January is usually the longest month of the year, feeling like it has at least 372 days in it.

January 2020 has felt quite different.

Yes it’s 2020. I’m still having trouble typing and saying it. Sounds like the future doesn’t it?! Twenty Twenty. Well if we are in the future, it still feels pretty backwards. Why don’t I have a hover wheelchair? Why are there still steps everywhere? And why do people still assume I cannot speak or communicate?!

I’ve lived in five different decades now, how old does that make me feel… I’m not sure which is my favourite, but the 2020’s haven’t started off well.

So I said January has felt quite different this year, thats because I spent the first chunk of it in hospital. With flu.

I’ve never had flu before, not to my knowledge. I pride myself on getting the flu jab, and I did this winter too. Yes I still got the flu. It’s not uncommon, there are many different flus, so I’m told. I was also told that my flu could have been much worse had I not got the jab. So please everyone get the jab, because if I hadn’t, who knows how long 2020 would have been for me. Flu hit me hard enough as it is. Also, who knows, if everyone got the jab then maybe I’d have never got flu, maybe.

So I said flu hit me hard, everything hits you hard when you have a cough more laughable than a cat’s. My muscles are crappy, and that includes the muscles I need to breathe. When the breathing became a struggle I called 111. Well my Mum did, I hardly had the breath or energy to talk. They sent an ambulance, as I’m a ‘vulnerable’ human, and am I glad they did.

Because I didn’t know I had flu, until they did the test in hospital. Wow that test is awful. A pipe cleaner shoved up your nose and down the back isn’t pleasant. Nor is flu. More reasons to get the jab. You know you still can. It’s still winter and flu season.

I spent 9 days in hospital being treated by an extremely overstretched NHS. The NHS is amazing, as are most of the people that work in it. I wouldn’t be here without them. This time or the many times I’ve relied on it in the past. Daily even. But it is stretched. Bursting at the seams. Literally. Like a coat that doesn’t quite fit because the measurements were wrong and you couldn’t afford a bigger one. Buttons are popping, pockets are wearing and things are getting lost in the lining. Only it’s people that are getting lost. And people are more important than pennies, lip balm and sweet wrappers.

I’d talk about politics, but I don’t know where to start. Also, I still don’t have the energy for that.

Lets just go back to the bit where I said it’s 2020 and people still don’t think I can speak for myself. If you have a disability and want to feel more disabled than ever… have a little city break in hospital. It’s demoralising to be spoken over on a daily basis, have people talk about you with you there. A doctor asking the nurse beside me if I can communicate. I’m here, right here.

I’ve been home almost two weeks now and I’m still not quite there, not at my normal. Whatever that is.

I left the house yesterday for the first time in weeks, wow the air is cold out there.

I missed two birthdays, and felt awful for another. Who knew January held so many plans that I’d have to cancel.

A few days after I returned home a parcel arrived in the post. A hamper containing gifts for recovery. I have the bestest group of friends.

A view inside the hamper. There is a jar of boiled sweets saying get well soon, a mug saying tea and sympathy please, a purple box of super fruit tea, strawberry flavour Boarders biscuits, and a tin of chocolate chip cookies saying you’re a tough cookie.

I started on the super fruit tea first. With ‘super’ and ‘tea’ in the title I was sure to get a boost. A bit of placebo I’m sure, but delicious indeed, I’ve almost finished the pack. I could do with some more of these.

The biscuits took a couple of extra days to temp me, not wanting to overdo it on the throat and set the coughing off.

It’s people that make a life. And tea. And cats in boxes.

A black cat sitting in a cardboard box.

George cat nabbed the packaging straightaway!

32 thoughts on “Friends, Flu and Frustrations

  1. Sorry you’ve been having a tough time, hope you feel better. Being sick and in the hospital is no fun at all. You cannot get any rest. As a nurse who is disabled now by fibromyalgia, I feel for you as I know what it’s like to wake up every morning not knowing how my body is going to feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure isn’t a place to get rested!
      As a nurse you’ll also understand how busy they are and how there just isn’t enough time or staffing to give quality care. Not with NHS anyway.
      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re having a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Flu is dreadful and I’m so pleased you’re on the mend. I’ve had the flu jab every year bar one in the last five years and the one year I didn’t get it (they’d ran out at my surgery) I had every sniffle cough and cold for the entire winter fortunately no flu so I do really believe getting the jab helps. Also it’s not just about protecting yourself flu is really dangerous to pregnant women, the elderly, those with chronic illness and those more vulnerable. I really hope February is a much better month and that 2020 improves for you. Any afternoon tea plans to look forward to?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You really have had such a crappy start to 2020, I’m so sorry you’ve been so unwell. I think you’ve done well seeing the positive to the flu jab in that it could have been worse without it, while I think I would have just been overwhelmed with annoyance that my body had the audacity to succumb to the flu in spite of the vaccination! 😂I love that gift package, such a sweet idea! Amazing friends. And I bet you were so happy to finally get outta there and go home to a comfy bed and the kittykats. You’re right about the NHS bursting and popping at the seams. It’s very worrying. Considering you’re still not 100% I think you did very well writing such a clear, coherent post – rest, recuperate, ‘take it easy’ as the expression goes. Sending lots of anti-bac, sterilised hugs (don’t want you catching flu Version 2.0!) Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I definitely did my fair share of moaning and moping during the worst days of flu and being in hospital!
      Thanks, the writing didn’t feel very coherent, more like one long mumble. But I wanted to get back on it before I left it too long.
      I do have some great friends, those that I see and don’t. Yourself included. Everyone has been very supportive, and that certainly helps recovery!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Gemma.

    I know it is a tad early, but I wanted to let you know that I will be publishing a post on Tuesday, Jan 28th, at 2 am PST and I have nominated you for the Bloggers Recognition Award. Thank you for being in my blogging arena and your support.

    I hope you will be able to accept and pay this forward, but no hard feelings and pressure should you not be able to do so, I fully understand.

    The post will only be available on Tuesday, Jan 28th, after 2 am PST: https://esmesalon.com/bloggers-recognition-award-7/

    Blogging regards, Esme Slabs from EsmeSalon

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear you had such a rubbish start to the year. Glad you’re back home and feeling a bit better now, and that you got some things to cheer you up. Animals are good at that too – the cheering up thing or just keeping you company.

    Yes, I think the flu jabs are important to. I qualify for one now because of my incident last year, but even for those who don’t, it’s really not expensive to get one and worth doing if it helps avoid at least some strains.

    Take it easy and enjoy catching up on the things you had to cancel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Animals are great companions when you’re not feeling great, well all the time really. They entertain as well as comfort!
      I hope you’re well and 2020 is treating you kindly so far? I’m off for afternoon tea tomorrow, so must be feeling myself again 😊

      Like

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