Tag Archives: Illness

There’s Been A Change Of Plan

17 Apr

Alexander Cosgriff (Alec Iconoclast) in The Iconoclasts, by Dear Hunter Theatre (Sheffield), at NSDF 2017.

So, there we were, all set for his radio debut, and what happens?  Alex comes back from the National Student Drama Festival with a horrendous chest infection and no voice.

He arrived home on Saturday and immediately set to with hot toddies of honey, lemon & ginger; Vicks in a bowl of hot water; a good night’s sleep; no dairy or caffeine – all of the usual remedies.  He went off to rehearsal in Sheffield yesterday with high hopes of a miracle occurring in the hour it took to get from home to hall.  His people dosed him up with more of the same; he opened his mouth to sing…and out popped a box of frogs.

The interview and live singing (by Debra Finch) is still going to happen today, 17h50 GMT on BBC Radio 3, but without Alex. 

Sad faces all round.

Alex is tucked up in bed here at home, disappointed but stoic.  As his mother, I’m less stoic and more gutted to my very core, but I’m a tad more dramatic than he is.

He had a great time at NSDF, at least.  Silver linings and all that.

The show he was in (The Iconoclasts, from Dear Hunter Theatre) is available to watch in its preview form.  It was recorded last year but has changed quite substantially since then.  His big number has remained, however; you can find it at 48 minutes:

Don’t Mess With The Sick Girl

15 Feb
2013_01_160002 we are second tired of these people

2013_01_160002 we are second tired of these people (Photo credit: Gwydion M. Williams) Nothing to do with being ill but funny so I had to share it

As you may have noticed – and if you didn’t, leave me a compliment to make up for it – and if you do that, I’ll know you really don’t pay attention – I haven’t blogged for two days (jokes don’t count).  I’ve been sick.

The last time I spent more than one day in bed, another person came out of me (Spud: Let’s hope THAT doesn’t happen).  His nasty germ transmitted itself to me because, when Spud got sick, he told his father he must stay away; but that I had to look after him (Spud).  Being a mother, I did; and he repaid the love by infecting me.

How he wishes he hadn’t.

According to the Hub, I am a terrible sick person.  I am grouchy and mean and pathetic.  ‘Imagine your mood if you were permanently hungry,’ is how he put it.

Don’t make me hungry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry.  

The Hub has now started with the same symptoms, so Spud ignoring him for days obviously didn’t work.  The Hub’s M.E. always aggravates whatever he gets so that he gets it worse than the rest of us put together.  

Day One: The Hub reckons he feels so bad, he could be in a Findus pie.

An Open Letter To Gwyneth Rees, MailOnline Reporter

15 Mar

I am furious.

My husband has severe CFS/ME, and has had it since 1996.  I read your article in MailOnline.  You, Gwyneth Rees, gleefully suggest that your readers should use the new Skiver app to come up with a suitable illness to get a day off work:

You could just have a one-day migraine, for instance, or you may be struck down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, accompanied by severe headaches, high fever, stiff neck and sore throat. Poor you.

I get that it is a light-hearted piece but it is inappropriate and insensitive to CFS sufferers – and they do suffer, believe me; I see it every day, pain etched into my husband’s face.  Try substituting Cancer/Multiple Sclerosis/AIDS for CFS in that quote, and see how many cheap laughs you get.  (And before you accuse me of being as flippant as you, a random search for ‘List of chronic illnesses’ threw up all of those and CFS, every time.)

I wonder how many migraine sufferers find your comment amusing?  Incidentally, migraine is one of the many symptoms CFS patients have to deal with.  Try having that on top of arthralgia, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, sleep of such poor quality that all it gives is a respite from the daily grind of simply existing, and, of course, fatigue, which is not simply a case of feeling over-tired after a busy day, but prevents you from getting out of bed on your worst days and gives you an hour on your best day, if you’re lucky, in which to do the thousand things your brain wants to do – because there’s nothing wrong with your mind – but of which your body is incapable.

This is not a comprehensive list of CFS symptoms, by the way; merely the most prevalent in my husband’s case.  Every sufferer is different. 

Your article was crass and irresponsible and you bring shame on your profession.


Stress: The Best WordPress Prompt Yet

6 Jan
Maltesers in a tray.

Image via Wikipedia

(Not really; I just like the assonance)

I get stressed at breaking promises.  Yesterday, I promised you a poem a day over on my other blog but I have already broken my word.  I am lying here on my sick bed typing this, my South African poems neatly tucked up in my memory stick in a box in the kitchen cupboard.  I couldn’t go down to get it if a bag of Maltesers depended on it (I think now you will comprehend the seriousness of my malaise).  Fortunately for me I never signed anything, so you can’t sue me.

That’s not the case for this blog: I did sign up for postaday2011 and I’m stressing that I might miss a post and it’s only the sixth day of what looks like being a rather long blogging year.

I’m stressed by predictive text.  I can not send a text to save my life or those Maltesers.  The phone hardly ever shows the word I’m looking for and when it does, I don’t know how to scroll down to it.  Assuming I have any money on my phone to send a text, that is: I always seem to be running out even though I never call or text anyone.  My nephew gave me a new old phone before Christmas and I’m certain it is possessed: it kept dialling up the internet in my pocket and spent £9.47 before I noticed.  On porn, probably; why else access the internet in secret?  Mind you, for £9.47 it will have been lucky to see a naked finger.

