Wednesday 20 February 2019

That rhino could kill an elephant ... or me

John Masterson had a gold standard man cold
John Masterson had a gold standard man cold

John Masterson

They call it the rhinovirus. There are a family of them and they are all nasty. Apparently the word comes from the 'rhin' being the Greek for nose. These little monsters give us the common cold. I assumed the source of the word was because this pesky virus could fell a rhino. Or me. Which last week it successfully did.

I realise that in the grand scheme of things a dose of the common cold is a mere inconvenience. People have far greater crosses to bear. But the common cold that felled me last week brought a full complement of self-pity and self-centredness and frankly, for 48 hours my brain and emotions were AWOL and I would not have lifted a finger if my neighbours were under nuclear attack.

I had the flu once so I am scrupulous about getting the jab in November. I do not want it again. Most years I get a head cold and soldier on and after a week or so I am back to normal. But this was a gold standard man cold. On Saturday I felt emotional for no good reason and I have noticed in the past that that is a sign that my body is fighting an infection. I refused a glass of wine which is also odd. It all made sense when I woke up on Sunday poleaxed.

I showed my face at work on Monday, well dosed up, and did a few things I had to do. I made typo after typo. My fingers would not connect with my brain. I suspect that any work I actually thought I did would have to be undone later. I was far from myself and this is just a cold. I headed home to the fire and that was when I realised I was quite sick. There was no music I wanted to hear. I wanted silence. There were box sets I could have caught up with and I had no interest. I realised I would rather drink poison than coffee and that is not the real me. I picked up a few books and never got past a paragraph. I lay on the couch and realised I did not care about anything or anyone. All I wanted to do was sleep. A ministering angel appeared early in the evening with hot soup which I managed. "I will sleep it off tonight," I said. I am not even sure if I said thank you.

Tuesday was day three and I headed to work and repeated day two before heading home to the couch by the fire. I lay there playing mental games to convince myself I was getting better. I would recite the track listing on Sgt Pepper. I got stuck on Revolver. I wasn't sure of my car number. Or bank account. And then I realised I couldn't remember the names of the five Carlow-Kilkenny TDs. It was when I was trying to remember had we become a four- seater that I realised I was still way below par and went back to sleep.

I knew I was regaining the will to live when I switched on the Channel 4 News. There was a report about one of the surviving Dam Buster pilots and for no reason I became emotional. The same sign, this time that body and mind were resuming functioning.

I wish I could sit here now confident that I will now be immune to the next few rhinos, but that sneaky family chop and change all of the time so some viral cousin will get me next year. I will treat it with respect.

On the positive side I lost six pounds which gets February off to a good start.

Sunday Indo Living

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss