Feeling Rough Again But At Least We Had Eurovision

Mon 8 – Sun 14 2023

I thought I had turned the corner on my period of illness and I was pleased that my most recent blog (read it here) wasn’t about feeling unwell or recovering. But then I hit another week when I felt a bit rough. Basically Wednesday onwards, I developed a sore throat with a horrible pain in the left hand side of my neck / back of my mouth going up into my ear and head plus more catarrh. Pretty sure it was a glandular or sinus infection.

I pretty much carried on with life as normal as my theory is always that if you are really ill then your body will stop operating. But it was back to extra power hot lemons, paracetamol, and naps though it hurt to sleep on that side of my head. So also a week of quite patchy and disturbed sleep generally. And, at night, with my prostate problems as soon as I wake then I need to get up and go for a wee.

In bed

The pain didn’t really start to decline till the weekend. And a key sign of me not being well was leaving my rucksack in a coffee shop by accident on Saturday – really unlike me if I am well. Inevitably the result of this period of feeling rough was that it was a week when I didn’t get as much activity done as I would have liked. The latter particularly contributed to me not achieving any artistic or cultural experiences yet again.

‘At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.’

Frida Kahlo

Another bank holiday

As well as illness recurring, it was another week with a bank holiday – this time to ‘celebrate’ the coronation. To my thinking, we would have been better with the coronation holiday located in June or July so we could all have enjoyed a nice summer day off. Another bank holiday plus feeling rough combined to mix up the days in my head, again very unlike super-organised me. Such that I ended up buying the wrong type of Lottery tickets on one day – doh!

Eurovision

One thing that feeling rough ain’t gonna stop me doing is enjoying the annual carnival that is Eurovision. It’s enormous fun and a central part of LGBTQ+ culture. Although I know some gay men and women who can’t stand it whereas I just love it.

LGBT rainbow flag

I was with Dave to watch both semi-finals (I do love a good semi) and the Saturday night final itself. TBH, the quality of the songs varied enormously and I wouldn’t say it was a classic year. Although the enthusiasm of Liverpool and the technical skill of the staging were both brilliant.

My favourite was Loreen’s entry from Sweden. A close friend said several months that it was obvious it would win and he was right. Indeed, Dave’s reaction was that it was ‘too good for Eurovision’ and shouldn’t win on that account – hmm. He loved the Belgian entry (it was OK) and I eventually got the Finnish one though it took several watches. Really didn’t get Israel or Italy. Poor Mae Muller, she deserved better.

Health and Efficiency

Gym: Exercise to combat illness

I love going to the gym and feeling rough ain’t gonna stop me unless I am basically at death’s door. If I was really ill then I wouldn’t be able to go physically. Indeed, I think exercise often helps recovery so long as you don’t over do it.

Back to my usual 3 days – Mon, Wed, and Fri mornings. All good sessions where I didn’t over-push myself but I could feel my muscles being worked. And, as per usual, I fell into my trap of getting into the zone and spending longer than planned exercising. Apart from Fri when my illness was at it’s peak and a sign was that I was completely knacked after an hour of workout.

47 gym sessions since the start of 2023 divided by the annual membership = £10.50 per session.

Jog-run: Just about getting through

One of the roughest parts of the week was Thursday when I was due to do my jog-run. Didn’t feel great but tried to not over-tax myself. Indeed, as I was jogging my throat and chest were hurting such that I thought about just packing it in – but I’m glad I didn’t. One of my strengths is definitely sticking with stuff. A decent enough effort but it was about getting round rather than breaking records.

lady going for jog-run in cold weather

Weight

Think because I felt rough, I had swings between feeling very hungry and then days when I just didn’t want to eat anything. The latter was especially true on Wed when I failed to eat at all during the day till I met my mate Dom in the evening. But then watching Eurovision, I was snacking away like we all do.

Overall result was weight basically staying the same.

Sunday ultrasound but an NHS in crisis

Went to the hospital for an ultrasound on my stomach on Sunday morning. Still feels slightly uncomfortable at times and my appetite has declined with feelings of nausea – this all being established before my recent periods of feeling rough due to sinus issues in particular.

