Illness strikes again

My plans for the week gone went totally awry when I started to feel ill the previous Sunday. More details below but the big knock-on effect was with my exercise routine which did not go as planned in my previous blog – read it here. Lots of sleep helped and I managed to rescue my gym timetable a bit. But there was also an unexpected negative impact on my reading and personal development

Days lost to illness and sleep

Last Sunday afternoon, I started to feel a bit rough. So I took to my bed and began a period of chills, fevers, and shivers. Sleep on Sunday night was rough and I felt so dry and dehydrated. Monday was just on and off all day in bed with a hot water bottle. Tuesday, I managed to get to see mum to check she was OK before going back to bed again.

Only on Wednesday did I start to feel a bit normal. Thursday onwards, I felt like I was ‘drying out’ as I waited for the mucus to clear. But I have still felt rough right into the current weekend. Still on the hot lemons and sleeps during the day as well as early nights. My night time sleeps are good but so deep, I am sure the depth indicates that my body is still trying to recover.

The disease within my body

It’s fascinating to think what is happening with my body due to the illness (or what I think is happening). I know I had some bacterial or viral infection; I gave my partner the benefit of the doubt and assumed he hadn’t tried to poison me. Basically the germs were multiplying exponentially through Sunday and into Monday. While my immune system fought back and focused on protecting my internal organs.

Meanwhile, my generally raised body temperature would have caused the sense of dehdyration. I presume toxins released by the bugs or by their destruction caused the mucus and stomach trouble I experienced through the whole of the week and into the weekend. So often my body would just have demanded I shut down and go to sleep so that it could focus energy on fighting the infection and allowing itself to get by with its minimal levels to keep me functioning.

Dying lion or is he just tired or ill?

Gym and Swim: Sessions missed and consecutive days

My plan had been to do 3 gym visits and at least one to the swimming pool. Well, obviously, my illness screwed up that plan. I finally made it to the gym on Thursday morning. Didn’t push the heaviness of the weights I was lifting and only focused on certain body parts.

Then back again on Friday morning. As previously, nothing too heavy and focus on the body parts ignored the day before. I don’t normally go to the gym on consecutive days. But it felt the right thing to do last week to catch up on missed sessions. And gentle exercise works for me as part of the healing process from illness.

16 gym sessions since the start of 2024 divided by the annual membership = £34.38 per session.

No time to swim last week. And, to be honest, getting into a pool of tepid chlorinated water that hundreds of strange people have swam in never strikes me as a good way to help you recover from illness. For me, swimming only works once the recovery process is over.

Difficult times ahead

Weight: Dramatic drop but sustainable?

There are some redeeming features of having an illness. The excuse to sleep whenever you want and tugging on your partner’s emotions to get them to look after you. But illness is also a great way to lose weight. And with my patch of sickness, I basically didn’t feel like eating for about 3 days and then only gingerly as the illness abated.

Result was a massive 3 pound drop to put me safely back under the 13 stone benchmark. However, illness loss is often hard to keep off as you start eating again. So I do expect a rise next week.

lose weight now

Physio frustrations

Another session on Friday in the ongoing treatment of my Achilles injury. TBH, not that great as all NHS sessions have to be shared by 2 people. And the physio spent most of his time with the other person this time.

I was really hoping for shockwave therapy as the next step which is what the physio said would be happening. But he seemed reticent saying he would have to talk to his colleagues and there is a waiting list (so why not put me on that a few weeks ago?)

Mum: Sleep and a small shopping trip

With any illness, we need to be conscious of how we might be contagious, especially to others more vulnerable than ourselves. The big consideration for me is mum who is medically vulnerable. Thankfully I was at Dave’s when my symptoms started kicking in. So I stayed there until I felt the corner had started turn by Tuesday lunchtime.

Then over to see mum and check she was alright but making sure we had minimal physical contact. Not many good things came out of Covid. But one thing that did was an increased awareness for all of us how diseases spread and what we can all do individually to constrain this. I have been asleep for much of the time when I am with mum. But she feels reassured to know I am there and I am reassured to know she is OK.

We did manage a trip out on Friday afternoon. The plan had been to do a big shop trip to Hammersmith. But mum didn’t feel like it so we just pootled to the local Sainsburys after I had finished my physio session. Mum enjoyed it but even this limited expedition really tired her. Then my brother took mum for the big shop on Sunday.

Old friends and the joy of a gift

I have started the process of catching up with old friends. I’m trying to sort out details with my mates Tim and Fang Fang. But the week gone, I met up with my old mate Brian. We met on Wednesday for a coffee. A really dull, grey, wet and cold day. I was tempted to cancel because of my illness but I was on the mend and I don’t like letting people down.

Me and Brian have known each other since we met as university students. Nice to chew the cud and review the years particularly all the crap stuff that happens as you get older. Brian went to Torremolinos on my suggestion last year so good to get his perspective on the place. It was clear that he explored the wider area much more than me.

And it was so nice that he had bought me a gift – a book about nutrition which apparently may explain some of the emotional and medical issues I am facing. There is something lovely about receiving a gift out of the blue. It just makes you feel good and restores your faith in humanity.

The importance of books

In theory, one might think that illness would give more time for reading. Recuperating on the sofa with hot lemons and reading books. Wasn’t like that last week. I felt so ill that I spent an inordinate amount of time simply sleeping as part of my recovery process. No night-time reads for the first half of the week and no reading stuff on my kindle as I was moving about.

‘The Perfect Golden Circle’ by Benjamin Myers

So just one book completed last week. Myers is a recent discovery for me and fast becoming one of my favourite contemporary British writers. His focus seems to be the British countryside and male relationships. Though this is only the third of his books that I have read and I look forward to exploring his catalogue further. But I would suggest his book ‘Cuddy’ was one of the very best I read last year.

‘Circle’ is a relatively short book but very enjoyable and recommended. Set in 1989, it follows two men secretly creating crop circles and so bamboozling society (a bit like Banksy in real life). Whilst some theorise in particular about aliens, behind them are actually a couple of misfits. One, a Falklands war veteran dealing with mental illness and the other, a New Age Hippy who doesn’t want to inter-act with capitalist society.

This is a book about the relationship of these two individuals. But it’s also about the countryside as well as the characters and events they come into contact with as they surreptitiously create the crop circles at the dead of night. There are also nods to climate change and the general disappointments of modern society. In many ways it reminded me of an equally good book about men, J L Carr’s ‘A Month in the Country’ – another book I would highly recommend.

Slow living

Slowed down progress

As with my reading, illness definitely restricted the amount of learning I did on Duolingo compared to a normal week. Not least as I often do it in-between sets at the gym or whilst I am walking about. I pushed myself to retain my daily progress. But often last week it was just one Spanish and German session each day.

the learning routine

Just let go

I did use some of my ‘downtime’ recovery time (when I wasn’t asleep) to continue my drive to sort out things to get rid of them. One of the most fascinating things is how I have procrastinated over getting rid of certain objects such as books reassuring myself (falsely) that I will read them one day when I have time. Same with DVDs I will watch one day or clothes I will fit into again.

Don’t listen to this bullshit voice in your brain. It is what makes us hoarders. Believe me, it is amazing that once you get rid of these ‘hard-to-let-go’ things, you forget that you had them so quickly. It’s like you don’t know whether they are in your possession or not. And living life with less stuff is literally like carrying less crap around with you.

sunny sky with bits of cloud

QPR: Out of relegation for the time being

Hoo-fucking-ray, QPR came from behind (how did they go a goal down?) to beat the bottom of the division team. And so we sneaked out of the relegation zone. Would have preferred if Millwall and Huddersfield hadn’t of won so we could have gone well clear but you can’t have it all.


  • The last week of February and as it’s a leap year, Thursday is the 29th. In my previous blog, I wrote about how I was looking forward to a quiet week. Didn’t quite go as planned but I really am hoping for a quiet week without illness.
  • Perhaps no illness but medical appointments. I’m accompanying mum to a hospital appointment on Thursday. Then on Sunday, I go for my own urology appointment about my enlarged prostate.
  • My plan really is to do 3 gym sessions and also a swim hopefully. Be nice to have a ‘normal’ exercise week again.
  • Should definitely finish a couple of books. Both fiction though I am enjoying reading Brian’s non-fiction book about the science of metabolism
  • An incredibly tough game for QPR, away against League leaders Leicester. Back into the relegation zone me thinks.
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