Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I’ve got the Swine Flu!

First there was the Bird Flu and the world was in a panic, having also forever changed my view of birds. Now there is the Swine Flu, and yet again fears of a pandemic are rife. Never in a million years did I think I would contract this disease – a disease associated with pigs! Being well on my way to a full recovery I am happy to report that I have not grown a pig tail or developed an irresistible attraction to mud. I have however been coughing and sneezing my way through a very uncomfortable few days looking like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Having been at a conference for the better part of last week I developed flu like symptoms earlier in the week. At first I thought it may just be allergies (sometimes I should life in a plastic bubble as I am allergic to dust, grass, pollen, feathers and list goes on). It started with a runny nose, progressed to a severe head ache, sore throat, muscle pain and then the coughing started. By Friday morning I could not get out of bed, feeling like death warmed up. I remembered joking about maybe having Swine Flu earlier in the week, but by this time the joked seemed less hilarious and more of an ominous punishment. Later, on Friday morning my Dr confirmed I indeed had the Swine Flu and I was advised to inform my colleagues to consult with a Dr if they present with symptoms. The phone call to my boss was met with a nervous chuckle. At first he was slightly shocked but having a mature sense of humor he made a dietary comment suggesting I eat a lot of bacon, drink plenty of fluids and get some bed rest.
Armed with Tamiflu, antibiotics and assortment of other medicine I returned home. Upon seeing the small pharmacy I had in hand my housekeeper asked me what was wrong. I told her I had swine flu. She paused, frowned then shrugged her shoulders and said “At least it’s better than having Aids!” and continued washing the dishes. The warmth and empathy emanating from her was absolutely palpable as she has the bedside manner of an undertaker. I made my way to the bedroom feeling very sorry for myself as only a sick gay man can do, got into my pj’s and crawled into bed. The next few days passed in a medicated haze with chills, fever, slight nausea and persistent coughing. Husband handling sick people with much greater ease than I do was the perfect nurse, all he needed was the cute outfit. At least his empathy was genuine and his chicken soup delicious but it reminded me of Bird Flu.
Having been immobilized for last few days I had a lot of time to think. I wondered where all these queer diseases come from, and how they are given their names. I guess it’s been made easy -Bird Flu is derived from birds and Swine flue from pigs. Both diseases being quite exotic, quite contagious and now infamous but yet their names do not reflect how they will make you feel. Not having had Bird Flu I shall not comment on it, but having had Swine flu I feel obliged to rename it to appropriately describe what the patient can expect. Taking into account how dreadful I felt the last couple of days, on account of this flu, I feel it appropriate to rename it the “Spewing Wheezing Intolerable Nauseating Evil Flu” – SWINE for short!
Swine Flu being as contagious as it is, I was left to retrace my steps to determine where I contracted it. The only conclusion I could reach is that this pig flu was given to me by some swine at a restaurant the previous weekend. My husband is quite lucky that I was away during the time I was infectious otherwise in all probability he would have contracted it as well. It would have been a rather unpleasant domestic situation had we both been ill. Our cats probably would have gone into a panic as their only source of food would have been bedridden.
Recovering from the Swine Flu and can honestly say I do not recommend it. I am quite fortunate that I only had a mild case I didn’t need to be to go to the “Germ Factory” (aka hospital). In all honesty I must admit Swine Flu is unpleasant but it’s not as bad as people think - it’s basically flu on steroids! If you look after yourself and go to the Dr in time it pretty much is non-lethal. You will feel like road kill but within a week you will be back on your feet again, with fond memories of having survived the Swine Flu, being a statistic and making sure if anyone coughs or sneezes near you to run away screaming while searching your bag for disinfectant.

Till next time.


Elvira Kurt at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal .

3 comments:

Ál said...

Good to know you are recovering well. :D But btw, swine flu do not pass through pig meat, so you will need to think again where you got it :P

Pierre said...

Thanks Al. Just read through the post again, clearly I should not write while medicated found many typing errors.

Michael Rivers said...

Get well soon! I've had a few friends get this and it is not fun!! Hope you have a speedy recovery.

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