Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
For a devout optimist, I am quite a hypochondriac as well. I felt ill all day yesterday, and went to bed around 8.00 pm, having eaten nothing but kid's cereals - which I never normally eat - and having drunk nothing but water and orange juice. My bones ached and I seemed to be developing flu-like symptoms.
Incidentally, as I opened the first, small box of chocolate 'flavoured' cereal, I noticed that the brightly coloured image on the box seemed to depict a large, cartoon rabbit, ravenously eating great mouthfuls of stuff which looked exactly like rabbit-shit. That cannot have escaped the awareness of the designers, who must have been appealing to the highly-developed sense of humour of the average 6 year-old, surely?
Have you noticed that, whenever you try to find out the tell-tale symptoms of potentially fatal diseases, they always begin with 'flu-like symptoms' as an initial pointer to diagnosis?
Although - at most times - there is only me in my rural workshop, I do share it with others all year round. Rats. Well, rats and mice, to be precise.
Maybe it was the footnote on yesterday's post about rats arriving in the Crimea carrying fleas that put me in mind of Weil's disease, but Weil's disease is never far from my mind when I am out at the workshop anyway, together with the little detail about the lives of the rats which spread it - you know, the one about how they have no control over their bladders.
On many occasions, I have tried to look up the symptoms of Weil's disease, just in case I should ever contract it in the future, through spending too much time in the company of rats. Main initial symptom: Flu-like aches and pains.
Aching joints - tick. Stiff neck - tick. tickling cough - tick. General feeling of lethargy - tick. Actually, the last symptom seems to be all year round these days, so it doesn't count.
A few years ago, my German friend caught me reading one of those 'Home Doctor' books which list the symptoms of most known (and some rare) diseases, and as he looked over my shoulder he said, "It's a wonder we are still alive at all, eh?"
I aroused myself at 2.00 am and went downstairs for a drink of water - I had a raging thirst to add to my list of symptoms. My heart-rate had not subsided from when I first went to sleep hours ago, and seemed to be about 120 BPM. My joints ached even more as well.
As I drank the water, it occurred to me that some ibuprofen might help with the general pain of the whole business, so I swallowed three with the water. Before you accuse me of drug abuse, let me tell you that the Head of Pain Management at our local hospital is a mate of mine, and said that all these household analgesics work very well - so long as you take enough. I am quite large, so I do think I can survive more than the average child's dose without doing myself too much harm.
And they did - I went back to sleep quickly, and I feel a bit better this morning - well enough to drag my sorry arse to work today.
I think that the outcome of untreated Weil's disease is liver (and other organ) failure. Too much ibuprofen will also destroy your liver. Too much alcohol will destroy your liver as well, but you didn't need me to tell you that.
1344 - 5 year old Erik Magnusson is appointed heir to the Swedish throne by his father, against the wishes of the people.