I’m stressed sometimes at living in a mess.  The Hub has been refused access to the new kitchen and bathroom and I take refuge there when his model aeroplanes, airline wings, pins and cards that keep him sane in his illness threaten to send me over the edge.

I’ll tell you what I’m not stressed at; in fact I’m impressed with: the many ways I can STRESS a word like ‘stress’, or any

  • other
  • word
  • I
  • choose
  • to
  • discuss

Ain’t personal computing grand?  If you know what you’re doing, that is; which, thankfully, some of my readers do so my Word documents no longer show every ‘Enter’ button I’ve ever pressed.  Thank you, one and all, for the advice.  I knew I could count on you.

Down to business: my body is in distress and I could be depressed but I’m blessed with the gift of constant happiness; all I need is rest.  I confess I’ve put on a vest at the Hub’s behest; he’s prepared some cress in a lettuce nest; we’ll let it digest then play some chess: the winner has to do impressions of Herman Hesse, Sharon Gless, Elliot Ness and a dog called Jess who is a bit of a pest.  Lest we feel oppressed, it’s done in jest; it’s not a test.

I like to think I’m the greatest rhymer in the West, but I guess this is the end of my quest to rhyme every possible word with ‘stress’ and ‘WordPress’.  I know there’s still ‘tress’ but I’ve done my best.  If you’re aware of more, do share at this address in your largesse.  Don’t suppress them unless it’s necessary in the name of progress.  Nevertheless, have an ego caress for your cleverness.

Everyone’s Sick

3 Oct
It's only a head cold

Image by Neil Boyd via Flickr


Spud has a nasty head cold.  So nasty, it kept him in bed all day yesterday so he couldn’t do the promised tidy of his bedroom; lucky for him he had a brand new PS3 game to pass the time.  But his cold was not so nasty that he couldn’t manage to go to the match in the pouring rain today.  Aren’t head colds peculiar? 

The Hub is more sick than usual: no energy; no blood; no voice.  A visit to the hospital on Tuesday will see cameras being inserted at either end to find the cause of his anaemia. His glands are swollen and he’s concerned they might not get the throat camera down.  He reckons they’ll have to take the bum camera and just keep going. 

Tory Boy has his usual bout of Fresher’s Flu.  He spends the first two weeks of every academic year seriously sorry for himself, and with good reason: he has been more ill these last two years than when he was under my dotage.  I mean doting care.  I think students should be allowed to take their mothers to university for the first couple of weeks, to provide the chicken soup and Lemsip.  I find mixing the two and forcing the resultant concoction on a child ensures they won’t bother me unless they really are at death’s door or having their appendix gouged out.  Happily, Tory Girl will be on hand from tomorrow; she can tell him to pull himself together as well as I can. 

I hardly ever get sick.  I can’t: someone has to go out to buy the soup. 




I’m Sick

28 Apr

I apologise for not replying to your emails and comments or for checking out your new poems for napowrimo yesterday.  On Monday, a man who must have lost the use of his arms because he couldn’t raise them to cover his mouth, coughed on me.  Now I have a throat that could star in a Ninja Knives advert and enough self pity to revert to teenagerdom.

I spent yesterday at my do I really have to get a job when I feel like this? course and chasing printers around Stockport (a story for another day).  Then I went to bed.  I have dragged myself out again this morning and I am overdosing on vitamin C in an attempt to get mobile because, actually, I do really want a job even though I feel like this.  I may not get to your poems and emails and comments today because it has taken me thirty minutes to write this between the dramatic hand on fevered brow and checking for plague pustules on my arms, so apologies again.  I quite understand if you ignore me.



We only have two more days of napowrimo and I don’t want to fail so close to the end, but I really wasn’t up to writing yesterday, so here’s  a pair of acrostics I prepared earlier:



Death is sweet instants away; or perhaps bitter
Years.  We know not when, or how.
Sure that it will come, patient
Time counts each day; softly
Opens the doors to
Paradise and elsewhere,
In certainty.



A Response to Complaints About My Last Poem 

Thomas More
Or his seminal
Piece – his peace dream –
I have no hope that
Any future world will be agreeable.



Quiet, Please

5 Apr

Today’s post is written in a whisper because the poor Hub is having the migraine of his life. He is feeling miserable and there’s nothing we can do to help.  He has some medication for it but it clashes with his anti-inflammatories so his joints will flare up.  He says it’s a more bearable pain than the migraine.  On the bright side, he gave me material for today’s poem.  He’ll be so pleased.  I know I am, because I have been struggling with this one.  I read today that ‘Love is a kind of military service’ and for the Hub that’s kind of true: he answers to a commander who makes him do stuff he doesn’t want to do; is paid very little for the privilege; and is expected to sacrifice himself if necessary for the good of the unit.  That’s what he’s done here; isn’t he good?

Spud is also unwell today, full of a cold and feeling miserable.  This is a sick house, as my friends often tell me.



Yesterday’s prompt was ‘inside out’.



Brain beating my skull,

begging once more for release. 

Migraines: no parole.



And here’s one I wrote a while ago that I think fits the bill:



I need the skin I’m in:
skin keeps intestines in.
Without a doubt
they’d all fall out
and I’d be nowt
without what’s deep within.


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