Today’s ridiculous drama: I had just driven back to base and had gracefully leapt from the van barely stumbling at all, when Mike appeared from the shadows and said earnestly, ‘I’ve got vapers’ tongue!’
‘What?’ I asked politely, pressing all the wrong buttons on the key to lock the van.
‘It’s when you lose your sense of taste because you’ve been vaping too much. See?’ he went on proudly. ‘People thinking vaping is simple, like smoking, but actually there’s a lot to know.’
Finally I stopped faffing about and started listening. ‘Wait, you’ve lost your sense of taste? Isn’t that a sign of the virus?’
‘No, it’s vapers’ tongue,’ said Mike.
‘And you said you were coughing earlier. You’ve got the plague! Stay away from me infiltrated one!’ I tried to ward him off with the van key, holding my sleeve in front of my mouth.
‘It’s vapers’ tongue!’ said Mike insistently. ‘I’ll get my sense of taste back once I have some chewing gum. It’s all fine. My vape dealer explained it all, it’s vapers’ tongue. Have you got any chewing gum, I need mint!’
I watched him carefully for the rest of the afternoon. No more signs, but I’m ready with a net, a cross and a plastic bag. We’ve already made plans for how we can survive in the gardens if the plague takes over London, but if one of us get it, then we’re screwed.
I haven’t written much over the last week because I’ve had flu. It wasn’t too terrible, although I suspect this is mostly down to luck, since my flatmate has had a horrendous time. However, not having had flu before, I was surprised that it’s distinctly different from a cold in a few unexpected ways. Not all flus are the same of course, but these symptoms seem to fit fairly well with the NHS guidelines, suggesting that they’re typical. I’m posting about them in case this would be of use to some of you. Whether you need to know what to expect with your own bout of the lurgy or need to convincingly lie about symptoms to your boss, either way, I’m here to help.
Unexpected symptoms of flu
You can’t sleep. The first sign that something was really wrong was waking up about thirty times in one night, with a few hours spent just staring at the ceiling. I managed to snatch a few hours in the week by dosing up on Night Nurse, but it wasn’t until I started to get better that I had a proper night’s sleep. I couldn’t sleep in the day either, which meant the hours went really slowly.
You can’t do anything. I wasn’t so ill that I was stuck in a bed all week, instead I was stuck in a chair unable to move and very bored. Normally I don’t have the patience to watch TV, but for the past week all I’ve done is stare at Netflix like a zombie. I’ve watched Dirk Gently, Sense8, The Good Place and Community, and it’s sort of been fun. Unfortunately I was quite enjoying Sense8, but now I doubt I’ll be able to finish the series because my attention span has returned to its natural scattered state.
You feel queasy all the time. Neither me nor flatmate actually were sick, but we both struggled to eat. Usually we have fairly vegetarian diets, but neither of us could eat any vegetables. Instead he ate very little and only sausage rolls, and I ate considerably more, but only roast chicken and bread (and chocolate and ice cream, cos there is no illness that can keep me from those). I still can’t face milk.
You lose the ability to gauge temperature. The first day I got sick my teeth were chattering so hard I’d thought they’d break. At other times I’d be boiling with fever, until the paracetamol kicked in. Then I’d become just warm, except the heating in my flat struggles when it get’s below five degrees outside, and I definitely shouldn’t have been warm. Even yesterday, when I went back to work and the sky dumped an inch of snow on me I didn’t really feel cold. I’m hoping it’s a symptom that sticks around for a few more weeks.
The cough is very annoying. And painful. It’s a dry, pathetic sounding cough (think Zoolander when he thinks he’s got black lung) but I keep getting stuck on a loop where I can’t stop coughing until I can’t breathe and my head is pounding.
The only other symptoms are: a sore throat that feels like I’ve swallowed a golf ball on fire, and shooting pains through my arms and stomach. Oh and moving reeeaally slowly, getting out of breath if I have to climb any stairs or pick anything up.
Now all I’m left with is the cough, so I think it’s fair to say I’ve been let off pretty lightly compared to many.
So over to you all, any of you had flu recently? Or have you never had it, and like a colleague of mine, suspect all flu is just colds for whingers?