Health, that is. Wellbeing. Being able to stand and walk and crouch and turn. Nothing to it. Until you wake up one morning (the day before yesterday) and find it painful to get out of bed. Either a full bladder putting pressure on the kidneys, you think or you pulled something. A long piss (sorry, micturation) doesn’t particularly help. You hit Google to enquire further. Always a dangerous thing to explore things medical. There was a reason Grey’s Anatomy was not on sale to the general public. By the time you have scanned half a dozen pages, you’re not sure whether dengue fever or the Ebola Virus is going to get you first.
I’m the kind of person not much happens to. My wife catches every cold virus going from the kids at school. I have mostly been immune. Except for the time I was in the doctor’s for a minor check up of a mole on my face and I decided that since I was already there, I might as well get a flu shot. We were giving a dinner party that evening for 8 people. Everyone took their places. I started to sit down at the head of the table and felt a flushing sensation in my face. I excused myself, made it to the bathroom and exploded simultaneously from every orifice. It came on me that fast. Once I was over that first set of spasms, I apologized to the company and decamped to bed with a bucket on the floor beside me. I made substantial contributions to it through the night. The guests, I noticed with vague annoyance, from the sound of their laughter and conversation were having a whale of a time without their host. But they all dutifully took it in turn to check on me before repairing back to the livelier entertainment at the table.
By the following morning yellow matter was materializing from my eyeballs. My temperature was well over a hundred. And it was the best part of three days before I felt strong enough to ring the doctor. I described my ordeal with the usual ghoulish relish one wants to share with all and sundry. The doctor merely said, “Oh, bad luck, you’re one of those rare cases who gets a reaction.” As you can imagine, I have not had a flu shot since.
Right now, I’m assuming lower back tweak. One gets up and sits down very carefully. One walks in a protective stooped fashion. Two main thoughts keep recurring. Oh, my God, there are people who get bed stricken with this. How do they stand it? The other thought is promissory. Yoga, Qi Gong exercizes that I have let lapse. More fruit and vegetables. I’ll be good.
What gets me the most though is how little in the way of warning symptoms one receives. One minute vertical, the next horizontal. You know people who have medical conditions and pains you can barely force yourself to hear about. But all the same, doctor, can I cut to the head of the queue?