Showing posts with label Shingles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shingles. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Happy Easter

A glorious Easter weekend and I have two tall, dark, handsome young men in the house, oozing testosterone and amiability. Did I say I also have shingles? Apparently the virus that causes chicken pox lies dormant in the spinal cord and reactivates when the immune system is down - just when you are about to go on a trip!

Luckily it's not man shingles, so I have spent a satisfying weekend in the kitchen. We have had roast chicken with proper red wine gravy and roasted root vegetables, steeped in olive oil, garlic and herbs from the garden. I have even made stock from the bones for vegetable soup. Rhubarb, also from the garden, has been stewed and I have made a chocolate and almond cake.

I have been for short walks in the countryside and have sat in the orchard with our pet rabbit and the cats playing tag, drinking tea and eating too much cake. Today will be spent with the Sunday Times and a roast leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary, potatoes dauphinoise with carrots and broccoli and more red wine gravy, followed by chocolate pudding with whipped cream.

I never said it was all bad!

Friday, 30 March 2007

Not visiting Lille

The train to Lille is leaving now. And I am not on it. 

A tiny, insubstantial part of me leapt out of bed at 7 o'clock this morning, washed, dressed, breakfasted and left the house. My long, dark hair is clean and shining, my lips are Afghan Red and I smell deliciously of my new Annick Goutal scent, Eau de Charlotte, which my mother gave me for my recent birthday. I am wearing my dark indigo Gap boot-cut jeans, which make my legs look long and slender, a dusky-turquoise, long-sleeved jersey top, slightly low-cut, with gathered sleeves. Very pretty! And black suede ankle boots; blue glass dangly ear-rings and a blue, turquoise and metal chain necklace complete the look. At the door, I put on my black corduroy jacket and pick up the dark pink weekend bag.

I had planned exactly how I wanted it to be. I had such a strong image of myself doing this. Sitting outside cafes with my book (Suite Francaise, I thought) watching the world go by, drinking coffee, eating a delicious lunch. Then wandering around the old town, dipping into shops, buying gorgeous dark chocolates for my family and friends, spending the night in a hotel room overlooking the Grand Place. Tomorrow, the Art Gallery perhaps, then more browsing, wandering, eating and drinking before catching the evening train back to London, then home.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Does pain have a colour?

I think my pain is white. I have never been in this much pain without something having to be removed or expelled. Labour was the last time. The doctor thinks it could be my appendix, but on the other hand it could be a virus. He's given me some strong pain killers with lots of codeine in them, that act like a chemical cosh, and for the first time in days I have had some sleep, but then the drug wears off and the pain kicks right back in again. It's hard to see that this is going anywhere I want to be. Certainly not to Lille. I packed my pink bag this morning in case it's an emergency dash to the hospital.

Life is extraordinarily simple at the moment. I am quite alone here in my rented farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing I can do, no work, no social life, no cooking, driving, cleaning. I'm suspended, waiting for something to happen. For things to resolve.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Tea and Toast

"And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China"
Leonard Cohen

My tummy has a life of its own. It wriggles and squirms. It gurgles and grumbles. It holds conversations with itself. It probably has hobbies that I know nothing about! I'm thinking of putting it down for French lessons. 

For the last three days I have eaten nothing but toast with Earl Grey tea. It's all I want when I'm not well. Very comforting but not at all substantial. I have hardy slept either and it's not getting any better, so today I have held my ground with the doctor's receptionist and shall be seen at some stage, by someone, later this morning. I expect I will be the only sick person the doctor sees this morning, because you can only see a doctor by prior appointment - at least 48 hours notice, please.

I have phoned Eurostar and the insurers to find out if I can make a claim/change my ticket, should things not be resolved by Friday. Yes to the first, no to the second. I shall be so disappointed if I can't go on my little trip. It seems very hard.