps driving isn't such a good idea. You call the library. Sink back into bed. You sleep all morning. What about tomorrow, your husband asks you that evening. We're going to the movies. You'll be fine, you tell your husband. You feel an improvement. But when the cool change comes your body is still burning.

Day five: you call the Doctor. Make an appointment. Facebook your friends. Cancel appointments. Your grandson visits. You wave from a distance. More Panadol. A script in your pocket. Not for now, the doctor says, only if it worsens.

Day six: it's worse. Your head pounds. No matter how much fluid you drink. Or how you lie still. You send your husband to the chemist. You're not sure if it's an infection. You think perhaps maybe. You also think just-in-case prescriptions are too much responsibility

Day seven: you feel an improvement. Not so tired. You think maybe you'll go to writing group. Your husband says you've got to be joking. You cancel. Mope. Spend the evening in front of your Apple TV

Day eight. Much better. You feel like working. Though your throat's still sore. At least you're not coughing. Your husband comes in. Tells you not to overdo things. As if you would, you snap back. You know your limits. No gym of course. You're taking antibiotics. But you walk the dog. And pick up the thread of your Welsh lessons. Though you still feel sluggish and tired. You hope you're improving.



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  1. Mohammad ali

    It was really great. All details specially sand – blasted throat was perfect!

  2. Get better soon, Liz. You were missed at the writing meeting, but it’s best to take care of yourself.

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