Patient’s patience


The worst thing about being ill is the being ill bit of it.

Two weeks ago my body was working fairly well. I won’t pretend that I had the physique of an Olympic athlete, or that I was a paradigm of health — I still had dodgy kidneys, courtesy of an inherited genetic condition (thanks Dad!) — but I was still pretty healthy, all things considered.

Then last week I got squatters: some crazy bacterial family that decided to party in my bladder and refused to leave even when I sent in the cranberry police. And then they invited their friends, and the 24/7 party is still going on!

So far, yesterday was the worst day. I woke from a four to five hour sleep at 18:00 with rigors, which happens sometimes when you are fighting an infection. I think what happens is that your body tries to increase your body temperature to fight the infection and it does that by making you shiver, which heats you up.

Of course, being wrapped in a winter coat, a hat and a duvet helped. As did the mug of Horlicks and hot water bottle. Still, it was a pretty scary hour on the sofa. (And not because Hollyoaks was on telly.) I’m not too proud to admit that I cried. A lot. (About my feeling unwell, not about Hollyoaks.)

Jane was an absolute star throughout.

Jane: Should I cancel tap dancing tonight?
Gareth: Yeah, I don’t think I could dance this evening with my bladder feeling like this!
Jane: No, I mean should I cancel it for me?

She did, and instead went to the Co-op to get me some cranberry juice and a bar of chocolate to cheer me up.

Today I ‘just’ feel sore and tired. I’m hoping that the antibiotics are doing their job — is this finally the right bug-killing combination?, and I know that the painkillers are taking the edge off the pain, when I remember to take them.

I’d much rather be at work, I can assure you. Instead, I’m in bed, waiting. I guess that’s why they call sick people patients!

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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