I was so looking forward to the Easter weekend. After months of illness and surgery, followed by months of working like a crazy manic thing, I'd planned an Easter full of treats. Three friends were coming from FarAway City; we had tickets for an ace gig on Saturday night; after they left today, I was going to visit a writer friend and talk about writerly things.
On Thursday I started a cold. Oh well, I thought, Day Nurse/Night Nurse to the rescue, I'll be fine. Friday night was fun, I cooked a good dinner, the friends arrived at wine o'clock, it was all very convivial and jolly. The cold was developing but I was medicating it into submission.
Then on Saturday I got up and, as one does on first getting up, went to relieve myself. I don't know a good euphemism for the next bit, so I'll tell you straight. I was in the process of wiping my bum when something just under my shoulder blade went TWANG and hurt like hell. Oh bugger, I thought, that really doesn't feel good. While in hospital before Christmas, I got the hang of the 1-10 pain scale. It was a 10. No question.
I stood still for a minute and it receded back to an 8. I sorted myself out, washed my hands and staggered back to bed. Maybe if I lie still for a while, I thought, it'll calm down. But it didn't. It hurt to breathe. I was lying in an awkward position, only half covered by the duvet, but I couldn't move. Every time I tried, I scored a perfect 10. I stuck it for about half an hour and then gave up and woke my Paramour.
He and I between us couldn't move me, so we ended up calling an ambulance. I've never done that before in my life. Mick the Paramedic turned up first, did some investigations then gave me Entonox aka gas-and-air, another new experience and a very welcome one. Then another Mick and his partner Dan Dan the Ambulance Man arrived. They were lovely, so kind and helpful. On the way to the hospital, the second Mick told me he thought it was probably just a pulled muscle. I think he wanted to reassure me, which in a way he did, although I replied that I'd feel a right prat if I'd called out an ambulance for a pulled muscle. 'No need,' he said, 'it can be very painful, and you're clearly in a lot of pain, so you've done the right thing.' I could have kissed him, but I sucked on the Entonox nozzle instead.
Two hours in A&E, some prodding and yelling and an X-ray, and it was indeed a torn muscle. I was given Tramadol for the pain and Diazepam to relax my muscles, and sent home with instructions to rest. No problem there, I didn't have any other options. The drugs worked well and I spent a happy afternoon on the sofa, chatting with my friends. They went off to the gig and I had a small dinner as I wasn't feeling very hungry.
Then the nausea started, and the hot chills and the cold sweats. Oh joy. I wondered whether it was a reaction to the drugs, and stopped taking them. I very nearly puked - got as far as standing in the toilet waiting for it to happen - but it didn't. I don't, generally; it's been about 12 years since the last time. I found it hard to sleep because of the pain in my back, and took a painkiller at around 12.30 am, and another around 2.30 when the first one seemed to have gone down OK. I finally slept from about 4 to 7 am.
I still felt sick when I woke up, and didn't want to eat anything, so decided to stay off the drugs again. My Paramour took our friends out sightseeing in the afternoon, and I thought I'd risk some natural yogurt with a little honey. I figured if that went down OK, I could try something more solid, and then maybe have some longed-for painkillers. But it didn't go down OK at all, and this time there was proper puking. Yuck. I gave up on everything and went back to bed.
And I felt lousy all day today, until the nausea abated halfway through watching Clare on Countdown - I tell you, she has magic powers! Having said that, I still feel fairly rough - back hurts; nose is snotty; most of me aches, and I have no energy - but nausea is the worst, and now that's shifted, I feel as if I'm on the mend.
I think perhaps, as that clever Mr Pratchett would say, my brain's been writing cheques that my body can't cash. It looks as if I've had three in one: a snotty cold, a back injury, and some kind of gastric virus. They say bad things come in threes, and although I'm not generally superstitious, I'd be glad if that one could come true this time, because I'd really like to get better now.