All went fine with the scan and I was really happy to attend on a weekend. Indeed, it was easier to get this than get a GP appointment. My GP’s new system is that you have to fill in an online form about your problem so they can make a decision about who and when you will be seen.

What is happening to the NHS? I can remember pre-2010 when we used to have GP drop-in centres alongside normal practices. You do have to wonder if the NHS is being deliberately rundown to force us into private healthcare…

Not what you want to hear

Family and Friends

Mum

She’s doing OK though dealing with a never-ending feelings of illness and chronic pain across different parts of her body. And I think it’s getting worse. TBH, I suspect lots of people as they get older find themselves in this situation. She spends a lot of time sleeping and worries me with some of the particular pains she reports.

But definitely not as hectic a week as we have had recently like when we were getting her new glasses sorted and travelling to see Dave’s mum. This was partly linked to me feeling rough and not wanting to do too much as well as mum’s ongoing problems. Thus we ended up primarily spending time together just watching TV. Really nice to bump into my brother on Wed who I rarely see as he is phenomenally busy with work.

Dom

Out with Dave for a lovely meal with my old mate Dom on Wed night. We ate at a nice little bistro we have recently discovered – not cheap but not too expensive. And a nice sense of relaxed continental dining. It’s always fun to hear about Dom’s escapades including a potential move into the movies. And his travel adventures.

outside a street cafe at night

One funny thing that did happen. Dom looks great for his age. But he was slightly put out when he went to the main toilets which are downstairs. The manager suggested he could use the disabled toilet if the stairs were too much for him! Made me laugh big time.

Patrick and Frances

Me and Dave met up with our friend Patrick on Saturday for a coffee though it was very busy and I was feeling rough. This was when I remembered I had left my rucksack in Starbucks whilst we were walking Patrick back to his flat. Brilliant that it was still there untouched under the table we had been sitting at.

Then on Sunday, we met up with both Patrick and Frances for a birthday meal. This was after I had been for my hospital scan which I had to fast for from the point of waking up. A really nice meal together and lots of nice chats about things past, present, and future.

Books and Reading

Only one book finished last week, another sign that things weren’t normal.

The Marriage Portrait’ by Maggie O’Farrell

The author of the brilliant ‘Hamnet’ which was one of the best recent novels I have read. This is another novel set in the Renaissance period though in Italy rather than England. It is based on historical fact, about a child bride from the Medici family who marries an Italian Duke and then dies. Was she murdered?

This is just a historical interpretation and there is sufficient evidence that Lucrezia’s death was not suspicious as outlined in this article. But this is still a story of an abused young woman; a child forced into a marriage of convenience.

Yes, artistic licence has been taken. But it is still a beautiful book about a tragic young woman forced into a political marriage. And such marriages still sadly happen today. Perhaps more the views of a modern woman rather than a Renaissance one from a noble family, but you can’t help but feel for her and people like her who find themselves in such impossible situations.

Personal Development

A small hiccup

Despite feeling rough, I tried to keep my daily commitment to doing some Duolingo language learning. I have shifted to more of a focus on German as we may be going to visit Berlin again soon as I featured in my previous blog. However, I did miss out on doing any learning on Saturday. We can all have hiccups in our plans but the important thing is to have those plans and follow them as much as possible.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Sustainability

London is looking very lush and green at the moment due to the wet weather. I love walking through parks whilst on my long, purposeful walks. But the lack of sunny weather and heat is getting me down a bit. I need sun to make me feel better both mentally and physically. My psoriasis is so much better when I am in shorts and the sunlight is getting to my skin. Indeed, sunshine seems to be the only thing that makes combats it.

The Week Ahead

  • Hopefully my latest rough patch will pass. I’m sure I will feel better generally when the weather has improved.
  • Aim is 3 gym sessions and a jog-run on Thursday
  • Really looking forward to catching up with my old pals Tim and Bob on Tuesday
  • The pleasure of starting a couple of new books
  • Got to get some artistic and cultural experiences

And Finally…

Be a Zelensky

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