It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Down with a flu

I couldn't say I was "down with THE flu" - I even wondered about the A flu, just in case someone thought I meant Influenza A. In any case I don't know whether I had H1N1 or not. Three days ago I woke up feeling achy - I want to say "ague", but since it is a word only found in crosswords and I have no idea whether it is pronounced "A gu" as in guru, or "agyew" as in Agnew (and am feeling too shitty to find out) I fell back on "Achy".

Anyhow, I had all the symptoms: headache, diarrhea, aching muscles and joints, a temperature of 37.9C, nausea. As a school worker, I called it in and about an hour later got a call from the department head. After I explained why I couldn't come in she asked me, "So you can't come in?" I said, "No". I should explain that I work with "difficult" students. These are the ratbags nobody wants in their classroom but are legally bound to do something with - that's where I come in. They bundle all of them up together for me. The department head asked suggested I come in anyway and hopefully the students would get it too. She wasn't laughing.

Just to be on the safe side I telephoned the 1-800 number advertised nationally for those showing symptoms of swine flu.... I got an answering machine message that advised me to telephone my local district health board. I phoned them and they told me to contact my GP (general practitioner). When I called them they asked what my temperature was? I told them and there was an audible sound of relief: "We're only seeing people with a temperature over 39C," they said. So I'm at home, reading about flu. The national health department announced that they were no longer trying to contain Swine flu. Instead, they would just manage it.

So, I can't tell you whether I have THE FLU, or just a flu.

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