19 days later

It has been 19 days since I’ve had the first symptoms of my illness which I’ve had diagnosed as bronchitis with whooping cough (pertussis) last week. The symptoms initially started with a cough on a Thursday and by Saturday I was very ill with what I thought was just a strong cold.

The week following I continued to go to work, but also had two days off to look after my friend’s children during half term. On the Tuesday, just five days after the symptoms first started, I lost my voice and it hasn’t returned so far – two weeks later. It makes this even more isolating than any other illness.

I am unable to leave the house or even the bed/sofa without feeling even worse or starting a long coughing attack. I can’t talk as it leads to coughing, even if I’m whispering. I have chest pain, issues breathing, general pain everywhere that doesn’t go away with any painkillers and a lot of other symptoms.

I was happy last week when I finally made it and got it diagnosed thinking that with antibiotics it would actually be over soon, but now, a week later, there has been no change asides from no longer having a stuffy nose which was never an urgent problem with all the rest going on. I struggle with the basic day to day stuff – going to the ridiculously close local cornershops is a mission and turned into a nightmare last week when I had a coughing fit so bad I fell over inside the shop and then had some lovely students just step over me. Not one of my happiest moments.

Of course I don’t have any housemates that would help me as seemingly all the nice ones moved out last year. Yes, I knew I didn’t really get along with the ones I’ve got or gained recently, but I am quite obviously very ill and not only do they not help, even when asked directly, but also all the inconsiderate actions they usually do now feel like a direct affront to me. One of them has now stopped talking to me entirely for reasons beyond me, and constantly food, washing powder or anything else not attached goes missing which is really helpful when I’m too ill to actually be able to leave the house to get more.

Additionally being ill is expensive – as I have no mode of transport I have had to rely on taxis plus of course pay for prescriptions and all the other ibuprofen and so on. So far I have spent around £180 just on being ill which excludes any food. I have also not been at work for seven working days (and counting) and won’t get paid for those though I will need to work out how to get SSP which is less than £90 a week. Yes, I know, I should be happy I live in a country with medical care and so on and so forth, but clearly I am not feeling very positive right now.

I was given new antibiotics today and I am worried about taking them as the common side effects actually scare me. I know they have to list every side effect ever uttered in the same room as someone who has taken the pills before, but the talk of fatal liver failure, panic attacks, change of sense of taste and so on isn’t appealing. Whilst more than 1 out of 100 people is still random and unlikely I am worried what would happen if I was one of those that got something that will cause long-term problems. Seeing how well I am coping with this and how well I am coping with being ill now the thought of any long-term problems actually terrifies me. Everyone I have asked about this has called me unreasonable, but whatever, clearly this has frustrated me enough to make me unreasonable.

I am getting more and more frustrated with the entire situation. I hate I can’t be at work when it was just coming up to some exciting projects for me. I hate that I am letting two friends down with some work I promised them. I hate the treatment of housemates and this whole living situation. I hate that I am so ill and not getting any better. I hate waking up each time having problems breathing. I hate that I haven’t actually had a conversation with anyone in over a week who wasn’t a medical person. I hate every single doctor’s appointment or pharmacy trip. I hate that a couple of close friends haven’t visited me despite me asking because I actually needed company. I hate that I am too ill to even hold/concentrate on my phone or tablet so I can’t even talk properly to friends further away (this post has taken hours with all the breaks). I hate this isolation.

I hate the fact that I am really restless and in more pain than usual tonight.

I need a hug.

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