I’m a hypochondriac and I’m OK…….

Do you know the monty python song, I’m a lumberjack?  Well my mum used to sing me her own version called I’m a hypochondriac and I’m OK.  I have found myself always trying to solider on through any illness for fear of being a hypochondriac ever since my childhood.

At the moment I have some sort of flu, I feel like hammered shite.  But I also have a baby to take care of so I keep on trying to pretend that everything is fine, then I do too much and feel even worse.

painted door

This morning, instead of painting a big red cross on the front door to warn the world to stay away from germ land, I make rocky road cakes and cleaned out the fridge.  I have no desire to eat anything due to feeling so rubbish, so I am not sure why I felt compelled to make sweet treats, but I did.

I really must learn to allow myself to be sick occasionally, you know, like when I actually am.  I have had many moments in my life that should have taught me this lesson, but even though I know what I SHOULD be doing, you will nearly always find me doing the opposite.

I lived in a big, mouldy flat for six years.  I loved it there, it was cheap, I could do whatever I wanted to and the landlord took care of the garden, so I always had a great garden to be in with zero effort.

Living with mould will eventually screw your lungs up.  Especially if you immune system is taking a weekly hammering on the weekends by far too much partying.  My lungs decided to show me that they were not invincible by coming down with pneumonia.  Thinking that I must just have a particularly nasty flu, I tried to soldier on.  My housemate found me collapsed, covered in sweat, wheezing and feeling like I was drowning from the inside.

I sent myself to bed and called in sick for work.  Thanks to that lovely housemate I didn’t die.  He would bring me cartons of juice and bars of chocolate.  I would crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom.  When I felt up to walking to the end of my road (my doctors surgery was located there) I made my way to the GP.

He was horrified.  Apparently the week that I had been languishing in bed, sweating and falling in and out of fevered sleep, I should have actually been in a hospital bed.  I had managed to not die because only my right lung had succumbed to the illness.  Good old lefty kept me alive, that and galaxy chocolate.  I had passed the major hump of the illness so I was allowed to stay at home with a big pile of tablets.

My doctor had asked me why I hadn’t called him to my house.   My reaction, “Don’t be silly, I am not a hypochondriac, I came to see you as soon as I could walk here.”  He kindly explained that if you are too ill to walk the length of your road, you are most definitely not a hypochondriac and that the surgery would happily send someone to make sure that I didn’t die.

How funny that teasing from my mum has shaped my whole outlook on illness.  I am probably responsible for the spread of germs all over the place due to my reluctance to rest and get better.  Instead I will cough and sneeze my way around public transport, supermarkets, the pub etc…

I don’t remember fawning around the living room as a child, complaining that there were dreadful things wrong with me, I must have done though, otherwise my mum would not have felt the need to tailor a song to make fun of this behaviour.  I think it worked a bit too well.

If I become a zombie one day I expect I shall be leading the herd, assuming that I am completely fine, merrily eating the living and trying to go to work.


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