A quick glance at a calendar tells me I've been ill for over a month. I've taken three sick days each roughly a fortnight apart. It is getting quite disheartening and is something I worry about as beyond the fact I feel I'm letting my employer down, I spent four years living with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) which is now more commonly referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I've had a couple of minor relapses over the years so I'm cautiously optimistic I'll soon bounce back. It's a controversial illness with some arguing it to be largely psychological. My response as a teenager was fine, give me crazy pills then but I'd like my life back please. Anyway, rather than get into that I've decided to share the health advice I've been given over the years.
Spit buckets and whisky
Paul was my on-off boyfriend from my GCSE's to when I went to uni. He was at Hull University (reading Physics I think) and was friends with a student nurse. Whenever someone was ill she would remind them to keep spitting in a bucket; spit spit and never swallow. The reasoning makes sense in that whatever you're coughing up is probably best out of your body. I try do it when I remember but actually it grosses me out a bit so today I haven't been.
Hot honey and lemon. My mum made me this as fairly standard fare when I was a child but I wasn't a huge fan of how sweet it was. Around my mid-teens I was allowed proper hot toddy's and think they are awesome (not really suitable for taking to the work place however). My ex used to point out that drinking while you were ill might numb the pain but could prolong the length of your illness.
Which leads me onto getting rid of unhelpful people. Really, my ex had to go. The fiancé makes fabulous hot toddy's and still wants to cuddle me when I'm sweaty and feverish.
The fiancé has had one piece of advice though and that has been banning me from consuming dairy as it increases mucus production (Mmm get me with the sexy talk in this blog!). Avoiding dairy seems smart but really I'm doing it because he's largely the person feeding and watering me.
Given that she watched me fade before her during my ME days my mum is understandably concerned and keeps reminding me to rest and stay warm. Obvious advice but hard to follow. Feeling a bit better I did some gardening on Saturday (in the drizzle no less) and subsequently spent yesterday ill on the sofa and had today off work. Two days doing nothing and I'm bored as hell.
A piece of advice I'm not following is my paternal grandfather's prescription of iodine for everything. From applying it neat to open wounds to gargling with it, iodine was the answer. I have never actually tried it as my mother always got in his way with her radical application of plasters and paracetamol. Still, Grandad isn't far from his 90s so maybe he's onto something.
For the last two weeks the Monday Guest has written a blog for me. But there are a whole host of people I want to feature and not all will write. Some will be interviewed and others will have their story written by me. This entry follows the latter and is a life lesson from my maternal grandmother who I called Nana.
Wear fabulous shoes
It was the last time I saw her. I knew she was dying and that this last meeting would be goodbye and felt at a loss as to what to do. On impulse and from lack of any other ideas I put on my hot pink suede shoes.
I went into her room in the hospice and felt really awkward. It was her but somehow not her. Nana wasn't the staying still sort. Even on the sofa at the end of the day her hands would be busy with cross stitch or tapestry. She asked to look at my shoes. She liked them.
And on her deathbed my Nana told me to always wear fabulous shoes. I promised.
I'm not one for regrets. For the most part I endeavour to live a life that I won't regret but I wish she could have met the fiancé. I wish I could tell her that not only do I wear fabulous shoes that not only make me smile, feel good about myself and that in making me make that promise to her, she was giving me the gift of taking her with me with each step I took but that I could tell her an utterly absurd love story.
About a girl that met a boy online and his username was Jimmy_Choo and when she realised she was in love with him she took a train to London and went into Jimmy Choo. That the girl bought a pair of shoes and told the boy and that absurd action not only made him smile more than he thought a pair of shoes could make him smile but that in a single crazy action she realised anything was possible.
Life lesson #1: Wear fabulous shoes